Who's afraid of... speaking English in class?
Does this sound familiar to you?Teacher: "Speak in English, please"Students all nod their headsStudent to Student: "Chi comincia?" There are reasons why we do this but the lesson is your space to use your English so let's see what's happening.
Answer these questions: • Do you feel nervous about your English because you are not sure of your level? • Do you feel uncomfortable using English when you are talking to another Italian student, because it feels unnatural? • Are you afraid of learning each other's "mistakes"? • Do you feel nervous because you think other people are better than you? • Do you feel happy and confident speaking English, and it's fun?
Well, you can improve by using the language you know and experimenting with • new things. If you don't do anything nothing will change. • This is true, and it is strange because you relate to people in the L1 if you can. This is normal behaviour, and it is reassuring. Some people are also afraid, at some level, that • their partner might think they are • ' showing off' but... This is a language classroom, and nobody expects you to be • perfect. By using the language with each other you will improve your own competence. • This is very unlikely to happen. You need a lot of exposure before you • learn something. Experimenting with the language you do know, however, is an • excellent way of developing your confidence and becoming more fluent. • Well, we all want to be the best we can, but nobody is judging you. You are here to learn and by using the language your level can only • go upwards. If you don't use it you will be doing an excellent job of • practising your Italian :-) • You've got it sussed :-) Well done. Can you now be • supportive and help those who • are less sure of themselves, by being patient and using your English with your partner.