The Language Coaching Centre

Do you get nervous when it comes to speaking English? 

Are you afraid of making mistakes? Afraid of saying something stupid? Afraid of what others will think of you? 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

For many of us having conversations in a foreign language is scary.

Being afraid of speaking a second language is a common phenomenon.
There is even a scientific term for it – Xenoglossophopia.
According to Wikipedia, this is 'the feeling of unease, worry or nervousness […]'
people get when 'using a second or foreign language'.

How can we overcome our shyness?

First of all relax.

Don’t worry about your pronunciation or about getting your grammar right.

If we are scared, we get in fight or flight mode and very likely our brains just shut down and we end up speaking worse than we are actually able to.

Secondly, don’t aim for perfection. 

Making mistakes is the best way to learn.
Practice listening to English and practice speaking.
The more often you speak English, the more you will get used to it and the easier and more natural it will become. Accept that mistakes are part of the learning process.

Remember when you were a kid and learnt how to ski, skate or ride your bike?

You didn’t start out as a champion, did you?

You lost your balance, fell down, got up again and gave it another try, right?
The same is true for learning a second language.
But now that we are grown up we think that making mistakes is something shameful, something embarrassing.

But let’s be honest.Would you have ever been able to ride that bike by just reading books about it or by watching other kids? Without falling down and getting up again we all would have never made it.
Of course, going down that hill for the first time without training wheels was scary.
And maybe, like me, you didn’t make it without one or the other scratch.
But I think it was worth it in the end.
The same is true for speaking a second language.
Trust me, it gets easier the more you speak, and you won’t even get scratches.

So all you need is practice, patience and a little fun when falling and getting up again.

Have fun speaking English!


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