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Australia or Canada? India or Singapore? Or maybe you’re in Philippines or the Unites States? Wherever you are – welcome to the 18th English Harmony Video episode!Â Today I’ll show you a simple yet very powerful method of managing situations when you have to tell about something in English but you just can’t say anything for some reason!
Does it sound familiar to you? If so – read on or watch the video above and you’ll also be able to manage such situations with ease!
I got an e-mail from one of my subscribers a couple of days ago and he asked me the very same thing – why sometimes, when we’re required to say something, we experience this inability to say anything?
He brought up an example of his English teacher telling him to tell about a topic called money. He could hardly say anything – despite his English being fairly good. Also he asked why is it that sometimes when you know what you want to say you still can’t put it in words.
To understand why it happens, you need to convince yourself that if you’re asked to tell about some topic, it doesn’t really matter whether you have to speak English or use your native language ❗
Unless, of course, your general English knowledge and vocabulary is very limited, but here at English Harmony we don’t deal with issues like that because English Harmony is for those folks whose English is already generally good, it’s just sometimes we have difficulties with speaking and expressing our thoughts.
To demonstrate that language doesn’t matter as much as you may have thought, please let’s do the following. I’ll tell you a topic you have to start talking about, but this time it’s going to be your native language.
Yes, yes, you heard me right – your native language! OK, let’s get started! You’ve no time for consideration; you have to start talking right away! So your topic is – life. Common – start telling about life in your native language! 🙂
Are you telling a fluent, uninterrupted story about life now? I think the chances are that you are struggling to come up with a nice story about life, despite being absolutely fluent in your native tongue! Are you surprised? Well, I’m not!
You see – the first problem here is that the topic life is way too general! There’s a hundred things you could be telling about life – starting from how life on Earth began and ending with your own, personal life!Â But what happens when you’re required to tell the same thing in English? You automatically assume it’s down to you not being able to express yourself in English!
But it’s not why it happens, my friend – the real reason behind these embarrassing situations is that first of all, you are given no time to think over the topic and think about what exactly you can tell.
Secondly, the expectations of the other party – be it a teacher, or your supervisor at work, or anyone else who asks you something and expects an immediate response – overwhelm you and it instantly makes you fell useless when it comes to using English.
And you may have got so used to this feeling that you’ve stopped believing yourself a long time ago!
Here’s The Technique I’m Using To Manage Situations When I Get Stuck When Speaking English
First of all you definitely have to specify what exactly you can tell about the required topic. And to do that you’d better not remain silent and put this confused look on your face – that will send the wrong message to the other party… A message that you either haven’t got a clue what you were asked, or you don’t know what to answer because your English is limited!
As weird as it may sound, many native English speakers and those foreigners fully comfortable with using English on all occasions are surprisingly intolerant. They will automatically make an assumption you’re struggling with English and instead of helping you in a natural manner with more specific questions they can either start patronizing you if it’s your English teacher or jump to the next topic or start chatting to someone else if it’s a casual situation making you feel like an idiot! 😡
So to specify what exactly you can start telling about you need to respond immediately with a phrase like:
Well, what can I tell about ….
Hmm …. is a very big concept, let’s specify what exactly you want to hear about ….!
Well, there’s so much to tell about… that I’m not really sure what exactly you want to hear!
Next – start listing several sub-topics to the main topic so that you get the story going! Very important – no matter how simple your speech sounds to yourself, it’s already a beginning to a normal story or conversation. It’s a hundred times better that standing and telling nothing, so remember this – there’s nothing too simple you can say whether it’s your English teacher or co-worker.
So whatever’s the occasion, you don’t have to try to encompass the whole subject you want to talk about – be it an English lesson, or any other conversation with an English speaking person.
Take it easy, speak from yourself, and be honest about things. Don’t try to make something up; don’t start a sentence with a smart thing not knowing how you’ll finish it!
Go to -> How To Speak English Like A Native – Part 2 <-
P.S. Are you serious about speaking English like a native? Then check out my English Harmony System HERE!