In the beginning…
Native English Coach (NEC) was founded by a group of native English speakers whose goal was to provide the best possible learning experience by employing only native English speakers are coaches (tutors). Our founders are experienced online English tutors who have worked for other companies and became disheartened by a disturbing trends. Most online schools force the teachers and students to conform to the school’s way of thinking.
“We felt that this was not only backwards, but that it was counter-intuitive. So, we set out create a company that focused more on the people involved and less on the bottom line. We wanted to create atmosphere of cooperation and convenience and not one that seemed more like a factory.”
So, instead of imposing a bunch of rules on our coaches and forcing them to “teach”, we encourage them to “coach”.
Coach? Not teach?
Yes. Coach. The words “teach” and “teacher” tend to bring back bad memories for a lot of people. People associate a teacher with a person who stands in front of the class and talks and talks and talks and….well, you get the idea.
Our philosophy is that clients/students want to improve their skills and not be talked down to. Our goal is not to instruct, but instead to help and encourage and you to improve.
So, NEC totally ignores common practices?
No. Of course not. Our coaches will still make corrections and share knowledge, but it will be done in a way that is less imposing than traditional methods.
I still don’t understand.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say that you are in a session with one of our coaches and you are telling him/her about your upcoming vacation and you say,
“When I landed I think it’s about 11:20 PM.”
In this particular sentence there are two mistakes. The traditional method would be to tell the student he/she made a mistake and to then give a correction. However, at NEC we approach this a little differently. As stated earlier, we want to be a little less imposing. We want the student to be as relaxed and calm as possible. A nervous student is more likely to make mistakes than a calm student. So, our coach would paste your sentence in the chatbox and say something like,
“OK, but let me ask you something. Can you think of another way to say this?”
Then you would be given a chance to examine your sentence and try to correct it. If you have some difficulty, your coach should realize it and help you along a little. He/she may ask you if you need more time or if you need any help. Depending on your response they would either give you more time or give you a hint such as,
“Well, there are two places where you may want to make a change.”
“One change you may want to make would be verb tense related.”
Hopefully, by this point you’ve figured out that “landed” is not the correct verb tense when talking about the future. Or perhaps you realized that “it’s” is present tense and you are talking about the future, so that would need to change, as well. If you still haven’t figured it out then your coach should give you another hint.
However, we customize classes to what the student wants. Some students prefer the more direct approach. In those cases the coach would just give you the mistake and correction.
“Let’s take a look at something you just said.”
Then your coach would just paste something like this.
INCORRECT: When I landed I think it’s about 11:20 PM.
CORRECT: When I land I think it will be about 11:20 PM. / When I arrive, I think it will be about 11:20 PM.
NEC’s Core Principles
- Convenience – schedule, class medium, variety of courses, etc…
- Flexibility – we customize our classes to the coach’s style and the student’s requirements/desires
- A relaxed (classroom) environment is very important
- Native speakers make the best coaches – learn British or American English from coaches who spent their whole lives speaking that brand of English
- Competitively priced – we aren’t looking to break your bank