Hi! I’m Rebecca and I‘m a Language Coach. That means I’m not only a qualified and experienced English trainer but also a qualified and experienced coach. I combine these skills to guide, support and motivate my clients to reach their full potential as a language learner. And most importantly, I’m a language learner myself. I have learnt German, Spanish, Japanese, Polish, Turkish and Swahili so I really know what it takes and how it feels to learn a language.
People (often those who want to sell you a book or a course) will tell you it’s easy to learn a foreign language: You can be fluent in 90 days, speak like a native after a couple of weeks, multilingual in the blink of an eye. But let’s be honest, the reality looks a bit different.
“Fluent”, “multilingual”, “near-native” are words that are often thrown around in language learning but are tricky terms to properly define and let’s face it pretty off-putting to the average person. At the end of the day, when I ask most of my clients what they would like to achieve, their answers are often the same:
“ I want to…
…walk away from a conversation in English and feel good about it (and not totally embarrassed).
…send off an email knowing that it sounds professional and gets the message across.
…not have a heart attack every time the phone rings and I see a foreign code on the screen.
…be able to walk into any situation and know I can get through it and not stand there feeling like a complete idiot.“
As a language coach but also a life-long language learner I can completely sympathise with all of the above. I’m British and surprisingly (for a Brit) I speak 5 foreign languages: German (fluently), Spanish (quite well) and Japanese (on a basic level) and I’m just with Polish and Swahili. So, I don’t just teach a language, I’m constantly learning a language(s) and I know exactly what it takes and what it feels like. I feel frustrated when I can’t remember a Spanish word that I knew a couple of years ago. I feel embarrassed in my Japanese class when I have absolutely no clue what is going on or what the teacher wants from me. I STILL make mistakes in German despite the fact I’m practically fluent and have lived here for years.
But on the bright side, I also know what it feels like to go to Spain and chat to natives in a bar about a pretty wide range of topics despite the fact I forget the odd word here and there. To get something right in my Japanese class (finally) and know I’m (slowly)making progress in one of the most difficult languages in the world. To be told by a German that I sound like a native and they didn’t even realise I was British. And like most things in life, those positive moments, or as the Germans like to call the “Erfolgserlebnis” (experiences of success) make it all worthwhile and motivate me to carry on.
One of THE most important things I have learned is that language learning is not just academic, it’s EMOTIONAL. How you feel about a language plays a huge role in how successful you will be. Negative experiences from the past can seriously hinder your progress. For example, a teacher telling you when you were 10 years old that you would never be good at languages (can’t tell you how many of my clients are still dragging that negative baggage around with them!) or almost suffering from a heart attack before an oral exam at school. That is why coaching works so effectively when combined with language training. Coaching tackles the emotional and the motivational side of language learning.
For more information on language coaching and the services I offer, please see What I Offer and my FAQs. Click here to learn more about my qualifications. To get useful tips or simply follow my language learning and coaching journey, please follow my blog and feel free to join in the conversation. I’d love to hear from you!