A New Approach to Language Learning: the Language Coaching

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Learning a foreign language is hard work, and forgetting it due to lack of actual use is a real lose of investment and opportunities. Here comes a new educational trend called Language Coaching, getting immersed in the language with a personal language coach and enjoying highly customized programs.

Language schools are changing their methods to teach foreign languages. In an everyday faster life, when the terms "quick", "fun" and "customizable" are more and more present, the learning process just follows the tide.

The European Commission, in a Special Language Barometer, reports that out of the 450 million inhabitants, 56 percent are able to hold a conversation in one foreign language, and an important 28 percent can do it in two. Approximately 1 out of 5 Europeans can be described as an active language learner. Over 87 percent of the Europeans learned their second or third language in an academic way, either at school (65 percent) or in language schools (22 percent).

Why do people not learn another language? An interesting 64 percent claim lack of time or motivation, while they still may be interested in actually learning. Out of that percentage, the first reason is the favorite among those who are 25-39 years old, managers and blue collars, and the lack of motivation is the predominant barrier for the older ones.

And here come the new patterns and ways to learn or improve foreign languages. As everybody has holidays -- or should have -- and the fact that most persons have some kind of liking or hobby, the experts are starting to combine both situations to come up with a dynamic solution. If somebody wants to practice a language, the idea is to do it ... on holiday time.

Tourism trends show that the search of experiences is an increasingly important reason for choosing certain destinations or activities. More and more, specialized schools and language agencies are offering language travels and trips, a mix of language courses and active holidays.

Spain, 2006 world´s 2nd tourism destination as the United Nations World Travel Organization reports, is addressing this new trend. Being that Spanish is also the world´s second spoken language, excluding Chinese Mandarin, this country is becoming the convergence point of Spanish learning and experience holidays. Among the various choices, an example of this trend is the Spanish Coaching Experience offered by Fun Time in Spain: a golfing week, a stay in Andalusia like a native, shopping escapades, or visiting museums like El Prado or Thyssen-Bornemisza, always together with a Spanish language coach and guide.

As China and its main language is growing so fast, with a 2007 estimation of almost 10 percent increase in tourist arrivals, will it soon be a mix of Chinese language and China experiences the next travel fashion?

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Alberto Losada
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