A person may need to learn a new language for their professional use or everyday use. Learning a foreign language or non-native language is not easy. While learning our native language, we build our basics right from our schooling. At a very small stage, we learn the foundation of the language listening to our elders. Getting command on a language demands time and continuous practice.
Once we get old, it becomes difficult to learn a new language. There can be many reasons for the same. We may lack the time or there may not be enough people speaking the language around us. This is where language coaching comes into play.
Language coaching follows an approach to guide clients to learn a new language. Language coaches coach the clients to learn a language as per their needs. They help clients to speak a new language with the utmost comfort.
Do you know many languages?
Do you think you can coach others for one of the languages that you speak?
Do your friends tell you that you have a good command of a certain language? Do they want you to teach them a particular language?
Do you think you will enjoy coaching clients as a language coach?
Yes?! Then why not become a language coach and convert your passion into a profession?
In this article, we will discuss all that you must know about language coaching and a language coach. Let’s first understand what is language coaching in depth.
What is Language Coaching?
Language coaching helps the clients to achieve language skills. Language coaching is different from traditional teaching. Coaching helps the clients to know the part of the language they should learn to reach their goals. A coach looks at where the coachee is now and where do they want to reach. With coaching sessions, the coach supports the clients to learn language skills.
The language coaching process has an action plan that helps the coachee to improve. The client takes the responsibility of implementing the action steps in the best way.
Difference Between Traditional Teaching and Language Coaching
There are some major differences between traditional coaching and language coaching.
In the traditional learning process, the teacher sets the curriculum. The teacher is also responsible for all the questions that the student may have.
While in language coaching, the clients decide the end goal. The coach then sets an action plan to achieve the decided end goal. Clients may also work with the coach on specific projects and get the coaching to find their own answers.
Let’s understand some more differences between traditional teaching and language coaching.
Traditional teaching is a one-way process. It involves heavy use of books. The language teacher follows chapters of the language books. The teacher takes the role of the prime instructor denoting a superior status. Traditional teaching is instructive and mandatory. It includes a more formal approach. The traditional teaching process is directional and demonstrative. Rather than focusing on the individual, traditional teaching methods include groups. Often, teaching may not take into account the social and cultural context of the language.
Language coaching involves active learning. It is usually a reverse engineering process. First, the coaches set the end goal. Then they help the clients explore the language to meet the end goal. Motivation and empathy take the top priority in language coaching. Language coaches have the responsibility to keep the clients engaged and committed. While clients take responsibility and ownership.
Coaching takes over teaching. The main focus of language coaching is on continuous improvement. The improvement comes from reflection on the client’s performance and feedback. The coaching is client-oriented and tailored to remove unique pain points. The core aim is to maximize the potential of the learner.
Who is a Language Coach?
Have you ever been to a gym?
As you enter the gym there are various types of equipment to choose from. You will see other members doing various exercises with a goal to stay fit. But, if you are a newbie it would become difficult for you to choose your beginning point. This is the reason why gyms have personal trainers. They guide trainees through the gyming process. The gym trainer takes away all thoughts and worries so that the trainees can focus on the actions.
Without a personal trainer:
- You would be all alone, worrying about the correct way to get fit.
- You have no one to keep you accountable.
- You are more likely to give up soon without any support and clear directions.
- You are least likely to achieve results and goals.
Now think that you are not at the gym but a language learner who wants to learn a new language well.
Instead of the gym, you visit a bookstore or an online website. Like the gym, the bookstore or the online website has books or online resources. You have no idea where to start from and what book/material to pick up. Rather than struggling don’t you think a language personal trainer would be more helpful? Yes, Right? That’s exactly where the role of language coaches come.
Language coaches set SMART (Specific, time-bound, actionable, relevant, and time-bound) goals. Once the coach defines the goal, he/she forms the action plan. Then the coach tailors every coaching session around the goals of the coachee. The coach also removes the hurdles that the coachee face in the learning process. These obstacles can be frustrations or underlying beliefs. With continuous support, the coach guides the coachee for a successful learning outcome.
Responsibilities of a Language Coach
Some of the main responsibilities of a language coach include the following:
- Work with the clients to set personalized goals and targets.
