How do you overcome your fear of speaking another language? Everyone knows that it is extremely difficult to actually start speaking foreign language. As for me, I read books and magazines in English without using a dictionary, I can write in English and understand 99% of what I am hearing but I am still afraid to speak! So, what do you do to overcome your fear?
Nov 27, 2014 5:05 PM
Answers · 9
I think that one of the main problems with speaking is that we always feel as if people are judging us by what we say, whether it is in our native language or our new tongue. When you worry, your brain freezes up and all the vocabulary you know becomes unaccessible. You make one mistake and then get stuck thinking about that mistake and you can't even remember what you are trying to say. It keeps getting worse and worse until finally you stop because you feel that you can't go on. Overcoming your fear requires that you are realistic about speaking. Everyone makes mistakes when learning something new - a language is no different. I have been speaking Spanish for 18 years and I make mistakes every day. People generally understand me, and if they don't, they ask for clarification. The trick with speaking is to be relaxed. I ask my students to imagine the worst thing that could happen if they speak English, (for example, Is someone going to stand up on a table in a restaurant, point at you, and scream, "Look, she can't speak English!"?) They laugh and say no, but that laughter has helped them relax and then we can go on. Look for someone you are comfortable with and speak with them. Speak to your cat, your plant, whatever, until you feel confident enough to try on people. There are many kind people here on italki who would do a language exchange with you or find a teacher you trust. Speaking is one of the most difficult parts of language acquisition but you CAN do it! Good luck :)
November 27, 2014
It's difficult at first, As you get to know someone, you will both be able to relax and even laugh at your own mistakes)
November 27, 2014
Hi Kate! Why do we have to feel embarrased if we don't pronounce a word correctly? I know many people of America who speak wrong and they live there. Keep your head up, because you are learning and practicing a new language different form your mother language. This fact reflect that you are a smart person!. If you know very well the grammar, you'll have more chances of express your ideas in this language. Try to look forward friends who speak English in order to have more opportunities to speak. If you want, I send you my account in Skype and we might practice a little. You could find me as: willy190884. See you and keep on practicing a lot. Bye!
November 27, 2014
The only way to do it is just jump in and start speaking. As with anything, you need practice and practice means you will make mistakes. As long as you are speaking to someone who is kind and understanding, they will help you. If you can write and read well, you will pick up speaking easily once you overcome your fear. To get started, maybe you want to find a tutor here on Italki to get over the hurdle of getting started. I'm right now helping an Italian woman who was in your situation a couple of weeks ago. She has made rapid progress once she just let herself get started
November 27, 2014
I "feel the fear and do it anyway."
November 29, 2014
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Latin, Russian
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French