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How to Become a Language Coach?

How to Become a Language Coach? language coach  /  14th April 2022

Language coaches are a useful sub-section of the language learning world. What a language coach does in case you are not familiar is provide people with additional tools and resources to aid them in their time learning a new language. 

If you are familiar with language coaching and you are looking to become one then there are numerous resources online that you should be able to utilise when starting that journey.

How to Become a Language Coach? language coach

You might also want to consider acquiring a qualification or certification for language coaching if you feel that that would be beneficial. Anyone can become a language coach as long as they make sure they have the skills and attributes suited for the role. 

Learning a new language is something that many people want to do at some point or other throughout their lifetime. Still, sometimes the reality of actually doing that can be daunting. Language coaches are a great service that can be provided to people that want to fulfill this desire to speak more than one language. 

Becoming a language coach will not only be incredibly rewarding as a career but will also be something that has the potential to take your personal and professional life to places you probably never imagined.  The road to becoming a fully-fledged language coach will require much from you but there is no better time than the present to start on the path to achieving that goal. 

What is Language Coaching?

A language coach will provide an individual with helpful tools to be able to make learning a language easier and more enjoyable. 

Language coaching is all about being able to provide someone with goal-orientated plans that will make the most of their time when learning a new language. Typically, language coaching will be used in conjunction with lessons provided by a language teacher but not always.

Language coaching is about understanding the specific needs of the person and how they learn best. A coach will also help in providing useful information as to how they will be able to overcome any challenges that may arise. 

Language coaching is all about the specific person and their needs and wants.  For example, if someone wants to learn a new language such as French, they will most likely be going to a language teacher throughout the week either in person or online. A language coach can then also be hired to help with the overall process of learning the language in the best manner possible.

What does a Language Coach do?

Language coaches do a lot for the clients that they work with such as: making sure that the client is staying on task, and this is helpful due to the fact that it can be easy to fall off course when learning a language. 

A language will also provide clear and helpful plans that fit with how the client learns specifically, this is also really useful due to the fact that everyone learns in different manner so having a plan that is tailored made for them is really helpful.

Also an important thing to keep in mind is, language coaches differ from language teachers and it is important in understanding the difference when also trying to understand what a language coach does in their role. 

A teacher will be more focused on teaching the actual language such as grammar and phrases in a classroom setting as compared to a coach who is more focused on providing the person with useful advice while they focus on the actual studies themselves. 

A language coach however will not be able to overcome challenges for the learner but they will be able to provide help and useful tools for them to be able to overcome these challenges themselves.

Also, a language coach will help with being able to learn other languages in the future as the skills needed to learn one language might apply to other languages.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Language Coach?

Many benefits come with hiring a language coach when working toward learning a new language. Many people all over will see these benefits every day, so, if you are looking to become a language coach it is important to know what you will need to be providing your clients with on a day-to-day basis. 

There are significantly more benefits than can be listed here but the main benefits that you will need to understand are as follows.

1. Builds study skills

This is arguably the main benefit that comes with hiring a language coach as a coach will be all about helping an individual with their own personal studies.  Studying is a hard task no matter what is being learned, what a coach will be able to do is provide useful and relevant advice specific to the individual. 

Everyone studies in their own way and it can be possible for people to become overwhelmed with the process of studying especially if they don’t have the right tools needed for the task. A coach will be able to construct with input from the trainee a study plan that is most applicable and useful to them specifically. 

2. Builds grammar, vocabulary, speaking, and listening

This is a useful benefit that a coach will provide as they will help to open everything that the language learner is doing outside the coach sessions. 

When an individual is going through the process of learning all the new vocabulary and grammar the coach will then be able to help them with this process. 

Learning any new skill is a difficult task, the coach is there to make that process easier for them. A coach’s job is to help build upon everything that they are currently in the process of learning.  

