“Fear and frustration.”
When I asked you yesterday to tell me your #1 speaking problem, this is what you told me.
Fear: Fear of mistakes. Fear of what the other person will think. Fear of embarrassment.
Frustration: Forgetting words. Confusing verb tenses. Not being able to finish a sentence.
Today, tomorrow and Thursday I want to give you some tips to overcome these problems.
Then Friday, I’ll invite you to join me and a small group of students who are going to work together to become amazing English speakers.
Get A Language Parent
it’s best to learn a language like a child learns a language.
Have you ever heard someone say that?
I think they mean you should use the language and not study it.
That sounds good to me.
But here’s an idea maybe you haven’t heard.
A big advantage that children have is their parents.
When a child speaks and makes mistakes the parents rarely correct the kid.
As a result, the kid feels safe.
He/She keeps talking, keeps making mistakes, and finally, becomes a fluent speaker.
Unfortunately, most adult English students I meet never had a person like this.
They never had, what I call, a language parent.
Instead, they had a language judge.
The judge told them if they were good or bad.
They judge made them feel nervous.
And what was the result of this?
They didn’t want to speak.
They spoke less.
And they improved slowly.
And that’s a pity.
The Story of Lenka
The first time I saw how this works was the last time I saw Lenka.
Lenka was a Czech I had a few dates with a few years ago.
The last night we saw each other, it was clear it wasn’t going to work out, and she said something like, “At least you helped me with my English.”
“Hmm,” I thought, “But I didn’t teacher her anything…”
I asked her what she meant, and she explained that just talking to me gave her confidence.
You see, before me, everyone she spoke English with had made her feel bad.
There were strict teachers and one ex-boyfriend who laughed at her.
I was different: I was her first language parent.
I didn’t correct her or judge her. And for the first time, she felt safe and comfortable speaking English.
I don’t know where she is now, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that she’s now confident and fluent.
So get a language parent!