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  • Hey, guys. Welcome to engVid.

  • Is it a lot harder for you to speak English around native speakers than it is to speak English with other learners

  • or people from other countries who are speaking English as a second language?

  • So, do you forget your words, do you lose all your confidence when you're speaking to someone from England, for example?

  • If your answer is yes, then I have some advice for you

  • so that you can speak with more confidence around native speakers.

  • I think the most important point, where I want to start,

  • is that: Don't look at the native speaker as if they're up here and better than you in any way,

  • because sadly, that is why a lot of people get awkward and stop talking around native speakers

  • because they think: "The native speaker's English is just so good. I'm going to sound like an idiot next to them."

  • And that's why they close down and go quiet. So, the next time you're around a native speaker,

  • speak to the native speaker on a level with them.

  • It means: "You're here, I'm here, I'm not looking up at you, you're not looking down at me",

  • and that is a really important step to bringing that confidence to you when you're speaking around the native speaker.

  • The next important point is: Some people are confident speaking English around other learners or other non-native speakers

  • because they think:

  • "When I'm speaking to this person, they don't know if I'm making mistakes, so I can just say this, say that, say this, and

  • it doesn't matter if... In fact, it doesn't matter if I make mistakes because the other person doesn't know; therefore, I feel relaxed."

  • But the problem when you speak to a native speaker, then, is that:

  • "Oh no, they are going to know all the mistakes that I'm making.

  • They're going to notice that I'm saying it wrong. It's... I... I don't want to speak

  • because they're going to think that my English is so bad."

  • Well, it is... It is true that

  • a native speaker, if they're analyzing your language and watching your language and if

  • they care about your language, they can notice: You made a mistake there, you made a mistake there, you made a mistake there.

  • But the reality of communication is that most people are not thinking about that kind of stuff when they talk to you;

  • they are communicating in the moment, they're thinking about themselves, what they're going to say.

  • They're not watching you and your language closely.

  • The native speaker just doesn't care about your language that much.

  • The native speaker doesn't care about your mistakes as much as you think about your mistakes and worry about your mistakes.

  • Speaking as a native speaker, now, as a native speaker teacher, when I'm talking to someone,

  • I have to switch on and concentrate if I want to listen for people's mistakes.

  • It takes effort and it takes energy. And if I'm concentrating on listening to the words to find mistakes,

  • it means that I'm not really in the middle of a conversation with that person.

  • Instead, I'm just listening to: Are they making mistakes? So in my normal communication,

  • my normal social communication with people, of course I'm not listening closely for mistakes, because I'm having a conversation.

  • It's so far away from my mind and it's not important to me at all.

  • So I hope, as an example, that gives you some confidence to think that:

  • "Oh yeah, maybe native speakers don't care about my mistakes that much."

  • Which brings me to the next point, which is: Even if you are making mistakes, is it really that important?

  • So instead of having this way of looking at yourself when you make a mistake:

  • "Oh, it's terrible, it's really bad. I have to... I have to learn more. I have to avoid it."

  • Try instead to develop and grow in yourself the ability to make those mistakes with what I would call vulnerability.

  • "Vulnerability" means allowing yourself to show a weak side,

  • I think is a good description of vulnerability. You know, it would be great if you could speak to that person

  • in the same way as you can speak in your native language, say exactly what you want without any mistakes, all perfect.

  • It would be great.

  • But the reality is you're still learning a language,

  • and nobody in the history of the world learnt a language without making mistakes along the way.

  • So allow yourself this vulnerability, and allow yourself to exercise that vulnerability

  • so that you get good at being vulnerable when you're speaking a language,

  • rather than: "Oh, no, I don't want to make a mistake, I don't want to make a mistake, I don't want to make a mistake."

  • So rather than stop, you know, trying to make these mistakes so much,

  • be seeing it as a good thing to try speaking, try speaking as much as possible to whatever level you can speak,

  • and if mistakes happen, okay.

  • At least I tried.

  • The next point is a really, really simple one.

  • If you're around a native speaker and you don't understand or they're speaking too fast,

  • it's really okay to ask them to repeat themselves,

  • to say it more slowly, or to say: "I don't understand", or to say: "Can you say it in a different way?"

  • or to say: "I'm sorry, I don't know that word. Can you explain it?"

  • Again, speaking as a native speaker, sometimes you meet someone

  • and you can, based on the first impression that you get of the person, you think:

  • "Oh, their English is really great", because their accent is good or for whatever reason, you just presume

  • that their English is really great. And when a native speaker gets that impression of you, then

  • maybe they'll speak really fast and they'll be using hard words

  • because it seems like your English is great and you understand them. And when that happens, a lot of the time the

  • person learning English is like: "Ah, I don't understand anything, I don't understand anything",

  • because you're now getting native speaker normal talk. that's really, really hard.

  • So in these situations, it's a great thing to... To say: "Slow down" or "Say that again", and

  • there's nothing... Nothing wrong with doing that.

  • So there you are. These are my tips for you, if you're shy to speak around native speakers.

  • When you get... When you come across a native speaker next time, take the opportunity,

  • see yourself on a level, allow yourself to make mistakes with that vulnerability,

  • and from there comes increased confidence when you speak English to native speakers.

  • Thank you so much for watching, and for today's video, you can do the quiz,

  • and it would also be really great if you leave a comment with any other tips that you have for increased confidence

  • when you're speaking English to native speakers.

  • Thank you for watching, and see you. Bye.

Hey, guys. Welcome to engVid.

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A2 UK native native speaker speaker speaking speak vulnerability

Do you hate speaking English around NATIVE SPEAKERS?

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    Ben Chen posted on 2016/07/27
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