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Guest Blogs

Knowitall.ch often invites local experts in their field to contribute to their own blogs on our site. This means not only you will benefit from the useful recommendations that we make on our News pages, but you can also profit from some of the great advice and tips that these experts have to make on their favorite subjects. Whilst each of these bloggers has been recommended to us at some point during the evolution of Know-it-all passport and  knowitall.ch, obviously we are not able to test out all the suggestions they make on their blogs, nor do we necessarily agree with all their opinions.  So if you do find one of their tips useful (or not!), do let us know!

To make these blogs more accessible to you, we have now decided to group them altogether in one section, entitled Guest Blogs, accessible from our main menu bar.  We will also post the most recent blogs on the home page of our site in the right hand column.

We are still building up this area of the site, and are looking for bloggers in a number of sections, including Your Home, Travel, and Leisure, so if you feel you have a useful contribution to make in either of these areas, and have the time to submit blog entries approximately every month, then please get in touch!

good coach buddy

Buddy, a veteran InterSoccer coach

By Steve Long, InterSoccer

What does it take to make a good children’s football coach? 
Gone are the days when trainers used to think it was a good idea to focus only on the children with an obvious talent, and ignore the less natural or confident players. 

Now it is accepted that a coach’s job is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow their skills in a supportive and encouraging environment, thereby developing into confident and well-rounded young adults, whether or not they choose to play sports beyond grassroots level.

So what does it mean to coach Generation Z?
And how can you make sure you succeed as an outstanding coach? For many people their first experience of coaching is during adolescence, helping out at their local football club or grassroots organisation where they learned to play themselves.

However, just because you know how to play football, doesn’t mean you already have the soft skills needed to teach it.

If you are just starting out, whether as a teenager or perhaps as a parent helping at your child’s school, follow these principles of coaching and you can’t go wrong.

1. Know your football. Almost as soon as they start learning to play – and sometimes beforehand– many children love to watch live matches on television with their families. Help them to learn the rules of the game by discussing what they saw next time you meet them.

2. It goes without saying that to teach football, you have to play well. If you are no longer in a team, sharpen up any rusty skills by joining a friendly five-a-side and try to remember what it felt like to believe that one day you could end up playing for your country.

3. Have the patience to teach techniques from scratch. Good teaching is being able to explain something you have done thousands of times, at the right pace for someone who has completely fresh eyes and probably needs several attempts to understand the concept.

bsg a level

By Sabine Hutcheson, Head of Sixth Form, British School of Geneva

In a region where we are spoilt for choice in post-secondary education, A-Levels stand out as the true alternative. Recognised as a ticket to universities internationally, the A-Levels programme is very different to other diplomas in its structure and in the way it prepares students for higher education.

Structure and ethos of the diploma

Students taking A-Levels are typically 16 to 18 years of age and the programme is two years long. In the UK, this stage of education is referred to as the Sixth Form. It immediately follows the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) in the UK, obtained at the age of 16 and marking the end of compulsory education.  

In the first year (Year 12), students study 4 subjects for which they are examined in May and June of that academic year. In their second and final year (Year 13), students tend to drop a subject and pursue the 3 with which they feel most comfortable and/or which better fit their chosen university course admission criteria. Some students choose to maintain all 4 subjects to add to the challenge or to keep their options open. A subject taken in Year 12 only will be validated as an AS Level (Advanced Subsidiary Level) and may count towards university applications.

forth chart

By Robert Harris, Forth Capital

Nobody can time the markets consistently. It is time spent IN the market, rather than trying to time the market, that is the key to medium to long-term investment growth. If you want to be invested in equities you must be prepared to understand that a market cycle is usually five to seven years, and if you can’t be invested for that length of time, you should not be invested in equities.

For example, if you had been invested in a UK index fund from 1980-2009, you should have achieved a return of 700% on your investment. However, if you missed the best 20 days of stock market performance during that period, that return would have been reduced to just 240%.