3. Makes you learn the language most efficiently

Efficiency is key in making sure that the time spent learning the new language is being used productively. When learning this new language, it is important to not spend valuable time being bogged down with anything unnecessary. 

As previously stated, people learn in all manner of styles, and it can be inefficient to spend time trying to learn in a style that just isn’t right for you.  It is also important that clear goals and expectations are understood so that it is clear what is being worked on and how it is going to be achieved. A coach will be able to help with that so that you can make the absolute most of your time spent learning. 

4. Correct your pronunciation

Most people when learning a language want to be able to use it in a practical manner such as being able to hold a conversation with a native speaker, whether it is in their personal or even professional life. Having the correct pronunciation is paramount in being able to do that. A language coach will be able to assist the learner with their pronunciation. 

When learning a language from a teacher or from books it can be easy to assume that a word is pronounced incorrectly. When working with a coach you will be able to speak in the new language with them so that they are able to hear how words are being said and pronounced in a real conversation capacity.

When this is done, bad pronunciation habits can be pointed out making the person learning overall more proficient at speaking the language which is most likely what the person learning wants to be able to do with the language.  

5. Makes learning a new language a fun process

When learning any new skill such as a new language the biggest thing that can demotivate a person is that they stop enjoying the learning process. Quite often people go into learning a new skill highly motivated and driven but then over time lose that enthusiasm. 

A good coach will be able to help the person learning overcome that pitfall. When the learning process stops being fun this is when people give up or stop, this is obviously not what anyone wants to happen. When a coach is able to inspire this motivation, it makes all the difference in the person reaching the goals that they initially set out to achieve and then some. 

The best coaches will involve new ways to make the learning process as fun as possible by potentially incorporating new ideas and interesting ways to expand upon what is being learned.

An example of this could even be as simple as suggesting a movie in the target language that the learner could watch. Something as simple as being able to understand a popular movie in the language could bring about a whole new wave of motivation.

How to Become a Language Coach?

There are many avenues available to people that are looking to become a language coach and you must choose the right path for you. 

The first thing you should do is look inward and decide if this is genuinely the right thing for you, if you feel that it is then that is the perfect first step in starting your new journey. 

You should also determine what language(s) you want to work with. You don’t have to be fluent in them to be effective as a language coach but it is highly recommended that you have some knowledge in the language(s) that your clients are learning.  This is the area that differs the most from a language teacher. Typically, a language teacher will be fluent and qualified in teaching one (maybe more) language(s), whereas a good language coach should be able to help people with their learning process no matter the language being learned.

What is important with this is that you decide what is best for you and your clients. One option could be to just start out helping people with their learning in one language and then over time as you improve as a coach you expand upon what languages you help coach with.  

The next thing you are going to want to do is really analyze yourself and determine if the skills that you currently have align with what is needed in a good language coach. If you feel that there are areas of yourself that you need to work on then there are some options that you can take. 

You are also going to want to decide whether or not you are going to earn any qualifications or certifications. As previously stated you don’t necessarily need these but if you feel that they could be beneficial to you then that is always a choice that you can make. 

Once you have found your feet with all the initial steps you are then going to want to figure out how you intend to take on clients. This could involve networking, marketing, etc… This is obviously really important but what you really don’t want to do is take on clients before you are sure that you are absolutely ready to do so. You always want to do what is right by the people you are coaching and if you aren’t 100% sure that you are ready to work with anyone, they don’t until that time comes.

There are so many nuanced ways that you can work on your coaching skills that it is so important that you figure out what will be the best choices for you to make as a budding language coach.

What Qualifications are Needed to Become a Language Coach?

There are no specific qualifications that one needs to be able to become a language coach, however, there are numerous qualifications that an aspiring language coach could earn that will be able to help them in their new career. 

Even though you don’t have to earn a qualification, any new skills or attributes that you can learn or pick up will always help. 

If you feel that you already have all the necessary skills to be the best language coach possible then you might not need to acquire any specific qualifications.

