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Breaking Communication Barriers In English
Imagine yourself standing in front of a person looking at you with a smile. You know he is foreign. You want to smile too and start a conversation. But instead your hands shake. Sweat runs down your forehead, you feel your cheeks turn red and your heart beats faster.
It’s fear. This person, you know for sure doesn’t speak your language.
A thousand thoughts go through your mind in a second. What if you make a mistake, what if he laughs at you, what if you don’t understand each other? You are not ready.
You haven’t been learning long enough. It’s not time yet.
Eventually you smile nervously. You look away. And walk away.
So how to manage the fear? Breaking the language barrier seems paralyzing. How to start speaking English, a foreign language?
1. Remember. Only you pay attention to your mistakes.
All your school life everybody was telling you that doing mistakes is wrong. That you’ll be punished with a bad mark and an angry look of your teacher and parents.
Forget It now.
Mistakes are the best things you can do while learning a foreign language (and not only). You learn through mistakes. And you will always do them; there is no way you will reach a level of a native speaker.
Nobody else analyzes your sentence. Nobody else goes over the grammar mistakes, direct translations and using a feminine article when you speak about a guy. Nobody cares. Nobody laughs; nobody will be mean about it. Even when someone corrects you – it’s to help.
2. Begin with non-native speakers or in mixed company
I know. Everybody says the best way of learning a foreign language is to go to a country where it is spoken. It’s true. But from my experience, if you’re covered in cold sweat only thinking about speaking a foreign language, placing you in the environment using this language might be a traumatic effect.
.Browse the Internet, Facebook or Couch surfing and look for people learning the same language in your neighborhood. . Watch others who aren’t afraid despite the fact that you get a headache listening to their mistakes. And start speaking
3. Improve your understanding
Your barrier is caused partly by the fact that you don’t feel confident about understanding the language. In order to improve it you need to listen to podcasts, movies, music… but you can’t listen to it passively. You need to be active. Stop it sentence after sentence, repeat what you hear. Learn to recognize where one word ends and another one starts. Listen to different accents. You will hear different English if you go to London, different and something else in the USA. It is the case with other widely spoken languages like Spanish too.
4. Improve your accent
You’re ashamed of your strong foreign accent? Time to change it now and you need to listen and repeat. Check the lyrics and sing along to the songs you like. Read the written text with the recording and imitate native speaker’s pronunciation.
Record yourself. Yes. I know you hate listening to your own voice. So do I. But this way you hear your own mistakes and you can work on them.
5. Talk to yourself or to someone who doesn’t understand you anyway
You’re alone at home, in the car, under shower? Say your thoughts aloud in the foreign language. Tell yourself what you are seeing, doing, planning for tomorrow. Watch a short video in the language and tell it to yourself, to your, partner, colleague, even if they don’t understand a word.
Don’t ever lose motivation if you feel you’re stuck. It is worth learning a language - you might be surprised with the benefits it brings.
For more info https://voiceskills.org/
VOICE Research and Training Institute is the brain child of KALVI Higher Education and Research Institute, Madurai, South India with the expertise and knowledge to empower learners in the communicative skills of the English Language running through the Industrial Hub of a community that influences a country at large.
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