When learning a second language, just like learning anything new, we might suffer from anxiety and insecurity. I know I struggled with this when I began learning Italian and more recently, French; and not being able to “pop out” the first word to get a conversation going; or not even being able to reply to a simple “salut” feels discouraging. While this fear can get the best of us, infuriate us, and create a blockage to our motivation in our language-acquisition, luckily, I discovered some low-stress methods to practice without feeling overwhelmed by immediate face-to-face exchange.
Here are my six confidence building methods:
Whatsapp is your friend.
This little app has proven it’s worth, not only in the day to day interaction, but because it has many interesting features that keep people connected in a quick way. It’s ridiculously good at minimalistic functions for English Learning. Simply add some foreign-friends on language exchange sites, or even on Facebook, build trust, and get their number, add them to whatsapp and chat away: you can exchange text and voice files. This is great practice.
It was actually my wife who introduced me to this wonderful app, and it’s been used intensively in her English-learning journey. When she was first learning and found she couldn’t hold a conversation with me as far as she liked, she looked for alternatives and found “hello talk”. This helped her engage in serious conversational English by using the tools in the app. It allowed you to make corrections, edit, and even highlight mistakes for other people’s learning and people in turn could do the same for her. Give it a Go – http://home.hellotalk.com/
Learn your favorite songs.
This is one of my favourites and this has seen me through to fruition: My dad learned English long before he moved to the USA. How did he accomplish this? Well, he loved Anglophone music and memorised many songs. By the time he had arrived to the star-spangled nation, he was fluent in conversation without even having practiced it. So, my advice would be: stick to your music and think about the lyrics; likeable phrases and sayings have power, and music is full of both. (https://genius.com/)
Practice Reading Aloud.
This is one of my all-time favorite, and not only because it loosens up your mouth muscles, but also because it lets you engage in monologue which when practiced over, gets you believing that you’re actually talking to someone else. Try children’s books to begin with and go up in difficulty as you’re feeling comfortable. (https://www.youtube.com/user/GreatestAudioBooks/featured)
Maybe a bit unconventional, try this once you’ve boosted your confidence. Look for companies in any English Speaking Country and just ask about their products or specifics regarding the company; this can be really fun and a even daring method, but it will surely get you up there in gaining confidence.
Also, try Audio-Books. They will challenge your listening skills, perfecting your ear is the key to repeating efficiently. Once you have mastered your listening ability, everything else comes easily.
Don’t worry about your accent, you’re original and great!
Many people worry too much about pronunciation and focus exclusively on their accent: this can be a hinderance when learning, as it will take away energy from other important things such as the full command of the language. Inflections exist throughout the English speaking world, so don’t worry. Think about India versus South African English: compare their accent to Americans or the British (from England), and you will see that it’s about command of the language instead of an affected pronunciation around certain sounds. Here’s a wonderful page for listening to all the variations of English accents and dialects. (http://www.dialectsarchive.com/)
Posted in: Polyglot Tags: #learnenglish #englishlearningmethods #aprendeingles #metodosparaaprenderingles
by Alberto Monroy