20 years ago, I was 20 years old, a young Egyptian student who majored in English linguistics & translation and graduated with a distinguished degree after a four-year learning journey that greatly portrayed my character traits.
I had been working as an English instructor teaching British as well as American curriculum for all CEFR levels. Designing ESP courses for different age groups played a pivotal role in building my experience with both people and their careers. I had built a firm foundation with different methods of early learning as I had brought up my two sons, home schooling them before they joined school. It has been 9 months since I entered the world of Neurolanguage Coaching® and started applying the brain-based approach together with coaching core with my coachees.
Schools’ vicious circle
Right from the start, I knew that working at schools was not fertile soil from which to sprout. Our educational system in Egypt was based on and restricted to a set of rules and regulations where the final grades of written tests speak louder than the students’ genuine potentials. As a matter of fact, teachers and parents were obliged to stuff minds rather than open the gates for critical thinking, problem-solving and self-expression.
Learning languages consequently, was imprisoned among books borders and written testing limitations. Such crammed information was almost always devoured by the scientific fact of evaporation. Students could hardly remember what had been studied in schools. Despite obtaining an A+, Egyptian national-school students were not able to speak clearly or even meet the expectations of the job market. Hence, self-learning and private language centers came as a solution to the dilemma.
I made up my mind to start my career in a prestigious language learning center in my beloved City of Alexandria; a Mediterranean city the dates back to Alexander the Great. It was considered the centre of sciences and Arts in the ancient world, especially in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras.Today,the modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina shines bright with a spectrum of treasures in all fields of knowledge.
Like all the Mediterranean cities, Alexandria still captivates the eye with its historical landmarks, museums and the Greco-Roman architecture which embraces some districts. Inspired by this mixture of history and nature, I used to start my workdays. I still recall the welcoming smiles and the energetic pat on the back I used to share with my students before the 90- minute English classes. Fresh air coming from the sea every day had been inspiring me to jump over books borders. Digging down for word roots in the vocabulary sections, drawing grammar portraits with my colored markers, finding out the Arabic equivalents for the English idioms and expressions had all appealed to the hearts and minds of students and helped me to set language barriers free. It also helped me to stand out from the crowd.
Excellence and Experience
Working as an ESL full-time instructor maximized both excellence and experience not only from an academic perspective but for human communication as well. Designing ESP courses to individuals, who preferred to study English as a concentrated dosage within a definite time-frame, helped me create a new awareness of people’s needs and enabled me to be constantly in touch with their wishes, aspirations as well as fears. This deep yet humane one-to-one communication built bridges with the learner and his or her instructor. It definitely steered the gears of the learning process and turned the fear into fuel to motivate the learner to learn.
The Cambridge dictionary defines career change as the change to a different type of job from the one you have been doing. I decided to make a career change to undertake the tasks and responsibilities of my new career; motherhood. Being a mother was an amazing experience. All my priorities changed immediately. I felt I had to learn a tremendous amount of skills to be aware and ready for my new job. At first, I was totally submerged in the details of the basic survival needs of my babies. Little by little, I started to do searches on how to bring up distinguished kids.
My desktop screen was my window to the world. I joined European forums such as Your Baby Can Read and Brill Baby. Captivated by the idea of early learning and thrilled by the videos of 2 and 3 year-old babies reading, I started creating my own sets for my babies. I was on cloud nine when my 3 year-old son read his English flashcard sets in his quality time. He was able to read up to 400 English words as well as bedtime stories by the age of 4. Working on the photographic memory of babies and kids was a phenomenal experience for me.
We learnt together about Science, Geography, Math, Religion and played dozens of homemade educational games. My children had had n education before they started real school. I have to admit that after joining school my kids would barely study. I also have to admit that even though my kids have been teens, I cannot stop myself jumping into the educational games section in any mall or even department store.
Clear Career Vision
Time was ripe to be back on track again with my passion for the English language. Working from time to time as a freelance translator wasn’t enough to satisfy my ambitions. I started searching for a new pathway where I could make use of what I have been learning for 2 years now. I learnt about meditation, mindfulness, pranic healing, breathing techniques and memory techniques.
To me, Neurolanguage Coaching® is the magic spell that empowers the coachee with brain literacy and effective goal planning. It smashes the idea that the teacher is the sole source of authority in the learning process. The coachee starts sailing on a journey of self-discovery where his or her motivations, goals and plans are clearly phrased and depicted. A Neurolanguage Coach respects the responsibility of the coachee to choose from a menu of diverse learning options. An NL coach is fully aware tthat it is important o be a guide on the side of the coachee rather than a sage on the stage in the session.
As a pioneer in Egypt, I try to pave the way for the Neurolanguage Coaching® approach to change and shift the methodology of learning languages. I try to spread the awareness of the positive impact of neuroscience and coaching tools on the learning process.
We have a lot of work to be done. So, wish us a fruitful future.