Updated: Mar 9
Updated March 9, 2021
Over two years ago, I achieved an important goal of mine: to become a certified Neurolanguage Coach®. But what does that mean, and, more importantly, what does it mean to my clients?
If the title Neurolanguage Coach® is new to you, that’s okay. Let me explain a few differences between traditional language teaching and Neurolanguage Coaching®, so you will know what to expect and share some of the excitement that I feel about this new journey.
First off, most of my explanation is inspired by Rachel M. Paling’s article, The Differences between Language Teaching and Language Coaching. She is the founder of Neurolanguage Coaching® and owns the accreditation company that certified me as a Neurolanguage Coach®. She is a brilliant woman, and I’m thankful that she paved the way for teachers like me to become more than just a person who lectures on grammar and passes out worksheets!
Let me explain a little about Neurolanguage Coaching® and what it means to you:
With Neurolanguage Coaching®, you (the coachee) take on a very active role.
Instead of simply taking notes and reciting information when called upon, this style of learning calls upon you to be active and engaged in the language learning process. Because you have worked with the me from the beginning to develop your own specific grammar and long-term language goals, you are more motivated and committed to learn.
The learning process belongs to you at all times. Yes, I’m there as an expert in English, but mainly I’m there to stimulate your mind and provide a space for you to build important language connections. For example, most of my questions to you will be open-ended in order to provoke your brain to form new neural pathways between ideas.
With this in mind, a Neurolanguage Coach® will encourage you to compare your native language with English. Your native language forms the basis of your language understanding and from that you can compare and contrast new ideas and have more “A-ha!” moments.
Neurolanguage Coaching® is adapted to your style of learning.
This is what I love most about Neurolanguage Coaching®. It takes into account that every learner learns differently. This is based on preference, childhood learning experiences, and other variables. Sometimes learners know how they learn best. For example, I love to write in order to learn a new language, but my brain can get over-stimulated by using videos or movies to learn.
On the other hand, some learners don’t quite know yet how they learn best. And that’s okay—they’ve never been asked to think about it before! Our time together can be exploratory as we find the methods of learning that work best for you. And this leads me to my next point.
In Neurolanguage Coaching® there is less emphasis on textbooks.
In fact, Rachel sometimes encourages the coachee and coach to make their own textbook together! Why? Because if you create your own curriculum, it will certainly be more relevant and personal to you. Plus, when you create the content, you are reinforcing those neural pathways, the language connections in your mind.
This doesn’t mean that we can’t or shouldn’t use textbooks. Sometimes, parts of books can be useful when they are relevant and stimulating to you. I have one client who has always dreamed of reading an Ernest Hemingway story, and that’s what we are doing. I am doing my best to “chunk down” the story into parts that she can understand and learn from. It challenges both of us, and it is fun and memorable.
Neurolanguage Coaching® takes neuroscience into account.
Photo by meo from Pexels
It might not come as a surprise based on the name that neurolanguage shares a connection to neuroscience. In fact, it is one of the foundations of Neurolanguage Coaching®. As Rachel mentions in her article, “no two brains are alike.” We all learn in different ways. However, we do know that no brain performs optimally when stressed, so it is my goal as the language coach to keep our session “brain-friendly” and your body and mind in a state of receptive learning.
In other words, I don’t want to stress you out but instead keep you in the flow of learning. I help to do this by grouping information for you, by telling you what we have learned and what topics we are moving to next, and by engaging you in relevant, relaxed conversation.
So, how does this sound to you? To me, it’s like a breath of fresh air, as they say. Neurolanguage Coaching® is a practical and effective way to make the language come alive in your life. My hope is that you will leave each session with me feeling empowered and energized by our time together.