Language in Bloom

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Language Coach Responsibility #10: Encourage Creative Solutions to Problems

Seven months after starting this series on the responsibilities of a language coach, and I’ve finally gotten to the final one!

Responsibility #10: Encourage Creative Solutions to Problems

Note that this responsibility does not entail solving people’s problems! While it’s more than possible that a language coach will be able to solve some common problems that come up when a student is trying to learn a language. However, the primary role in this capacity is for the language coach to encourage the language learner to figure out problems on her own, and to support her in exploring creative solutions.

And what do I mean by creative solutions? I mean solutions that approach the problem from the perspective of that student’s unique learning profile. I mean solutions that are not taken from a canned list. If the language coach has fulfilled his other responsibilities, then this one should come automatically, since the learner will already be guided to be an autonomous language learner. And an autonomous language learner seeks out her own solutions, and then through trial and error makes adjustments as needed in order to effectively solve the problem at hand.

The truth is,

, educator, parent, or just anyone who interacts with other people. Language learning, like life, presents us with myriad obstacles to overcome, and since we are unique individuals that view problems from our unique perspectives, the most effective solution will be one that also comes from our unique perspective.

Promoting and encouraging an individualized approach sometimes gets a bad rap when it comes to education (usually not from education experts, but sometimes from nonexpert cultural commentators!), but being able to figure things out for yourself, and being comfortable in exploring creative solutions, is essential to language learning success.


Written by

Tammy Bjelland
Language lover, teacher & coach.

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