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Foundations of Language Coaching

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Foundations Course Overview

This is the first in a series of online courses for language coaches, who are usually on-field personnel responsible for new and veteran language and culture learners. Participants gain basic principles and insights to draw upon as they guide their learners through the language learning process

This course consists of 15 sessions of approximately 2 hours each, to be completed over 5 weeks. In each session, there will be one or more videos (usually narrated PowerPoint presentations), short readings, forums and/or application questions to be submitted for feedback, and resources for further exploration. These tasks take approximately 6 hours per week. Participants interact frequently with the instructors and with each other. It does not require being online on specific days or at specific hours. It is a prerequisite for taking additional ICCT online courses for coaches.


  • Becoming a more effective coach
  • Appropriate goals for learners
  • Language proficiency and proficiency-oriented learning
  • Coaching with heart and mind
  • Better learning requires better learners (learner strategies)
  • Learner variables: learning style, personality, motivation, anxiety, risk-taking, etc.
  • Coaching learners with special needs
  • How beliefs and assumptions shape learning
  • Essentials for effective language learning
  • Differences between first and second language acquisition
  • Different approaches or methods for language learning
  • Organizing learning
  • Learning a new culture
  • Conversation: what it is and how to learn it
  • Managing the learning process: resources
  • Planning and implementing learning
  • Evaluating learning

Printable pdf version of Foundations Description


This course is for two audiences:

  • those who are new to language coaching and need to learn the basics in order to get off to a good start and
  • those who have experience in language coaching but need a deeper understanding of the language learning process and the ways they can assist their learners in each stage of their language learning journey

While there is some overlap with some sessions in our previous one-week Language Coach Workshops, much of the content in this online course is new.

Register for our Foundations language coach course

A testimonial from a fall 2013 Foundations course participant

"This is the first time I have taken an online course, and I have loved it! I think there are some real strengths to the online format. I have been to 3 Language Coach Workshops over the years and always enjoyed the sessions and the personal interaction with the other participants. Honestly, the first time I heard about the SLA and the Language Coach Workshops going online, I thought they would not be as good as the face-to-face classes and workshops. I was actually sad about it! However, after going through the course, I think I see things very differently. One thing that is so helpful about the online format — especially the discussion questions and the forums — is that each lesson requires you to be a more active participant in what you are learning. Having to reflect on what you have read and then apply it to your own situation is simply a great teaching and learning method. . . . It solidifies the information in your memory.

The personal feedback on specific questions or issues was very helpful. We have all been given a lot of personal attention on issues and problems relevant to us. These comments have been so helpful. Also, I think spreading the course out allows us to take in the information at a more appropriate pace, or at a pace that is easier to handle and more conducive to getting things into long term memory. Having a “bite-size” topic to work on each day is really helpful.

I feel so much better prepared to help learners after going through this class. It gave us a real “tool-box” of readily available information and ideas we can use in a variety of situations. We were also given lots of resources on each topic." 

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Have questions about our Language Coach Courses? Check out our FAQs page.

You can also email us at icct.@wheaoton.edu.