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  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: English Speaking Phobia

    Quote Originally Posted by ken_oy View Post
    I am in the same situation also. I found that when I talked to people in English, my brain focused on grammar and words too much, then I hardly remembered what I wanted to say. If I focused on what I wanted to say, then I mess up all grammar/words/sentence structures.

    I have no problems understanding what other people say to me, except some slangs. The problem is I have trouble stating what I want to say. More practice needed, indeed.
    Focus on meaning. I am currently learning a bit of Tagalog. When I talk to my teacher, my grammar's all over the place, but if she understands my meaning, I have communicated effectively. Mistakes don't matter if you communicate successfully. As you progress, you will make fewer, but the only way to do that is to open your mouth. Worry about communication more than accuracy.

  2. #12
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: English Speaking Phobia

    I entirely agree with Tdol. After living in Spain for about four months, I was invited to a party where I was one of only two English-speakers. Everyone else was Spanish and, quite reasonably, either only spoke Spanish or chose to only speak Spanish that evening. My Spanish, at that point, was pretty terrible. My vocabulary was great but my grammar was a disaster. I could only use the present tense and I constantly messed up adjective endings. However, I realised that I had the choice between saying nothing all evening and just listening to the others, or attempting to join in. With the aid of a couple of large glasses of rioja (!), I joined in. To my surprise, the Spaniards understood almost everything I said! The grammar might have been wrong most of the time but the meaning behind what I was saying clearly came across perfectly well.

    So - just do it! Open your mouth, talk and surprise yourself!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #13
    chrischai is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: English Speaking Phobia

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    With the exception of the native speakers, I will bet that isn't true. When I lived in Spain, I always thought that the other non-native speakers spoke better Spanish than me because they chatted away merrily in the company of Spaniards, and the Spaniards seemed to understand them perfectly well. I assumed that their Spanish was perfect. I was wrong. I spoke to many of them later and they told me that they were well aware that their Spanish wasn't very good but they had realised that the only way to improve was to speak. So they had swallowed their fears and decided that they would just talk and talk and talk, not worry about the mistakes, and learn as they went along.



    I totally agree with you....My english is poor,now I tried to speak more and more in office and get a English course.

  4. #14
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    charliedeut is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: English Speaking Phobia

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Any idiot can speak their mother tongue
    I don't know about English-speaking countries (or any other member's, for that matter), but that statement is, sadly, sometimes hard to believe over here, if you happen to overhear any conversation.

    About the OP's point: I lived in Germany for ten months (quite a while ago, now), and I could make myself understood. I was aware, as I am now, that my grammar is far from good, but if two (or more) people want to communicate, they all have to do some effort: you have to try and speak their language (English, in your case), and they have to forcefully let you mistakes pass, as far as they can understand the meaning behind your words.

    PS: As was/is your case with Spanish, ems, my vocabulary in German is way above my grammar level.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  5. #15
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    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: English Speaking Phobia

    It is essential to open your mouth and speak, no matter how badly. In my youth I had a Danish girlfriend whose parents spoke English poorly. Her mother spoke rapidly but very incorrectly. She absolutely mangled the language. The father, on the other hand, would pause for a long period and then utter a usually correct English sentence. Conversation with the father was unbearable, but with the mother okay. One could usually, or at least often, guess what she was trying to say, but the father's pauses made conversation impossible.

    That was an anecdote, but speech language pathologists will tell you the same thing.
    Last edited by probus; 23-Sep-2013 at 05:08.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: English Speaking Phobia

    A language teacher who is also a language student is a better teacher.

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