4 useful techniques to speak more confidently in a new language
by Ana Jimena Hernandez
Languages are complex, people need to master many aspects when they are learning a new language. Listening, reading, writing, and speaking - which is probably the one that scares people the most.
I can tell you my own experience. I've always been scared about my grammar and pronunciation. At first I should tell you that it wasn't easy to start over every time I said something when people didn't get it or corrected me. I felt embarassed, silly me, because taht is exactly how it works. If I said something wrong and nobody noticed, not even me, how would I know it was a mistake? How would I know the right way to say it?
Speaking is challenging, and sometimes people are reckless and foolish. Sometimes jokes and laughs are the result of their own fears. Remember you are the bravest one and focus on your achievements.
1. Practice in the mirror. This technique works for almost everything. Nobody better than you gives honest feedback. You can identify what faces you make when you are talking or analyse the way you are saying certain things. Greatest speakers around the world use this simple technique.
2. Record yourself. This technique I use a lot and it gives me great results; it really does. You must write a conversation in the beginning if you feel you can't improvise. You read it first, use you acting skills and record your own voice. You will be able to listen to this anytime you want. You can check your pronunciation, the words you are struggling with or just hearing your own voice and realize that yes, you can deo it and you can do it right.
3. Talk. You have teachers and classmates who speak English with you. If that isn't an option for you, social media is always a good tool. So, talk to people, find an interesting topic, a movie, or TV show, a book, or tell a story of somethign that happened to you. Just talk, and talk, and talk again. It is the only way you will lost your fear.
4. Read out loud. This strategy is very useful. Find a book or magazine you like and read it. You can help yourself by using an app to verify your pronunciation. If there are words you don't know, or you have no idea how to pronounce: read and verify the meaning and pronunciation. Everything is about practice, you must repeat this tip over and over again until you feel you are defeating your fear.
Confidence is something you work on. Speaking a new language is hard work, but it is also fun and satisfying. Never let your fears stop you from doing things you love, or what you want to achieve. Don't allow people to tell you what you can or can't do. You know you are stronger than that, and you can do anything you want if you focus your effort doing it. Remember that once you start doing it, you will feel awesome.
Let's speak, the right moment is now!