Learning a new language can seem to be difficult at first. Most learners experience a slump in confidence and do not have the courage to speak in public. My advice to each one of them is the same, so this time I thought I’ll bust the top 4 myths that I have observed till now.
Myth 1: Native English speakers do not make mistakes while speaking English.
Native English speakers are human beings just like you and me. Hence, they also make mistakes while speaking – nobody’s perfect, remember? Whoever tells you that you need to be careful of what you are saying around them is only trying to discourage you. They will not judge you or mock you, trust me. Most English speaking countries are multicultural and so they are already used to different accents and people who speak English as their second language.
Moreover, most celebrities do not speak proper English, but they are still admired, isn’t it?
Do not feel ashamed of making mistakes or being corrected – it only brings you one step closer to speaking English like a pro!
Myth 2: Confidence implies fluency.
Contrary to popular belief, confidence is not related to fluency in any way. So many people speak English confidently but with mistakes, on the other hand some who are experts in the language, shy away from public speaking. It all depends on what use you want to put your language skills to. Your friend may want to learn English just for fun- to watch movies, listen to songs and so on. You may have a different purpose altogether – to get a good job or college.
Confidence is important, no doubt, but it does not ensure fluency. One needs to maintain a balance of both.
Do not compare yourself with someone else based on a single parameter, you are no less!
Myth 3: No one is going to make fun of you.
All those motivational quotes may provide some solace, but sorry to break it to you – people may make fun of you and it’s only natural. Would you not laugh at someone if they spoke in your mother tongue? I am sure you would.
But, it is nothing to worry about. Everyone makes mistakes (even native English speakers!). Whenever someone does – ask them to correct you instead. That will bring you one step closer to your goal and you will have a good laugh as well!
Myth 4: You learn from your classmates.
What did all your group study sessions with friends amount to? Not much I’m sure! Same is the case when it comes to learning English. Learning in a group with other learners can do more bad than good. Some students are bound to perform better than you which may further demoralise you.
Also, one teacher cannot focus on so many students having different needs. A private tutor is beneficial as you do not have to hesitate or worry about others making fun of you.
Group lessons may be cheaper and easier to find, but they are not of much help.
Hope this helped restore your faith in your own self. Keep learning!