Today I want to talk about something that I think is really important to improve your English. What I’m going to talk about is very common and happens to a lot of us.
For those who don’t know about me, I could not speak English at all until I was 21 or 22 but I was very confident even though I was a lot worse than most of you who are watching right now. Ok, let’s get right to the point.
1. BE AWARE OF WHY
One of the most common reasons for people to lose confidence is because of other people’s opinions. If someone is putting you down because of the way you talk, then you have to be aware of something; 99% of the time you don’t get that from native speakers like we don’t laugh at people who are learning Japanese if they make a grammar mistake or pronounce something wrong, We don’t go – oh you sound so weird or you are so stupid, right? Why? Because we are native Japanese speakers, and we don’t even put ourselves in the same category as people who are learning it as a second language. Right?
Yes, you could get that from a native speaker but then they probably have some issues and those people exist in any time, in any era, in any country and in any field. So don’t give a crap about them.
People who are happy and confident don’t need to put someone else down in order to feel good about themselves.
The good news is, now I live in Canada which is an English speaking country (well, English and French) and I’ve never been criticized for how I talk, but I see Japanese people doing this to each other a lot.
So it’s good to be aware of that. Next time if someone tries to put you downor makes you feel bad about it, they’re projecting their insecurities onto you. It’s not you, it’s them.
2. CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Some of you might know but I used to run a school in Japan. I started it back in 2016 mainly because I did not believe in the traditional English education in Japan, but also because I wanted to focus on building the students’ confidence and self-esteem.
So in the classroom I really focused on creating an environment where people can make mistakes, and never nitpick the small mistakes because I knew that that can kill the drive of learning something new. If that makes sense.
So in my school, making a mistake was way way way better than not trying. Like I always say, in order to be able to speak English, you have to practice, you have to use it, you have to speak a lot but so many people don’t do it because they’re worried about making mistakes in front of other people.
In one of the very first videos I made, I mentioned “If you want to improve your English, find people who encourage you” and “Stay away from people who point out every single small mistake”. So don’t let them bring you down. Surround yourself with people who let you speak without worrying about making mistakes.
The reason I say this is because “I” didn’t experience what a lot of people go through in classrooms. Instead, I hung out with friends who didn’t care about my English ability but cared what I was trying to express in English. And that was the whole point, I wasn’t trying to be perfect, I was just trying to communicate with them.
I didn’t have the fear of making mistakes and that’s why I could talk a lot.
The more mistakes you make, the more progress you are making.
I hope this awareness spreads in the field because I really believe that it helps a lot of learners. So please share this video to people around you. Thank you.