Five Tips For Overcoming Your Language Learning Anxiety
Have you ever been sat in a language lesson and wished that the ground would just open up and swallow you? Do you stay awake all night panicking about your exams? Have you ever avoided speaking during class or assignments because you were scared of making a mistake?
Don’t worry if you have these kinds of anxious thoughts and feelings are common among foreign language learners. To help you get the best out of your English lessons, here are some tips on how to manage that anxiety.
Not Every Word In Your Sentence Must Be Correct
It is totally normal to feel uncertain when speaking in class and you aren’t alone in feeling this way. Thankfully, there are lots of strategies you can use to reduce or manage your nervousness, starting with re-assessing your attitudes and beliefs when it comes to language learning. Many people are scared of making mistakes and ashamed when they do. This can lead to people being unwilling to speak unless they are certain that every word they speak is correct.
However, the truth is that mistakes are not only perfectly natural and unavoidable but are a core part of the language-learning process. Speaking freely without worrying stumbling over every little mistake will, in the end, make you more fluent. Being confident enough to speak in class will allow your teacher to identify the areas in which you need to improve and tailor futures lessons and assignments to your needs. The faster you stop worrying about mistakes, the faster you will reach your English Language goals.
Record Yourself Speaking At Home
If you find speaking in class to be unnerving, then its a great idea to record yourself practicing your vocabulary at home. Listening to yourself speak can really help you to focus on your body language and pronunciation and identify areas to improve before the real presentation. It will also let you get used to the pacing and breath control needed for public speaking without having an audience in front of you.
You Don’t Need To Be An Expert In Everything
English classes tend to cover a wide range of topics, including health, education, politics, and the environment. While this is a great way to learn new vocabulary it does mean sometimes you may have to talk about topics that you’re just not interested in or really don’t know that much about. Remember, you are in the class to learn English, not the topic being covered in today’s lesson, it’s just a convenient way to give you new words to learn. Don’t let the fact that you aren’t interested in geography stop you from speaking up.
Admit When You’re Struggling
It can be really hard to admit that you are finding something difficult especailly when you are in a class of other people who all appear to be doing better than you. It’s important to remember that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and all language learners progress at different rates. When you find youself struggling, the best thing you can do is admit it and seek help. Remember, your English tutors are there to make sure you get the best from your lessons, so approaching them when you are struggling is the right thing to do.
Reward Your Successes, Move Past Your Failures
Try to write down one thing every day that you feel that you’ve achieved. Doing this will remind you of all the hard work you are putting in and is a great way to remind yourself about the progress you are making. It’s also a good idea to treat yourself at the end of the week. Learning any language is about perseverance and effort, but if you don’t take time off once in a while to enjoy yourself, you’ll burn out.
Learn English With Us Today
We here at Northwest Community College are committed to enhancing our student’s lives, which is why we are proud to offer our ESL courses free of charge to our students and to extend that offer to their families, friends and the entire Las Vegas community for Spanish speaking individuals.
Our seasoned language teachers are experienced in working with international students from all over the world and are there to help you get the most from your classes. To help your lessons fit in with your work and home life we also offer day and weekend classes. If you are interested in taking advantage of this excellent opportunity then call one of our ESL councilors today on (702) 403-1592.
Fernando Herbert, B.A.
Spanish Language Consultant