- Choose methods from experience and knowledge that suits the client best.
- Motivate clients to learn language skills.
- Create a flexible and client-oriented learning plan.
- Revise the plan and the goals as per the outcomes.
- Provide coaching tools and resources to the clients to supplement the coaching process.
- Offer the clients effective support, confidence, feedback, and empathy.
- To protect confidential information that the client may share during the coaching process
- Promote collaboration.
- Identify obstacles and provide methods to overcome them.
- Develop methods to build accountability and self-assessment systems.
- Empower the coachee to be their own guide.
Why Do People Hire a Language Coach?
There are very simple reasons why people hire language coaches.
- Good language coaches have a great experience. Thes coaches have already achieved the goals that the coachee is looking for. So, the coach is aware of all the obstacles that will come in the past. The coach has made mistakes in the past and can guide the coachee well to avoid them.
- Working with a language coach helps people to achieve their goals faster. A person may want to learn German as part of her corporate life. She may find it difficult to express herself before other German-speaking fellows. Now, if she chooses to learn german on her own that will take a lot of time. She may even start learning things that are not the need of the hour. Coaches know the exact scope of the language relative to various settings. They can guide people to figure out where they should start and how to proceed to crack their goals.
- People can focus their limited time to take action and improve skills. Hiring a coach removes the guesswork. This increases the chance to get command over the language soon.
What do People Consider While Hiring a Language Coach?
There are many coaches who have command over many languages. Why would your prospects hire you?
There is a difference between becoming a coach and becoming a hireable coach. If you want to convert your ideal prospects into paying clients, know what they are looking for. Understanding the demands of your target audience is the first step for any coach.
Now, let’s see what do people look while hiring a language coach.
The coach should be at par with global trends and linguistics
While hiring, individuals consider whether the language coach knows the recent coaching trends.
Some of the points that your prospects will look in a coach are:
Does the coach speak at different meetings/workshops?
What steps does the coach take to improve their knowledge and skills?
How does the coach keep up with global trends?
How is the coach following the latest research?
Who is coaching the coach?
Excellent communication skills
Apart from linguistic expertise, individuals look at the communications skills of the coach. A good coach does not only improve language skills but also helps to articulate the client’s message. A good language coach advises clients on how to persuade others during meetings. A language coach also helps to develop clear written communication (emails, reports, etc.).
Coaching tools and resources
People look for coaches who can provide good coaching tools and resources. Your prospects may ask you various questions to judge your coaching process. Some of these include:
What methods and tools do you use in session planning?
How do you do the session preparation?
What tools do you use to improve the learning between the sessions?
A good coach uses classroom techniques and methods to maximize learning goals. The coach focuses on self-directed learning to develop autonomy.
It is not easy to get hired as a language coach. You must be able to convince your prospects that you have the best coaching plan. Tell the key areas that your sessions will cover. These may include fluency, pronunciation, grammar, etc.
Tell how your coaching process will ensure the learning outcomes.
Since the coaching industry is not well-regulated, often people look for qualifies coaches. Qualifications vary. One can achieve some qualifications through a quick online course. Along with this, there are some excellent academic qualifications that you can go for. One of them includes a Master’s in applied linguistics. But, make sure that that your learnings are practical and not only theoretical.
When businesses hire language coaches, they may consider corporate experience as well.
They may ask you questions like:
In which sector do you have your experience?
What level of corporate experience do you have?
How many years were you there in this industry?
A good level of corporate experience can help a language coach to understand the clients. This will give an edge to the coach to improve the language skills of the individuals. The coach would be better able to tailor them to their business roles.
Most coaches double-check the emphasis of the coach on pronunciation.
Mispronunciations are the prime cause of miscommunication. If the coach themselves are not good at pronouncing, how can they coach others?
Whichever language you choose to coach for, ensure that you are good at it. You must be excellent at the vocabulary, grammar, and especially the pronunciation.
Not necessary but it always gives you an advantage! A native speaker with a clear accent and articulation act as a role model for clients.
Benefits of Having a Language Coach
There are some great benefits to hiring language coaches. Hiring coaches reduce efforts and time spent to learn a language to a great extent.
