Listening to podcasts is a great way of improving your English. But the best way to really improve your level and gain confidence and fluency is through speaking practice. Book a class with us today at www.breezelingo.com or contact us at email@example.com for more information on how we can help you become a fluent and confident English speaker.
Here is the transcript for the second episode of the Breeze Lingo podcast English is a Breeze!
Sam: Hi everyone! Sam here and welcome to another episode of the English is a Breeze podcast. I hope you are all alreet as we say in the North East of England! Alreet means “alright” so it is like saying “I hope you are all well”.
So, in today´s episode, I want to talk about a topic which is really really important for people learning English, and that is the fear of making a fool of yourself or, as you say in Spanish “hacer el ridículo”. A lot of our students at Breeze Lingo talk to us about this fear, and they tell us that they are afraid of speaking English because they might make mistakes or sound stupid or that people won´t understand them. And this is a real pity because one of the best ways of learning English is by practicing and speaking to as many different people as possible and actually making mistakes is a fantastic way of learning too.
So, to try and give you all more confidence and help you lose this fear of making a fool of yourself or “hacer el ridículo” when speaking English, I decided to talk to my lovely family and friends in England and ask them
“When speaking to a foreign person, do you appreciate that they try speaking English, even if they make a lot of mistakes? Or do you find it uncomfortable and difficult to understand?”
So, let’s listen to what they all had to say.
First up, we have my sister Hannah from Northumberland in the North East of England.
Hannah: When I’m speaking to somebody who isn’t English, I always appreciate them making the effort to try. I think the English have always become quite lazy about learning other languages and so, I always like to appreciate it when people from other countries make the effort to speak to us in our own language, and I think when people make mistakes, it’s very easy to ignore them and sort of brush past them because even us English make mistakes in our own language! Or sometimes if they make a mistake and it’s funny, and you can have a laugh with them, and if they ask if they want corrected you can do that as well but generally speaking, I always appreciate it when people make the effort and yeah, bye!
Sam: And that’s my sister Hannah! Did you hear that weird noise in the background in that recording? I’ve no idea what that was. OK, now we are going to listen to my friend Sid and Sid is from Preston in the North West of England.
Sid: I always feel that it’s nice to listen to people who are trying their best to speak another language. So if I am ever met by somebody trying their hardest to speak English, even if they´re making mistakes, I always think it is really courageous and I think it’s fantastic that people try and bridge that gap between two different cultures from two different countries. So all I would say to people is, do your best, learn, even if it’s a little bit, and people will really respect it. I know whenever I go abroad, especially to Spain, I am absolutely rubbish at speaking Spanish but I will always have a go, I´ll always acknowledge people in their home language, and actually, when you look at it, you actually start having a real good laugh when people are making mistakes like that. So don´t be afraid, have a go, be brave and don´t be nervous about making mistakes when speaking a different language. Because I think it’s incredibly fantastic that people do try.
Sam: Ah, thanks Sid and I totally agree, it’s really courageous and really brave when people do try to speak another language. So you keep trying with the Spanish as well because I am sure that Spanish people really appreciate it too. OK, so next up, we have my Mum, Carolyn and Carolyn is from Whitley Bay in the North East of England.
Carolyn: I always appreciate it when foreigners attempt to speak English, the same way I feel that when I’m abroad and we try to speak the language of the country we are visiting, the locals appreciate our attempts. We visit Spain a lot and we always appreciate how patient the Spanish are with us working out what to say and I always try to do the same for visitors to our country. I sometimes have more trouble understanding local British dialect, especially on the phone at work, than I do foreign accents.
Sam: Thanks Mum! Love you! OK, next up is my Godfather Nigel, and Nigel is from Gosforth which is in Newcastle.
