Hey there, and welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll have fun becoming fluent in American English. I’m your English coach Christina and today’s episode is all about confidence!
Do you sometimes feel shy and hesitant when you speak English?
First, let me reassure you. It’s normal. But there are some easy things that can boost your confident, and today you’ll learn 5 tips to do just that.
The first thing, and probably one of the most important is… you know what I’m going to say: practice.
To feel comfortable speaking English, you have to practice speaking English. And with the internet, it’s easier than you think! For example, on the site italki, you can find a teacher or partner to practice with regularly.
Plus, you’ll get $10 in italki credit when you buy your first lesson, because I have a special partnership with them. Here’s the link to start, so take advantage of this opportunity to get more confidence by practicing regularly.
Don’t be afraid of slowing down the conversation
One thing students often tell me: “I want to hesitate less when I speak. I feel like I’m so slow!” And that’s probably true, you probably speak English more slowly than your native language, especially if you look for your words sometimes.
But, also, this slowness is probably not as bad as you imagine. Most people understand that it’s not your native language. They’ll probably be patient, and they’ll help you find your words when you can’t. In my episode “How to Continue A Conversation When You Can’t Find the Words” you have lots of tips for managing these situations.
But also, don’t always sacrifice your objectives because you feel like it’s not convenient for others. Show that you want to participate in the conversation, even if you speak a little more slowly.
Make English a regular part of your life
We’re generally more comfortable doing things that are familiar to us. So make English a regular part of your life. The more you “live” in English, the more comfortable speaking English becomes, and the more confident you become.
This includes speaking practice, like we mentioned before, but also listening practice. I suggest listening to English as a hobby as much as possible: TV series, podcasts, movies, etc., but also doing specific listening exercises, like the ones in this video, on how to use the listening site elllo.org. Also, speak to yourself out loud. It’s what I did when I was learning French and it really helped me feel more comfortable actually speaking the language with other people.
Don’t try to improve everything at once
When I ask my coaching clients “What are your objectives?” they often say “To be more fluent.” And my reaction is to roll my eyes 🙂 It’s a nice objective, but “being fluent” means you need more vocabulary, you need to improve your pronunciation, your listening skills, your speaking skills, your grammar… It can feel like there’s so much to do and you don’t know the best place to start!
So you try to do a little of everything, and it’s harder to see your progress. You have to take it step by step. There’s a saying in English: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And the journey to fluency begins with a single, focused goal. My video “How to Become Fluent Faster” will explain exactly how to define your focused goals so you can progress faster and feel more confident.
Don’t be discouraged when you don’t meet your goals
Now what happens when you define your goals? Sometimes you meet them. Woohoo! And sometimes you don’t. It’s ok, this is part of the learning process.
Look at why you didn’t meet your goals, and make a change. Maybe you were so enthusiastic that you set goals that were too ambitious. I do this all the time, but in the process I learn how to become better at setting realistic goals. Maybe you need to change your schedule or your habits to make it possible to meet your goals, like setting a fixed time each day to do English.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Don’t stop. Winston Churchill once said “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” Keep pushing forward, and knowing that you are continuously improving will give you the confidence to see your mistakes as learning opportunities, not as failures.
So are you ready to go out and conquer the world now? Or maybe just start feeling more confident about speaking and learning English. That’s already a pretty good objective.
And you can start by watching this week’s episode:
And what about you?
What techniques do you use to feel more confident about speaking English?
Share your tips with us in the comments, so we can learn from you!
And one last tip about feeling more confident, never feel like your ideas aren’t interesting. You can always help someone else!
Thanks so much for watching Speak English with Christina, and I’ll see you next week!
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