By Olivia Ryan
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What are the mistakes you can make when learning a foreign language? You will find that there are many answers to this question and interestingly, all of them are true in a way.
Everyone struggles with a new language at the beginning. You may have problems with bad pronunciation, cannot find the right word to express yourself, or simply keep messing up the grammar no matter how many times you repeat the rules.
These are all common mistakes, but they should not hold you back. The biggest reason why people make such mistakes is because they spend all the time studying and memorizing, and forget about immersing in the language. It is very simple – if you do not put what you have learned into practice, you will hardly succeed.
Why is Speaking in the Language So Important?
You have probably heard of the benefits of studying or traveling abroad, especially in a country whose language you are learning. If you have travelled to an English-speaking country, you surely noticed how quickly your skills improved. While studying a language and its rules and vocabulary is highly important, the most effective way of learning the language remains the face-to-face approach.
‘If you get surrounded by people who don’t speak your language, you simply must use the foreign language to communicate. This is your biggest opportunity to overcome the barriers you have with the language, find the words you need and most importantly, get some speaking practice.’ – says George Dong, a content writer at Aussie Writings.
Just reading and writing a language may prepare you for an English test, but this will not make you speak the language. So, even if you don’t have the opportunity to travel abroad and speak to native English speakers, listening to others speaking English and trying to speak yourself will help you improve your own abilities.
How and When to Speak English
Surely, your grammar learning and the vast reading you’ve been doing somewhat taught you how to speak the language, but you cannot know if you actually learned anything before you try it.
So, how and when do you speak English to learn it?
The answer to this question is – everywhere and all the time. There will be many opportunities to speak the English language when learning it. Starting from your classroom where you can speak to the professor and your peers, to foreign countries you visit on vacation – English is basically everywhere. Being the common language in the whole world, your opportunities are limitless!
If you are too embarrassed to speak the language in front of others at the first stages of learning it, you can always practice on your own. The advances in technology nowadays allow you to hear the pronunciation and repeat it in a way that you will make sure you are doing everything right.
Sometimes even something as simple as listening to a song or actors talking in a movie can help you practice your speaking skills. Just repeat what people say, or make conversation related to theirs to practice your speaking.
You can also use the internet to communicate with other learners on a worldwide level. Visit forums and websites where you can find a speaking buddy, and use platforms such as Skype to practice your skills together.
Benefits of Speaking the Language
The reasons for speaking the language when learning it are never-ending. This is why not speaking the English language is the biggest mistake you can make.
Here is what you are missing out if you don’t speak the language:
1. Speaking Improves Fluency
When you are talking in the target language, you can improve both the memory and fluency. This is a kind of exercise for your language knowledge and skills. Trying to find the best words to express yourself will help you think in the target language. Even if you make many mistakes, speaking will help you determine and get rid of them in time.
2. Speaking Will Help You Memorize
You can keep writing the new words and phrases over and over, but still not remember half of them. Speaking them out and using them in actual conversation is one of the best and most recommended ways to boost your memory.
3. Speaking Improves Math Skills
According to recent studies, those who succeeded at learning a different language scored higher in maths. But this does not stop here – learning a foreign language actually helps with many other subjects and skills aside from maths.
Learning a second language is an important and amazing experience. So, try to avoid this terrible mistake from the start to get rid of all those barriers you would be facing if you do not speak up. One of the biggest factors in learning a language is actually speaking the language. That is the final goal of learning it, and the key to learning it at the same time.
About author: Olivia is a journalist, content-writer and a bookworm. She loves to teach, read and write. Her second biggest love after books is her cat called Patty, who usually kindly assists her while writing. Follow Olivia on Facebook and Twitter.
PS. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!