Are you scared of speaking English?

If so, why is that? Because you don’t want to reveal your inadequate English ability?

Most Japanese seem to have a strong tendency to avoid putting themselves in embarrassing situations, and that same mentality goes for English learning. Many of those studying English can be very self-conscious and shy about speaking the language. They are afraid of making mistakes and feeling embarrassed. And I’m no exception.

In fact, I’m so aware of my pronunciation when speaking English that it can really slow me down. There are some words I have trouble pronouncing correctly and somehow I can’t make myself sound as good as I wish. Other people may worry about making grammatical errors and showing their broken English in front of others. This means that we all have flaws or imperfections in our English, but that’s only natural and totally okay, right? After all, English is a foreign language for us.

Considering this, it might be a good idea to admit that your English will never be perfect, no matter how hard you try. I believe that accepting this fact will liberate many Japanese people from unnecessary pressure, allowing them to communicate in English more freely.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to strive to improve your English but rather it means that you shouldn’t let your imperfections keep you from using English now. If you wait for your English to become really good or perfect before you start speaking it, that day will probably never come. So you should come out of your shell NOW by getting rid of all fear of embarrassment or failure.

As for me, I’ll be speaking English much more often from now on because I need to get out of my comfort zone to push myself to the next level. Although I usually give my TOEIC lessons almost entirely in Japanese, I think I’ll try to speak English more, starting in the next class. I hope that will encourage my students to become more active in using English. I look forward to seeing their reactions to a sudden change in my teaching style. :-)

Thank you for reading this to the end. (361 words)