Learning a new language comes with unique challenges. For English learners, building self-confidence to speak in English may be a major obstacle. This process essay tackles 5 major steps for building self-confidence using the English language.

The English language is a West-Germanic language that was brought to Britain by Anglo-Saxon migrants. However, this language that is spoken by over 1.5 billion people has a lot of words derived or borrowed from Greek and Latin (Breene, 2019; Nelson, 2015). English language learners may find the language’s grammar rules and structure bizarre and challenging that despite months or years of hard work, they may still feel unconfident with speaking. In this process essay, I will delve into the ways that ELLs can build their confidence in speaking in English.

Ways To Build Self-Confidence In Speaking English

Read Out Loud

One of the major sources of insecurity for English Language Learners (ELL) is pronunciation. So, practicing English sounds is a good way to build confidence in one’s way of speaking. ELLs can practice their pronunciation by reading a text out loud, whether it is a book, a magazine article, or an online article. 

Learners can also take their practice a step further by listening to the audio of the article or, if audio is not available, listening to Google Translate read the article. They should take note of how the native speakers enunciate different syllables and their tone. They should also take note of words they are not familiar with and listen for how they are pronounced and used. These will help enhance their speaking vocabulary or the words they use when they speak.

Study And Mimic News Reporters And Characters In Movies

Learning a new language is not only about mastering grammar rules and vocabulary words. It involves learning the non-verbal language that its native speakers use, such as tone, intonation, and body language. Some English Learners may speak English while still using their native language’s non-verbal language (likewise, English learners may do the same when learning another language), which may result in misunderstanding intentions and implicit meanings (Megawati & Mandarani, 2016). 

To build confidence in conversing in English, learners can practice by watching and mimicking news reporters and characters in movies in English (check out these best movies to watch). News reporters speak clearly and at a manageable pace. Learners will gain a stronger grasp of pronunciation, enunciation, and the right speed when speaking by copying how news reporters speak. However, learners will also gain confidence by studying how characters in movies and TV shows converse. They will be able to see how native English speakers converse using both verbal and non-verbal language in a wide variety of realistic scenarios. 

Another aspect that learners can practice in this way is speaking in full sentences. Insecurities with one’s ability to speak a foreign language often result in speaking in short phrases. Learners can practice how native speakers formulate their sentences naturally. Being more familiar with expressions and idioms that are useful in daily life may help build their confidence.

Don’t Overthink

Learners are typically taught the grammar rules of their target language. As a result, they are hyper-aware of the components of the language that they tend to edit their sentences as if they are editing essays (Megawati & Mandarani, 2016). Aside from that, they may feel conscious about making mistakes for fear of being ridiculed or being the victim of racial discrimination. This often leaves them tongue-tied when conversing with others.

English language learners should practice being comfortable making mistakes. Grammar does not need to be flawless when you talk, especially with casual acquaintances, as long as the speaker conveys the message clearly to the listener. Listening to native or fluent English speakers converse will confirm this. Practicing speaking without overthinking is one way ELLs can build confidence in speaking English.

 Speak With A Trusted Friend

Learning a foreign language is a difficult task and often takes years. ELLs can benefit from having a friend or family member with whom they can talk. This step is two-part. The first step is to practice speaking in English with their friend. ELLs will develop confidence in speaking in English when they practice first with someone they know will not judge or ridicule them if they make a major error (Montha, 2007). This friend can also correct them or give them tips on any aspect of the language they may struggle with, such as pronunciation or finding the right word. 

The second step is to speak about their struggles and frustrations with learning or speaking in English with this friend. ELLs can talk about what makes them uncomfortable or what they are not confident in. Expressing these thoughts can be comforting and can help the learner be more motivated in improving their communication skills. Furthermore, their confidant can give them some advice or reassure them of their progress in learning the language so they can feel more confident.

Using Positive Talk

ELLs, like everyone else, may sometimes experience awkward encounters. They may overthink these and attribute the awkwardness to their speaking skills. However, they may neglect to look at some of their more successful encounters and achievements as an English language learner. While it is important to acknowledge the aspects that need improvement, focusing only on negatives could be demotivating and will surely contribute only to the learner’s lack of self-confidence (Montha, 2007). 

Learners should, instead, balance the negativity with positive self-talk. They can acknowledge their progress as a learner or any new thing they learned. Encouraging oneself to learn something new every day is also a form of positive self-talk since it motivates the learner to keep improving without putting themselves down. Overall, learners should pay attention to how they speak to themselves about learning English because it directly impacts their self-confidence.

Conclusion

Learning English is not easy. English language learners may sometimes have difficulty speaking fluently despite having a firm grasp of the language because they lack self-confidence. As this custom essay has demonstrated, they can build their self-confidence in speaking English even as they work on mastering the language through these five simple steps.

When writing a process essay, the writer should focus on the organization of the steps and their ideas. They should be able to explain what the reader needs to do and why it must be done. CustomEssayMeister can help students and professionals who may not yet be confident in their writing skills. 


References

Breene, K. (2019, November 15). Which countries are best at English as a second language? World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/11/countries-that-speak-english-as-a-second-language/

Megawati, F. & Mandarani, V. (2016). Speaking problems in English communication. The First ELTIC, Universitas Muhammadiyah Purworejo. http://eprints.umsida.ac.id/id/eprint/5355  

Montha, S. (2007). An action research study of promoting students’ confidence in speaking English. [Doctoral Thesis, Victoria University]. Victoria University Research Repository. https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/1492  

Nelson, L. (2015, March 3). 25 maps that explain the English language. Vox. https://www.vox.com/2015/3/3/8053521/25-maps-that-explain-english 

Shand, J. W. (2008). The use of drama to reduce anxiety and increase confidence and motivation towards speaking English with two groups of English language learners. [Master’s Thesis, University of Arizona]. The University of Arizona Libraries. https://repository.arizona.edu/handle/10150/193390