Do you hate speaking English around NATIVE SPEAKERS?


Hey, guys. Welcome to engVid.

Is it a lot harder for you to speak English around native speakers

than it is to speak English with other learners or people from other countries

who are speaking English as a second language? So, do you forget your words, do you lose

all your confidence when you're speaking to someone from England, for example?

If your answer is yes, then I have some advice for you so that you can speak with more confidence

around native speakers.

I think the most important point, where I want to start, is that: Don't look at the

native speaker as if they're up here, and better than you in any way, because sadly,

that is why a lot of people get awkward and stop talking around native speakers because they think:

"The native speaker's English is just so good, I'm going to sound like an idiot next to them."

And that's why they close down and go quiet. So, the next time you're

around a native speaker, speak to the native speaker on a level with them. It means:

"You're here, I'm here, I'm not looking up at you, you're not looking down at me",

and that is a really important step to bringing that confidence to you when you're speaking around the native speaker.

The next important point is: Some people are confident speaking English around other learners

or other non-native speakers because they think:

"When I'm speaking to this person, they don't know if I'm making mistakes, so I can just say this, say that, say this, and

it doesn't matter if... In fact, it doesn't matter if I make mistakes because the other

person doesn't know; therefore, I feel relaxed."

But the problem when you speak to a native speaker, then, is that:

"Oh no, they are going to know all the mistakes that I'm making.

They're going to notice that I'm saying it wrong. It's... I... I don't want to speak

because they're going to think that my English is so bad."

Well, it is... It is true that

a native speaker, if they're analyzing your language and watching your language and if

they care about your language, they can notice: You made a mistake there, you made a mistake

there, you made a mistake there. But the reality of communication is that most people are not

thinking about that kind of stuff when they talk to you; they are communicating in the

moment, they're thinking about themselves, what they're going to say. They're not watching

you and your language closely. The native speaker just doesn't care about your language

that much. The native speaker doesn't care about your mistakes as much as you think about

your mistakes and worry about your mistakes.

Speaking as a native speaker, now, as a native speaker teacher, when I'm talking to someone,

I have to switch on and concentrate if I want to listen for people's mistakes. It takes

effort and it takes energy. And if I'm concentrating on listening to the words to find mistakes,

it means that I'm not really in the middle of a conversation with that person. Instead,

I'm just listening to: Are they making mistakes? So in my normal communication, my normal social

communication with people, of course I'm not listening closely for mistakes, because I'm

having a conversation. It's so far away from my mind and it's not important to me at all.

So I hope, as an example, that gives you some confidence to think that:

"Oh yeah, maybe native speakers don't care about my mistakes that much."

Which brings me to the next point, which is: Even if you are making mistakes, is it really

that important? So instead of having this way of looking at yourself when you make a mistake:

"Oh, it's terrible, it's really bad. I have to... I have to learn more. I have to avoid it."

Try instead to develop and grow in yourself the ability to make those mistakes

with what I would call vulnerability. "Vulnerability" means allowing yourself to show a weak side,

I think is a good description of vulnerability. You know, it would be great if you could speak

to that person in the same way as you can speak in your native language, say exactly

what you want without any mistakes, all perfect. It would be great.

But the reality is you're still learning a language,

and nobody in the history of the world learnt a language without

making mistakes along the way. So allow yourself this vulnerability, and allow yourself to

exercise that vulnerability so that you get good at being vulnerable when you're speaking

a language, rather than:

"Oh, no, I don't want to make a mistake, I don't want to make a mistake, I don't want to make a mistake."

So rather than stop, you know, trying to make

these mistakes so much, be seeing it as a good thing to try speaking, try speaking as

much as possible to whatever level you can speak, and if mistakes happen, okay.

At least I tried.

The next point is a really, really simple one.

If you're around a native speaker and you don't understand or they're speaking too fast,

it's really okay to ask them to repeat

themselves, to say it more slowly, or to say:

"I don't understand", or to say:

"Can you say it in a different way?" or to say: "I'm sorry, I don't know that word. Can you explain it?"

Again, speaking as a native speaker, sometimes you meet someone and you can, based

on the first impression that you get of the person, you think:

"Oh, their English is really great", because their accent is good or for whatever reason, you just presume that their

English is really great. And when a native speaker gets that impression of you, then

maybe they'll speak really fast and they'll be using hard words because it seems like

your English is great and you understand them. And when that happens, a lot of the time the

person learning English is like: "Ah, I don't understand anything, I don't understand anything",

because you're now getting native speaker normal talk that's really, really hard. So

in these situations, it's a great thing to... To say: "Slow down" or "Say that again", and

there's nothing... Nothing wrong with doing that.

So there you are. These are my tips for you, if you're shy to speak around native speakers.

When you get... When you come across a native speaker next time, take the opportunity, see

yourself on a level, allow yourself to make mistakes with that vulnerability, and from

there comes increased confidence when you speak English to native speakers.

Thank you so much for watching, and for today's video, you can do the quiz,

and it would also be really great if you leave a comment with any other tips that you have for increased confidence

when you're speaking English to native speakers.

Thank you for watching, and see you. Bye.