It is important to keep in mind that to truly be the best coach that you can be, you really should be constantly learning and improving your abilities so as to always stay at the top of your coaching game.

What Skills are Required to be Successful as a Language Coach?

There are many unique skills that you will require to be the best language coach that you possibly can be. The skills listed here are just some of the most important ones, and if you are already proficient in these areas then you will be well equipped in starting your coaching journey. 

Don’t worry though if you feel that you don’t have one or more of these skills as they can all be learned. 

1. Keen listening ability

Since being a language coach involves working directly with clients it is really important to listen to what they are talking about when describing what they hope to get out of working with you. 

Clients will expect that you will not only have the ability to really listen to them but also understand where they are coming from too. As mentioned, not everyone learns the same way so when you are working with a client to come up with a lesson plan that is unique to them and applicable to their needs. 

Not only all of that but you will also need to have an interest in what they are telling you. If you are disinterested in any way with what they are talking about they will definitely be able to pick up that. You will be there to inspire them and if they perceive you as being uninterested that then might in turn hinder their process as it might make them uninterested in learning the new language. 

2. Passion to learn and teach languages

This is a fundamental skill to have. Passion for what you are doing will make all the difference in your efficacy as a language coach. If you don’t have this passion (just like with listening skills) clients will be able to pick up on this which might be detrimental to their learning process. 

You have to really care about language learning. Clients in the initial stages of learning the language are going to be incredibly passionate about the language you need to be able to bolster this spark in them. 

Basically, if you don’t have a passion for the learning that goes into a new language then you won’t be able to provide the clients with the coaching they need. 

3. Excellent organizational skills

This is also crucially important. You will hopefully be working with many clients with many different plans and goals, so you are going to always need to stay on top of who you are working with at any one time all the time. 

You never want to mix up your itinerary or who you are working with at the moment as you don’t want to give advice that doesn’t apply to that person.

There will be many people you will be working with and keeping track of all of them is so important in your role as a great language coach. 

4. Patience

Learning a new language is one of the hardest things that a person might do in their life and because of this people might at times become frustrated with how the process is going. This is where you need to have patience. 

Learning any new skill is hard but a new language is going to be a long and difficult road for many people, with new obstacles that come up for them all the time. It can be easy for people to feel like they aren’t making as much progress as they might like or maybe they get particularly stuck with one aspect of the language. When this happens you need to be able to support them through this time, as these are the times that they are most likely to give up. It will be your job as a language coach to try and stop this from happening. 

Of course, you will not be learning the language for them but if you can provide the necessary help and support for them to get through any challenges then you will be performing sufficiently in your role as a language coach. 

5. Authority to oversee people

A coach needs to be a leader. You will be overseeing many people in their journey of learning a new language and by having that strength and authority you will be really helping people in their language learning. 

This is especially true if you are coaching in a group setting. You will need to have the authority to control the learning process to make sure that people don’t get off track. In this setting, you need to make sure that everyone is getting the most out of their time working with you.

What are the Certifications to Become a Language Coach?

You don’t need to acquire any specific certifications before becoming a language coach but if you feel that you will benefit from doing so then the option will always be available to you throughout your career. 

An example of a certification that you can earn at any stage of your language coaching career could be the language coaching certifications that you can earn by working with the ‘International Language Coaching Association’. 

They offer different levels of courses depending on where you feel you are in your language coaching career. Starting with the foundational course which is aimed at people just starting out with language coaching up to what they call the leadership course which is aimed at people who will be dealing with large projects in the language learning world. 

There are many different coaching certifications that you can earn that will help you in becoming the best language coach that you can be this is just one example. If you choose to go down the route of getting a certificate then make sure that you do the research as to what will be the best option for you. Some courses might be incredibly beneficial to some people and not useful to others so you need to determine what will help you the most in your specific role as a language coach.

How Much Does a Language Coach Earn?

