At last, the word I was looking for...EQUANIMITY and language learning!

At last, the word I was looking for...EQUANIMITY and language learning!

31 October 2018 by Rachel Paling

For quite some time now, during my training for language teachers who take the jump to become not only language coaches but also neurolanguage coaches, I have been searching for exactly the right word that perfectly conveys the inherent state that a neurolanguage coach reaches.

Many of you who have done the training with me over this last year know that I have been racking my brain and scratching my head to really bring the message across to all of you to describe exactly what I mean.

You see, when you really embody that persona of a “coach” you become the perfect soundboard, the inspiration, the support, the accountability partner and you live, breathe and in fact are the neutral, non-judgemental, accompanying guide for your coachee.

The coach is not there to advise, consult or tell what to do, because the coach believes in the inner wisdom and the inner power of the coachee to connect with his or her own and unique, best and appropriate way forward for that person, as we understand and deeply respect that every brain is unique.


When you add the coaching dimension to a teacher, the teacher transforms and so does the learning process. On the one hand, the confidence in the learner augments with the inherent belief in the capacity and ability of the learner and on the other hand, the self-confidence of the coach also increases; almost as if the coach starts to become inwardly quieter and more assured that the learning process will flow, adapt and naturally mould itself to that particular learner. 

In fact, when the educator really embodies the persona of the coach, he or she has no need to egoistically demonstrate his or her expertise nor does he or she have to constantly and incessantly be speaking and the learning process becomes less stressful for the learner and indeed, so much more respectful of the learner. We know that just one drop of cortisol totally affects the learning capacity of the brain.

When, in addition, we add the dimension of the neuroscience, and the language coach becomes a neurolanguage coach, again I would like to emphasise the developed composure and the inherent knowing which accompanies the real comprehension of how the brain learns, functions and reacts and the skilled adeptness of the fully trained neurolanguage coach to always be able to spontaneously coach the language learner through blocks, issues, negative mindset and any hindrance to learning the language, for example, triggers that set off the emotional brain into fight, flight or freeze provoking limited resources reaching the areas of the brain needed for that learning.

Ultimately, the neurolanguage coach has the quiet confidence in his or her language expertise, because all of them are already language experts in their own right and moreover the quiet confidence in the structured, brain friendly, result focused delivery of the learning process by using the neurolanguage coaching method and approach, as well as the training in the neuroscientific principles. Everything that we do as a neurolanguage coach follows the principles of neuroscience and applies these in practical steps and everything we do has its “raison d’être” in the neuroscience. 

For example, one of the constant adages that I use when I am training is “the person doing it learns it“ and we reflect this by constantly putting on the brakes and stopping ourselves from doing and consistently encouraging our learners to do it themselves; to think for themselves; even to create the process for themselves. In the end, one of the key factors for learning is the ownership of the learning by the learner. So, whereas the teacher is constantly jumping in, finishing off learner sentences, asking multiple questions one after another without giving the learner a chance to think, not respecting silence to facilitate thinking time and maybe even constantly telling, explaining and even creating examples for the learner, the neurolanguage coach does completely the opposite.

And finally, finally I have found the perfect word to express this inherent, innate, natural state that a fully, trained neurolanguage coach quietly assumes and acquires, wherein he or she is :

  • quietly composed,
  • ever-respecting the necessary thinking time of that particular learner,
  • always remaining calm and undisturbed; unruffled,
  • demonstrating only when absolutely necessary his or her inherent expertise in language, without the need to loudly demonstrate anything because he or she IS – what I mean is that there is no need TO DO rather it is about TO BE and to get the learner to do
  • solidly present with the learner, bending and swaying but steadfast in the process,
  • calmly able to explain about the brain and how to connect in and assist the learner to understand
  • always bringing out the best of the learner and focusing on maximum achievement of results.

And the word is “EQUANIMOUS” – that is exactly what I was looking for to perfectly explain on my course how we strive to be and we become. Derived from the Latin aequanimitas from aequus – even or equal and animus – mind or spirit, I know that many of my coaches worldwide, and as a knock-on effect, consequently, many of their clients who are language learners, are in fact experiencing this wonderful serenity, tranquility and evenness of mind and spirit, which in turn is greatly impacting language learning with spectacular results.

Grateful to all of you for trusting in this process and well done for the amazing results you are achieving!

© 2024 Rachel Marie Paling

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