nathalie-languages-blog-fear-speaking-english

8 tips to overcome your fear of speaking a language

 It is a well known fact that the majority of English students, no matter what their level is, feel insecure about putting what they have learnt into practice.

The fear of speaking a language can be tackled by working on your skills and making the most of conversation classes.

Even though some people have little vocabulary or a low level, they aren´t afraid to express themselves in a language they are not fluent in. However, if you find yourself the opposite, keep on reading.

The information that follows can help you face your fears. 

  1. Understand your fears

First and foremost, you must understand your own fears. Feeling overwhelmed, nervous or scared when you are about to speak another language is totally natural. The fear of failure or getting something wrong, often dominates our lives, but you shouldn´t let this stop you.

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Try to relax and accept the fact that it is difficult for everyone to express themselves in another language ( that isn´t native) at the start. But after a while, anything is possible. 

  1. Realise your mistakes

Secondarily, it is important to realise what you find the most difficult. The fear of speaking a language that isnt your own, is mainly down to a lack of control. Think about your most common errors, recognise what you need to improve and find a solution. Is it your English accent? Is it difficult for you to understand what people say to you?

Maybe all you have to do is practice your listening comprehension, or improve your pronunciation. Whatever it is, you can contain your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Once you achieve this, your fears will slowly disappear

  1. Train your understanding

This is essential to increase your confidence and therefore, overcome your fear of speaking a language.

To leave your fears behind we recommend that you watch shows in English or you listening music. They are a great way to work on your understanding but not die trying.

Do you want to advance even faster?

Travel abroad and and take part in a summer language immersion programme. After a month living with native host families, having classes, doing excursions and a ton of activities, English will be burned into your brain.  

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  1. Give yourself time

When you have a conversation in another language, it’s normal to feel insecure because you are facing up to a language that isn´t you own. You expect to do everything perfectly, right from the start.

Learning is a constant process. And and a language is mastered with practice and perseverance. Don´t be worried about making mistakes, remember that you learn from mistakes as well. 

  1. Be positive

Having a good humour is essential. Smile, and try to think positively. Don´t let fear stop you. If you allow it to control you, it will stop you growing and and advancing in your language learning.

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Let me tell you a secret: You can do anything you put your mind to. Give yourself time, and step by step your fear will turn into confidence. 

  1. Don´t concentrate on fear

As we previously said, fear can be a significant obstacle. It can create difficulties with speaking and even understanding. Don´t let your fears take the limelight and take measures to prevent this.

In other words, if you have problems understanding ask the person you are talking to that they speak slower or enunciate their words.

 When learning a language, practice is essential. If you are going to carry out a language immersion exchange, follow these tips to make the most of your English course.  You will see how much you improve.

  1. Speak about interesting topics

We can’t think of a better way of overcoming the fear of speaking, than having conversations about topics that you really like.

nathalie-languages-blog-fear-learn-a-new-language-speaking-about-interesting-topics

If you are passionate about the cinema or a TV series, put yourself to work. You will learn more vocabulary and you will feel much more relaxed communicating in the other language. 

We will never stop saying how easy it is to learn while having fun. 

  1. Learn versatile and colloquial phrases

When you start to surround yourself in a different language, it can be helpful to use expressions to be more fluent in conversations so you don´t get stuck. 

You can use these phrases every so often when you are communicating, but don’t abuse them. Therefore, you will have something to fall back on if fear gives you a mental block.

We hope that these tips help you to overcome your fear of speaking a language. You will see that as time goes on you will be able to enjoy the pleasure of conversation. 

If you have time and ability, we recommend doing a study year abroad, because it could be the final push to master English.

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