Monday, August 5, 2013

Confident English in 10 Easy Steps – Part 1

Good Morning & Happy Monday!

Today's article deals with helping ESL learners build confidence when speaking.

I hope you & your students enjoy it!

Thank you for visiting & have a great week!

Confident English in 10 Easy Steps – Part 1

It is natural to feel shy when speaking another language. I learned three new languages besides English, so I know all about this! You can overcome shyness – I promise you that .  In fact, you can make your shyness work for you, as I did.  You can use your shyness to become a better speaker and to become stronger and more confident.

Here are 5 ways to help you become more confident when you speak English:

1.  Be proud of yourself for learning a new language!
It takes work and intelligence to learn a new language.  Be proud of yourself for being able to do this.  Many people are not doing what you are doing! 

When you learn anything new, you will make mistakes. Learning from your mistakes will make you a better speaker.  Mistakes are a part of life. People forget this, and are afraid to make mistakes. When you are afraid of mistakes, you stop trying.  When  you stop trying, you can't learn. So don't let your fear stop you!

2.  Take baby steps.
Learn something new each day – no matter how small. Practice new words that you learned, new sentences, and in new situations, even though you feel shy. 

When you practice little things, your English will improve and your shyness will disappear faster.

3.   Remember this: People  are pleased when you try to learn their language.
People like it when they see you trying to learn their language.  They don’t care when you make mistakes. This is a form of flattery.  

Trust me: when I see people making mistakes in English, I don’t care about it in the least.  I only think about trying to understand the other person.   

Also, remember that people are not thinking about you.  Most people are too busy thinking about themselves! So say what you want to say and move on.

If you still get nervous, you can start like this: 

         I hope I’m saying this correctly, but... or 
         I’m not sure how to say this, but...   

When you become more comfortable, you don’t have to do this anymore.

4.  Practice in front of a mirror.
Practice what you learned in front of a mirror, so that you can see yourself.  You will feel embarrassed at first, but feeling embarrassed when you are alone will help you stop feeling embarrassed when you are with people.

5.  Practice with complete strangers.
Speak with one person per day, every day.  Use the telephone,  if you must. 

Choose different places – for example the post office, shoe store, library, supermarket . Start by asking only one question, then increase to more.

man at a help desk counter

Practice these tips today!  
Tips 6 – 10 will be posted next week!


* What is something new you tried that you are good at now?
* What are some tips that you use to help you build confidence?
* Why do you think people feel shy when speaking another language?
* Some people think that English is a hard language to learn. Others say it is easy. How do you feel about English?
* What are some websites that you use to help you learn English? Why do you like them?

Thank you for visiting!
Faiza Raintree

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