Do you feel shy or get blocked sometimes when you speak English? What causes this hesitation and anxiety when we speak a different language and how can we overcome it? We’ll try to help with this potential barrier to fluency in this podcast episode.
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How can she overcome her shyness and improve her fluency?
Scientists have shown that one in three foreign language learners experiences at least some level of anxiety.
What causes shyness and hesitation when it comes to speaking a foreign language?
- Fear of being judged (my accent is terrible, I have grammar mistakes, I can’t find the right words. I get blocked)
- Negative past experiences at school or with previous foreign language-learning classes (being laughed at or told off for making mistakes).
- People don’t understand me. (people constantly ask me to repeat what I’ve said and have a blank look on their face)
- I can’t express myself as well as I do in my mother tongue. People might think I’m boring or stupid.
- Learning to speak another language is often a wish and not a plan.
- Social media is affecting our ability to communicate and interact.
Find supportive people to talk with. https://www.meetup.com/
Do a language course in person or online.
For more information about the conversation course, send an email to Craig: email@example.com
Accept that it’s ok to make mistakes – and learn from them!
Create positive habits and routines around language learning.
Expose yourself as much as possible to the language and to English speakers.
Practise talking to yourself in the mirror. As well as what comes out of your mouth, think about facial gestures and body language.
Perhaps you’re trying to talk too fast, which is difficult and will therefore make you more nervous. Slow down, giving yourself more time to think while you’re talking.
To avoid hesitation, try breaking down your speech into chunks of information with natural short pauses between them.
Become familiar with discourse markers to both structure your ideas and increase fluency. (e.g. first of all…, another thing…, on the one hand…on the other hand…, to add to…,as I said earlier…, to sum up…, etc.)
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English.
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In next week’s episode: 8 common colloquial expressions – Part 10
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The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’.
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