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dimanche 30 janvier 2011

Language hurdle number 1 of 6: Confidence

Flickr User: gerriet
     Travelling in a country where you aren't a master of the language can be daunting, and often it is quite difficult to get started in speaking the language, especially when locals immediately notice that you speak English (It's international). Particularly when you are a beginner, locals can sometimes get impatient waiting for you to come up with the correct phrase; or you yourself may not feel comfortable making them wait a long time while you find the right phrasing. Also, at the beginner to lower intermediate stage, you often have a very limited pool of vocabulary to draw from and there are many situations that are too difficult linguistically to tackle yet. What you must understand is that you are not alone. Click onward for a great funny video about the difficulties of conversing in a language for the first time.

      Language schools provide a relaxed and friendly environment to explore and experiment with your new language. Unlike many high school teaching methods, language schools often focus on building fluency first, rather than hammering in lots of grammar from the get-go. They help you build the essential attitude for making good progress in the language: you must speak in order to learn, and not worry about mistakes! The more you use the language, the more you remember it, and the more active your vocabulary and expressions become. Language schools train teachers to provide instantly useable expressions for everyday life that can help you to start gaining fluency as quickly as possible! 

Share with us in the comments your stories about trying to speak a language with native speakers for the first time!