Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Steve Kaufman, who speaks 9 languages--is now working on number 10-- Russian. Steve is also the founder of The Linguist language learning system-- which I highly recommend (Learn English With The Linguist).

In fact, I also consider Steve to be my informal "coach" for learning Spanish. He never teaches me Spanish... and we talk only rarely.. but whenever I chat with him, or read his blog, I am inspired. After talking with him, I always improve at learning Spanish.

Its easy to get discouraged when learning a language. It takes a long time- and at times can feel overwhelming. So it helps to have a coach. A coach is not a teacher-- their role is simply to encourage you and build your confidence. People sometimes laugh at my extremely enthusiastic teaching style, especially native English speakers. But many students have told me they appreciate my energy and constant encouragement because it builds their confidence.

As Tom Peters once noted, there are two kinds of "managers" [teachers, coaches, etc..]. When one kind walks into the room, you immediately feel an energy drain. Their cynicism, or arrogance, or critical attitude can be felt immediately. But when the other kind of person walks into the room, there is an immediate energy boost. Everyone feeds off their passion, enthusiasm, and positive feelings. These people encourage you to fight the good fight, do the difficult thing, and take the risks you know you should take.

Steve Kaufman is one of the latter. Yes, he knows all about the language acquisition research. Even better, he has the direct experience of learning 10 languages. But to me, his greatest quality as a coach is his keen interest and enthusiasm for languages. It is impossible to talk with him and not get excited about learning a language!

We need more teacher-coaches like Steve... and a lot less of the cynical and "professional" people who pass themselves off as teachers, but are, in fact "the killers of hope" (to use Humberto's phrase).

English Learners- Learn English With Me At Effortless English.

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