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Elizabeth Offline
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Speaking in a foreign language - December 7th 2009, 12:24 AM

Normally, I'm fine when talking in front of people or giving a presentation at school. If I make a mistake, I just laugh it off. I realize that I will have to speak in front of people as a teacher, and I use it as practice.

I only feel this way when I speak in English. In my French class, I get nervous and fumble and have to read word for word off of paper. I have tried practicing and having the teacher help me but I still screw it up. I hate speaking in French and my French teacher is a horrible teacher so my speaking abilities suck and she point out every little thing I do wrong as I speak, and it makes me more nervous and more off track. I asked her not to once and she said "But how will you ever learn?" She doesn't understand.

Does anyone have any tips for speaking in a foreign language?
   
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Re: Speaking in a foreign language - December 7th 2009, 12:27 AM

Watch videos of people speaking in the language. Like, people who have it as their native tongue. When I was first learning French I remember watching the French channel as a child, it helped a lot.


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Re: Speaking in a foreign language - December 7th 2009, 12:33 AM

The more you expose yourself to the language, the better things will get. Going over the words, finding one of those sites online that will say the word and you can repeat after them is helpful. I've taken four years of Spanish and my written Spanish is decent. However, my pronunciation sucks. You just have to practice.


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Re: Speaking in a foreign language - December 7th 2009, 12:44 AM

Yeah watch videos of people speaking in that language.
I'm sure there are certain sites that can help you with pronunciation.
I always had a hard time speaking spanish in front of people.




   
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Re: Speaking in a foreign language - December 7th 2009, 12:50 AM

Thanks for such fast advice! I think I'll try watching movies in French. I have tried sites that pronounce things for you, and I'll get it down, but then when I'm in front of people is like I never practiced.
   
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Re: Speaking in a foreign language - December 7th 2009, 09:23 AM

When I was learning French, I had problems with pronouncing the words and some grammar issues, so I had my father who is very good at French talk with me. I tried watching French TV shows but they spoke so fast and used so many advanced words that it got me nowhere. In addition to my father though, we decided as a class and by the teacher to speak French in the entire class, so even if it was to go to the bathroom, it had to be in French and if we were to talk to a classmate for whatever reason, it had to be in French. We rarely talked in French outside the class but doing it within and a bit at home helped get me exposed to it more, and so for any presentations I knew that I was better at speaking. I also kept on going when the teacher corrected me usually be acknowledging my error and correcting it if it was a lot of them. I also tried to speak a bit slower than some other students simply so I could focus on pronouncing the words better and thinking it through in my head. Later, I spoke faster as I got more and more practice.
   
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Re: Speaking in a foreign language - December 14th 2009, 02:41 AM

I usually find that renting movies (preferably ones with captions) in that language helps a lot. The reason captions make the learning process so much more effective is that they allow you to see which words the characters are saying, and by hearing them pronounce them correctly after a while, you get to learn how to pronounce a whole lot of new words correctly too. Don't switch between movies too fast - it's better to focus on one, watch it several times, learn the pronunciations of all the words, and then move on.
   
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