Most people tend to be more relaxed speaking in their mother tongue than a foreign language, and this is simply due to familiarity during formative years. It is possible to be 100% comfortable, and it’s much less to do with language proficiency than most of us might imagine. Comfort in this context is more a state of mind than anything else, judging from what I’ve seen over the years growing up in many different countries.
Many people who are learning English don’t practice speaking as often as they want to because they’re afraid they will make a mistake or be laughed at. Don’t worry – even native English speakers sometimes make mistakes, and nobody will laugh at you.
Ways to gain confidence in your ability to speak English are:-
Join Online Forums That Use English
Joining an online forum means you can interact with native English speakers. It also gives you a chance to practice your English outside the classroom without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Read Texts Out Loud
Reading fluency is simply the ability to read a book or text clearly. You correct your pronunciation mistakes until you make no errors.
The more you practice fluency, the more confidence you will have because it gives you a safe environment to practise in, increase your reading speed, and to process words faster.
Make Friends with English Speaking Experts
The more you practice, the more you will gain confidence in your English speaking abilities. An excellent way to practice English (and enjoy it!) is to make friends with people who only speak English.
Trust Your Teacher
If you are following a course, remember that your teacher is there to create a safe environment for you to learn from your mistakes.
Making mistakes is very important because you can see which areas you need to work on. The key is to try not to make the same mistake twice.
Your teacher is also there to celebrate your accomplishments. They want to encourage you to continue practicing, and will tell you what you are doing right.
If you want to feel more comfortable in class, try to get to know your teacher better. It is ok to ask personal questions such as their hobbies or why they decided to become a teacher.
Work in Groups of Five or Smaller
Many people get very nervous if they have to speak in front of large audiences. Try speaking English to others in smaller groups to build up your confidence.
Share mistakes or stories of miscommunication with each other. The more you laugh off how funny these types of mistakes these are, the less you’ll feel scared.
Don’t go Overboard
The faster you try to learn English, the more pressure you will put on yourself. The key is to ease into learning English with less pressure .You will feel less nervous when you make mistakes (and remember, mistakes are good!).
It is natural to procrastinate, especially if you don’t feel completely certain about what you are doing.
Remember Why You Want to Learn English
It is natural to feel frustrated if you are not confident that you are progressing. Whenever you feel this way, it is important to remind yourself of why you started learning English.