Continued from last week
3. Listen and read: You need words in order to talk, right? Class time is great for learning vocabulary, but there are other ways you can increase yours: Watch movies, listen to music, the radio and to podcasts. Read books, magazines and blogs. When listening and reading, find new and interesting expressions, slang terms and synonyms, write down this new material and look up anything you’re not familiar with. All this will provide more “meat” for you to use next time you practice.
4. Prepare cheat sheets: Part of nervousness around speaking is the feeling of not knowing what to say. To combat this, prepare a cheat sheet. Are you going to the doctor’s? Before your appointment, research vocabulary relating to your condition and some common phrases you’ll probably need. Use the technique before going to pay a bill, eating at a restaurant, job interviews, making a complaint, or for any other situation that might make you anxious.
5. Pick up the phone: Most people find phone conversations particularly challenging. Why? Because on the phone, we can’t see the other person’s body language or watch their mouth move, both of which are tools that really help communication. To feel more confident on the phone, start small with phone conversations with friends – then move on to more challenging calls like making appointments or inquiries. (This is a great time to use tip 4, and prepare a list of questions and useful vocabulary to help you during your call!) To be continued