The English has been established as the universal language that’s been employed in many countries, either as a national language or adopted as a foreign language. Not only does it serve as a convenience when navigating a foreign environment, but having a common language helps to also reduce any language barrier between two individuals. Thus, it’s no surprise to witness several English courses to pop up in Singapore.
Those that picked up the English language as a second language or are trying to improve their proficiency and fluency in the language will notice that reading and listening are the easiest components of language learning. However, if you wish to achieve mastery over the language, you will need to also master writing and speaking. The latter is arguably the most challenging part of learning as you will need to decode, think and speak in the language in real-time. You’re not given ample time to do this entire process and instead, is required to do everything on the spot.
If you’ve been stumbling over your words are now hesitant to voice out your thoughts, don’t give up just yet. Here are 3 things to avoid whilst practising speaking the language.
1. Don’t Delegate A Schedule
To be comfortable in a particular activity or any skillset, you’ll need to practise whenever possible. This means not delegating a specific time for you to practise speaking the English language. You’ll need to not only utilise the language in your English classes, but in other settings as well.
You don’t need a cumbersome or complex approach either. You can simply start with a topic or prompt and record yourself having fake conversations. It sounds bizarre but this method will allow you to hear yourself speak, something that most people hardly do. This approach will help you pick out certain pronunciation and enunciation quirks and mistakes. You can also analyse the conversation and review it to find ways to make it better.
2. Don’t Be Afraid
As somebody who is learning a language, the idea of having to practise and utilising it can be overwhelming, especially so if you’re doing it in front of somebody. But this is a hurdle you will need to overcome lest you plateau in your learning.
Don’t worry about making mistakes! After all, it’s part and parcel of learning. If you’re afraid of getting reproached, you can put yourself in an environment where you can be comfortable whilst learning. This can be in an English class or a community with those who are interested in learning and master the English language. In these environments, not only will you be more comfortable, but you can have a back and forth with others. So don’t be afraid to take baby steps to reach your desired fluency level!
3. Do It On Your Pace
As with most skills, you will need to invest in a lot of effort and time to reach your desired mastery level. Depending on your goals, this duration of your learning journey will vary. You may want to stop at just the conversational level or attain an IELTS certificate. In the case of the latter, your learning duration will be so much shorter than one who has enrolled in an IELTS course.
Furthermore, you’d need to also take into consideration your aptitude and affinity towards the language. Some individuals have an easier time learning languages, similar to how some individuals find mathematics and science a breeze.
Thus, be patient – both with the language and at yourself. It may be frustrating at times, but with time and hard work, you’d be able to not only speak but read and write in the English language as well. Have your goal insight and move towards it.