Buenas noches. Just tossing this out there as I haven't turned up much while researching this. I am terribly nervous when trying to speak or Skype. I am a beginning student, even attended an immersion class for 40 hours in Central America. I struggled with this in the classroom, the few Skype exchanges I've had and the worst....trying to communicate with a native speaker in person. I seem to freeze and become "tongue-tied" as the saying goes.
Do others deal with this? Will better mastery of the language help with my awkwardnes? I'm very serious about being able to converse comfortably and I'm so serious about furthering this, all options appreciated. If I can work through this, I'd like to continue with lessons and a language partner.
Thanks in advance :)
Becky in Florida
This happens to just about everyone, especially while learning your first foreign language. Of course, some are more affected than others. Know that persistent practice will win out in the end.
Recently i watched the video in EngVid with Ronie on this theme. She gives some tips on working with this. Maybe it will help you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W_rB9xWfYk
Giving yourself allowance for stuffing-up (in a safe environment) is the only thing I know definitely works. I'm not suggesting that you go out and practice stuffing up in public although if you can in terms of Spanish classes you soon learn that you can and the sky wont fall (from personal experience). I regularly stuff-up with my spanish both on italki via skype and in local classes, I get flustered, forget obvious things have mental blanks. If you can bring a little of your personality into it with even mildly self-deprecating humour that may help just dont put yourself down big time.
A learning environment should be intended to be safe and if it is not then you need to find another. A safe environment is one that challenges you but is not impatient or belittling of you.
Skype without video is how I would start, the only disadvantage being that you don't get visual cues and you will end up talking over one another. I am not prepared to do skype with video even though I dont give a hoot about stuffing up. I just look bad on camera.
Wishing you luck - never give up on what you want
Scott (soy de Australia)
Thanks for the suggestions!! I'm not shy otherwise, I guess this is part of the journey...