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Michelle Woodard
How do I conquer speaking anxiety? I have been studying french now for a few months. I paid for a class, I hired a community tutor (we practice twice a week) and I am burning through the course content. Right now I am about halfway through the class, to which i devote about an hour a day. I am listening to french language podcasts and audiobooks several times per day and I am understanding more sentences and expanding my vocabulary everyday. Despite all of that, i feel that my speaking is not improving. When someone speaks to me in french, I open my mouth and the words dont come. My sentences are poorly put together and i cant remember any of the vocabulary that I easily use in my course. Then 10 minutes after the conversation is over I think of what I should have said. My tutor says it will improve over time with practice but how can i practice more if i cant think of how to respond to basic questions? I am getting super discouraged. Does anyone have any practical advice?
13 kwi 2019 01:06
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Comments · 6
 I recently wrote a post about this on the discussion board. https://www.italki.com/discussion/204103  :)
14 kwietnia 2019
Hi Michelle — I know how you feel — same here!  I think Benny Lewis’ suggestion of making yourself a script about yourself is an excellent start. Write it all down: introduce yourself, say where you live, something about your family, why you want to learn French, etc.  Then practice those sentences until you’re comfortable. Then write a script of questions you would ask someone else — and practice those until they feel natural. This way you have a comfortable starting point in a conversation.  I tried this and discovered that it is much easier to branch out once you can open your mouth and get started. Highly recommended! — Hang in there and keep pushing — it will come!
13 kwietnia 2019

I think you should try to relax and just let it go. I mean, even if you don't have the right vocabulary and if you don't have the exact grammar rules in head, that's ok. Just try to do your best and don't get anxious feeling that the person towards you won't understand you or judge you. It seems you are already working hard on it with a tutor etc... now you may just need to practise more and more with different people who can speak French. Even if it's for a basic conversation to start, it will be fine and I'm sure you'll do good in the end ! 


Don't give up !

14 kwietnia 2019
One more piece of advice. I tested it myself for learning Spanish and Portuguese. Try to find a language partner at the same level of language. To be klutz at the same time is more fun than embarrassment!
13 kwietnia 2019
Have you tried challenging tests with a couple of question sentences on your own in private? That would render you a better position to use/speak French while you are facing a real French occasion.  

"when I write in the form of conversation (the same way we learn our own mother tongue) I tend to do much better with not only remembering what to say but also how to respond. "....Romann

Such a method is quite useful when you wish to have better and comprehensive development in French proficiency. Furthermore, reading French articles or the words you write down to speak is also helpful for your speaking. 
14 kwietnia 2019
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Michelle Woodard
Language Skills
English, French, Spanish
Learning Language
French