Take a deep breath and SPEAK!
The more you think about speaking, the more nervous you will get. Just try speaking more. Next time you go to English class or speak English, count how many times you speak in five or ten minutes. After that, try to speak more. If you spoke one time today, next English class, try to speak two or three times. The more you speak the more you will learn how to communicate properly.
Don’t apologize for not knowing everything or “Not speaking English!”
You are learning English… You are trying, right? That’s what’s important. Please don’t say ‘I DON’T speak English’. Instead you could say:
• “I am learning English. Could you speak a little slower?”
• “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand.”
• “Could you repeat that?”
• “What does that mean?
Stop translating everything word for word to your language.
Translating everything to your native language is a big NO NO when learning English! If you are doing it, STOP right now! Translating everything is slowing down your progress. If you hear something in English and instantly try to translate it to your native language; you will not be focusing on learning English, but rather translating. When you hear people speaking in English:
• Listen for words you DO understand
• Use contextual clues… so, if you hear, “There is a big rhinoceros.” If you don’t know what ‘rhinoceros’ means but you see a big animal in a picture, or someone is pointing at something. Use those clues to figure out what it means.
Train your ears to understand!
You need to focus and listen. Train you ears to listen for words they (YOU) know in English. Listen for patterns. Don’t focus on grammar or single words. Focus on the phrases. Listen to English movies, music, and TV. Listen to the way things are phrased or ordered. If you train your ears, you will automatically start to understand more when people speak English. Training your ears to listen to English, will help focus on the big picture; understanding English. You cannot become fluent if you are focusing on words, one at a time. It would take you forever to learn English.
5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Fear can stop you from learning English.
• Do you go to English class and think that everyone is going to make fun of you or laugh at you if you try to speak English?
• Do know all the grammar rules but struggle to have a conversation in English?
• Do you avoid speaking with native English speakers and other people that speak English better than you?
Stop being so afraid to speak English! You need to let go and relax. You need to stop thinking of the ‘What if’s…?’. Instead focus on doing and your actions. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. The more you do something the better you get at it. To be a better English speaker and understand more English you need to stop being afraid of making mistakes.