Let us have a look at the top benefits of language coaches.
Language coaches improve mindset
Languages coaches help in improving the mindset of language learners. The biggest benefit that a language coach offers is not a book or course but a mindset. When language learners begin coaching they have a lot of preconceived notions. They are not sure what they can achieve. Often they believe that their age/origin/schedule will make them poor learners.
Language coaches know that these beliefs are actually not found in reality. These are things that people tell learners that hinder their progress. Language coaches have no doubts about what is possible and what is not. Because they have achieved what is possible. Working with a language coach helps in promoting positive beliefs. At the same time, it helps in ignoring limiting beliefs.
Language coaches make language learning part of the lifestyle
Many people complain that they want to learn a new language but they lack time. People have busy schedules that stop them to put time in language learning. Language coaches know that this is a common excuse. They are aware that people can always create time for things that they focus on.
Language coaches analyze the schedules of the learners and help them to make time. Such coaches help individuals to make language learning a part of their lifestyle. Often people end up realizing that they indeed have time if they plan their routine well.
Language coaches focus on what matters most
Beginners often make a mistake of collecting many resources to learn a language. They feel the more resources they have the more knowledge they will gain. This is wrong.
Language coaches know what matters the most and they can guide individuals for that. Plenty of options seldom overwhelm and distract. Language coaches help in structuring material and focusing on them one-by-one. A deep focus on one resource rather than various helps in in-depth understanding. Fewer distractions and proper understanding will guide future learnings.
Language coaches coach to tackle language from different angles
Language coaches coach learners to improve their speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills. Few people spent years doing a lot of hard work on vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Still, they find it hard to get a good command over a language. Despite all the hard work, they don’t feel confident to speak to another person in that language.
Language coaches know the right approach to guide language learners. They guide the clients to learn language skills in a way that they can use it. They help clients to speak, write, read and understand. Coaches boost confidence so that clients can engage others by communicating well.
Language coaches build sustainable motivation
The biggest issue that comes with self-study is it leaves an individual lonely at least at first. Going alone through book pages or an online course can be very boring. Lack of support and personalized guidance can demotivate a lot.
Language coaches along with their client-tailored approach can make the process easy. There are various roles that a language coach plays during the coaching journey.
- Role Model
- Personal trainer
- Accountability partner
- Mentor etc.
The coach can help to find motivation. On top of this, the coach helps the individual to seek out their own motivation. Language coaches ensure that the clients work with enough stimulation to reach goals.
Language coaches beat procrastination
The biggest enemy of the self-learners is procrastination. When one decides to learn a new language, often they decide to avoid hard work and put it off for later. But, working with a language coach helps avoid procrastinating. This is possible due to many reasons.
- Language coaches work on goals. So, they tell clients when they are slacking off.
- Coaches know what clients like and dislike. They try to provide individuals with interesting tasks and avoid boring/pointless homework.
- Language coaches help individuals to know which activities help to improve skills. They keep clients energetic so that they always feel motivated to achieve targets.
Language coaches track the clients’ progress
Language learning is a long journey. Since the journey is long, any individual can lose track. Sucha coaches keep a proper track of the progress made by the clients. They make sure that the clients don’t deviate from their path. They keep questioning their accountability. They make clients reflect on their past performance. At the same time, they make the clients feel motivated by their achievements. This helps the clients to stay focus and committed to performing future action steps.
How Much Does a Language Coach Earn?
The salary that a language coach depends on a lot of factors.
- The language that the coach coaches
- Training and qualification of the coach
- Past clients and client testimonies
- Market demand and trends
- Affordability range of the target audience
- Pricing and packaging mechanism of the coaching services etc.
For instance, the average English language coach salary in the USA is $50,251.
If you want to earn well as a language coach, create a coaching business plan. Plan your coaching sessions and marketing strategies. Gather the coaching tools that you will use to coach the client for the preferred language.
To prove your competency you can also go for a coaching certificate. If you are planning to earn a certificate, choose an ICF accredited coaching program. Here are the top institutes for coaching certifications.
Language coaching has become a demand in the corporate and personal lives of people. The niche is still evolving and this is the right time to establish yourself as a language coach.
Don’t delay! Start from today.