Four Ways to Improve Confidence When Speaking a Foreign Language

Learning a new language is a scary thing, and it’s easy to feel nervous, especially if you find yourself making mistakes. If you feel like you’re losing confidence as a language learner, check out our top 4 tips for staying confident.

1. Speak Up

When you’re afraid to make mistakes, it’s easy to speak quietly because you don’t want people to hear you. But if people can’t hear you, the meaning will be even more unclear. When you speak a foreign language, try to raise your voice and speak clearly even if you think you’ll make a mistake. People will understand you much better if you speak up.

2. Use L2 Fillers

When native speakers stumble on what to say in English, they say things like ‘umm…’, ‘ahh…’, and ‘err…’ If you’re speaking English as a second language, use these fillers too. If you use fillers from your own language, it will be far more noticeable that you’re not speaking your native language. All languages have their own linguistic fillers, but if you use the fillers of the language you’re trying to speak and don’t break out of that language, it will help you sound much more fluent and help to improve your confidence.

3. Body Language

Appearing confident when speaking a foreign language isn’t all about what you say, it’s also about what you do. Even if you don’t feel confident, you’ll look like you do if you adopt the correct body language. Stand tall, keep your head up, use your hands to gesture, make eye contact, and most importantly… smile.

4. Chill

This is the most important thing to remember – everybody makes mistakes, and they are a vital part of learning a language. If you make a mistake, just take it on the chin and move on. Nobody becomes great at a language instantly – it takes time, hard work, and self-belief. You can do it!

Summary

Everybody suffers a lack of confidence from time to time. The important thing is not to let it drag you down – pick yourself up and try again. If you put in the work and believe in yourself, you can reach your goals!

Want more learning tips? See our Language Learning Tips blog. Or go here to find out if there’s a Shane English School near you.

About the Author

Celia Jenkins is a TEFL teacher and freelance writer living in the UK. She spent five years teaching English in China and Japan and now teaches Skype lessons to students around the world. She writes pedagogical articles, travel guides, and stories for children.


Related Posts

English Learning Tips for Advanced Students

English Learning Tips for Advanced StudentsOnce you get to an advanced level it can be tempting to just skate along. After all, at this level, your English is probably very good and you understand grammar in a way that most native speakers can’t match. But even at this stage, there is still a lot to learn. 1. Focus on the […]

READ MORE →

ESL Learning Tips for Intermediate Learners

ESL Learning Tips for Intermediate LearnersOnce you’ve moved up to an Intermediate English level, this is where the complexity of the language becomes clear. At this stage of your learning, you need more advanced strategies to help you overcome your more complicated learning issues. Talk to native speakers. Chances are that you will start learning English from someone who speaks […]

READ MORE →

The Beginner’s Guide to Learning English

The Beginner’s Guide to Learning EnglishWhen you’re just starting out learning English, there’s a lot to learn and the idea of it can be daunting. To make it easier, there are several strategies and tips that can take you from beginner to talking in no time. Set goals for your learning. The purpose of your learning can determine what part […]

READ MORE →

Text and Message Like a Native

Text and Message Like a NativeThese days, most communication comes via technology and social media. This means a lot of texting and messaging! Just like what probably happens in your own language, when sending messages in English, there are lots of slang and shortened ways of saying what you mean. Here you will learn the most common of these. That […]

READ MORE →

5 Apps That Will Improve Your English

5 Apps That Will Improve Your EnglishApps are one of the best ways to help you on your journey of learning English. They are convenient because you can use them on your cell phone, which is something that you always carry with you. Apps are also a lot of fun as many of them are designed like games. Check out these […]

READ MORE →