Sometimes when we are learning a new language it can be really frightening to start speaking it with other people. We may have a good vocabulary and grammar base but speaking is the aspect that we most need to practise.
Overcoming this fear of speaking our new language is extremely important as it will help us gain confidence in ourselves and will show others that they can speak to us in their native language.
Today let’s look at a few great tips that can help you overcome your fear of speaking English or a different language to other people:
1.Accept that you are going to make mistakes and learn from them
People make mistakes all the time, especially when speaking a new language. Don’t be sad or feel disappointed if you make mistakes; it’s part of the process of improving your speaking. Once you have made a mistake, correct it and carry on. As Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”.
2. Ask for help
Once you have started speaking English, don’t be afraid to ask people questions about how to say or pronounce something. Most of the time people will be more than happy to help you if you have any questions. They may not be so happy if you ask them grammar questions as they may not know the answers themselves but I’m sure there will be no problem with vocabulary and pronunciation questions!
3. Learn some survival phrases or sentences
It’s a great idea to learn some set phrases or answers for certain questions in English. For example, if you don’t understand what someone says to you, say things like “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” or “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand what you said”, phrases you have already memorised. This is a great way of being honest with yourself and also learning how to react to situations or questions which may take you by surprise.
4. Don’t be shy!
One of non-native speakers’ biggest problems is being too shy to speak. This can be the biggest hurdle for a lot of people. Be aware though that most people speak more than one language and know how difficult it is to learn a new one. Also, most people really don’t even notice if you say something wrong or if you are too shy; most of the time we have false perceptions of what others may think when really nothing could be further from the truth.
5. Enjoy yourself!
You are learning another language for a reason so go ahead, have fun, make mistakes and even invent new words! It’s all part of the process.