So many people for so many years have tried many different methods, tested so many language schools, cooperated with so many seemingly different language trainers. They have devoted their time, their energy, their money to attend classes which turn out not to have made any difference to their real skills. Despite the fruitlessness of all activity they have undertaken, they still remain involved into something that resembles a vicious circle. They have theoretically studied a foreign language for years, but something they call a language barrier still stops them from communicating in a foreign language. In any case they don’t introduce any major changes to the way in which they try to acquire language skills.
Why am I referring to it as a circle? Obviously, although their education is ongoing, they’re still making comebacks to the opening point of the learning process. No matter how hard they try personally it’s not difficult to guess what their chances of learning a foreign language are if they attend a course being one of a dozen others or so. By making a simple calculation it’s not difficult to realise how much time can be devoted to a single student if a teacher has, let’s say, ten of them within a group and 90 minutes at their disposal. Not to mention the diversity of the students resulting from different expectations, different speed of acquiring information, different memorising techniques which they apply, their different personalities, their language competencies developed to a different extent and so on and so forth. How could such trainings be effective?! How can logically thinking people continue getting enrolled in them for many years? After all, how can they expect different results when still doing the same?
My guess is they do it automatically and habitually as they do not really see any alternatives. There seems to be nobody who would really get interested in them as individuals. And please notice that paradoxically, the most popular advertising slogans used by language schools usually involve the element of ‘tailor-made courses’! The question is how it corresponds to reality…
THE REAL YOU
How much of the real you is allowed inyou’re the relation with your teacher and is there a place for any relation at all? Does anybody ask you about your motivation for learning? Are you asked the simplest question like why you want to learn a language, about what keeps you interested in being a student? What difference will this new competence you’re planning to develop make to your life? Does anybody try to ask how quickly you’d like to pick up the language and to tell you how possible it is for your goal to be met within such time frames?
How much of the content included in the course are you really interested in? How thought provoking is it to you, not to mention being at least interesting?
If you allow yourself to spend a while thinking whether your teacher ever listens to you. Or probably it’s more right to ask yourself a question whether you are given a chance to express your wishes, verbalise your opinion or just to say what you prefer. Oh yes. Are you ever given any choice? Do you have the right to say that you don’t feel like discussing a given topic or doing a particular type of activity a given day?
Are you given a chance to say no, to disagree or is it like things are imposed on you? Because there’s a programme to be followed, there’s a material to be covered, there’s a coursebook to be gone through within a specific period of time. And, well, there are other students in your group. And in fact nobody complains, nobody questions anything so how could you? You start to worry – maybe you don’t work hard enough, maybe your talent for learning languages is not sufficient, maybe…
Doesn’t too much of this seem to be a big unknown? Don’t you start to focus on your failures or start to think you’re too old to learn a language or conclude you lack talent?
Don’t you feel as if squeezed into some stiff frames?
Isn’t it worth asking yourself a question “WHERE AM I IN THIS LEARNING PROCESS?”
Who cares about me? Who knows my goals and objectives? Who can measure my progress (if you’re lucky enough to make any). Who gives me feedback? Who shows me possible directions to go into? Who hears me? If anybody finds a minute and expresses readiness to listen to you.
You are the learner. You are in the centre of the process. You are a unique individual who is willing to introduce a change to his or her life. Doesn’t it stand in opposition to the idea of being an eternal student?
You are somebody who has full right to say what effect you want to achieve as a result of the process. The process has to be designed and made suitable for you and not the other way round – nobody can expect you to become adapted to it. The means to achieve your goals are within you. And don’t count on them coming to you from the outside.
You are just in need of somebody who’ll support you in locating them and placing them in the limelight. As your potential and your talents can be turned into your real strengths. You are in need of somebody who will be a mirror to you. And in the company of whom you’ll be able to hear your most authentic self. To think “Wow! That’s me! And that’s what I really want!”
And now time for a question – in whose company would you dare to reveal your real self? Could it be just anybody? Or maybe somebody who evolves a set of specific emotions in you. If yes, what kind of emotions should they be?
Now the question is HOW to achieve it. HOW to become different. HOW to introduce change to the current state of the things.
What you need is to set specific and achievable goals. Then to make a well-thought action plan. With established time frames. You also need to admit to yourself how ready and committed you feel to depart on your learning journey. If you really feel you are, well, let the new experience begin. Let’s approach the door to a new better reality and go ahead. You know where you want to get.
A NEUROLANGUAGE COACH
A neurolanguage coach is there to constantly assist you in a transition to a bilingual state. He /sheis there to support YOU, to make the experience of learning enjoyable and memorable especially for YOU. To facilitate the change YOU want to make. To help YOU move forward. It doesn’t even cross his or her mind to place you within any frames, but just the opposite – he proves to be flexible and is fully ready to follow you. Your status equals his or hers. There’s no place for imposing anything on you, no deciding for you in the process. You are the author and the creator of anything that occurs during the lesson you learn. And last but not least, a neurolanguage coach, apart from being an expert in language teaching, incorporates neuroscience into the learning process and possesses coaching skills and competences. He or she is fully aware of brain reactions to certain stimuli and thanks to this is fully competent to lead you through the learning process so that the effects are fast and sustainable. And because you are happy throughout the process you really want to be a part of it and feel empowered to head for the world you are planning to enter due to your improved communication skills.
Copyright Katarzyna Hylińska 2015