Hello everyone, it’s Ha and sorry for going MIA the last couple of weeks but I’m back now. Today I am going to be discussing a topic that I hope you guys will be excited about:
“How to speak English (or your second language) with confidence?”
We all know that in the process of learning a new language, “Practising is key”. However, what to practise on to improve our proficiency is still a challenge that many second language learners meet.
So, today I will introduce three small tips that I often use and find them very effective.
- Talk to yourself in English
Yeah, you heard (read) it right. Talking to myself in English is one of the best methods that I have been using to boost my ability to respond in English. It can be a little awkward at first when you try to talk to yourself in English, especially when sometimes the whole monologue can be meaningless because of the limited vocabulary. However, as we all know, it takes time and consistency to attain the great outcomes.
Tip: The more you keep practising to think in English, the easier it will be to form a coherent sentence in response to something that someone else says.
- Observe & Listen
The second tip I would love to share with you all is making observations and be a good listener. When I first came to Brisbane, having to adapt to a new multi-cultural environment with people from all over the world totally freaked me out. I was very nervous whenever I had to make small talks with people and always felt like I did not know what to say. However, the bright side of this crisis was that as I talked less, I started to actually listen more and tried to capture everything people said in order to get their ideas. I learnt that it takes a lot fewer efforts to contribute to the conversation when we truly understand what the others mean.
Tip: So, next time, if you are too afraid of saying something, don’t push yourself too hard, you still have another option: observe and listen carefully to the whole conversation.
- Know your values & step up
I tend to shy away from networking as sometimes I find it difficult to relate to stories that people tell, therefore end up getting hesitant in responding, especially in a second language. This problem was solved as the more I attend networking events, the more people I meet and converse with, the more confident I become when speaking English. We often fail to pronounce words perfectly, but it doesn’t mean that we won’t succeed in having a meaningful conversation with the people around.
Tip: The key takeaway is no matter how scared or incompetent we may feel when using a language other than our first one, there are still things that we can bring to the table. At the end of the day, it is not the correct pronunciation or grammar that we are always taught at school, but it is ourselves as unique individuals and our own ways of speaking up that everyone remembers.