25
Jan

The fear of speaking a foreign language – how to overcome it

Written by Candace Carlson. Posted in Education

In a world that is dominated more and more by globalization, speaking at least one foreign language is extremely important. Of course, English is internationally accepted as the most common language people of different nationalities use in order to get along, which is why in case you do not know it already, it is time to sign up for some classes. It will be great for you to be able to ask for directions when you travel or just address a foreigner who is visiting your country, to socialize and understand other cultures better. After all, that is what it is all about: being able to exchange opinions and views with people that are so different from you. And in spite of this, even those who can read and understand English often find it difficult to express themselves in this language that is not their native one. So if you are one of those persons, then this article is precisely for you.

The fear of speaking a foreign language how to overcome it

Why is speaking so tough?

Well, it has been proven that people find it hard to speak in another language, mainly because it all takes place in real time. You need to have all the words prepared, while also putting your ideas into order and respecting all the rules you have been learning in advance. And besides that, you have to put all these together to make yourself understood and support a coherent conversation. When you are talking to a native, the pressure is even bigger as you do not want to make it sound hilarious. In simpler words: shame is the main reason why speaking English, as a foreigner, is so hard. 

What are the reasons why people cannot speak?

There are many reasons why you may not be able to express yourself in English. To begin with, they do not know what to say to be relevant in a conversation. Secondly, they do not know how to say, how to express their ideas in order to translate a correct message. Besides that, being forced to continue the conversation and not understanding the reply is another reason why the fear is so strong. And all these make the fear of speaking synonym with the fear of embarrassing oneself.

How to overcome the fear of speaking?

Listen more. Yes, the key to successful communication, no matter the language, is listening to your interlocutor. Once you understand exactly what they mean, you will be more confident of your answer, so you will no longer feel self-conscious about what you are going to say. In addition to this, it is a great way for you to learn new words.

Talk to a professional. Instead of just reading or using a dictionary to translate the words you do not know, you should learn English by Skype. This means that instead of learning alone, you will always have someone who actually knows grammar and pronunciation rules and can explain and correct you. Of course, practicing by yourself is a great manner of consolidating what you already know.

Use audio materials. Since listening is the key, audio files are great because they help you catch the rhythm, get familiar with the accent and learn to ‘think’ in English, while listening to someone else speak.