Nigel: Hi Sam, I always appreciate when somebody tries speaking to me knowing that they are from a foreign land. I think it’s really encouraging that they don´t have the full command of the English language but they will still try to communicate. And I think it’s remarkably easy to understand. I think that’s the thing to get across. I don´t think I´ve ever spoken to anybody who is trying to speak English, who doesn’t have a good command of the English language, who hasn´t been able to get their point across. I think it is always remarkable how we communicate as a human race, and that languge is not so much of a barrier as people think it is. The English are the worst for trying to speak foreign languages! Because most people try to speak English first. And I always appreciate it when somebody tries, and I don’t have any problem trying to communicate back with them, it’s quite nice, thank you.
Sam: Thanks Uncle Nigel and yeah, I completely agree, I think that languages don´t have to be a barrier between people and, if we just try to understand each other and have a little bit of empathy with the person who is speaking, and try to imagine what they are trying to tell us or trying to say to us then really, we can all understand each other perfectly!
OK, next up is my friend Vicki and Vicki is from Northumberland in the North of England.
Vicki: Hi Sam! So, just in answer to your little question, I think it’s really important to try, and it doesn’t matter if you’re making mistakes, I think it’s about the effort to do that and I know myself with my students, my international students, I can come across quite clumsy when I’m trying to say their names, and really mispronouncing them, but I think they really appreciate the effort to try and so, I think we are all trying to communicate the best we can, and I think that its doing that in a way that shows respect and despite making mistakes, I think that is how we learn together, so I think it can feel uncomfortable for the speaker and the listener but I think it’s done in a way that shows kindness and empathy, so yeah! I think it’s great to try and to help each other and speak each other’s languages as best we can.
Sam: Thanks Vicki! And again, I completely agree, I think just trying and being kind and respecting one another is the key, and if we make mistakes, just have a laugh! It’s really not a problem.
OK, so next we are going to listen to my friend Susie and Susie is from Gosforth in Newcastle.
Susie: As someone who is learning another language myself, I think it is a very brave step when someone tries to speak the language out loud. You’re so much trying to get the tense right and get the words right that sometimes it’s inhibiting, but I think it’s a really good thing if your students can try and talk, because we will be able to understand a lot of what they are saying, and actually, it is so encouraging and such fun to see people learning a new language. So, yes, tell your students to have a go, because it’s easier than they think and they’ll be understood more than they realise. OK now, bye! Ciao!
Sam: Thanks Susie! And Definitely, I think that we put too much emphasis sometimes on speaking perfectly, so the perfect grammar, the perfect expressions and not making any mistakes with the vocabulary, or with the tenses, but the most important thing is just to try, and we can definitely all make ourselves understood in one way or another.
So, last but not least, we have my friend Frances and Frances is from Northumberland.
Frances: Hello, I’m Frances Allan and I live in the North East of England and it’s always lovely hearing people speaking English. I’m always really impressed with how people can speak English as a second language, and then learn it to such a high standard that they can not only travel but they can work in a foreign country. I enjoy the company of Polish, Greek and South African vets and I myself am learning Spanish, with some difficulty and challenge! So always very happy to help, aid anyone in their English learning process.
Sam: Thanks Frances, and absolutely. When someone can learn a language to a high enough level that they can go to another country to work or to travel all around the world, it really is impressive.
I hope that listening to everyone’s responses to my question has made you feel a bit more confident about speaking English. As you can see, all of my friends and family think that learning a second language is just fantastic! And that anyone who makes the effort to speak English is incredibly brave and impressive, even if they do make mistakes. You can turn this question around and ask yourself the same thing – if someone talks to you in your native language but makes some mistakes, do you feel irritated or uncomfortable or laugh at them and think they look silly? Probably not. So next time you need to use English in your job, on holiday, or maybe helping a tourist navigate their way to the nearest tapas bar, do it with confidence knowing that the other person is so appreciative of the effort you are making to communicate with them in a language that they understand.
Thanks everyone for listening and remember, if you have any questions about any of the vocabulary or language we have used in this episode, then go ahead and contact me on social media or on the email address in the episode description. Have a nice day!