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I am a bit shy, when I have to speak in English, I always worry about my mistakes; I lack confidence

phuongtran 2 / 2 2  
Aug 28, 2017   #1

English speaking and writing problems

I am a bit shy, when I have to speak in english, I always worry about my mistakes, I also lack confience, my friends say they just talk to talk, they get messeges across, my teacher says If I do not try learn English, I never be able to use it when I need it, I think I do short consevation my self. I do this my room I think It works.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 12,849 4178  
Aug 28, 2017   #2
Tran, I can sense that you are feeling frustrated and possibly hopeless about your English speaking and writing problems. Let me tell you, unless you were born speaking English from the crib, you won't be at the level of a native English speaker unless you have had decades of practice speaking and writing in a pure English environment. It is important that you do not lose hope at this point in your lessons because you are not doing bad with your lessons. It is all about finding your comfort zone when it comes the English language. Some people, learn by watching television and reading English materials as often as possible. Others, choose to spend time with native English speakers in their neighborhood or places of social interaction so that they can practice both thinking and speaking in English. As for writing, that is something that happens naturally as you become more familiar with thinking and speaking in English. The paragraph that you wrote above shows your potential in writing. While it is not perfect, you are writing well enough for a native speaker to understand what you are saying. Don't worry about the mistakes. A native English speaker will make allowances for your grammatical mistakes. It will never be perfect because it is not your mother language. The native speakers understand that. What I am trying to tell you is this, practice makes perfect. Don't let the impressions of other people regarding your English skills affect you. They do not know your true potential and do not realize that, in your own way, you are already able to use English, in one form or another, when you need it.
OP phuongtran 2 / 2 2  
Aug 28, 2017   #3
Hi @Holt ,

Thanks for your advice. The important is the best to learn by doing.
Thanks indeed
nhantran 1 / 4 1  
Aug 28, 2017   #4
Well, you know. I used to be like you. I know the only reason that all of English learners can't speak English is that they don't practice it frequently and they are always afraid. You can find a partner to practice together or just join any English club. If you are in HCM city, you can find Language Exchange Coffee House. there are many people there speaking English everyday. I hope this useful for you.
Writer2037 2 / 5  
Oct 14, 2017   #5
Nothing should be regarded as "easy" when it comes to learning a secondary language. You find learning English hard? Yeah, that's normal. Really there is nothing wrong with it. Just keep going, after all the hours you put into learning it, eventually you will realize how improved your skills are someday.
BigBoy 2 / 4  
Oct 14, 2017   #6
Practice makes perfect. If you practice regularly, you would definitely improve even beyond what you ever thought. Endeavor to rehearse at least few hours a day and constant conversations in English with other English speaking friends would help improve both your vocabulary and confidence.
Memduh 4 / 10 1  
Oct 14, 2017   #7
WE all were once shy to speak in English, if I tell you my stories about speaking English for the first time, you will tell yourself; oh no I am in better condition.

no one is born perfect. stick to your goals and never care what others say
lalasihcing 1 / 2  
Oct 31, 2017   #8
I am shy either but I think the best way to improve our speaking skills is to jump out of the comfort zone and try to keep talking with other people in English. I am afraid of making mistakes. However, if I don't use it, I will not know my mistakes and have a chance to fix it. Never say die~keep going~~
Ashkan123 12 / 33 2  
Nov 18, 2017   #9
I agree with HOLT and I want to share my experience.I was same as you and still, I am. I can not write or speak very well. but recently, I got improved. Do you know why? I tell you why.Because I admit that my English skill is not good enough, and I need to improve it, therefore, I am not shy anymore. before I always didn't interact with other people because I was worried that they may find out I can not speak English very well.but this is not the case anymore.Now, I know that my English needs to improve so I am not shy that any else find this incompetence because I've already known that my writing and speaking skill is not perfect or even acceptable.That's why I start to write a lot and speak with native language speakers. you need to accept that your English skill is not acceptable and you are working on it.
Ridho Kodel 3 / 7 2  
Nov 18, 2017   #10
Dear @phuongtran,

We have the same problem Dude, but I always keep my chin up to any hurdles I find during my study. I sometimes collect the constructive feedbacks I obtain as my personal note. As I find my self get distracted of no improvement, I open personal note which I can see that I am not that bad. Focus to the little step you made, tip toe if you must, but take the steps!

PolinaProto 1 / 2  
Nov 18, 2017   #11
Im not a native speaker myself. But what really helped me is watching videos on youtube; they dont require too much time or work but they really do help you to work on pronounciation and get a "sense of the language". Just pic something you enjoy and watch native speakers talking about it
Codex1717 7 / 17  
Nov 18, 2017   #12
Not being able to speak or write well in English may look like a setback but don't allow it pull u back.
Just keep practicing and devote time to reading books as a leisure. Progress may be slow but don't get discouraged.."little drops of water makes a mighty ocean"..keep trying, keep progressing and one day you will reach your goal..
Michell20 4 / 10 3  
Nov 19, 2017   #13
Hey, you are definitely not alone. I am also shy about my English but for sure it used to be worse around two years ago. However, just like you I recognized that my English needed an improvement and I did my best to make that improvement happen. I am sure your English is not as bad as you think, keep practicing and do not ever think of abandoning. The simple fact that you know at least some words in English in order to communicate properly talks a lot about you as a person, because you took the decision to learn a new language when there is people around the world that do not even try. Nobody said it was easy :) here are some tips to improve that worked for me:

- Read something that you like. For me reading in English was frustrating because there were many words that I didnĀ“t understand and I HATED THAT, but what I did is that instead of reading books I started with some easier stuff such as fanfictions or just shorter books.

