English Speaking Phobia

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salt&pepper

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Whenever I speak to native (english speaking), i'll get very nervous and i'll start to stammer. The phrasing, sentence structure & grammar of my sentences become all in a mess. I'm fine with writing emails etc. I have no idea what's wrong with me. I'll also forgot all the content of the conversation which makes me unable to explain at all.

I tried various way to calm myself when i speak to native but it doesn't seem to work. Is there any remedy or ways to improve?
 

Tdol

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Try remembering that you are doing the hard work- it's easy to be a native speaker, but much harder to be a non-native speaker. Any idiot can speak their mother tongue, but speaking a second language takes more work.
 

salt&pepper

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Thanks for the encouragement.

It doesn't help that everyone around me is able to speak fluently. How do I stay confident or build confidence in this case?
I feel embarrass when I communicate with others in English.
 

SergeyP

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That is easy -- find an international community of people who all have English as their second language, and who don't have the same native language as you. Then, among people who also do a lot of mistakes you'll fell youself more confident, and will start to concentrate on ideas that you want to express, not on mistakes that you do.
 

Stephanie S

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I think the best way is to just practise a lot. Practise speaking out loud by yourself, or with a friend who doesn't make you nervous. Reading out loud is another good exercise--you may feel you are not learning to produce speech when you read, but it is amazing what can be absorbed.
 

MikeWalker

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Don't stress too much about it and just keep practicing. When you get tired of being afraid, it will all just flow right out of you! I'm sure you're doing just fine, just keep up with it and don't give up! :) :up:
 

emsr2d2

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It doesn't help that everyone around me is able to speak fluently.

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.
 
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I sometimes stutter when I speak English in public but as I continue to speak I find it more easier to say the words and eventually forget the fear and nervousness that I was feeling then...
 

ry9online

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The learning and speaking English phobia is long lasting in its origin among different individuals of various nations. It is because of its universal access to all official and unofficial documentation and learning institutes. I am also facing this nostalgia of learning english for a long time and getting access to different learning material for now and then.
 

ken_oy

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Whenever I speak to native (english speaking), i'll get very nervous and i'll start to stammer. The phrasing, sentence structure & grammar of my sentences become all in a mess. I'm fine with writing emails etc. I have no idea what's wrong with me. I'll also forgot all the content of the conversation which makes me unable to explain at all.

I tried various way to calm myself when i speak to native but it doesn't seem to work. Is there any remedy or ways to improve?

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.
 

Tdol

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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. :-D
 

emsr2d2

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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!
 

chrischai

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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.
 

charliedeut

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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. :up:
 

probus

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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.
 
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probus

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