In the previous article “English-Fear of Nation”, we discussed how English is our biggest fear and how it is integrated into our society. Speaking English was a phobia for me. I just want to discuss with you, three ways how I get over the fear of English speaking. Speaking English in public was always an ashamed moment for me. But I tried these 3 non-traditional ways to overcome my fear of speaking English and finally I defeated it.
If I want to learn English, I will simply put a query into Google and find the ways, pretty simple!!!! Is it that simple? Nope. Learning the English language just by reading google pages is never be the perfect solution.
The Most popular solution to learn English is, read books & mug up the grammar rules.
You will start learning this way and approx in two weeks and you will bend down to your knees. What to do now???
Is there any short cut to get the confidence to just start?
I know learning English is a long process, you have to give time. But all of us just want to take the first step to get out of fear of English Speaking in public. And believe me its possible, to get over the fear of English speaking before you complete all the courses.
English is not my first language. And I know how much it’s hard to think words in your native language then convert that thought into English. Recall all grammar rules before you speak is always weird. You will take too much time to speak a perfect English sentence. But speaking English is one of my prime need to study higher education, maybe this one is your first reason too.
Staying in a country where English is the second language always troubles you more. It’s too hard to speak one language which is popular but not used in your daily life. Yes, it’s good to write English for texting but when you try to speak in public you should be ready for an embarrassing moment.
I remember one incident where there was one high-class man asking chilled juice from a worker. Poor lad didn’t know what “Chilled” meant so he thought it was a different type of juice and with blank face replied “NO”.
Everybody laughs on that man who was speaking English and told him why he wants to speak in English as this is India only, not any foreign country. This type of incident makes your moral down sometime. You have to be careful where to show your English Speaking Skills.
English is practically not possible to use at all the places as most of us are using other local languages as a common language even at the office. English always stay as the first language on paper but to communicate we have to speak the local language only.
So there is always a hesitation where to start as in learning phase you don’t have the confidence to speak with the expert. Now how do I get started?
Why did I think to overcome the fear of speaking English?
Let’s look back how the guilt of not speaking English came into my mind?
I was a Gujarati Medium student so never tried rigorously on speaking English (even not in writing). We just have to mug up the 3-4 typical essay and settle down good scores. But you will find need of speaking English fiercely while joining higher studies like Engineering/Medical etc. The real urge to speak English is started here.
As all our higher studies require English knowledge I feel stuck. I was so much disappointed and had the lowest confidence to speak up in public. I got rid of English Subject by just mugging up one textbook to clear exams without worrying for the future during higher secondary school.
I very well remember my first day of Engg. College, the students from Gujarati( regional language) medium were looking for seats in the back. When a question comes from professor half of the times it is answered by high-class English medium students who instantly gets in good books of professors.
Most of the time I actually want to understand what is the question so if it passes to the first row and I understand what is asked. It’s the reason why I did not take the first row of class. I felt a bit lower classed and decided to leave engineering because of this fear of English.
Somehow I am not faithful about my own decision so I decided to wait. I realized you should know just 1-2 lines to ask a question and then you can fall back to Hindi/Gujarati ( regional language) after the first 2 lines.
I applied this self-made formula in my all semesters and it worked. So, you just require to initiate after that you manage to go further. It’s a temporary but a definite solution to all non-English speaker who does not have the confidence to speak publically and wants to overcome the fear of English.
I was always confused about grammatical terminologies like Active-Passive, Past Participle and all that… Never really work hard on grammar always think about how it sounds and if it’s a bit awkward to listen than there must be something wrong. So I was grammatically dumb( maybe I am not changed till now!!!)
But when I got selected for Engineering, I realize my biggest weakness is English. Fear of English speaking always let me down to learn things.
Finally, I decided to overcome the fear of English. Tried below 3 non-traditional tactics to get over the fear of English speaking.
These are just my personal tricks, I am not an expert or tutor. Here, I just want to share how I get over the fear of speaking English in easiest ways.
1) Have “Confidence” to get over the fear of English speaking
“Fake it to Make it”
When you are having a lot of self-doubts, this actually works. You might not agree on this saying but I know when you have low self-esteem this works best.
