First of all, I would like to clarify the distinction between mentoring and coaching, as it may make a difference when identifying exactly what it is you’re looking for.
Are mentoring and coaching identical?
-> No. People often confuse mentoring and coaching. Though related, they are not the same.
Both language mentors and language coaches create a safe learning environment for taking risks (e.g. they help students overcome the fear of making mistakes when speaking) and help students leave their comfort zone in order to improve their performance.
So, what are the differences between mentoring and coaching?
What is mentoring?
Mentoring can be defined as a relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the student) in developing specific skills and knowledge. The mentor facilitates the student’s language learning path by sharing resources and experience in their field of expertise (e.g. language learning, teaching, etc.). A mentor provides both professional and personal support and may give advice.
What is coaching?
Coaching supports the student’s language learning path by prompting them to find their own method and path.
A language coach does not tell you what you must do but helps you to build your own learning system and customise it to fit your needs. In this way, a language coach helps you to find your own answers and what really works for you.
Coaching is based on concrete actions to improve the current learning stage.
Do I need a language mentor or a language coach?
The ICF (International Coach Federation) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. This does not involve the transfer of knowledge, expertise or advice. According to this definition, a language coach uses coaching techniques to help you to find your own answers, motivation and path.
As a language mentor gives advice, shares their expertise and uses coaching techniques to assist students in learning a language or improving their language skills, what most people are really looking for is a language mentor (or a language teacher who is also a language mentor).
If you want to learn languages on your own but feel you need one or more of the following things:
- Structure in your language learning
- Tips from someone who has studied lots of different types of languages (24 in total)
- A challenge or reason to commit
- Motivation or encouragement
- Help building your study routine and sticking to it
you could try my multilingual (or monolingual) mentoring (or coaching) sessions!
Please feel free to contact me, including the following information:
- the language(s) you want to learn
- your level (you could tell me when, how and for how long you have learnt a particular language)
- your goal (what you want to achieve and by when)
I would be delighted to help you become an independent language learner, improve your learning efficiency and get the results you deserve.
Apart from mentoring and coaching techniques, I use other tools with my coachees, such as:
- My Language learning planner to help you a) set long-term and daily language learning goals, b) keep track of your achievements, c) stay motivated, and d) improve your daily routine.
- A monolingual or multilingual language program tailored to your language goals and learning preferences
- Language learning activity list: many activities you can choose from to boost your language learning
- List of language specific resources so that you don’t waste precious time looking for resources and so that you can dive straight into learning.
You might also consider joining my 30-day multilingual challenge (or monolingual challenge if you prefer) and my accountability group.
Start improving your languages today! With the right method, anyone can do it!
Looking for additional language learning strategies?
Why don’t you read my new book:
Multilingual Learning: become fluent in any language
You can find it on Amazon and soon on my website.
If you’re looking for another amazing website with useful tips and resources, I would recommend Language Mentoring, made by my friend and famous polyglot, Lýdia Machová. Check it out now!