Conversing in a new language is challenging for virtually anyone. While it’s one thing to learn words and phrases in a classroom, the process of actually having a conversation with a native speaker can be very different. Use these four English learning tips to become more confident and fluent as you speak.
1. Use Prepared Phrases
If the words stop flowing and you have a hard time finding something to say in English, it may help to have some English questions or phrases prepared that you can use. For example, in a casual conversation with a native speaker, you might prepare some questions in advance, like “What do you do for a living?” or “Where were you born?” These easy questions will prompt your conversation partner to speak up again, buying you time to think while helping you get back into the flow of conversation if you’re struggling for words.
2. Remain Positive
Strive to stay positive, even if you falter in your conversation: one misstep isn’t the end of the world! If you receive criticism about your language skills, push through and keep trying. It’s also fine to excuse yourself from a negative conversation to enable you to start another more positive one with someone else.
3. Keep Trying
Not every attempt at speaking a foreign language will be a winning one. One of the most important English learning tips is to never give up on your new skills. Keep striving to find others with whom you can speak English in meaningful conversations. Analyze your past attempts to see where you made mistakes and where you were successful. Make a plan for what you will do the next time, and then make it happen.
4. Focus on Listening
As you make efforts to speak in another language, you may forget to listen as much as you should. It’s easy to get lost in your own words as you attempt to string together the sentences you want. However, it’s just as useful to pay attention to what your partner says so you can understand the words and messages behind them. You will likely enjoy the conversation more if you take the time to really listen and understand what you hear.
When learning a new language, your confidence grows the more often you make efforts to exchange words with other speakers. The most effective English learning tips involve practice and tenacity in learning this new skill.