How Can You Conquer Your Fear of Speaking in English?

Video transcript

A visitor to recently asked about hesitation while speaking English. Pari said this: "please help us to speak in english. we hesitate to speak in english how we can get over it???"

I understand completely. I don't hesitate to speak in English because it's my first language. But I often hesitate to speak in French or Spanish because, for me, they are second languages that I am trying to improve.

The first thing to do is to prepare. In other words, study English. Learn vocabulary, grammar, and so forth.

But you also need to use the language while you are learning it. And I think that this is what Pari is asking about.

Even if we are prepared, a common reason that we hesitate to speak a second language is that we're afraid of making mistakes. But we shouldn't be afraid of mistakes. They will happen.

Children aren't afraid of mistakes when they're learning to talk. And they learn very quickly. Do they make mistakes? Yes, all the time! But the mistakes don't stop their progress. And it's amazing how fast they learn to speak their first language. Don't let mistakes stop YOUR progress in speaking English.

The key is to enjoy speaking in English. Laugh at your mistakes, but also celebrate any small improvements. Have fun as you learn.

I know that these tips help because I use them when I try to have a conversation in French or Spanish. Any language learner feels hesitation to speak. Just remember to take risks. Yes, you'll make mistakes, but enjoy speaking and improving in the language.

Pari, I'm glad that you asked that question. It's a great question because a lot of people experience the same frustration.

So remember these two things. First, be prepared. How? Keep studying English. Second, enjoy using the language instead of worrying about making mistakes. If you keep following these two things, I think that you can overcome your fear of speaking in English.

Pari had a great question that I answered in this video. Do you have a question about learning English? Post it at

I also want to know what helps you to enjoy speaking in English. Add a comment below this video to share your ideas. Maybe your idea will help other English students to enjoy speaking in English more.

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  • Ugyen

    When i first saw how to learn speak English in this site. i was so happy to learn it and i must say that there is way/door to grab out the tips not by seating idealy, there is saying "where there is a will" "There is way". Therefore, we have to find a way be our self in order to be a somebody in our life.

  • Vne_143

    Hi how are you everybody Iam to much happy to improve my English

  • mohamed

    when i wach the news of english its dificult to understan me becaus the prenosiution or  phonatics its very fast how can i understan

    • One thing that you can do is to watch videos from Voice of America's Learning English channel:
      As you learn to listen at a slower pace, you can begin watching videos at a faster pace. And if you can see captions (subtitles) while you watch, they can help you.

    • Mani

      Some suggestions for you Mohamed:
      *Please avoid using the word which mostly used in the internet chat, video chat or sms in mobile. 
      *Listen - English music from you-tube with songs display on the screen and try to see how they merge the word. Just not only once, need a regularity like your  morning breakfast, afternoon lunch and evening dinner or regular practice like football or Cricket.
      *Dictionary is essential things to find out the spellings and pronunciation and phonetics as well.

  • Mani

    of course the new fashion of the world is learning English. My  second language is English but now I am in English speaking country and I have bitter experience with these things.
    I know and can understand the people what are they phrasing in their native language but sometimes the meaning of slang and  long preposition makes different meaning, at the moment don't hesitate to ask them could you please explain the word what you used recently. If they start to laugh with you follow them and later ask them am I right ?
    Every people want to help and want to learn something new.
    Now i know how american people pronounced the word and how they differ from 
    British English. Other European speaks English but the English they speaks more sounds something losing in tone. 
    Other hints is go to the you-tube and find a good video where you can get good pronunciation and conversation where everyday speaking words are emphasized with some catchy slang.

    I am still learning from two of my professor, one is from USA and others from Australia. I have many friends, I donot hesitate to speak with them, if they donot understand, then I wrote the word to pronounce them and I follow them.

    However remember that every native speakers are not good and follow the person who speaks clearly and  follow the way they speak.

    I never hesitate to ask the word which I cannot pronounce well enough because every-word has a different syllable and different sounds where you have to emphasized.