The only thing you required to overcome this fear is CONFIDENCE. Yes, even if you don’t have knowledge of English, you just need to have the confidence to speak up.
In India, there are many people who know English very well and can write so nicely but they are not confident while speaking English publicly. Strange but true.
Even if you are speaking wrong, have faith in yourself (even have blind faith in others that they are same as like you!!!!!). I know it sounds stupid but it’s true.
THE SECRET OF GETTING AHEAD IS GETTING STARTED
Once you are confident to speak English publicly you’ll realize that no one notice how grammatically correct or incorrect you are.
Now, we have wonderful bliss in form of technology which provides the AutoCorrect option so in writing you can start with this trick. Write whatever you wanted to say and see what are the corrections you are supposed to do.
I am using one special trick from my school days for Grammar. To find a correct answer I just check the options and try each one to find which one sounds better. The success ratio was 70:30 in my case.
This is the power of language, you feel the meaning of a word by just voice. Even if it’s not your language if it is pleasant for ears it works.
I hope all of you must have heard these songs “Gangnam Style”, “Despacito”. They are the best examples as no one knows what hell the singer is singing, we just became insane for these songs.
We don’t have to take too much stress about learning grammar as you’ll learn it by your experience. People who are not so good in the English language settled down in a foreign country deal with English, gradually they overcome it by their experience.
We have AutoCorrect Option, so use it and learn from your mistakes. Your Computer should be confused how it can find grammar mistake in your sentence and just give you only one option “Ignore Once”!!!!! When you will reach that point you will come to know how you could defeat it.
2) Throw the guilt to overcome the fear of English speaking
90% of us just can’t speak because people will laugh. It’s embarrassing when you fumble while speaking English. I still sometimes feel ashamed of myself for not speaking English so fluently.
People will laugh or criticize you, even if you don’t utter a single word in English.
“Making mistakes is a lot better than not doing anything ” Billie Joe Armstrong
So let it be, feel free to make mistakes. It’s always the best option to make mistakes than feel depressed.
We always feel deep guilt that we are not as good as foreigners. Do Foreigners have any guilt of not knowing your native or local language???
That’s their native language so they have edge over it. Why do we worry so much about damn English pronunciation and grammar so much? I saw people are scared to communicate because they are not good at English.
Many of us just don’t want to be a joke and feeling like a loser. People like you and I are depressed about not speaking English fluently.
Each foreigner is not grammatically so correct as non-native English speaker, we are presuming. They speak in their own way, and we just downgrade ourself by our false perceptions.
So if you really want to speak English you must hate it the most, think that it’s not too good as your own language. After that, you will start learning because then only you learn it for your own betterment, not for others. You learn because you actually want to learn instead of show off.
3) Learning fancy words is a key to get over the fear of English speaking quickly
The third important thing is “learn fancy words” if you have an array of good fancy words you can easily galvanize others. It works magnificently to convince others that you have a deep knowledge of English. Stupid little truth!!!
I don’t remember words when I have to speak English as I actually don’t know much words. What I did initially is to start listening to the news in English (especially news translations).
National News Channel is best for beginners (As anchors are not so attractive and not speaking so loudly, we can concentrate on words). Listen first in Hindi(local language) and after that in English (you can see the translation on other news channels).
To learn Fancy English words or to increase your vocabulary you can start watching Movies with subtitles. You can also start to read books in case you’re not afraid of them!!!! Books give you both sentence sense and an array of good words to learn.
JUST START IT BY THIS WAY OR ANY OTHER WAY UNTIL YOU DEFEAT IT.
Okay, these are not legit ways but I don’t want to lie. I can write many more things which seen legit. These are my own views.
You may agree or disagree but the truth is this only. In the end, I want to confess that I am still learning English.
I am reading newspapers, blogs, Quora etc to gain more understanding of the English language. Still, I can’t answer so confidently, when my daughters are asking me, why “Cut” and “Put” are pronounciate differently ?!!!!
At last, one thing you have to do to overcome this fear is to face it. Let people laugh at you. You have to get rid of the fear of English speaking for your own sake of life.
Well, this is my story, now it’s your turn to share your story how you defeated the fear of English.
Are you still struggling to get over the fear of English speaking?
Share or comment on the same to inspire others, or at least confess with me!!!
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