Fear is a major obstacle that keeps many language learners from practicing and sharpening their language. Language learners should be patient and give themselves time to overcome fear of speaking a language.
If you have studied a new language, you are undoubtedly familiar with this scenario and the anxiety of using your foreign language skills. From my experience, reading, listening, and learning grammar and vocabulary can be easier, but speaking a new language with a real person is another story.
Communicating in a foreign language might be scary, especially with native language speakers. But believe me, if you do so, it is an excellent chance to improve your listening and speaking abilities.
As a language learner, it will become an awkward and terrifying situation when facing native speakers if you do not put effort into your speaking skills.
This blog post will provide seven practical suggestions to help you face your fears. You will feel confident to have a lasting effect on your conversation or language exchange partner. In addition, I will share the experiences that I faced when I wanted to improve my conversational skills.
How Language Learners Can Overcome Fear Of Speaking A Language
When it’s time to speak your foreign language for practice, it’s normal to have an uneasy sensation. Keep in mind these seven pieces of advice, and you will soon overcome the fear of speaking a language and start conversations confidently.
1. Know Your Weakest Points
Pull out your listing of worries and give it another look. What exactly are these things? Why do you think they scare you? Or why does your aversion to these things make you fear speaking generally?
You are terrified of all these things because they are your weaknesses. Our faults undermine our confidence and cause us anxiety, only as our strengths give us the courage to act.
Every item on your list reflects a skill you feel weak at, an unwillingness to perform that discourages you from taking chances.
In light of this, let’s modify our list to highlight the powers we feel we are lacking:
- Making errors while you speak results in poor grammar.
- Poor pronunciation causes miscommunication.
- Poor listening skills result from misinterpreting others.
- Having trouble speaking leads to poor conversational skills.
Out things to mention =========================
Try it with your list, significantly if you added any new elements. Focus on pinpointing and identifying the actual weak points behind all of your worries.
We know it is uncomfortable to focus on your shortcomings, but doing so serves a valuable purpose. If you know your weakness, you can gradually devise a plan to overcome them.
In my case, when I was looking for a job at school as a teacher to pay my university fees, I realized that I must work on my English conversation skills to get a job. Though my reading and writing skills are good, the point where I was lacking was “speaking” with confidence.
2. Speak Slowly And Bit By Bit
When talking to native speakers, one of the mistakes most people make is trying to speed up their speech to sound like a local.
Speaking rapidly can lead to several unneeded grammatical mistakes. You can make a strong impression by articulating words slower. You can talk quickly but still not be recognized.
Remember that communicating your thoughts is the primary purpose of a conversation. You get the chance to hone your public speaking and listening skills while doing this. Language learners frequently overlook that talking to a native speaker seems to be a chance to practice their communication skills. Therefore, if you accelerate the conversation, it’s likely that you will babble, make careless errors, and become frustrated.
I didn’t even consider this point until I faced the situation. Though I practiced many interview questions and answers at home, I was trying to speak my second language fast to leave a good impression when the interview happened. As a result, I made many fumbles and mistakes, resulting in embarrassment.
3. Choose Easy Words And Phrases
Ensure simplicity! You can sound more personable and assured by using clear, straightforward language and frequently utilized expressions. Using bombastic language can confuse you and the person speaking to you. Instead, it will make you sound robotic, unnatural, and listen to dull.
Speaking is more informal and laid back. Unlike in writing, you do not have to be formal in spoken communication, and you do not need to sound like a textbook passage unless you are in a professional setting.
There are phrases and idioms that you hardly ever use or hear in ordinary discussions, even in your native tongue.
As a student, I once had to present at my university in English. A big challenge indeed! Usually, I would try to add some unusual or complex vocabulary and phrases to demonstrate my language proficiency. I tried the same approach during this presentation, but guess what happened next? Yeah, right! I made many mistakes, lost control, and forgot all my preparation in the middle of that important moment.
That was an excellent experience to realize that I should use simpler words whenever I present any subject in a language I am unfamiliar with.
After trying it in another presentation, the result was positive. I even received appreciation from all my teachers and class fellows.
4. Listen, Understand, And Then Reply
Have you ever been in trouble when you responded to a question that wasn’t directed at you? Or perhaps you jointly introduced a new topic when there was no need? Yes, it’s possible you did not hear it clearly, or perhaps you automatically listened without understanding. That can be quite an embarrassing situation!
