I am both a coach and a learner at Lingo Live and I assume a very different mindset for both of those roles. As a coach I am calm and understanding. As a learner, I can be insecure and self-judgemental. Here are some examples of what I’m thinking when I’m a coach versus when I’m a learner.
1.) First Day of Class
Coach Tracey – I’m super excited to meet my new learner.
Learner Tracey – I didn’t practice enough before this. How can I communicate my inability to communicate if I can’t communicate that to my coach?
2.) Correcting Grammar
Coach Tracey – We all make mistakes. I’m just impressed that my learner was brave enough to try a new grammar pattern. You’ll never learn if you don’t speak up!
Learner Tracey – I messed up! I don’t sound like a native speaker. I’m dooooooooomed!
3.) When Taking a Long Pause to form a Sentence
Coach Tracey – Take your time. You can do it!
Learner Tracey – omg omg omg. This is taking way too long! Shouldn’t I be thinking about the sentence? Focus on the sentence, Tracey!
4.) When Asking to Repeat the Question
Coach Tracey – Ask as many times as you need. This is your time and it’s a great opportunity to get comfortable with the pacing and structure of the question.
Learner Tracey – You can’t ask her a third time! Just smile and nod.
5.) On Progress
Coach Tracey – As long as you keep trying, you’ll see progress .
Learner Tracey – Just relax! Deep breath. As long as I keep trying, I’ll see progress.
Sometimes, having the confidence to speak out is the hardest part. That’s why I created the Speaking on the Fly course for our Learner Summit. (You can watch it on-demand here.) The goal for learners is to speak without over-thinking or self-criticizing. Over time, things will feel more comfortable, even if you’re a big ball of nerves like Learner Tracey.
The point is, I understand some of the struggles a learner may go through. I’ve been there. I’m there now! But, your coach is rooting for you. And, if you keep putting in the effort, you will see a payoff.
-Tracey Gordon, Lingo Live Coach and Learner