If you are shy or nervous when speaking English with native speakers, I have some advice for you.
Learners of English often become shy or hesitant to speak around native speakers because they are afraid of making mistakes. In this video, I share tips with you to boost your confidence when speaking English with native speakers. I will explain why native speakers don’t care about your mistakes as much as you think they do, and give you my suggestions that will help you feel confident speaking English – regardless of your level. Nobody has ever learned a language without making mistakes, and no one expects you to!
This video is full of advice to help you feel CONFIDENT when speaking in English, so watch it and then go out and DO IT!
Make sure you understand the lesson! Take the quiz at http://www.engvid.com/do-you-hate-speaking-english-around-native-speakers/
Hey, guys. Welcome to engVid. Is it a lot harder for you to speak English around native speakers than it is to speak English with other learners or people from other countries who are speaking English as a second language? So, do you forget your words, do you lose all your confidence when you’re speaking to someone from England, for example? If your answer is yes, then I have some advice for you so that you can speak with more confidence around native speakers.
I think the most important point, where I want to start, is that: Don’t look at the native speaker as if they’re up here, and better than you in any way, because sadly, that is why a lot of people get awkward and stop talking around native speakers because they think: „The native speaker’s English is just so good, I’m going to sound like an idiot next to them.” And that’s why they close down and go quiet. So, the next time you’re around a native speaker, speak to the native speaker on a level with them. It means: „You’re here, I’m here, I’m not looking up at you, you’re not looking down at me”, and that is a really important step to bringing that confidence to you when you’re speaking around the native speaker.
The next important point is: Some people are confident speaking English around other learners or other non-native speakers because they think: „When I’m speaking to this person, they don’t know if I’m making mistakes, so I can just say this, say that, say this, and it doesn’t matter if… In fact, it doesn’t matter if I make mistakes because the other person doesn’t know; therefore, I feel relaxed.” But the problem when you speak to a native speaker, then, is that: „Oh no, they are going to know all the mistakes that I’m making. They’re going to notice that I’m saying it wrong. It’s… I… I don’t want to speak because they’re going to think that my English is so bad.” Well, it is… It is true that a native speaker, if they’re analyzing your language and watching your language and if they care about your language, they can notice: You made a mistake there, you made a mistake there, you made a mistake there. But the reality of communication is that most people are not thinking about that kind of stuff when they talk to you; they are communicating in the moment, they’re thinking about themselves, what they’re going to say. They’re not watching you and your language closely. The native speaker just doesn’t care about your language that much. The native speaker doesn’t care about your mistakes as much as you think about your mistakes and worry about your mistakes.
Speaking as a native speaker, now, as a native speaker teacher, when I’m talking to someone, I have to switch on and concentrate if I want to listen for people’s mistakes. It takes effort and it takes energy. And if I’m concentrating on listening to the words to find mistakes, it means that I’m not really in the middle of a conversation with that person. Instead, I’m just listening to: Are they making mistakes? So in my normal communication, my normal social communication with people, of course I’m not listening closely for mistakes, because I’m having a conversation. It’s so far away from my mind and it’s not important to me at all. So I hope, as an example, that gives you some confidence to think that: „Oh yeah, maybe native speakers don’t care about my mistakes that much.”
Which brings me to the next point, which is: Even if you are making mistakes, is it really that important? So instead of having this way of looking at yourself when you make a mistake: „Oh, it’s terrible, it’s really bad. I have to… I have to learn more. I have to avoid it.” Try instead to develop and grow in yourself the ability to make those mistakes with what I would call vulnerability.