Learning a new language is like driving on an unfamiliar road; spending most of the time worrying if you are taking the right way, which sometimes leads to panic, causing you to be even more lost. Likewise, a learner’s mind could be so full of worries that their anxieties start to hinder their learning process.
Language anxiety is defined as the worry and negative emotional reaction that is aroused when learning a second language (McIntyre in Lucas et. al, 2011). However, despite the fact that learning a second language can be a real struggle, there are four (4) ways for a learner to overcome language anxiety:
Focus on the goal
Being focused is probably the most important thing to remember. There will be many different factors that will come into play throughout the course of acquiring a new language, but being focused will help you stay on the right track.
Trying to converse with someone who can speak English fluently can be quite intimidating. Despite wanting to communicate, you find yourself being conscious of the words you use and second-guessing your ability to express yourself at every turn. In this kind of situation, take it as a challenge. Listen attentively and try to respond in the best way that you can. Do your best to enjoy the conversation.
Invest time in practicing
Practice makes perfect. It can be done through watching English movies without using subtitles, reading English materials, and having active conversation practice. Do these activities regularly and it will surely improve your confidence and communication skills.
Speak up with confidence
Your confidence is reflected in the way you speak or communicate with other people. Stop entertaining negative thoughts that will only hold you back from speaking up. Do not let your anxiety overcome you, but overcome your anxiety with confidence instead.
Sources and References:
Ottinger R. (2017). How to overcome the anxiety of speaking a foreign language?. Retrieved from https://englishthesmartway.com/content/how-overcome-anxiety-speaking-foreign-language
Lucas R. et al. (2011). English Language Learning Anxiety among Foreign Language
Learners in the Philippines. Retrieved from https://www.philippine-esl-journal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/V7-A5.pdf
Don&Panic Clip Art – Clipart Free Download by cliparts.zone. Retrieved from https://cliparts.zone/clipart/1194327