Learning English? Hi! My name is Jillian Zavitz. You may remember me from “Help, English isn’t my first language!”
“Learning English with Jillian Zavitz” and “Oops! Did I just accidently say a bad word?”
Well, today I am going to share with you some tips and tricks on how to improve your English speaking confidence
...or at least how to sound convincingly confident when learning to speak English.
Now, if you’ve ever had to learn a new language, you know how seemingly impossible it is at the time
as in a “no way – no how -- I’m never going to be able to do it" —kind of way.
And it’s not surprising to hear from the majority of my students the top three reasons why they’ve given up learning English
are the fear of making mistakes... the fear of being judged... and not sounding confident enough– ‘of course before they met me…
So while these reasons are important they aren't the end of the world and definetely shouldn't be the end of your English learning journey.
Now, I know I may look young but I do have quite a bit of experience – and a ton of success with TalktoCanada
and of course... a lot of tips and tricks --- wanna hear them? Let’s go…
So I know we are all scared of something – spiders, being on a dark highway alone … being on a dark highway alone with spiders -- but learning English shouldn’t be one of them.
Figuring out what you are scared of and why you feel tongue tied when you need to learn English is the first step in overcoming it.
So as English teacher, sometimes it's hard to pronounce words
I mean there are a lot of really weird words in English… take for example...
Weird, right? Mary Poppins can say it – but she’s perfect so it doesn’t count.
Or let's try a tongue twister … ready?
“Peter Piper pecked a pick of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked."
"If Peter Piper pecked a pick of pickled peppers"
"Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?”
See we all make mistakes – its normal – nothing to fear
And definetely not the end of the world.
Which brings me to my second tip is: It’s OK to make mistakes.
Or as somebody really famous once said: "The greatest mistake in life is to constantly fear that you'll will make one."
Make sense? Yeah! It’s about as clear and mud!
Moving on to my third tip: Always ask a lot of questions.
Ask what things are called, different examples, synonyms, definitions...
Anything... anything at all that will help you clarify your understanding.
It’s a great way to learn …. and not only English!
Asking Questions can also help you create conversation with new friends.
Not all of us are as extroverted as we hope to be
But by asking questions, conversation should happen… naturally…
And this is the best opportunity for one of my last tips... Try New Things!
And by new things I don’t mean the new Frappuchino flavor from Starbucks
I mean new try using new English words and expressions in your vocabulary.
I had a student the other day who so fluently said “game plan” during our conversation, that I had to stop and congratulate him on his improvement in fluency.
Idioms are an English learner’s worst enemy. I mean ... take for example... “hit the hay”
Last time I checked my bed wasn’t made of hay… and what does that have to do with sleeping anyway?
I always suggest that students practice English by watching TV or listening to music
You know, this reminds me of a guy that I once met in Mexico who learned English entirely by watching movies
Sure.. his vocabulary was jammed packed with exaggerated expressions and vocabulary
But what he didn’t do was my final tip: Listening to the people around him.
To increase fluency – listening is KEY, Fundamental... Essential... Necessary...Super-duper important!
I cannot stress this enough!
So that’s it for now… and remember to join us on Facebook for even more opportunities to practice and learn English with TalktoCanada!
You never know – you may just be my next student!