Don’t be afraid to Learn Italian
Mastering a foreign language is more than just learning grammar and vocabulary. It also involves developing important language skills, such as reading and writing, listening and speaking. And for many foreign language learners, speaking is the hardest skill to master.
There may be many reasons for that. For instance, reading and listening are receptive skills: receiving information and understanding speech, although it may have its own difficulties, is easier than saying something yourself. When you are writing, you have more time to think over the language you want to use and even go back and rewrite things you want to change.
It is not uncommon for people to be afraid to speak in a foreign language even if they are not naturally shy. They are afraid of making mistakes, sounding primitive, speaking with a strong accent.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few tips and tricks that will help you overcome the fear of speaking another language.
Don’t forget about other skills
In any language, everything is interconnected. You won’t be able to speak well if you don’t work on your grammar and expand your vocabulary. When listening to other people speak, you will hear good examples of phrases, speech patterns, and intonation that you can use to develop your own speech. Writing is not the same as speaking, but it is a good way to learn to express your thoughts. Even if improving your speech is your goal, don’t forget about developing all the essential skills.
Take group classes
One of the best ways to overcome the fear of speaking another language is to take group classes with an experienced teacher of your target language. It offers a few significant advantages.
Firstly, working with a teacher, you get the support and guidance you might not get when learning by yourself or taking an online course. The teacher will be able to structure lessons in the best ways to address their students’ strengths and weaknesses, explain all the tricky issues, offer learning tips.
Secondly, studying in a group of fellow language learners is a great way to practice speaking in a safe environment. In a classroom setting, there is less pressure. You are all students who are learning and can make mistakes, and your teacher is here to help you out if needed. Through group discussions, role-plays, and other speaking tasks you can practice speaking in a variety of situations and develop your speaking skills effectively and free of unnecessary stress.
Prepare for conversations in advance
When speaking a foreign language, it is okay to help yourself a bit by preparing in advance, for instance, when you know the topic of the next class discussion or anticipate the situations you will have to speak the language when traveling.
You can read up on the topic, look up words in a dictionary, and prepare a cheat-sheet with some important key-words and phrases you might need to use. Never write the full text of your speech, though – it prevents you from speaking freely, makes you sound unnatural, and doesn’t really help develop your speaking.
Surround yourself with the language
To overcome the fear of speaking a foreign language, you need to get used to using the language in your daily life. Watch movies in your target language, listen to the radio, chat with people online, visit the countries where it is spoken when you have the opportunity.
Practice, practice, and then practice some more
It is natural for us to be afraid of new and unfamiliar things. It is also natural – and quite easy – to overcome the fear of doing something by doing it over and over again. Practice speaking your target language as much as you can: say good morning to yourself in your target language, take part in all discussions in your group class, find speaking partners online. Practice makes perfect!