Tip request from a student:
How do you get over speaking Spanish in public?
Response from Caro:
For some people, it’s not an issue at all, yet for others, it’s extremely embarrassing, as it was for me when I moved to the US. I was SO embarrassed, so terrified that I would misunderstand what someone was saying and answer a completely different question. That was my biggest fear.
So how did I get over it? For me it was 2 things:
1 – time: with time comes practice, which is always helpful in pretty much every situation and…
2 – acknowledgement that I was learning a language: I started telling everyone that I was just learning to speak English and that they needed to speak slowly. When I would tell people that, they would all want to become my teacher – they would be extremely patient and nurturing, which made me feel comfortable, therefore willing to put myself out there.
Those are the things that worked for me personally.
There are a few other things to keep in mind:
– Perfection is impossible, so let it go. If you speak slowly and clearly, and people can understand you, you have achieved the goal – communication, not perfect verb conjugations.
– 99% of the people you speak with are not judging you like you’re judging yourself. We are our worst critics.
– Remember that you are speaking a foreign language. You are making an effort to speak a language that is not your own, that you did not NEED to learn and that you CHOSE to learn. That’s pretty awesome if you think about it.
– One last thing: Being vulnerable feels pretty uncomfortable for most of us, but it’s also when the most beautiful things in life happen 🙂