The Role of Coach and Client in Language Coaching
In language coaching, the relationship between the coach and the client is a partnership built on symmetry, following the Core Competencies of the International Coaching Federation. Throughout their conversations, the coach asks the student thought-provoking questions that lead to self-awareness and a shift in perception and mindset. These discussions are kept confidential and adhere to the Code of Ethics of the coach, as per the ICF guidelines.
As a language coach, the primary role is to be a supportive partner to the student on their language learning journey. Depending on the student's needs, the coach can take on different roles – acting as an external motivator to acknowledge the completion of specific tasks or offering emotional support to help the student overcome communication fears. The coach may guide the client without imposing their personal opinions, or they can recommend suitable resources for self-study.
While the language coach doesn't necessarily need to be an expert in the target language, many have extensive experience as language instructors. This allows them to effectively combine coaching with teaching or mentoring, tailoring the approach to the individual needs and preferences of the client. They may provide study materials for homework, offer ongoing support, and explain and practice problematic areas during sessions.
However, all decisions regarding the content and structure of the coaching process are entirely up to the client. Their most crucial role is taking ownership of their language learning journey and progress. It's important to understand that language coaching isn't a magical solution that instantly imparts fluency; it's a collaborative effort. If the client is genuinely committed to making positive changes and taking action, coaching can help them discover their own solutions and tap into their hidden potential.
In essence, the language coach is like a co-pilot, accompanying and supporting the client as they drive their language learning journey.