Bascially i think i can understand english quite well, however, my speaking is really bad. It is really hard for me to speak a complete sentence without hesitating to find the right word; this make me really self-concious to speak. What can i do?
Have one or two drinks when you use skype ;)
I'm a slow learner and my speaking skills didn't improve for more than 10 years. I'm still not fluent, but I was just horrible before. I don't know what is a good method, but I'm going to talk about my experiences.
It is useful for me to make a lot of simple sentences by myself, and do the method called 'shadowing'. I make 10 to 100 simple sentences at one time such as: I've got a book; I took my mother to the airport; It is 1 December today; It is ten past nine; 20+20=40. I just pick up one expression I want to be better at, and I make a lot of sentences using it. I make some sentences and change them into the negatives, questions and the past tense. I also put auxiliary verbs to them, or change their subjects or objects. I keep a record of how many sentences I made, and things began to change when I'd made about 10,000 sentences. After that, my speaking skills have been improving much more easily than before. Plus, recently I've been doing 'shadowing' using audio materials read very slowly. It works more than I expected.
Basically, the only thing is to speak & speak & speak & speak &...... :D
Dear Candice the little cute dinosaur :)
What worked for me is speaking to non-native speakers like myself at first, that definitely broke the ice and made me feel more confident about starting any subject in English. In my job I had native and non-native English speakers, so my second step was speaking to the native English speakers and I felt it became easier for me at that time. In my opinion, since we're English learners, we're allowed to make mistakes;) We actually learn from our mistakes. I'm telling you this while I'm the shy type just like you, so stop worrying about it and remind yourself that you're not the only one in this situation, I guess this will make it easier for you:)
I understand how you feel. On my tests I am able to get high grades because I can read and write most of what I have already learned in Chinese. On the other hand, my speaking is horrible. This thursday I had a oral presentation in my Chinese class and I felt so embarrassed because I cannot get the tones right. When a person asks me a question in chinese it takes me a while for me to respond.
I am also self conscious but in order to master a language, you have to take risks.