But if you say: "How am I to know what he means, when I see nothing but the signs he gives?" then I say: "How is he to know what he means, when he has nothing but the signs either?"
L. Wittgenstein


Communication – and language in particular – plays the pivotal part in today's business world and yet, mastering foreign languages is either simply expected or to be acquired as one goes along. Especially in the case of English it “goes without saying” that executives and employees have excellent language skills, to ensure the basic communication within as well as outside their organization.

Both “Of course, I speak English” and “I will never be able to speak it” reflect an attitude that occasionally results in mental blocks. Just imagine how discouraging some of the teaching methods at school may have been and how they may have spoiled somebody's interest in a specific topic. My language coaching approach helps to prevent or dissolve such blocks. It targets three levels of language training:

The Linguistic Level

At the linguistic level my approach covers all traditional elements, such as grammar, vocabulary, expression, presentation, etc.
Its particular feature is that it is deeply rooted in comparative linguistics: it aims to identify the horizons of different languages and extrapolates their distinctive characteristics as well as what they have in common. That way, the learner turns into a communication partner, who is aware of differences, which is exactly what enables him to express himself properly.

The Learning Level

Applying methods from active learning my approach develops and looks at examples relevant for the learner's current situation. I use the given capabilities as a starting point while targeting the learner's future challenges. Satisfaction with learning outcomes is achieved by discussing the goals and the content at the very beginning. This creates transparency and the feeling that the learner is “in control” – although the actual subject matter has not become any less confusing. Since the subject matter of a foreign language is identical for each student, it is the mode of instruction that marks the difference. This is why I am particularly keen to ensure that the student's characteristics are reflected in the learning methods applied.

The Coaching Level

Coaching as it is used here is a blend of personalized, supportive problem-solving and personal counselling, in which the coach has the part of an outsider providing feedback. But the coach does not take away any of the work from the coachee, i.e. there are no pre-configured suggestions. I provide in-the-moment feedback that is relevant to the individual’s specific needs and is outside the traditional templates found in formal education. This is what makes my language coaching approach go beyond traditional language training.

Its uniqueness is created by first examining previous learning behaviours, experiences with foreign languages, etc. In doing so the learners sharpen their understanding of their personal preferences and the methods and tools to be applied are customized to their particular needs. Mental blocks are avoided, the whole learning process is perceived with more awareness - and hence more easily accepted. It achieves longer-lasting results and supports the ability to correct oneself and one's self-initiative.