Isn’t English just a language? Why do learners fear?
Communication like any other form of art requires constant practice and exposure. One might wonder why he or she is struggling to converse in a foreign language even after attending courses and learning a lot of about the language, let’s just compare and break it down, for example, take any artist: a painter and a commoner, both know what is a painting brush a canvas and different hues present in a palate, but that doesn’t mean the commoner could paint as gracefully as the painter, it is because of his constant practice and his involvement in the art has made him conquer the art and excel in it.
Even though after taking up schooling with the first language as English and being exposed to the language for about 12 years of your schooling life and further down the lane graduating a degree in the same medium some still find it difficult to communicate effectively, it all boils down to self-confidence. As I said it is a form of art, the art of expressing oneself through words and voice. The language which we learn concentrates more on the writing and reading aspects of the language but speaking unlike the others can’t be developed by observing others speak.
Let’s take a common scenario among students in school; they are exposed to the language within the school premises, on an average a student converses in English with the faculty members and other administrative members and may be their friends, but what about the others they meet every other day? They tend to travel back to their native language for their comfort and it is those conversations which are predominantly happening in on a regular basis. Once they reach home it is the exact same situation, the use of native language is dominating. This leads to the improved vocabulary of the native language.
It is important for a learner to make it a point to converse in English or any foreign language for that matter with people who have proper command in the language and not be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes are a part of the learning process and there is nothing to be embarrassed about, they tend to happen to everyone. Even the greatest orator fumbles at times but it is that self-confidence that is needed to make a statement.
Few Tips for Improving Verbal Communication:
- Speaking requires constant practice and persistence
- Extensive listening to English videos will enhance speaking skills
- Reading books and other materials enhances vocabulary
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes
- Start slow and build your pace with time
- Fluency takes time
- Listen to speeches by various orators
- Learn intonation and pronunciation
- Make sure you have your ideas clear before speaking to avoid confusion
In most cases the issue is not the external environment, it is present within you. Your head space is root for all the problems, be open to suggestions and comments, learn at every junction possible. Remember it is a foreign language and a second language hence comparing yourself to a native English speaker is not a healthy comparison to do because they have been speaking in that language since birth. Hence to reach that level of fluency and command over the language it requires a massive effort and it is totally achievable. We have to start somewhere, take the baby steps towards the future and in no time you would be a sought out speaker.