Watch this video lesson for SUPER tips to improve your confidence when speaking English!
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You have moments of “I can't believe I finally did it!” And “Ohhh man, I'm SO over this right now… I'm going to give up!”
The longer you've been studying, the tougher it gets. Can you remember the last time you got excited about pracitcing English? Probably not.
Today, we are going to find that enthusiasm again. How? We are going to change the ways you learn and practice English, to help you get through the dull, boring times and have more “woohoo!” moments!
Now, with all of that in mind, here are my 7 steps to English confidence.
The first one…
1. Love your mistakes.
Get things wrong! You need to star feeling comfortable with making mistakes because it is the fastest, most efficient way to improve your English.
You need to love your mistakes – when you make one, you need to celebrate it! Because there is nothing else in the world, no grammar book, no smartphone app, no podcast or video that can teach you better than your own mistakes can.
The second step…
2. Find a buddy
This might be an obvious one, but it's often difficult to do. So I want you to make a list of everyone that you know who speaks English or is learning English. If you don't know anyone, it's okay! Look for someone online.
So, there are heaps of Google+ groups that are so supportive and full of people learning English and want to practice! You can also use places like CraigsList or even some Facebook groups, as well.
But there are so many students out there looking for a buddy to practice with! Now, this can't just be anyone. You need to find someone who can meet with you regularly – once a week, once a month – whatever it is. But you also need to find someone who you can trust and who you can relax with and have a good time!
It's kind of like a date! You have to find the right person – a good fit! And you need to work on this relationship because what you need is someone that you feel comfortable making mistakes with and you want that person to feel comfortable telling you that you've made mistakes. The purpose is to find someone who can help you.
The third step is…
3. Body language
Your body language says a lot about you've before you have spoken a single word! If you're worried that you won't be understood when you speak English, start with a smile and really great eye contact! The worst thing that you can do is “Excuse me, umm… do you know where the bathroom is?” but if you use great body language, great eye contact and a smile then the person that you are talking to will probably be more polite, more willing to help and more willing to listen – which will make you feel more comfortable.
Now you're own body languages plays an extremely important role in your own feelings of confidence. You can actually make yourself feel more confident with positive body language.
The fourth step is…
4. Speak out loud
Do this as often as you can. Get your mouth and your mind familiar with English sounds, stress and intonation. Have conversations with yourself in the shower or when you're walking to work or after you brush your teeth at night. Having conversations with yourself is so great because you get to practice asking the questions, answering the questions and thinking of ways to keep the conversation going!
5. Pronounce it right
Pronunciation mistakes can be frustrating and annoying or they can be really awkward and humiliating. Making them is a great way to lose confident speaking English, right? Your English pronunciation is affected by your first language (or your native language) and the English sounds that you find most difficult to pronounce are sounds that don't exist or are uncommon sounds in your native language.
To improve your English confidence, you should take the time to understand the sounds that you have trouble with and to regularly practice.
Step number six is…
6. Watch English movies, listen to podcasts or audio books
I know, you've probably been told this a thousand times before! But there's more to it than just watching the movie. Make sure you choose an audio or a video that is at your level of English. The worst thing that you could possibly do is go and find an audio or a video text that is too difficult for you to understand. It makes learning hard work, it ruins your confidence because you can't understand much of it at all.
You need to grade your videos or your texts to your level of English so it will be more fun and more interesting. You'll be able to understand more of what's going on and if that means watching kids shows, do it! Who cares?
And make sure that it's something that you're interested in. So it's easy – way easier – to watch stuff that you're interested in rather than things that you feel like you have to or you should watch to practice your English.
So, choose things to do with hobbies that you like and skills that you have or maybe to do with your workplace.
7. Plan your practice
And remember to keep things interesting by mixing them up! Practice pronunciation for a few days, then do some imitation exercises, then practice with your buddy. Make sure that your English practice is something that you look forward to!
If you need more help with English conversation confidence, then I would love for you to come and learn and study with me. I have a new 7-day course that has been created for people just like you. Join me for your FREE 7-Day English Conversation confidence course. To build your speaking skills and take your English learning to the next level. It's free to join, but you'll need to apply by the 24th of February. Go to this website for more information.
Okay, well I hope you join me there and if not, I hope you've enjoyed this video. Make sure you implement some of these steps to feel more confidence speaking English.
Bye for now!