    • Mani, thank you so much for posting these suggestions. They are very helpful, especially because they come from the perspective of someone who has learned English as a second language. I hope that many people will read your advice and follow it.
      - Alfredo

  • Pamsingh_72

    i would like 2 know that in english which tenses used,mostly

    • It really depends on what the purpose of the communication is. If you are telling a story, you will use a the past tense and past-progressive (continuous) mostly. If you are talking about theories or common practices, you will probably use the present tense more often.

  • Pakiboy_kool

    This website is very useful. Sir i can understand English because i am working for the international call center for the last 4 years but still i have few problems. First thing is that when i watch English movies i don't understand the whole movie as because they speaks very fast and sometimes they speaks very slightly. Second problem is that when i talk to  the customer over the phone i can understand them but only few people speaks in a very different way so i couldn't understand them and the last thing is that i want to learn the words which is commonly used in English. For example if someone is talking to me in English than i want to answer his every questions in English.

  • Sh Mani

    Try to speak clearly and then try to pronounce how the words are pronounced by English speaker but not follow all the English speaker. Some English speaker are so worse then you because they wants to use more slang's which has no meaning for you at the beginning. if they do not understand your some important  word then try to use synonyms or write the word and ask them please how can you pronounce?
    Everyone is very happy to help you. I am a higher degree student and I can understand what people speak but sometimes I have hard time to reply them because my pronunciation is not exactly the same and some of the word are so funny people pronounce different way. for example - Basically. American people pronounce it different way than British people. If you meet some Australian then try to listen how they will pronounce. You will get surprised. 
    My suggestion is try to learn the rule and use them but not every time.
    Rules make sense but all the time.

    "Do not hesitate to speak with English speaker" because you are learning.
    Remember no one is perfect in every subject.

    • You have written some great tips! I hope that those who watch my video will also read your suggestions. - Alfredo

  • Your concern is a very common one among English learners. We are working on a blog post or video that will address that concern.

  • Anonymous

    why we can't download this video?

  • Zainabitunes

    I'm learning english for years.the biggest problem is to find the right words
    and if he speaks very quickly ,there are some words that we come not to grasp

  • Mardoniososa

    My problem is that i don't understand when a natives speakers speak to  me because they do it very fast

  • Asra Jilani

    i enjoy speaking in english when i use good vocabulary.My problem is i stuck  in the middle of the conversation. 

    • That sometimes happens to me, too, when I try to speak in Spanish or French. Sometimes, I just have to smile and laugh when it happens. 🙂

  • jinam

    thanks . I can find out what to to

  • Chandramaya

    Thanks  i really  enjoy this lesson

  • Vinodkumarkseb

    great lesson , thank you

  • Aashi farah

    thanks its really good to listen ur ideas.i m improving

  • chuongvangtc

    Thank you so much for your useful,lively instructions.They'll be applied.

    • Thank you. I'm glad to hear that the video is useful.

      - Alfredo

  • khadija

    thank u teacher but can u give us more steps to not hesitate in speaking english

  • Mr. Abdikheir

    English Language is my favorite, but isn't my first its my second every time i try to enjoy English but unfortunately some times i make mistakes so how i can improve my English? 

    • If you are especially concerned about the mistakes, I suggest focusing on the first point in the video: be prepared. Keep studying English to learn what is correct and what is not correct. Then, as you use English, you may be able to enjoy it more. But, as I say in the video, keep using the language, even if you make mistakes. That's what I tell myself when I think about using French or Spanish, which are the languages that I am trying to improve.

      Thank you for your comment!

      - Alfredo

  • Dineshchandragoghari

    Thanks.I really like it.

  • Feratha

    thanks, raely i  like and learn from this program  thanks egain

  • Vanithecute

    Its absolutely true.. we hv to enjoy while  learning any of the languages. English becomes easy when  you learn with happy and using it an a very funny way.