Language in Bloom

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Language Coach Responsibility #4: Encourage consistent practice

Learning a new language is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why consistent, challenging training is necessary if you want to meet your goals.

How does a language coach accomplish this? By encouraging you to step outside your comfort zone and perform difficult tasks that will improve your skills, even if you hate them and want to do something that’s easier for you instead.

Just like shuttle runs in soccer practice, you hate them at that particular moment, but the pain you suffered is worth it when you don’t get winded during a game and you can get to the ball faster.

Think of a language coach’s encouragement to practice your speaking skills, even if you are petrified of making mistakes, as those shuttle runs at practice, and the game is a real spontaneous conversation with a native speaker. A language coach will keep you from getting in a rut of just accomplishing tasks that are easy for you.

And of course, the key here is consistency, not repetitiveness. Consistency means that you practice all your skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) regularly, in order to build them up. Developing a short and long-term plan for how you plan to build on those skills (scaffolding) will keep you on track, and a language coach can hold you accountable to those plans and identify where you can progress even faster.

Written by

Tammy Bjelland
Language lover, teacher & coach.

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