It started in Germany.
My ESL coaching journey started with another love of mine: the German language.
You see, I’ve lived in Germany twice in my life—one time for seven months and another time for a summer. My heart has always been attracted to Germany and the German language for reasons unknown to me.
Yet, during each of my visits there, I oftentimes felt depressed and like I was two separate people. First, there was my “American” self. This person loved good conversation, learning new skills, and sharing ideas with others.
But my “German-speaking” self was the opposite. She felt like an introvert and avoided people and conversations because she couldn’t fully express herself. She couldn’t adequately translate all of those thoughts and ideas into words that reflected who she really was.
Honestly, it was demoralizing.
Fast forward 15 years
Now I understand that I was experiencing homesickness and culture shock. Looking back, I wish I had found a supportive language teacher or coach who could have helped me better understand the language and culture.
The good news is that this not-so-positive experience led me to want to help others. In particular, I feel passionate about helping individuals who have moved to an English-speaking city and want to speak English well and feel like a part of the community.
I become a certified language coach, and now I have the opportunity to help motivated learners from all over the world improve their English. I understand that improving your language and culture skills is only the first step towards leading a bigger life. But it's an important one. It can lead to so much more! I've seen it over and over again with my clients as they build lives with meaning and purpose here in Houston.
One final thought, if you are far from your home country and are dealing with homesickness or depression, there are resources to help. Here is an article I wrote for Talaera that can help get you started.