Confidence in Conversation : How To Be Confident in Speaking a Foreign Language

Sat, 14 Nov 2020

In learning a new language, we commonly start by mastering how to read, write, and listen until we finally compile what we learned to be able to put it into speech. To some, the thought of putting the language into real-life usage such as engaging in conversation might be exciting, yet some could find it difficult.

When attempting to speak in a foreign language, some fears may arise, such as ‘‘What if I mess up the grammar or pronunciation’‘, ‘‘What if my native accent is too thick?’‘, and other possible aspects. Putting those worries aside, note that language learning is a process, thus, you will make mistakes and also improve over time!

Confidence is one of the many key aspects to building your persona, and it is especially important in communicating in a foreign language! That being said, boosting your self-confidence will be highly effective in engaging in conversation, yet, again, gaining confidence does not happen overnight. Unless you’re naturally born with a high level of self confidence, it might be quite a challenge to do so. But hey, things take time! If others are able to do it, so will you!

Why is Confidence Important in Speaking a Foreign Language?

Having confidence means being able to trust and believe that something you do will have a great outcome. In language learning, speaking eloquently requires a whole lot of confidence! Research has shown that one’s self esteem contributes to the performance of their oral speaking ability. It makes one sound more convincing and assertive, which is a beneficial interpersonal skill. Therefore, it is essential that we put an ounce of confidence in our conversational skills as an addition to the knowledge from reading, writing, and listening. In putting the knowledge into action through speech, put in mind that confidence comes first and don't be afraid to make mistakes.

Tips to Boost Your Self-Confidence in Conversing With a Foreign Language

1. Avoid The Need to Focus on Perfection!

One of the most common fears in speaking another language is that people tend to be insecure when speaking because of the fear of making grammatical errors, though in reality, when beginning to learn a new language, we are still in the process of understanding basic grammar and vocabularies. So, expect that you’ll start off with the broken version of the language! If you focus on getting each and every grammar or words right, it’ll delay your process of speaking. Instead, though it might seem frustrating at first, embrace your mistakes and learn from them.

The same goes for accents. Some people might also be insecure by having a thick accent when speaking foreign languages. You don’t necessarily have to mimic the same accent as the locals! All accents are beautiful, so embrace it – don’t let it hinder you from speaking confidently!

2. Start Small by Practicing One-on-One Conversations!

Some of us might fear the thought of speaking in public, especially in a foreign language. In learning a new language, the best way to get a hang of it quickly is to master one-on-one conversations! Instead of speaking in big groups or in public, exchanging conversation with one person will be more comfortable since you are still in a learning process of gaining fluency. Try starting light by practicing day-to-day conversations such as conveying your likes and dislikes, giving movie recommendations, and many more!

Lucky for you, Lingotalk’s courses are held one-one-one with our experienced tutors, which will definitely assist you in getting comfortable with the language! Moreover, since our classes are conversation-focused, you will start speaking the language from day one to boost your fluency, and confidence!

3. Put Your Body Language To Use

People can sense your confidence through your body language. Research has shown that our body language speaks louder than our facial expressions! Even if you have yet reached fluency in the language, your behavior will make the first impression. That's where your confidence must show! There’s a saying that goes ‘‘fake it till’ you make it’‘, and it means that even when you don’t feel confident, try to fake it, at the very least! When speaking, make it a habit to maintain good eye contact, stand or sit in an assertive posture, use hand gestures to assist you in explaining your point, and just wing it!

4. Learn Through Listening

If you’re not confident in your pronunciation or the way you speak, an effective method is to mimic others! Expand your knowledge outside your language textbooks such as watching TV shows and listening to music with your targeted language. Try to mimic what you heard from those sources and practice your pronunciation! TV shows and movies are most likely to provide an image on how natives converse, and practice mirroring how they speak, their voice and articulation, and their gestures!

Another tip is to record yourself speaking the language! Although you may kind of despise the sound of it at first, you’ll gradually accept and be confident with the way you sound speaking it!

5. Focus on Your Own Pace

Your conversation partner may have a habit of talking at a fast speed. And here’s the thing – you don’t have to match their pace! If you attempt to speed up when you are not familiarized with the language enough, you’ll most likely drift away from your main point and forget the things you were going to say! Instead, try to relax and just maintain your preferred pace to be able to gain confidence out of it. Create your own rhythm, and let the conversation flow!

Are you ready to engage in a conversation with a foreign language?

Lingobuddies, remember that practice makes perfect! Gaining confidence is easier said than done, thus, you require lots of practice to reach your goal. In order to assist your language learning process, sign up for a course with Lingotalk, where you’re speaking skills will definitely improve, as our courses are conversation-oriented.

Keep in mind this quote by Peter T. McIntyre, ‘‘Confidence comes not from always being right, but from not fearing to be wrong’‘.



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