How many people really demonstrate confidence speaking foreign languages?
We feel is it true to say that most people get nervous when speaking foreign languages. This is usually because they feel they don’t know enough words, they haven’t perfected their grammar or because whenever they have to speak to someone they feel pressured to say something in a 100% correct manner.
It is normal to feel a bit insecure when learning a foreign language but don’t let it stop you.
Here are our first 6 Tips to Give Confidence Speaking Foreign Languages:
1. Everyone makes mistakes!
Make sure neither you nor your children feel pressured to speak the language you are learning, perfectly, from day one. You are learning and it is only natural that you make mistakes. You shouldn’t be embarrassed or feel shy if you use the wrong word or pronounce a word incorrectly. In fact, making mistakes will help you learn even more.
Everyone makes mistakes when speaking, even in our native languages. It really doesn’t matter if you say something wrong, what matters is that you practise and try your best to make others understand you, even if your grammar isn’t 100% perfect.
[bctt tweet=”One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”]‒Frank Smith
2. Listen and pay attention!
Listening to other people talk will help you improve your language skills and, as a result, you will feel more confident when starting a conversation.
Many people feel insecure when they speak a foreign language because they feel they don’t know enough to make others understand them. No matter what your level, listening to others will help you get the flow of the language and pick up the way people speak and express themselves.
You don’t need to meet with native people who speak the language, you can simply do it by putting a movie on or watching a TV series in the target language. Soon you will feel you know the language better and you will feel more confident when you next need to speak. Of course, take into account that getting confident and comfortable when speaking a foreign language might take some time but the wait is definitely worth it!
❝Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can; there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.❞ ‒Sarah Caldwell
3. Don’t be shy!
Something you really must get your child to do is just to not be shy. As we said before, it is only natural to make mistakes and we shouldn’t be embarrassed. On the other hand, we shouldn’t be shy to start a conversation with someone who speaks the language as that’s one of the main ways to actually get fluent.
Just try and speak your target language as much as possible, even mix it up with your native language if you have to. The point is to use it as much as possible so you feel more comfortable with the language and you start feeling more and more confident.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. ‒Nelson Mandela
4. Be creative!
When speaking a foreign language we sometimes struggle to express ourselves because we just don’t remember a certain word or saying. Don’t worry. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember the exact word just try to explain yourself and be creative with the vocabulary and grammar you do know.
For instance, if you forget how to say “chair” in your target language just try explain what the object is and what it is used for and everybody will understand you! At the end, when speaking, what’s important is people understanding you and you getting your point across no matter what happens so, be creative and use those things you remember to explain yourself!
You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only 1 language, you live only once ‒Czech proverb
5. Speak, speak, and speak!
It might sound silly but speaking your target language is the best way to actually get confident with it. Obviously, the more you practise the more comfortable you will feel with the vocabulary and grammar you know so, speaking is definitely one of the most important things to do to get confident when using a foreign language.
Talk to your friends, children, parents or even to yourself! What matters is that you take all of your skills and knowledge and you put them to use so that you feel more self-confident and comfortable when speaking any language.
Our free apps have been designed to encourage young learners of English and Spanish to listen and repeat simple phrases. Without realising, they copy Arthur and Nerea and will be speaking like a native in no time.
Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from & where they are going. ‒Rita Mae Brown
6. Offer rewards!
Don’t hesitate to use a reward system for language learning if this is something your children react well to. It is amazing what some children can achieve when tempted by a shiny star, a smiley face and even material rewards. Language learning should be approached like any other activity you want to motivate your child to do.