This is hard to say with complete accuracy as to how much you might stand to earn as a language coach as there are so many variables that will affect how much you will be making. 

Variables include but are not limited to…

  • What language(s) do you work with? This is due to some languages simply being more popular with new learners than others, so, in turn, will have more people needing language coaches.
  • How successful you are with being able to marketing yourself as a language coach, especially as a newcomer to the industry. A career such as this is dependent on clients, you need to be able to attract people to hire you as a language coach.
  • How much that you charge for your service. When first starting out this will most likely be the time that you charge the least but over time as your reputation grows you should be able to charge more.

These are the main factors that affect how much you can earn but for a rough idea of how much you might earn. According to the site ‘comparably.com’ in the US the median income of an English language coach is $50,251.

What are Language Coaching Methods?

There are so many different methods that a language coach might adopt so as to provide the best language coaching methods possible, an example of some of these coaching methods are: 

  1. One to One conversation so as to help with pronunciation and speaking ability.
  2. Creation of lesson plans for the individual to follow out with coaching sessions.
  3. Examples of real life scenarios and how to speak natullry and competently.
  4. Providing unique and engae lesson plans so that the learner never loses interest.

There are significantly more coaching methods than this but hopefully this helps show some specific examples.

Tips for Becoming a Language Coach

The best tips that can be given to people looking to become a language coach mostly involve passion. You really need to care about the clients and their needs but also for the career as a whole. A successful career in language coaching will only be possible if you have the desire to help people with learning a new language.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should always be learning how to become better in your role as a language coach. No matter how proficient a coach you are there will most likely be new things you can learn that might help improve your coaching ability.

You also need to make sure that you as a coach are adaptable to all kinds of clients and their situations as each individual will have unique goals and aspirations that they will be hoping to achieve. 

You will also need to determine whether or not you need to go through any training/ earn a qualification or certificate but this really depends on you and how you feel.

What is the Difference between a Language Coach and a Culture Coach?

A culture coach is someone that helps people who would like to learn more about a specific country or region in society’s culture.  

The two most likely situations that which a culture coach might be useful would be for someone looking to move to another country say for business reasons so they would like to learn more about the culture there before the move. 

The other is within a workplace that has incredibly diverse groups of individuals working there. Management for the company in this instance sometimes feels that it can be beneficial to bring in a culture coach to help people understand and connect with one another easier. This then in turn should help with integration and productivity.  

As described a language coach helps people with learning another language. If someone wanted to really acclimate to another country, they might feel it useful to go with both a language coach and a culture coach. This really depends on the individual and what goals they have in mind for themselves.

Conclusion

Language coaching is a field that can really help people all around the world. The world is becoming more connected with the internet but at the same time can also feel disconnected at times due to language barriers.  A language coach will be able to help navigate and even bring down these barriers hopefully making the world a little better and more connected.

If you ask most people if they would like to learn another language during their lifetime they will most likely say yes. As a language coach, you should be there to help make that dream a reality.

Frequently asked questions

What does a language coach do?

A language coach inspires and helps people on their journey of learning a new language. They will also be able to provide people with the tools necessary throughout their entire relationship with learning new languages.

Benefits of becoming a language coach?

The main benefit that comes with being a language coach is that you will be able to help people with something that will not only be really important to them but also something that provides a benefit to the world as a whole. Speaking other languages is a great way for people being able to connect with one another throughout the world. 

Are language coaches worth it?

It entirely depends on the individual. Some people might be lost in the language learning process so the only way for them to really be able to improve their knowledge of a new language is with the help of a coach. Some people on the other hand might be incredibly adept at learning new languages so do not need a coach. It really depends on the individual.

Cost of hiring a language coach?

This really varies and it entirely depends on who the language learner goes with. A rough estimate might be anywhere between $10hr and $20hr but the most important thing is that you not only find a coach that is affordable but who is the right fit for you.

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