One of the biggest questions I get is “What does it look like to have a coach to help me learn a new language?”
Here’s a story that illustrates precisely that.
Kelly (not her real name), a young missionary in her 30s from Asia moved to Eastern Europe. Before she could start work helping equip workers for Bible translation, she had to learn not one but two languages. She had a few weeks training in language learning, but needed help in moving forward
Believe it or not, most language learning starts with a hopeful person and one huge language barrier!
For eight months I worked with Kelly to help her find and train language helpers. As she advanced in language, she needed to learn different language learning techniques, including these. I coached her weekly via Skype to encourage her and troubleshoot her learning. I also made demonstration videos of more advanced techniques for her to implement. She is well on her way to successfully learning both languages. As she succeeds, she will be ready to lead other new missionaries to success in language learning!
The 3 most common questions people ask about how language coaching works are:
- How do you help people when you don’t know the language they’re learning?
- How long does it take for someone to learn a new language?
- What does working with you as a language coach look like?
How do you help people when you don’t know the language they’re learning?
I’ve been blessed to learn under my language learning heroes, who have worked out an approach to language learning that works for all languages. So, I train people in the approach, the method, and the techniques that they need. Then they apply it all to their specific language learning situation.
How long does it take someone to learn a new language?
It depends on their goals. If they want to be able to work professionally in their new language, it takes about 1500 hours of time with a language helper. Full time language learning is about 20 hours a week with a language helper, so that takes about a year and a half or two years.
What does working with you as a language coach look like?
We talk on Skype to clarify your language learning goals and see whether or not I am a good fit to be your coach.
Meet Kelly, who is growing in her two new languages!
Kelly moved to Eastern Europe to head up orientation and training for new Bible translators. Once she has grown enough into her new languages, she’ll be shepherding new missionaries preparing to work on Bible translation for some of the last groups without Bibles in their language!
Helping Kelly grow in language was a joy!
This is a note that she sent me:
“Thank you so so much, for you’ve been a great encouragement to me, not to give up when language learning is too difficult. I will always remember you saying, “it is not perfection but progress” that is important when learning a language. I’m thankful for the ways you showed me how to make my learning session a lot of fun. The materials you’ve sent are very helpful, for instance the video of a lady learning English, the picture books etc. They were very helpful for my language helper to see and to make her understand the way a learner like me can really learn the language.
Aside from language learning side you have taught me to keep my faith in the Lord who sent me here, and remind me to keep a close walk with Him by spending personal time with Him. I am so truly grateful for each prayer you prayed after our Skype meetings, and God is always faithful to answer.”
To set up a free one hour coaching call to check it out, contact me.