speaking

Tips for Traveling Abroad to English Speaking Countries – Part 2: Don’t Ever Be Embarrassed about Your English!

By Evan Parker

This article talks particularly about how not to be embarrassed when you’re speaking Englishtraveling2Learning the English language is not easy at all. If you are a traveler from abroad and are embarrassed by your English speaking ability, you should learn to embrace it instead. Speaking fluent English is not something that happens immediately. It will take a lot of time and practice for you to begin speaking fluently without any errors. Instead of being ashamed or embarrassed, simply smile and use other social cues to help you muddle your way through until you gain a higher level of knowledge. Be patient and always remember that with time you will always improve.

Vocabulary Limitations

Maybe when you’re first starting out speaking in English, your English will be limited. Initially, you will need to use gestures in order to get your point across. There will be many words that you don’t know yet and your grammar may be too simple. It is best to remember that you do not have to speak perfectly and simply trying your best is the first step. Your lack of vocabulary can keep you from expressing yourself accurately, but by smiling and using gestures, you can still communicate with others. Don’t be afraid to pronounce words in the wrong way, because only practice makes perfect. Try to listen to what native speakers say to you and learn correct grammar and pronunciation from them. Listen to what word they are using. You will only speak more fluently over time if you keep trying.

Always Smile

Smiling is all about attitude and confidence. If you feel embarrassed or ashamed simply mask it with a smile. If you are able to see the humor in any situation you can lighten the mood and make everyone feel more comfortable. If you smile and keep eye contact with others, they will quickly forget about any grammar or pronunciation mistakes that you make. Smiling and keeping eye contact will result in a pleasant conversation that can mask any of your speaking flaws. Your grammar doesn’t have to be perfect, but you have to try and carry on a normal conversation. With a few questions of “Sorry, can you repeat that again?” and “Sorry, can you explain that, please?”, your message will get through. Others will enjoy engaging with you. If you are a pleasant person, your fluency level will never be a hindrance.

Rephrase/Paraphrase

It can always be helpful to remember that rephrasing can be your friend. If you lack vocabulary or the right word don’t want to pop in your head, simply try saying something in a new way. This might help you still get your message across. Simply describe the word you are trying to say if you do not know the English word. Smile and rephrase your sentences to ensure that you can communicate with others.

Here are some ideas for that:

Em, what I actually meant was …

Sorry, did you mean …?

Let me rephrase that.

I may not have made myself understood.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear.

Let me try saying it in another way.

Let me say that again.

Could you please try saying that in a different way?

Read more about confidence issues and improving your speaking here:

Good Speaking is Good Listening

Learning English with and from a friend

Tips for Travelling Abroad to English-Speaking Countries

Want to write an article for this Newsletter that can help other English learners? Ask me first or send your article to jackie@englishwithasmile.net.

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