Language Learning Must: Shameless Speaking

Overcoming your initial fear Overcoming Your Initial Fear Will Lead to Consistent Gains

When you’re just starting out of sounding silly, weird, or plain old wrong can be challenging, but once you get past that first hurdle, you open up a path to increased confidence and regular improvement.

We have all been there: even though you have been studying your new language for weeks, months, or even years, you are still scared to open your mouth. It is easy to be intimidated by others. You might worry they will think you do not know how to speak properly, or that you are dumb, but that could not be further from the truth. Think about your interactions with people whose first language isn’t English (or any language you’re fluent in and the other person isn’t). Don’t you try to understand and help them? Most people will offer you the same courtesy and will be pleased that you are trying to speak their language.

You are working hard and even if you’re struggling and don’t understand every single word, you are learning and it will pay off. Plus, the more you do it the faster you’ll and the less scary it gets.

Overcoming Your Initial Fear

Getting past this first hurdle is critical to starting along the path to language mastery. You have already committed to learning a new language, now it is time to get courageous and act. Just like anything else you have ever tried for the first time, it is only normal that you are intimidated. The first time you rode a bike, you were afraid of falling. When you jumped into water for the first time, you were fearful you might drown. But, you know what? You still learned how to ride a bike and swim. Of course, you might be worried about having an accent when you talk. But you need to stay focused on your goal. You are in the early stages of gaining a valuable skill, accessing a whole new culture, and meeting many wonderful people. Being afraid is very normal. Facing that fear takes courage, but it will be well rewarded- you will master a new language.

Once Clear, Your Confidence and Learning Will Skyrocket

When you work up the courage to begin speaking, you will enter a positive feedback loop of increasing confidence and language learning. You may be anxious about how the words will sound when they come out, scared someone will laugh at you, but these feelings are slowing your language learning down. Once you begin speaking, you will see that people admire you for your courage and knowledge. These experiences will empower you, boosting your self-confidence and leading to greater learning. Once you start, you will constantly look for new opportunities to practice speaking your new language.

Start Speaking and Forget Your Fears

Even though you are afraid, you need to get out there and start speaking. We all have some kind of accent, even in our native language. Take the first step and your fears will start to go away. The encouraging smiles of the people you speak with will reassure you that you can communicate in your new language and that you are ready to start speaking.

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