Episode 1 – Overcome your fear of speaking now!

Welcome to the first episode of French Blabla podcast where we will cover tips to increase your fluency while boosting your way of learning. In today’s episode, we will talk about a situation that every learner has faced at least once. It can be a real plague for some of us and prevent us from reaching our full potential.  Today is the day you will discover how to overcome your fear of speaking.

In this Episode

  • Reasons we get blocked and paralyzed when speaking a foreign language
  • Why the recurrent advice “go face your fear” doesn’t work
  • Why active listening will improve your communication
  • 8 practical tips to definitely get rid of fear

BONUS

One of the expressions we can use to do an active listening but also to sound more natural is “C’est-à-dire ?”. You will find more expressions in the PDF: Ep01 – Overcome your fear of speaking now – Active listening expressions

Share your story in comments below

We’ve all felt this way at one point in our learning journey.  What are the situations when you feel anxious and blocked? What do you do to overcome your fear? I would love to hear about it.

References

  1. Young, D.J. (1991)Creating a Low-Anxiety Classroom Environment: What Does LanguageAnxiety Research Suggest? [Electronic version]. The Modern Language Journal, 75 (4),426-439
  2. “I CAN UNDERSTAND BUT CANNOT SPEAK”: LANGUAGE ANXIETY FOR ORAL COMMUNICATION
    Azamat A. Akbarova, Ph.D., Hakan Aydoğan, Ph.D.c., Ali Doğan, Ph.D.c., Kemal Gonen, Ph.D.c., Enes Tuncdemir, Ph.D.c.
  3. Crookall, David & Rebecca Oxford. “Dealing with Anxiety: Some Practical Activities for Language Learners and Teacher Trainees.” Language Anxiety: From Theory and Research to Classroom Implication
  4. Coping with anxiety and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Produced November 2010 By Lee Brosan Brenda Hogan Eloise Flight Jeanette Freyland Friederike Kult Emma Lightning Richard Van Heeswyk

Music by bensound.com

4 thoughts on “Episode 1 – Overcome your fear of speaking now!

  1. bluebec says:

    It’s so true that I freeze up because I am worried that I am going to make a mistake or not be understood. I have a girlfriend who is fluent in French and I find myself a bit intimidated by her fluency. She’s happy to talk to me in French anytime, so I need to set an agenda and chat with her.

    • Caro says:

      I hope you will chat with her. You can start with a topic that you master, like introducing yourself or talking about your likes and dislikes. Even if you’re not understood, the worst that can happen is to ask the person to repeat, that’s all. All the fears confronted with reality have no real ground. My English is far from being perfect and still I do this podcast and people who are actual native speakers could think “oh my, she sucks at English”, but if I start thinking like that I wouldn’t do anything 🙂 Sometimes you have to dare and things go usually well. That’s what will happen for you!

  2. richardruurik says:

    Your English is very good. I will listen to your other podcasts. Thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever frozen (yet lol) but I’m sure there’s time. I’ve felt nervous or even scared many times though. Like when a room full of French people stop chatting just to listen to me because they want to hear someone from another country. I’m shy but I also find situations like that quite funny too. The most difficult experience I had was at Cannes train station one summer where the young girl selling the train tickets refused to help me and I was speaking French the whole time. I didn’t retreat to my mother tongue English, which is easy to do when scared. She folded her arms and said “non” to everything I asked even before I could finish my question everytime. I never got angry and I always spoke politely and softly. In the end, I stood there waiting and she realised I couldn’t leave until she helped. It was quite socially painful (for a shy person) with all the people queueing behind me. It really damaged my confidence but I realised overnight that the best way I could fight back against this negative thinking was to speak more not less. The next day at the train station I spoke to a different person and asked more questions than usual. I forced myself to have a little conversation. It made all the difference. It proved that I could do ok, even if it was just ‘get by’ tourist French. I felt successful, relieved, calm, positive and confident!

  3. guitar107 says:

    Bonjour Caro, merci beaucoup pour les conseils. I am a multi-language learner (Learning many languages is my HOBBY: j’apprends tout seul, sans professeur… j’ai appris un peu de français, allemand, japonais, italien, tchèque, etc…). J’apprends chez moi. Je n’ai pas des amis francophones ou allemands, etc. Quand je voyage, j’utilise “tourist French”, “tourist German”, “tourist Czech”, etc. 🙂
    Des fois j’ai parlé en Skype avec des personnes. I can understand a lot of French, some German, some this and that… I can understand what they say, but I always freeze when it’s my turn to talk. So, my Skype sessions were a disaster. 🙁

    I no longer use Skype because I am too busy and the time difference between North America and Europe is a problem.
    So, as you can see. I am self-taught, many languages, including French, but I don’t know how to speak in any of those languages because I freeze… well, I can say “où est le restaurant?” “ça coûte combien?” and simple things like that. 🙂

    A bientôt.

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