If you want to become a great speaker of a foreign language, the first thing you will want to do is lose your inhibitions. Allow yourself to make mistakes, and allow yourself to make a lot of them. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to watch a toddler acquire language, you know that most of what they say in the beginning are mistakes. Babies and toddlers verbalize constantly, experimenting to see what combination of sounds will get them what they want.
You’ve probably heard the quote, ‘Feedback is the breakfast of champions. ’ In my book, Master Plan to Master Exams: How to Discover Your Hidden Abilities to Create the Success You Desire, I teach that, ‘Feedback is the GPS Navigation System to Your Goals. ’
Feedback is an essential tool for perfecting your craft - and you can’t get any unless you allow yourself to speak. You say something in the language you are learning, you notice how the other person responds, and you adjust and learn. It is through these millions of adjustments that you learn how to perfect your speaking and become truly fluent in the foreign language.
If you have friends who are native speakers of the target language, and they care enough about you to give you feedback and correct your foreign language, consider yourself very lucky and consider these friends among the best, most valuable friends you’ll ever meet.
So allow yourself to speak the target language, to let the words flow, and to learn, and gain mastery. You can become a brilliant speaker of any foreign language you want to when you allow yourself to let mistakes be okay!
Here’s to Your Success! Teresa Bolen
Copyright © 2006 by Teresa Bolen. All rights reserved.
Teresa Bolen is a teacher at Todaiji Academy, one of the top 5 schools in Japan, and the author of Master Plan to Master Exams: How to Discover Your Hidden Abilities to Create the Success You Desire. You can get her ‘Academic Excellence Report’ at http://www.MasterPlanToMasterExams.com .
‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ’ - Henry David Thoreau -