Here’s the thing: those students who are worried about ‘speaking confidently’ end up putting off till tomorrow what they could already be doing today.
What do I mean? Let’s take the example of someone who says they need to speak confidently to be able to talk with Americans and Brits and other foreigners in Prague or Brno.
The problem is that instead of simply going to English language events in the two cities, they remain in ‘study mode’ and stay at home. After all, they say, “I can’t speak to an American yet, I’m not confident enough.”
In contrast, the English learner who doesn’t care about confidence and simply does something with the language in real life ends up being more confident.
The first step is doing. Confidence comes later.
If you want to give presentations in English at work and feel confident, improving your skills with a teacher can definitely help you, but doing it in reality is what will give your confidence a big lift.
You might feel nervous beforehand, which is natural, but afterwards you’ll have that “I did it!” feeling.
Which is better: to say “I did it!” or to say “I’ll do it when I’m more confident”?
‘Doing’ does the trick
Go out there and simply DO what it is you would like to do in English.
It could be chatting to some Americans and making new friends. It could be going for a new job where English is essential.
Whatever it is, DO IT FIRST.
Put confidence in your ‘things to forget basket’.
Then after you’ve said to yourself “I did it” a few times, you may well find that your confidence is growing.
here’s the thing – a phrase we use before making what we think is an important or valid point
put off – postpone
end up – to be in a particular place or situation, even though you didn’t exactly plan it that way
do the trick – to do exactly what is needed
I”m a confident student.. I’d like to speak with foreigners, you know even if my English is still … hmmm let’s say not perfect:-)
Sometimes someone asks me about yourney or some building and I very carefully try to explain what they want to know. And I feel very good when they listen to me with patient if I have problem with vocabulary f.e. …. And I’m proud of me that I can help in English 🙂
But I’m sure if I f.e. whole week speak to someone in English ( no with my husband:-))) ) I’ll do a big step in my improving.
David Sweetnam says
I definitely think you can make some good progress after we discovered what probably wasn’t working 😉
You learn word combinations (collocations) well, and you’re a ‘people person’, so I’m sure if you stick at it (= keep going) you’ll be happier with where you are 🙂
Sergio Rodrigues says
I couldn’t agree more. Confidence comes with practice and no worries of making mistakes.
David Sweetnam says
Hi Sergio, how did you get to where you are – how did you combine ‘studying English’ with using it in real life?
Thanks for visiting,