The lesson for all investors here is that as long as you are invested in your correct risk strategy, and for the medium to long term, you should stay invested and “ride the wave”.

If we look at the events of the last 3 months, most stock market performance has been driven by statements from the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Powell, whose statements have signalled changes in US interest rates from increases of 0.5% to reductions of 0.25%, causing markets to fall and rise depending on the statement.

Another example of when staying invested has proven to be the best route, is the performance of Forth Capital’s Next Generation funds which continue to rebound after the general market shock in the 4th quarter of 2018.

annie spratt 568704 unsplash

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

By Birgit Suess, Virtually ConnectEd

As parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to develop on the same schedule that is hanging up on the doctor’s office wall, we want them to be happy, do well in school and have friends.

All children face some sort of challenge at one point or another. It is not uncommon for children to have difficult with speech and language. If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, here are some things to look for.

Articulation:
Articulation is sounds in speech. The most common errors in English are /l/, /s/ and /r/. These sounds should start emerging around ages 4 and 5, although many children struggle with them until age 8. By age 8 a child should be able to say all the sounds in the English language.

Phonological Delay:
Phonological delays often get confused with articulation delays because the child is saying the wrong sounds, but it’s not that the child can’t say the sounds, it’s that the child doesn’t say them in the correct place. For example, these children often say “tup” for “cup” and “tat” for “cat.” The might also say “gog” for “dog.” For a 2 year-old, this is typical and nothing to worry about, but if your 5 year-old is still mixing up sounds, it’s a good time to bring him or her in to see your doctor or speech therapist.

Stuttering:
Also known as fluency, stuttering is a normal occurrence for everyone once in a while. When repeating sounds, words or having blocks (when there are moments of silence when a child is trying to ‘push’ a word out) become common and/or start to include eye blinking or leg slapping, it’s time to bring your child in for professional help.

Receptive Language:
How well can your child understand language? Does your child not respond to your requests out of defiance, or do they perhaps not understand you? Does your child have difficulties following directions or answering questions? Does your child point to objects instead of ask for them? These are all signs that your child may be having difficulty understanding language.

Tedxspeakers copy

Those who know me would say that I am not one for hyperbole. However the speakers I coached at the UN TEDx PlacedesNationsWomen event in December completely hit the target.

I coached 8 of the 11 speakers at the event, celebrating women’s empowerment.

The speakers had great content and delivery, and kept the audience engaged from start to finish.

Yet, it proved to be a lot of work for all those involved with many lessons learnt. So for those who are planning to organise a TEDx, give a talk or want to become a more impactful public speaker, here are 5 do’s and 5 don’ts from coaching and observing speakers.

Do’s

  • Select a speaker fluent in the language of the talk. You have to memorise your TEDx talk, which means it helps to be absolutely fluent in the language. This will also ensure you sound natural and conversational when you deliver it. And a good memory is key!
  • Have an inspiring personal story to tell. You have to put yourself in the story for it to resonate with the audience. Many professionals shy away from the personal, preferring to speak about “it” rather than “I”. But this is not a TEDx talk. You have to be prepared to open up in your talk, share your experiences, opinions and values.
  • Leave behind your professional presenting style. You are no longer an academic, activist or lawyer, you are now a storyteller. You are not there to share your knowledge, but to persuade the audience your idea has merit. This means getting rid of unnecessary detail. You need to set the context, and what is most important are the individual stories you tell to illustrate your points and the narrative arc of the talk.
  • Match your words to your voice and body language. You have to make sure that these three channels of communication are aligned. You need to guide the audience so they understand immediately the emotions (joy, sadness, compassion) you want them to feel. And to do this you have to modulate your speed, pitch and tone. The pause, for example, will let the emotion you want to convey hover in the air so that the audience has time to absorb it.
  • Structure with clear signposts. You need to help your audience with short declarative sentences, which tell them where you are going. For example, this is my story of empowerment; I was in denial; or myths and taboos lead to stigma and harmful practices.