Have you ever fibbed about your native language or languages you speak, to practice a language? Were you ever caught doing it?
If you’re living in America, while a person walks up to you and starts conversing in a French accent, you might think a while whether you should respond in English or French. Replying in French might be insulting!
Bear in mind to pay attention to the sensibilities of the other person while talking!
Mastering any language goes a long way in relating with the people speaking the language. It helps form new relationships and in developing your understanding of the intricacies of foreign cultures.
It’s time to dive in the subject of how to become fluent and experting your communication with native speakers.
Ever heard of ‘Foreign Language Anxiety?’ Well, that surely is a term used to describe your shyness and anxiety while conversing with a native.
How do you deal with this?
Top Tip: Read out loud – Practicing loud reading can help outdo your inhibitions, helping you become more self-aware with regards to your accent and maybe expand your vocabulary.
Most of us feel embarrassed and often freeze halfway through while blurting out an insult your buddy has just taught you! This trick can help you get comfortable very quickly.
Besides practicing language practice, learning a new language has added benefits: you get to meet and talk to new people. However, let’s scratch the surface and explore a different way to connect with people:
Blogs – Blogs serve as the easiest and by far the most common way to connect with people with similar interests as you. This would work best when having achieved intermediate proficiency in a language and are living in the country that has a majority speaking the same language you are looking to master.
Online Dictionaries: Online dicionaries are usefull and easy to use. They will help you at anytime and anywhere. Bab.la, for instance, will help you translate, learn and practice new language, and if you’re moving abroad you can get some tips about the country you’re moving in.
Share insightful stories and debate on a significant world- issues that appeal to you by effectively using the comments section. Who knows, maybe you can find a good drinking buddy on a quiet Saturday evening just through blogging!
Top tip: If you don’t know where to go, navigate through some travel blogs. These serve as an easier medium to trigger a conversation out of the blue and find like-minded people.
Meeting websites – Sign up for a couple of meeting websites. Meetup.com and Couchsurfing.org are prime examples that provide excellent tools to strike up a conversation with someone that shares similar hobbies and interests. These online tools also organize meetings, hangouts and facilitate offline interactive workshops unifying members through a common interest (like books, music, movies, politics). Have a glance at Seoul Meetup homepage if you’re into improving your Chinese speaking skills!
Language Exchange Website –Search for langugage exchange partners, professional tutors, there are lots of resources out there. Italki.com, one of the foremost websites is an excellent resource if you’re looking for something non-mainstream. Hourly rates for a one-on-one session start as low as $5 and if you’re lucky you can avail a discount too.
Reading books, a lost art among modern civilizations is an essentially recommended technique to build on your spoken language skills. ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ is a classic life-changing book on how to master your skills. It covers important aspects like tips on how to approach people, being more social and overcoming your anxiety and fear when initiating new conversations. A must read for language learners.
Remember, knowledge and skills are two separate things.
While driving a bike is a skill, you definitely need some prior knowledge of road laws and signs before learning to drive one. But no matter how much knowledge you acquire, you got to get hands-on experience to be a good bike-rider. Speaking a language fluently works pretty much in the same way.
Feeling stuck? There are many causes for plateaus and maybe, it’s the right time to start reassessing why you started this pursuit. Take a pencil and jot down why did you ever start learning this language and how does fluency in a particular language benefit you? When you’ve got the right answers, stop and spot how your goals have deviated from when you started the journey.
It’s time to reassess your little routine. How can you specifically improve on your learning styles to attain maximum fluency? Is your grammar book still helpful? Do you feel that you can better express yourself in certain scenarios? Is using the dictionary helping you or are you still struggling to figure out the right words in specific situations?
Time to re-review your flashcards, or start afresh with memorizing specific phrases that might help you get your conversation opener right!
Levelling up Your Fluency when Stuck? Read this article to discover how you fare so far – Enjoy!
Speaking foreign languages is a skill that adds a dimension to your employability. Make sure you are fluent in the language before adding it to your resume to avoid embarrassment in front of potential employers.
“Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations.” ― Edward Sapir