What does it mean to have confidence? To feel confident?
It means a belief in yourself. A feeling of security and the expectation of positive outcomes. Some people seem to have loads of general self confidence and others seem to possess very little. It is probably, at its core, a learned and inherited personality characteristic.
But confidence also has a lot to do with our skills. And when it comes to English, (or any second language acquisition) our feelings of confidence are directly connected to our ability to communicate verbally. To listen, comprehend, and respond appropriately. That is where, as we we say in English, the “rubber meets the road.” Because verbal communication is where we are truly tested, and where we are likely to fall short.
Speaking your second language reveals your ability. There’s no spell check or editor in the conversation with your friends and colleagues. We feel naked, and we are, because we are only armed with our ability to
- decode what is heard
- and respond appropriately
So how can you improve those skills? How can you become more confident in speaking English? By practice – but not just any practice – the right kind of practice. You need leveled, comprehensible input and the right language partner who will work with you to develop your skills. The wrong teacher can damage your confidence and your ability, while the right teacher can give you wings. So choose carefully!
- Patience and a positive attitude
- Rejection of perfectionism
- A good, communicative English teacher who will correct, support you and stretch you
- Our Learn English App for unlimited hours of leveled English immersion
- Finally, have one drink! Seriously. Research shows that a little alcohol relaxes us and lowers the affective filter which blocks language access.