Building Confidence in Speaking English in a Non-Native Speaking Country
I have been teaching English to local and foreign students and for the most part, I noticed that no matter how much the learners would like to polish their English, some things hinder them to accomplish their goal in speaking the language. Studying a foreign language in a non-native speaking country requires more discipline and motivation. Learning a foreign language is not acquired overnight. It has to undergo a specific type of training and the amount of time to learn. For this reason, I came up with a list of why students find it hard to learn a foreign language and what they must do.
Hindrances in learning:
Fear of Committing a Mistake
Students who feel afraid to commit a mistake never learn. It's easy to understand the fear that might envelop the learner while communicating in the target language. It’s not easy talking to someone who speaks the target language so well, more so talking to a native speaker. Anxiety creeps in as you are made aware of your limitations with the language as you the learner will be so conscious of the grammar and how you sound while trying to speak, rather than enjoying the experience of being able to speak the language. Learning a foreign language should be fun and exciting.
Not knowing where and with whom to practice
It is important to have a usual place where the learner can practice the target language and with whom to practice. Some students are forced to pay online or have a face to face class to learn. The difficulty here is finding the right program suited for the learner, paying a significant amount of money and the continuity of learning. It’s one thing to find a good mentor but it’s another thing to discover an appropriate media to continuously learn the language.
Lack of motivation
Students who don’t have a particular goal as to why they need to learn a foreign language will quit even before they have started learning. During the beginning of learning around the first two weeks, adrenalin may still be high while attending classes. And this excitement will dissipate along the way due to a lack of reason to keep studying the language. For those who didn’t know why they were in the language class in the first place will never find meaning in what they do and eventually cease to continue.
A close mind for learning
Not all languages work the same. Each one has its structure to follow. To convey a message in a foreign language, learners need to understand the correct way of using it concerning accent, grammar and how words are put together. Learners should always keep an open mind to understand rules in the arrangement of words of the language and how it is spoken.
What to do to learn a foreign language.
Find someone to practice with
Look for someone who you can practice with; it could be online, with a partner or with a group. It’s good to learn to speak with a native speaker but if it’s not possible, you may find someone or a group who can help you speak the language. Just make sure that this person or group will enable you to get to your goal.
Manage your time and find various ways on how to learn the language at the same time of the day - every day. Choose which time of the day is good for you to study. You can use various media like videos, books or online lectures. The good thing with studying at the same time of the day is, it is habit-forming. Habits are good at establishing discipline while studying.
Find your balance
Everybody needs a break after a stressful work. Finding time to relax after hard work keeps your mind clear and ready to absorb knowledge. You may listen to your favorite music, go out for a walk, eat or just close your eyes for 5 minutes after studying. This will make you excited again for the next round of learning.
Keep an open mind for learning
Each language has its structure. So, forget about your native language for a moment while learning a new one. It’s better if you can communicate on how your target language is spoken and written without diluting it with your native tongue. Never translate the target language to your own language in your mind while communicating. Direct translating is not advisable as this will create more language structure error.
Are you ready to take a TEFL/TESOL Course?
Remember that learning a language requires motivation, discipline, patience, and vision. If you don’t see where you are going with your target language early on then you are just wasting your time. It’s not a good practice to stop in the middle of something because you suddenly realized that it’s not worth it. Know your goal, set your mind to it so you will never get lost along the way.
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