At VOA Learning English, we sometimes get questions like this: How can I speak English with more confidence? That is a great question.
No matter what language we are learning, we would all love to speak more confidently. Yuliana Vasquez is an English teacher.
She also trains teachers and is a language researcher at the University of Panama. She said lack of confidence can come from having trouble with pronunciation and not having a wide enough vocabulary.
If you lack confidence when you speak English, you may do one or more of these things without realizing it: Speak in short phrases
Speak too softly Speak too fast or unclearly
So today, we have several pieces of advice to help you gain confidence in your English-speaking ability. Believe it or not, the most important person you talk to every day is yourself.
In other words: Your thoughts matter. So our first piece of advice is to use positive self-talk.
If you lack confidence as an English speaker, you may tell yourself things like, "English is too hard and I will never improve". When you talk to other people, you may say things like, "I'm so sorry for my English".
But if you keep thinking and saying such things, you are sure to start believing them. Magdi Saleh is an English teacher and teacher trainer based in Cairo, Egypt.
Saleh said many English learners need to show themselves more patience because progress takes time: . You have to be patient with yourself and talk positively with yourself.
He said you can tell yourself something like, "Today, I will learn this thing and tomorrow I will learn other things". So the next time you are using your English, pay attention to what you tell yourself or others.
Be sure to replace unhelpful thoughts or ideas with better ones. The next tip is to speak louder and slow down your speech.
When I taught English at a language school in Washington, D. C. , I noticed something about my students: Those who lacked confidence spoke too softly.
And they did not enunciate well. Often, I had to ask them to repeat themselves a few times.
To sound more confident, speak loudly enough that anyone in the same room can easily hear you. And try to slow down your speech if you speak too fast.
Many English learners worry that speaking too slow will make them sound inexperienced. But speaking too fast may cause more mistakes.
So avoid worrying that you are speaking too slow for the people around you. Our third tip is to speak in complete sentences and give longer responses when possible.
If you are not confident in a language, you will likely try to say as little as possible when you speak. Trust me: I know!
When I visited Brazil, for example, I remember asking a building doorman for the fitness center key. In Portuguese, I said just, "Good afternoon. Fitness center key, please".
Saleh says this is a common problem for language learners. For example, if you ask an English learner what their favorite color is, they may give a short, direct response like, "My favorite color is blue".
But a native English speaker is likely to give a detailed and less direct response, like this: Well, to be quite honest, I don't really have an actual color.
I guess that if I were buying clothes, I would go for something like blue or grey. Using complete sentences and giving more detail in responses shows listeners that you are not afraid to speak English.
Now, we move to tip number four: Read out loud. Reading out loud can help build confidence in how your English sounds.
So the next time you are reading a website, book or something else that you enjoy, take a few minutes to read the material aloud. Vasquez offers a possible plan of action.
因此 下一次访问 网址、书或是别的你喜爱的內容时，请花数分钟時间读出声来。瓦斯阿斯特里建议了一个很有可能的作法：
Before reading aloud, read the story silently first. The second time, if there is audio, you can listen to the speaker as you read along silently.
Then, try to read the story out loud alone. Then, try listening to the speaker and reading out loud at the same time.
List words you have trouble saying and then, later, check their pronunciation on Google Translate or in some other place. Saleh adds that learners should read for pleasure and enjoy what they are reading.
So he advises not stopping to check word meanings in a dictionary while reading. I'm Alice Bryant.