Confidence=a belief in one’s self and one’s ability to succeed.
In recent years, with the rise of self-consciousness and self-care, and all the other important topics related to one’s life and health, the term “confidence” has been used in various contexts. Whether a person feels confident or not can be noticed during any kind of communication, which leads us to the thought that confidence is closely related to “language”. Confidence is a crucial point between language learning, life and self-awareness.
Confidence and learning English
As human beings, we try to express ourselves correctly, and confidence plays an important factor in that process. Very often it seems that some people are just born with a very high level of confidence. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who struggle on a daily basis to gain that necessary confidence. Confidence, like most of the things in life, can be developed. When learning a new language, such as English, some students do not feel confident about actually using it. And that feeling is completely normal. When you start learning a new language, it is okay to feel nervous but do not be afraid. Do not let that feeling of nervousness overshadow your motivation and wish to learn the language. Be ready to step out of your comfort zone, and work on yourself.
Ways to speak confidently in English
1. ALWAYS BE POSITIVE
Confidence is an attitude you can acquire. Think about learning English as something you will be successful at. So many people before you have learned English, you will learn it too.
· Do not think about the words in English you do not know, but rather focus on some words and phrases you already know.
· Criticism is beneficial for your improvement. When a teacher points out some mistakes that you make, see them as an opportunity to make progress in your speaking abilities. Do not take them personally or as something negative. It is much easier to improve your English when you know what you need to work on.
· Put a smile on your face! Smiling can have a positive impact on how you feel. It can make you feel relaxed and happy.
2. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
You must have heard this saying so many times before. But it is actually true. No one is born with the knowledge of a language or with the ability to immediately walk, talk, etc. We all have the necessary preconditions for that, but we need to develop them and gradually perfect them. Just like a baby practises to say „mom” for the first time and makes different sounds before saying it right, you need to practise and work in order to develop your English speaking skills.
· Try to speak and listen to English every day. Make it your habit and something you cannot skip in your daily routine.
· Talking with your teacher can help you gain the necessary confidence which you will need later when you start using English for professional or private purposes.
· Do not be afraid to make mistakes when practising. You can learn from the mistakes. Even though mistakes are normal, some students feel bad and embarrassed when they make one. You should know and accept that everyone makes mistakes, even native speakers. Think about your mother tongue and how many times you make mistakes while speaking in your native language. Or put yourself in a situation that you are talking to someone who is trying to learn your mother tongue and you will realize that you would not laugh at that person. In fact, you would help him/her.
3. RELAX AND BREATHE
Speak English slowly. Talking too fast can make you feel nervous and unable to think about what you are trying to say. That can make you feel insecure. So, before you express your thoughts in English, take a deep breath, think before you say something. If you cannot remember the word, paraphrase it or ask a teacher/person you are talking to for help. All of these things can help you feel more confident.
4. VISUALIZE SUCCESS
Imagine yourself speaking clearly with native speakers, using different words and phrases without hesitancy. This picture in your head can be your motivation and goal. It can make you feel confident and positive.
Be happy about the words and phrases you already know in English. Also, make a list of things you want to learn or levels that you want to achieve. When you achieve the goals, celebrate them. Be proud of yourself and use that success as motivation and another reason to work and practice even harder. It will give you the reason to feel confident when speaking English.