Learner Coaching at IATEFL

There were four talks (at least) on coaching this year at IATEFL, Glasgow, suggesting there is growing interest.

Secil Canbaz spoke about her successes with what she referred to as directive coaching with university students in Ankara,Turkey. Sandy Millin, who is based in Newcastle , UK spoke on learning outside class. Check out her blog: www.independentenglish.wordpress.com
Oliver Beaumont (London) talked about coaching with group and one to one classes.

We hope to bring you posts from some of these presenters in the next few weeks. Watch this space.

A couple of talks which interested me and I think relate to coaching were Jill Hadfield’s and Jim Scrivener’s. Jill talked about motivation referring to the L2 Motivational Self System (Dornyei 2005), her activities which built on students imagining their future L2 selves were very relevant to coaching, in particular when dealing with a student’s “inner game”, referred to in a previous post here. Jill has written a series of articles on this for English Teaching Professional magazine. You need to subscribe to read them

Jim Scrivener’s main point was this: students are not challenged enough and the communicative approach may be partly to blame. Jim’s blog is www.demandhighelt.wordpress.com. Of course, he is not the first to be concerned about low challenge. I remember Scott Thornbury making a similar point in 1993 in a talk in Barcelona titled “No pain, no gain”. I thought of this as I sat on the plane home listening to the pathetic attempt by the Spanish teenager sitting next to me to use English to buy a Mars bar from the air steward. She failed. And we have probably all failed, if that’s the result of 8 years of English lessons. Can a coaching approach help her and her teachers demand more and achieve more?

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2 Responses to Learner Coaching at IATEFL

  1. Sandy Millin says:

    Hi Duncan,
    Thanks very much for posting the link to my blog. Slight correction on my surname – it’s M-I-L-L-I-N 🙂
    I very much enjoyed your session about becoming learner coaches. It’s an interesting concept, which I would like to explore further with my next group (between classes at the moment).
    Sandy

  2. thanks Sandy
    sorry about the spelling. rectified it now.

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