When it comes to learning a second language, a lot of people really enjoy the solitary learning component, but when it comes to testing out those skills on a real person, they suddenly get cold feet.
So, if you feel nervous about engaging real people in real conversations in Spanish, you are not alone. Foreign language anxiety is, in fact, a very real thing, and it is actually super common, especially among first-time language learners. Even worse, these feelings of anxiety are often magnified when it comes to speaking to a native speaker, who is actually in the best position to help you learn and succeed.
So, what are some helpful tips that you can use to get over your fear of putting all that hard work into action and ditch those jitters when it comes to speaking to a native like a native? Read on to find out!
Leave Those Negative Thoughts Behind
For most people, the underlying cause of foreign language anxiety and all the very uncomfortable symptoms that come with it is a fear of embarrassing oneself.
As such, many beginner Spanish speakers don’t feel comfortable engaging in conversation with a native speaker until they feel that they have mastered their skills to the same level. In other words, they want their conversation skills to be perfect.
There is a little problem with this logic, though, and that if you were already perfect at speaking Spanish, there would be no point in learning. This means that if you catch yourself thinking that you are not good enough or will make a fool of yourself if you try to speak to a native, take some time to throw those thoughts in the garbage where they belong and think again!
Practicing with a native speaker is one of the most effective ways to naturally acquire language skills, so get yourself out there, accept that you are going to make mistakes, and then start talking!
Find Creative Ways to Overcome Barriers
The best way to both improve an accent and fill in those gaps in vocabulary is to learn to listen to the way that native speakers actually speak.
That said, it is perfectly normal to struggle to find the right words or mess up an accent when speaking with a native speaker. Rather than searching for the perfect phrasing or letting the conversation drop completely, the best way to overcome gaps in vocabulary is to find creative ways around them.
Even if an alternative way of phrasing something is technically not the correct way of saying it, you are still challenging yourself to engage the vocabulary that you do have to get your point across, and that is a win. Which in turn, brings us to our next point…
Don’t Take It Personally
When approaching a conversation with a native, you would be totally missing out on an opportunity to improve if you aren’t prepared to actually be corrected or learn the proper ways to say things.
The key thing to keep in mind here every time you are corrected, you are being given a valuable learning opportunity that you probably wouldn’t have access to if you hadn’t engaged a native speaker. So get ready to leave your ego at the door and cash in on a valuable chance to level up your skills instead!
Engage at a Safe and Comfortable Pace
There are a lot of different types of personalities out there, and some people enjoy the thrill of being thrown in the fire, but others are going to feel a lot more comfortable when they can engage gradually at a pace that allows them to build their confidence as they go along.
Whatever your personal learning style, Conversa Institute has got you covered. We take a conversation-based approach to language learning, giving you access to the digital course materials and real-time tutorial-based instruction that you need to learn at whatever pace works for you. So, if you are ready to take your Spanish language skills to the next level with one-of-a-kind access to the best tutors who can meet you where you are at, look no further. Come check out our site today to find out more.