In this video, I will give you three ways that you can speak the language you are learning, even if it’s day one.
As usual, the main points of the video are summed up below, if you prefer reading.
Main ideas of the video:
Speak from day one?
“Speak from day one” is a catch phrase which many experts use (including myself)
However, the idea of speaking from day one is often puzzling for students, who don’t understand how they can speak a language with almost no knowledge of it.
Is speaking from day one important?
- If you are learning a language in order to speak it, I recommend starting to speak as soon as you can.
- If you delay the speaking part, there won’t be a magic moment when you feel ready to speak. You need to start speaking before you feel ready.
How to speak from day one:
Your (currently) limited skills do not let you have complex interactions.
The solution is to arrange simple interactions to match your simple skills.
3 ways you can have simple interactions, and speak French right now:
1 - Have a language adventure
Find a shop or restaurant where natives speakers of the language you learn work.
Learn enough language to just buy something or have a meal there.
Downsides of this method:
The people you will speak to have no teaching skills and are often not used to speaking to non-natives, so:
they might speak fast,
use a language which is too complex for you, or
get impatient and switch back to English.
2 - Do a language exchange
A language exchange consists in connecting with a speaker of the language you learn who is also learning your language, and teaching your languages to each other.
Language exchanges nowadays can take all shapes or forms, from an hour-long real life encounter, to a very short text exchange with someone living across the world.
Advantages of a language exchange:
the person you speak to is here to learn and is likely to be more patient, because they understand the struggles of learning a language.
They can correct you and teach you new things.
The potential of the conversation is not limited to a simple interaction.
If you find a good partner, you can have regular conversations about many different topics.
Downside of language exchanges:
Finding a good language partner is not easy. Even if you know all the best tips, there is still some luck involved.
You might spend a lot of time searching for a good fit, and have little progress during this time.
3. Hire a language coach
Language coaching consists in hiring a coach and meeting with him regularly to speak your new language and receive advice on how to progress in your study.
You can meet with your coach in real life or online, via programs like skype or google hangouts.
Advantages of language coaching:
The coach’s job is to help you learn the language as fast as it gets.
He can answer all your questions very accurately and save you hours of googling.
A good coach is very mindful of the student’s needs, patient and motivating.
He understands the needs and limits of the student, and knows how to work around them to get the student to speak to the maximum or his or her current capacity.
My students never leave a session with me without having spoken French.
Realising that you are speaking more and more French makes you more and more confident in your abilities.
This confidence in your skill is more important than any bit of the language you can learn.
Only downside of language coaching: not every student can afford it. A good coach can cost 50-60€ an hour
If you can afford it, you should definitely consider getting a coach. A good coach will shrink the way from where you are to where you want to be.
If you have a question or feedback, don’t hesitate to write a comment below.