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:
you could try my multilingual (or monolingual) mentoring (or language coaching) sessions!
Whether you want some guidance from time to time or you want to build your own customised language learning path, book your first language coaching or multilingual mentoring session with me (book here if you wish to receive a study-plan tailored on what we talked about after our session).
Please also feel free to contact me, including the following information:
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 to help you a) find the right method and b) find an efficient study routine which works for YOU, I use other tools with my coachees to help them avoid typical (or specific) language learning pitfalls, such as:
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
Now available on Amazon!
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.