- Watch youtube... really, it helps a lot.

- Watch things with English subtitles. It can be movies and tv shows that are already in English or even those that are in another language. For example I like anime and korean dramas and I always watch them with Eng subtitles.

- Enroll in an English course. Tbh my first English course was terrible, however, I did learn from it. It helped me with my grammar and with my speaking abilities because there were some nice teachers that were willing to help and talk about anything, including Harry Potter and Taylor Swift.

Have a great day!
summerlin 5 / 12 2  
Nov 19, 2017   #14
We all learn from mistakes. So don't feel ashamed about making mistakes. If you try to look at things from another aspect, say you have a friend is not a Vietnamese and makes mistakes while trying to talk to you, would you be upset about his language? I assume you won't, because you know that he's not a native speaker so it's ok to make mistake and he will become better as time being.

Just come up here and seeking for suggestions for improvement is an amazing thing to do.
Here are how my methods of self-studying, and they are free. Just for your instance, I got my IELTS score for listening:8, reading:6.5, speaking:6.5 and writing. I know this is not a very remarkable score. But most of the friends of mine have to go to a cram school to get these score, and they spent a lot of money for this.

1.Youtube: Go and search any kind of English video you like, it will definitely help your listening and enlarge your vocabulary.
There are some talk shows I'd like to introduce: Ellen show, Late Night Shows. You can learn daily conversation from these channels.
Also, there hundreds of native English teachers you can suscribe, they teach well.

2.Learn from your neighborhood. I have no idea what it's like in your country. But in my country we have Chinese signs with English subtitles. So when ever I curious about the word, I'd write down and find the translation. "Google Translator" is your friend.

3.Patience. It takes time to perfect everything.You'll just need to keep learning and don't give up. Memorizing a word everyday, if you want ,you can do up to 3 words per day.

Despite my English is not good enough to be called perfect. But I am happy with where I am and I know I will be better and better. When I was younger, I couldn't make a sentence but I keep working on learning English so now I get to share my experience with you in English. Isn't it Amazing?

And the most important thing is:
Don't worry about the people who making fun of your mistakes, they do not deserve your attention.
vivianlin 1 / 3  
Oct 27, 2018   #15
Tran, The best way to gain confidence it to just do it even though you will make mistakes. Practicing speaking it with people you are a comfortable with first. You can also try watching your favorite movies with English subtitles to learn more vocabulary.
ShazaMamdouh 1 / 3  
Mar 9, 2021   #16
You just need to train a lot in classes or with anyone you are comfortable to speak with and after that you won't be shy even if you do mistakes, just ask expertise about the right thing and you will be better by the time and more confident when you train a lot
anbilli42 1 / 3  
Aug 14, 2021   #17
Tran practice makes perfect, but at the same time you can try and mix up your native language with English initially to build confidence, then try to look out for words in English for the words you use in your daily speech. Gradually, as you begin using and learning better vocabulary, your confidence will improve and you won't have to think hard before make a sentence in English. Another thing that help, is have someone better at English to correct you and you can ask them how to say it correctly. A close friend or family member should understand better and you can be comfortable around them.

It's only a matter of time being consistent will surely get you to the desired level.
ieywa 3 / 9  
Aug 16, 2021   #18
Hi @phuongtran , I know what you feel for real. Before I was like you too. When I was in senior high school I always think why my friends really good in English. Even after graduated from university, I always find it hard to learn English. Until I found a way to find a friend from other country who speak English. I met a friend from UK and then time by time my English skill improve especially in speaking. I think it's better if you practice everyday, read everyday, listen something in English (for me story-tale is the best option instead of listening to music) and try to speak English even with yourself. When you still young, take a chance to improve yourself, because I realize I'm not serious learn English before. Keep fighting.
hhspark 3 / 9  
Jan 2, 2022   #19
Hi, I think learning a new language is all about confidence. Imagine you have a foreign friend who tries to learn your native language. You wouldn't mind whether he/she speaks in broken grammar or lack in use of words. No one's perfect at their starting phase and it does not bother anyone. As you study harder, you will come across a stage when you no longer feel your English skills embarrassing. Hope your best.
Henry1234 1 / 3  
Jan 4, 2022   #20
Well I am an introvert so I completely understand how you feel. Confidence is a hard thing to deal and I am still on my way to boost it as well. I am very lucky to have some foreign friends that don't speak in my native language, so I am kind of "forced" to use English to chat with them. Day by day I reckon my English is getting a bit better as I have learned so many expressions that I have never used before. At school, I think you don't have to worry a lot because your classmates are probably weak in speaking English as well, I know it sounds useless but ignoring how others think is a key step for you. I wish you all the best. :)
ttthienct91 1 / 2  
Jan 7, 2022   #21
Well, I am an introverted person and I have the same common issue with you. But please remember, we are not native speaker and we were born in country where English is not even a second language. This leads us not to communicate well in any situations. More than that, we are taught so many grammar points at school and hopeless in Listening and Speaking environment. I think practice makes perfect and we need a right tutor to instruct us to overcome our mistake
cucumberoom 1 / 2  
Jan 10, 2022   #22
i also not good with my english especially with grammar and pronounciation but i try my best to practice it when i have a chance. as a shy person, for me is by not meeting someone in person or talking to people i know, so i used to find online friends where i cant meet them and we dont know each other in real life. fortunately i meeta lot of good online friends who will help me and correct me when i did some mistakes :).

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