Speaking English fluently is a long process, progress doesn’t come overnight. The first step to improve your performance in English is to boost your confidence.
Before engaging a conversation with native-English speakers, you need to feel confident that you understand other people and that what you say is clearly understood. Once you can communicate in English, you will find that your confidence will increase even more. You will enter virtuous circle.
How to boost your confidence in English?
- Get the basics of the language
The first thing to do is to get a good understanding of the language and the way it works. Understand its structure, its basic grammar and its pronunciation rules.A good English grammar book will do the job.
- Know at least 500 words
Research* shows that the first 25 words are used in 33% of everyday writing, the first 100 words appear in 50% of adult and student writing, and the first 1,000 words are used in 89% of every day writing. That being said, a target of 500-1,000 words is a good first target. Fluency (95% coverage) is said to be reached with only 3,000 words.
- Get exposure to several English accents
Get used to different accents and ways of speaking. Once you’ve been exposed to 4-5 different accents, you will be used to the different pronunciations and won’t be stressed if something is not said the way you are used to. Start with standard “BBC English” accents, neutral American accents. To challenge yourself, try Scottish or Welsh accents.
- Practice with the right people
Now you’re ready to put in practice what you’ve learned so far. Make sure to practice with a person (preferrably a native-English teacher) who will be encouraging, who will provide constructive feedback and who will stimulate your learning experience.