The Language Pig – coach, teach, train?
Language teachers come by many names, and it has become fashionable to talk about coaching or training instead of teaching. So, do we train people, teach them or coach them?
Nobody likes teachers
Teaching has a bad reputation. For many learners, the idea of teaching sparks images of sitting in a classroom, bored, passive, learning content they did not choose. No wonder the term is rarely used in marketing materials.
Trainers are for dogs?
Ah, trainers. We train our dogs. We potty-train children. We practice and practice. Is that not a bit boring? Or is it like a personal trainer who will chase me around the gym, shouting motivating sentences while I do the work?
Coaching – is that not just for managers?
Isn’t coaching a long-term thing where you get better at running your business, or planning your life? What does that have to do with language learning?
What I am getting to here is the confusing nature of these terms. Language is a tricky beast, and definitions do not really help learners who are really just looking for a person who can help them achieve their goals.
A practical and personalised approach to language learning
Like most trained teachers, I read descriptions of training, coaching and teaching with an inner sigh. In practice, we tend to use principles of learning that touch on a lot of methods. Coaching has become a fashionable term in language teaching because it moves the focus away from classroom-based instruction around a fixed curriculum (which is not really what a lot of teachers do any more anyway) and towards a more person-centred, goal oriented approach (which is what a lot of teachers do already anyway). Ultimately, the methods we are using depend on the learning situation, the learners and their goals. Am I working with kindergarten children, a group of learners working towards a specific qualification or an individual with specific goals? As an educator, I seek to carve out a path most suitable for each learner.
So how does learning with The Language Pig work?
Depending on whether you are an individual or an institution looking for a language trainer, we agree on a tailored plan.