Self Confidence for Speaking English?

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Self Confidence for Speaking English?

Post by ZugzwangKG » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:20 am

Hello, my wife's primary language is Korean, and she is having trouble with her confidence in speaking English. She has been living in America for a number of years now, having come here to learn English. My family, her extended family living here, myself, and everyone else who is close to her thinks she speaks English very well. However, she lacks confidence in speaking, and will clam up in front of strangers who speak English.

Does anybody have advice on things that we can do to help her with her confidence, so that she can feel more open about speaking English? Thank you!

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Re: Self Confidence for Speaking English?

Post by jonathanrace » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:35 am

Try language exchange apps. She'll be able to practise with strangers where it doesn't matter if she makes mistakes or not.

More input, more input, more input. The more she hears words and sentences being said then the more it will feel "right" when she wants to use them herself.
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Re: Self Confidence for Speaking English?

Post by theway » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:54 am


I assume you mean she feels a lack of confidence in engaging in conversation, and not that she is generally; a more reserved personality.

In that scenario....I have a completely different pedagogy than 'memorizing English'.
That is to say; that I do not believe memorizing English is learning English or the correct pathway to learning English.

So, although testing and exchanging English with a stranger is something good... to me it extends the failed-method of memorizing English; which I see as the wrong pathway to confidence. And, the wrong pathway to learn cognitive-English.

Saying what you already know is easy for everyone. (So, it is not a practice to say what you know over-and-over to a stranger or anyone, which will bring her confidence).

Confidence (I think) in this case is "knowing"... by understanding English. So input of information is needed to build confidence... not sharing the output of what someone already knows.

Again, I am referring to someone with a lack of English-ability; which is keeping here from conversations, and not a quiet personality just being itself.

So understanding that sentences are made of 'information' which is ordered for the clarity of exchanging ideas (writing sentences or speaking), allows people to engage in conversation with confidence.

I am sorry, but I cannot provide this kind of lesson here-in. Look for sentence-construction lessons based on the logical idea and placement of ideas (information), in sentences; not grammatically tedious lessons. Grammatical lessons are simply confusing and will make learning conversation come to a halt.

So, the best I can suggest here is using her eyes to learn and not her ears.(I.e. talking with a stranger might help a psychological problem of shyness, but it does not work for learning to communicate in the English language; nor will it build confidence).

I would select 'reading a book of interest; written in English' as a much better and faster way of absorbing ideas, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Reading out-loud ... of course.

Good readers make good speakers... when they practice reading while speaking out-loud.
Maybe you both can read together (out-loud), before you go to sleep at night.... that would be an active thing for you to do to help.

: )

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