While learning a foreign language, there always comes the moment when we are ready to speak with a native speaker. At least, our exams and tests say so. But the truth is, that speaking a foreign language is also a lot about self-confidence. For those of you, who have been struggling with this issue, I have listed down five tips to overcome the insecurities of actually using the language you have worked so hard to learn.
- Solid basics
Of course, this is crucial. You need to have solid knowledge of the language you are trying to speak with confidence. I am learning English since I was twelve and I have to admit that I was very lucky with people who I got as English teachers. Special thanks go to my teacher from high school and another one from my journalism bachelor program on my university.
There are however few things you can do even though you weren’t as lucky as I was. You can always try to find a suitable course of a desirable language near your place or you can give a try to an online course as well.
It is also important to have a good textbook, grammar website or a CD-ROM at hand, so you can always check a phrase or a grammar when you are not entirely sure.
- Watch a movie, TV show or play a PC game
This is my most favorite part since I am a big lover of American and British TV shows. In Czech Republic, the dubbed movies and TV shows are a very normal and popular thing. And while watching them in English, it feels little bit less as a waste of time to me. This is a great tip for those who want to improve their conversational skills.
- Read a book, listen to an audiobook or a podcast
For those who want to strengthen their abilities as storytellers in that particular language or for those who seeks to expand their vocabulary, there goes my number three tip. What worked great for me was the combination of reading the book and listening to the audiobook at the same time.
Podcasts are quite a new phenomenon to me, as my closest American friend recommended it to me few months back, but they are great! I appreciate them especially on my way home after a very long day, when I don’t really feel into listening to some music. And when you find a podcast that really attracts your attention, these can be great also for your cardio exercising.
- Join a buddy program!
As you will hear in my video, buddy programs are the best! Not only it will strengthen your language skills, boost your confidence and give you the approval of native speakers themselves, through buddy program you can meet the best people in your life and start a new friendships for a lifetime. I was in a buddy program for about four semesters and this experience also helped me to get better with socializing and pushing my introvert limits beyond.
This tip is much easier to do for those who are still in college or in high school, but I believe there are some options even for those who already work fulltime. Go and check my video where I came up with some ideas!
- Talk – no matter what
You need to get used to you speaking the foreign language. In order to do so, there is nothing easier than starting to talk to yourself with that language, so you wouldn’t feel awkward every time you are forced to use it in public.
We all know these moments, when we are getting bored at home or when we have to do some silly manual work just to have it done – doing laundry or cleaning the house for instance. And these are exactly those moments which you can use to practice the language. This will give you the sense of how you actually sound while trying to pronounce the words correctly and also a save space to correct yourself if you make a mistake.
Bonus tip – ENJOY IT!
I would say that this tip, despite the fact it is just a bonus tip, is crucial for your success with languages. You should enjoy the process of learning the language and have fun with it. Study the language for yourself and this attitude will make it joyful to you.
Here comes my YT video about the topic where I discuss some of the tips further. Enjoy it and let me know which super hacks do you use to become better and better every day!