Do not stop speaking just because you make mistakes, work on them instead.
The first step to improvement is to realize where you go wrong and I am going to help you do just that!
Here’s a list of top 5 mistakes learners make while speaking English:
- Literal translation
The first mistake every learner makes is to translate words from their mother tongue to English. This results in messed up, grammatically incorrect sentences that, at times, do not make sense.
The first step is to realise and accept the fact that there exist major differences in your mother tongue and English. The sentence structure, word order and elements used are unique to every language and hence literal translations do not work.
Pay close attention to sentences while reading and translate them to your mother tongue to see how different both are.
- Incorrect Pronunciation
No, I am not saying it is a crime to mispronounce words. You are trying to learn and you cannot learn without speaking – so speak your heart out. Only, don’t be ignorant towards the correct pronunciation.
You must have heard that children should be disciplined from the very beginning so that they don’t imbibe wrong behaviour. Same is the case here, if you keep mispronouncing a word, you will become habituated to pronouncing it that way and it will be difficult to learn the correct pronunciation later.
So, make mistakes, but also make an effort to correct them.
- Worrying about fluency
Do not be in a rush to learn. Do not feel embarrassed if you cannot speak as fluently as the others. You will get there- all in good time.
The more you worry, the more mistakes you make. Take your time, speak slowly and use proper grammar. Your focus should be on learning the language not mastering it. After all, you need to learn how to walk before you run, right?
- Speaking without thinking
People will advise you to learn some phrases and words in English that you can use. I will not say it is wrong, but just make sure that you know the meaning of what you learn, otherwise, it can be disastrous.
Always understand the meaning first and then use a word or sentence. Remember, it’s best to not say anything at all than to say something you do not want to.
- Being afraid of making mistakes
The biggest mistake that you can make is being scared of making mistakes. Until you get this fear out of your mind, you will not be able to succeed. I’ve seen people giving up learning altogether because they were embarrassed of their inability to speak English. Everyone is a learner at some point of time – even your English teacher was.
Be confident and open to suggestions/corrections and you will be successful in your pursuit!