In the course of the past 25 years, I have learned 5 foreign languages up to a decent, fluent level. Spanish was one of them. Although I managed to progress fast, it wasn’t always easy and many times I was confronted with my own fear. So I decided to focus on the mental aspect of language learning, and find out how to become a fearless speaker.
Where does that fear come from?
When learning a new language, we often are very scared of making mistakes. We feel a constant stress when we speak, because we feel pressured to be perfect. That’s because in school, whenever we would read or write or speak a new language, we would loose points for every mistake. The red marker would show us where we failed. So naturally, we become afraid of making mistakes, of not passing the exam, of looking like a fool, …
Fear stops us from learning
All that pressure and stress stops us from improving and learning. The stress blocks our learning abilities. Because we are afraid, we literally make ourselves small, turn the volume of our voice down and pronounce words only half, out of insecurity. Sometimes we even avoid conversations. And in the worst case, we eventually stop speaking. And we stop learning. End of a language journey…
Become a fearless speaker
I want to help you get over that and become a fearless speaker. Speaking fearlessly is soooo liberating and relaxing. It is a very important part of my language trainings to show my students how to learn and speak without fear. And it works! They are more relaxed and more into speaking. Out loud. Without fear of making mistakes.
Every letter of the word FEARLESS contains a tip for you. Here you go:
FUN over fear
Always remember: a conversation is not an exam! Nobody is giving you notes for this! Focus on the fun of speaking. Relax and enjoy the exchange 🙂
Express yourself however you can. Use the words you know, to build the sentences you can. Add facial expression and body language where you miss words. Of course hands and feet are allowed to help! Our goal is to communicate, to transfer a message. If the message is somehow understood, we are successful!
ACCEPT your mistakes
Accept your mistakes immediately and be prepared to learn from them. Everyone makes mistakes, even native speakers! Our goals is not to speak without mistakes. Our goal is to communicate with another person!
Repeat and rehearse everything you learn. When a (native) speaker corrects you in the middle of a conversation, repeat what she or he said! Rehearse sentences out loud – by yourself! It’s not weird, I do it all the time 😉 It really helps your brain get used to you speaking the language.
LOUD is good
Like I said: loud is good! Louder is better! Always try to articulate well, we want to hear you! Don’t let the fear of making mistakes turn down your volume. Instead, turn up your volume, say it loud and proud!
EVERY word counts
Every word you learn is a win. You will not always find the right word at the right time, though. But hey, you are learning! To climb a mountain, you need to start with the first step. Your target language is the mountain. Every word is a step. Don’t forget to enjoy the view!
Always stand tall, don’t hide yourself! Be proud of where you are in your language learning journey and what you already have achieved. You are brave, you are learning!
Don’t forget to smile! I sounds simple, but it instantly helps you to relax your body and brain! Plus: very sentence sounds better with a smile 😉
Now that you know how to become a fearless speaker, I hope you feel empowered and strong enough to continue your language learning journey! Feel free to leave any remarks or questions in the comments! I am happy to help.
PS: This blog article is part of my spontaneous blogging challenge #10blogsin10days. From August 1st to August 10th I will be posting one blog article per day! #day4 #justblogit