Hey guys! Welcome to our ENGLISH BITES – The simplest, easiest and best way to practice your listening – the only one that is 100% created, executed and delivered from me to you – This is Erika Belmonte speaking and I’ll be more than pleased to be here with you guys three times a week and I’m pretty sure we’ll have a great time together – because more than learning and improving your English, I also want you to have some fun through a very exclusive content.
Oh…. One more thing, in case you need the transcription of this English Bite, please go to www.clubedoingles.com/englishbites and look for the episode number 67.
Almost every day I receive messages on my social media complaining: “I don’t have enough confidence to speak with a native” / “I can’t speak English because I always forget the words” or even “OMG I could never speak with an American because they would laugh at me”
And you know, I’m pretty sure that you guys actually speak quite well and I say that because when you have to use English, you get very nervous and end up speaking much worse than you actually can.
Well guys, I’d like to tell you some important things…. first, no one is born knowing how to speak any language. When we were babies, we spent at least a year before we made a coherent sound and two years before we put three words together (kkk sounds just like going to a foreign language class, doesn’t it?). When we started speaking, we made mistakes because we were learning, and adults sometimes laughed – not to mock us – but because they thought it was sweet and cute (and because sometimes babies make mistakes that are funny!).
Second, believe me: AMERICANS/BRITISH/AUSTRALIANS/CANADIANS… love when someone learns their language. Even speaking three or four words, gets them respect from locals who appreciate that they are trying to make it easier for you to understand them.
So remember, native speakers, are not laughing at you, but are enjoying communicating with you. And they love it, they support it especially because a great part of them only speak one language: their language: ENGLISH so do appreciate this effort because they know how hard it is to learn how to speak a new language!
To sum up, in order to gain confidence in a foreign language you need to stop worrying about what others think because they are probably respecting you and appreciating your efforts. You also need to practice as much as you can because the more you speak, the fewer mistakes you will make.
In other words, practice makes perfect (I love this quote), so take advantage of every opportunity!
Don’t forget that once you are comfortable with talking to a native speaker, they can also help correct you. This will improve your speaking skills very quickly! And please, if they correct you, it’s because they are trying to help. I’ve lost count of how many times native speakers corrected me, and mostly because I asked them to do it. I’ll never forget when Tuca’s boss once asked me: “Why do you say THIS instead of THAT all the time?” And then I replied: “Is it wrong?” and then he explained the difference between THIS and THAT (but that will be for another English Bite kkk). I was still using THIS/THAT just like Portuguese and in English, it’s not like that.
Sometimes you feel that when speaking a foreign language, it takes you a lot of words to express something that would take you two seconds to say in your language. In other words, you lack fluency. This is because you are still thinking in your language when you speak. It takes practice to learn the “shortcuts” in a foreign language.
Another tip, slang, and colloquialisms can be a little tricky to understand – especially as they can change between different areas! If you are worried about not understanding some slang in a conversation, a good idea would be to look at some lists of slang online. Guys, if you know your main problems, if you lack vocabulary, structure, slang, expressions… STUDY THEM, be better today than you were yesterday. Stop asking and waiting for easy answers and try to get the answer yourself.
Maybe you are afraid of making a mistake or that the English speaker will speak too fast and you won’t be able to keep up. These were two of my biggest fears starting out. Unfortunately, making these mistakes is what leads to fluency, especially when speaking. There is no substitute for it.
That part of your brain that wants to arrange all the vocab and conjugation to make the perfect sentence, that’s not the part you’re going to be engaging once you become more fluent. It’s the habits, the repetitiveness, the saying it the wrong way five times then finally getting it on the sixth, that’s what gets you there. I’ll never forget I used to say “MINT” /maint/ instead of /mênt/ for “hortelã” in English. I made this mistake a dozen times before finally correcting it. And the same for structures, expressions…
You will never speak a language fluently without speaking a broken version of it first. The sooner you start talking, the sooner you will reach a conversational level. It may be frustrating to feel like you are making mistakes, but this will ultimately be outweighed by the pleasure of using the language long-term.
So I would encourage you to talk to as many native speakers as you can. Don’t be afraid of them! Yes, some will be rude (like Brazilians, Koreans, Germans, Italians… There are rude people everywhere, right?) but most of them will be very helpful, understanding and empathetic.
One last tip: Enjoy yourself! The greatest thing about studying a new language is that you will be able to learn so much more about other cultures and the world. So, get out there, use what you’ve learned and make some new friends.
So, that’s it for today guys. I really hope you have enjoyed today’s episode. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your support and for listening to this English bite. If you have any suggestion, anything you’d like to learn from our English Bites, please let me know alright?
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Take care of yourselves and I’ll see you on the next one. Bye