Why Conversational English?

The audio version of the article

Are you sad about the fact that you cannot use your English in real life conversations?

Here is the cause and how you can overcome your problem.

One of the most frequent complaints in an English classroom is on the incapability of actually speaking the language, even if students are good at tests, and demonstrate good knowledge of the grammar and are able to understand difficult texts, when it comes to use English in real life conditions for a conversation somehow it is hard and they are making a lot of mistakes.

Conversational English is focusing on resolving these problems and on how to implement knowledge into practice, on how to use what students already have in real life situations. Is not that in a Conversational English classroom we forget about the grammar but we practice until we use all grammar rules unconsciously. To make this clearer, I will bring an example:

To ride a bike you need to know how to do it, I mean you need to know where to seat, and how to spin the bicycle pedals but this is not enough, you need to learn how to maintain your equilibrium on it. You cannot improve if you don’t practice, and on the opposite, if you practice, you can become a real professional and start making all kind of tricks on the bicycle.  Well, it is the same with the language, knowing grammar is like knowing how the bicycle is constructed and how you need to spin the pedals to go on it, but to actually ride it you need to practice, and absolutely no one can gain experience in “riding it” except you. In a Conversational English classroom the teacher is your coach, he gives you instructions, he encourages and motivates you, but it depends only on you how well you will actually ride your English bicycle.

Conversational English is more about the person’s ability to communicate with others and not only about words and vocabulary. As the ability to communicate is strongly related to our psychological mind state, the teacher should often go beyond the language learning and work with his students not only on their technical skills but also at a psychological level to help the student to overcome all problems that appear related to the effective communication.

Trying to improve your conversational skills you will face at least one of the following problems:

  • The shame of wrong pronunciation
  • Fear of failure
  • Lack of confidence

You should always start in a positive way – If there is a problem there is a solution.

Here are some suggestions on how you can overcome these issues:

  1. Being aware of what is wrong is the first step in solving a problem – take a moment and reflect, identify your own problem and the first step in the right direction it will be made.
  2. Making mistakes is the only way to become fluent in a language – print this and post it in front of your working desk. Being wrong hurts, nobody wants to look like a fool. And making mistakes feels really stupid. This is why learning a new language is so terrifying for some people; they know they will make mistakes. It also explains why so many people give up at learning in their first months, they want to be perfect from the very beginning and they feel frustrated if this is not so. The truth is that learning a language takes time and making mistakes is the only way to become fluent in a language. It is true that more or less in any cultural environment errors are blamed and this in time forms an obstacle in our head. The truth is that we all are making mistakes, a mistake could be involuntary. It doesn’t have to be so scary. And making mistakes certainly doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. I suggest you look at any mistake or failure as at your greatest learning opportunity, look at them as at a normal part of the learning process. In fact, mistakes can be really positive the condition is to learn, to learn from them.
  3. The difference between I can’t and I can is just in a ‘t  – the lack of confidence is something you can overcome. Our confidence is related to our self-esteem and this is a complex problem. Although this is coming from outside the classroom I will refer to those moments that could be helpful for language learners. First of all, search for what is behind the problem, why you do not feel confident? Is it because you are afraid to make mistakes? Is it because you are afraid to be judged? Is it because you think you are not worthy? Erase all these bad thoughts and start thinking positive. Find a positive argument for each fear you have.  A mistake is a way to learn. 2. Only God is not making mistakes in rest we all do. 3. Your opinion counts, you are worthy and you just need time to learn to transmit your thoughts correctly, you are going in a classroom to learn, do not expect to be perfect from the very beginning. To gain confidence, you should start to set clear achievable goals. If planned right nothing is unachievable.  For example, plan to read a page per day –you will do it. If you will plan to read a book per day this might happen, but the probability that you would not succeed is big, is not that you cannot read the book is that you probably cannot do it in one day as you have so many other things to do. This is why setting incredible targets in dreamy terms will only make you feel disappointed because you did not manage to achieve them and in time, this is why you will be less confident. So, another way to grow your confidence is to teach yourself that you can, you should set clear achievable goals and score success after success.
  4. The last but not the less important is to take action. Once you’ve planned something,  start acting. You might have the best plan in the world but if you will not put it into practice is worthless. So, plan to do something for your English every day, 15 min each day, and at the end of the year you will have 5475 min of English, this means 91 hours, this is a significant amount of time in which a lot might change in the right direction.

Are you still complaining?  Stop it and start acting – the Conversational English classroom is waiting for you.

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