So you are pretty good at English. You read classic novels, go through the newspaper every day, and can communicate with people in the English language. Nevertheless, when English is not your first language, even if you are well-versed with the grammar, there are always instances that might hurt your progress as an English speaker and learner.
1: Don’t Be too Ashamed to Speak
The only way to learn to speak English is to open your mouth and speak up. In order to speak fluently, you would first need to speak.
Saying that you are too embarrassed to speak is only an excuse that comes in between your progress and goals. Your fluence or your vocabulary does not matter, the only thing that matters is your enthusiasm for learning and being able to communicate in English. So, do not worry if you don’t have an extensive vocabulary or impeccable pronunciation, just speak.
To get out of your embarrassment and your fear of being mocked, you need to believe in yourself. Understand that nobody holds a monopoly on English speaking and believe that you can communicate in English, and you are already halfway through. No matter how bad you think you are, the only way to get better at it is by speaking.
2: Don’t Be Afraid of Making Mistakes
To err is human. We would not be able to get anywhere in our lives without making a few mistakes along the way. Mistakes have the power to make us improve ourselves and come out stronger. The only way that you can avoid making mistakes is by not trying at all. But of course, by not making any mistakes, you are holding up your improvement. So, in a way, if you are making mistakes, you are actually growing.
Grammar is something that concerns most language learners. However, while learning to speak English, grammar should be the least of your concerns. Native speakers are not going to judge you if you don’t have impeccable grammar, they would more likely be focused on understanding you.
As long as you speak clearly and are able to make yourself understood, you are on the right track. Instead of focusing on improving your grammar, first, try to be able to speak clearly. Once you have started speaking English without any embarrassment, grammar will follow suit.
Learn to embrace your mistakes and learn from them instead of running away from your fears.
3: Don’t Apologise For Your Level
Never apologize for how you speak. It is okay to feel in your heart that you could do better but never let it come to your face. Understand that everyone has a starting point and we all have to go through several phases before we become an expert in anything. Therefore, there is no reason to apologize for being on a certain point of English speaking. You will get there eventually. Stop worrying, even e-learning programs can be a good option for that
4: Don’t Get Frustrated With Yourself
Learning anything comes with a certain amount of frustration. Likewise, You have to go through a lot in order to learn English. There will always be moments where you will fail to express yourself as frankly as you do in your native language. There will also be times when you will be unable to find the right words.
Almost everyone who learns English goes through these frustrations. You need to realize that this is a part of the language learning process. The situation can last for weeks if you practice regularly or it can last years if you practice once a month.
Keep in mind that this frustration has nothing to do with your learning skills or how hard it is to learn. Read the educational blog to Enhance your knowledge.
5: Don’t Take It Personally When People Don’t Understand You
While you are learning English, you would meet a lot of people who are unable to understand. A large portion of the people in the world speak English and they have different accents and pronunciations that are sometimes hard to understand.
You will face this problem when you are talking with people who are not used to foreigners. Not having experience with foreigners render these people ineffective in your ways of communication. Understand that this is not a reflection of your English speaking abilities but a reflection of the other person’s lack of exposure to other people.
6: Don’t Compare Yourself to Other English Speakers
It does not matter how much of an expert you are in English speaking, there will always be people who are better at this than you. It should go without saying that you have worked a lot in order to be at the place that you are in and you should be proud of your achievement. Nobody except you knows how many sacrifices you had to make to get there. Nobody knows how you made time in your busy schedule to learn a new language. The point is as long as you care what other people think and what level they are on, you would just be worried about yourself.
This also means that you should not go around comparing yourself to other English speakers. Everyone learns at their own pace, some people have a lot of time on their hands, some people are just quick learners, and for some people learning a new language takes years. Ergo, don’t be bothered if your progress is slow, everyone is supposed to learn at their own pace.
7: If You are Fluent, Don’t Get Cocky
English is not a chip that you install in your brain. It is a process that takes time. Some people who are extremely good at speaking English believe that perfect fluency is not something to strive towards but the passionate journey towards it.
When you find yourself to be efficient in English speaking, you should not have an attitude that says “I already learned English”. There are some rudimentary problems that come with that attitude, here are a few:
- You are always learning, there is no endpoint to learning a language. Saying that you have learned all the English there is to learn is like saying you are a fully-realized human being. There is always a level to strive for and a level to hone.
- With that attitude, the learner tends to get lazy. The universal fact about learning anything is that when you stagnate, you tend to worsen your skills.
- The inflated ego stops you from recognizing the required final 5-10 percent improvement that separates you from the master breed of English speakers.
So, there it is. 7 things not to do remember when speaking English. Now that you are aware of the things to avoid, you can go out there and speak English with all your heart.