Many language learners, like me, start talking nervously before realizing what the conversation partner is trying to convey. You should always pay attention to the flow of the conversation and engage with the other person properly.
Commonly, learners tend to speak when they listen to a word or phrase with which they are familiar. I include myself in this group when I say many language learners nervously talk before realizing the conversation partner is trying to communicate. You should always pay attention to the flow of the conversation, engage with the other person properly, and think clearly about how to respond.
It isn’t a matter of only listening to a few words but grasping the sentence’s whole meaning. Language students usually pay attention to terms and keywords when responding to multiple-choice questions during second language exams or examinations, which is an effective technique for them.
However, in real-life conversations, you should react to thoughts and ideas transmitted by the other person, not the words and phrases. You should listen to understand, not speak back.
Put this into practice, and this fear of speaking in a new language will fade away.
5. Get Rid Of Self Criticism
Self-criticism can be demoralizing and detrimental to your language learning. You must be your own biggest supporter. No matter how poorly you believe, to be able to speak, read, listen, and write, resist the urge to use your voice to support those negative beliefs. Those negative beliefs are frequently unfounded and stem from fear.
You will be astounded by how naturally discussions flow once you speak with native speakers. The thought that you have accomplished much more than giving yourself credit for will arise.
So, start recognizing your accomplishments and progressively overcome the fear of speaking a language.
6. Practice To Enhance Language Skills
You must practice more if you desire your speaking skills to be higher and avoid losing confidence.
If you avoid speaking your target language, you will undoubtedly forget many vocabulary, sentence structures, and idioms.
My advice? Start speaking with native people! It is one of the most effective ways to practice.
In addition, you can also try speaking to yourself at home. Talk while gazing at the mirrors, listening to music, reading a chapter (it might even be words), reading audio or poems, or hiring professional teachers.
The actions suggested above will aid in keeping the language fresh in your mind. Before you realize it, you can talk and recall things with ease.
You will see how communication gets more fun and interactive once you start talking fluently with highly experienced people in the language you are learning.
7. Making Mistakes While Speaking A Foreign Language
When you speak the language, you are learning and are worried about making a mistake, and you will be conscious of it and most likely make grammar mistakes.
It would help if you spent additional time studying grammatical rules and exceptions. You can find fun and easy ways to learn grammar, which can ease your process. Grammar can be a very demanding knowledge to acquire!
For instance, get some engaging textbooks with enjoyable and exciting grammatical tasks.
I always keep this in my mind: if I don’t make any mistakes, how am I supposed to learn a second language on my own? So, instead of getting upset, I learned from them, assured them, and tried not to repeat the same errors.
Bonus Tip: Not Knowing Enough Words
Many people learning a second language worry that they don’t know enough words to communicate with others. So now we get to the vocabulary problem.
You must constantly expand your vocabulary if you want to seem more assured. Fortunately, there are various strategies and techniques for increasing vocabulary. For example, YouTube and language learning apps are successful resources for overcoming the fear of speaking a language.
You may also take assistance by using online resources, like the Ling app. Since both are helpful, you will pick up new vocabulary, improve your pronunciation, and have fun playing the game that teaches you grammar.
For me, vocabulary is a weapon or a massive power for language learners. So, I advise you never to stop learning new words in your target language!
Start Learning A New Language With The Ling And Overcome Fear Of Speaking A Language
Start using Ling to master conversational skills in 60+ foreign languages from Korean and Latvian to Chinese and Urdu. The Ling App offers well-known and uncommon language courses, many of which are hard to learn elsewhere.
This language learning software is undoubtedly the greatest you can use to start speaking a foreign language. It has unique exercises and courses that will educate you on many subjects!
Moreover, the web version has a “Language tips” category, where you can read tips related to learning a new language, improving vocabulary and grammar skills, and much more. Thus, Ling will aid you in not only understanding your target language but also you can also overcome the fear of speaking.
With the Ling App, students are engaged in an effortless language learning journey in addition to a fun learning experience. This language resource will undoubtedly be helpful to you and your language teaching requirements.
Additionally, all of the lectures and terms have been translated by native speakers of those languages to give our users with the most excellent language learning experience possible. Therefore, you can anticipate engaging in natural conversations and learning from accurate vocabulary or grammar.
So, don’t wait anymore and download Ling, as I did for my language journey!