How to overcome the fear of speaking in a foreign language?

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If you feel like your tongue is getting tangled and you can’t express yourself when you try to say something in a foreign language, you are not alone. What’s more, this even has a name – in English it’s called “xenoglossophobia.” Therefore, in this article you will learn how to tame the paralyzing fear of being judged and finally start speaking.

The biggest enemies of speaking a foreign language

Are you learning a language and think you are a hopeless case? Well… I have good news for you: everyone thinks just like you! 

What distinguishes those who succeed from those who “drop out” in the process is their approach to the obstacles encountered. 

Fear of being judged by listeners, imagining embarrassing situations or, finally, perfectionism along the lines of “I don’t know enough yet,” are our greatest enemies.  

3 simple ways to overcome anxiety   

While there is no single magic method that will 100% eliminate your fear of speaking a foreign language, there are ways that can help you overcome it. 

  1. Train and test your language instead of just “reviewing” material

To really master a new language, think of it as a sports workout, so don’t just focus on reviewing your notes or textbook. Effective language training, just like a sporting endeavor, should tire you out 😊.

Using methods such as Spaced Repetitions or Interleaving-based Testing may not be as fun as watching Netflix, but the results are worth it.

The focus on full sentences (rather than single words), in turn, reflects actual conversation patterns. Working in full sentences is one of Taalhammer’s biggest advantages over similar applications. 

By continually testing yourself, such as with assignments and quizzes based on topics of interest, you will increase information retention and reduce conversation anxiety in real life. Remember that mastering a language is a marathon, not a sprint, and it requires dedication and commitment.

  1. Accept your mistakes

The moment you accept your anxiety and stop fighting it, it becomes easier to act despite its presence. Native speakers make mistakes too, and polyglots know that it really doesn’t matter if your grammar is flawless. The most important thing is that you communicate relatively intelligibly with the people around you.  

In Taalhammer, the use of our own version of the spaced repetition algorithm (that’s right, Spaced Repetitions) allows you to consolidate what you learn more effectively and avoid simple mistakes in the future.

  1. Learn some ready-made dialogues based on your own interests

In the early and even “middle” stages of learning, linguistic “ammunition” is often enough to exchange a few words or sentences. Therefore, choosing a topic you feel comfortable with and learning hypothetical (but realistic) dialogues can be a great way to start and maintain a conversation. What’s important here is that learning is not just based on forging single vocabulary words, but includes entire sentences along with common phrases and expressions.

To do this, use Taalhammer’s editor to create content that centers around what interests you. Our editor has a built-in artificial intelligence module that helps you do this faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Great. What’s next?

In one sentence? Put yourself in situations that force you to speak, preferably from the very beginning of learning! 

Taalhammer’s Listening Mode is a great complement to the Learning Mode, especially when you can’t use your hands, such as when working out at the gym, riding a bike, or driving a car. 

What’s more, the Shadowing method developed by Alexander Arguelles (which is great for walking, for example) allows you to become accustomed to the language, which translates into a better understanding of it and an improved accent.

The listening learning methodology used in Taalhammer will help you overcome your fear of speaking, and the feeling of being unprepared will no longer block you. 

Join the revolution in language learning and try Taalhammer in a limited 6-month offer, i.e. 6 months of using the full functionality of the app for only €39!