Hi guys, if you are reading this article, you are probably also having some difficulties with your speaking skills. So let’s see if you make any of the 5 most common mistakes below. Moreover, I will give you some ways to correct them, So come on, let’s get started
- The first common mistake: You focus too much on your grammar when speaking
Of course, accurate grammar will ensure the standard of your sentences and somehow prove that “you have learned English methodically“. Thereby your audience will be impressed. However, if you focus too much on grammar, which means you try to make sure your sentences are grammatically correct or use complex grammatical structures so that your sentences can be complicated, you may lose your fluency. Fluency is an essential factor in effective communication. If we can’t keep the flow in speaking, respond slowly to questions or hesitate too much, the listener will no longer want to listen to us no matter how complex and difficult our sentence structure is.
Let’s take an example
A: What do you think about the importance of higher education nowadays?
B. Oh, I think it becomes more and more essential. It will help us to get a well-paid job
C:…In my opinion,….um…..Only by ……entering university,…..can the ……the number of…….job opportunities for us………definitely…..increase.
Obviously, you’ll want to talk to B more than C, right? So don’t worry about grammar so much that you forget your fluency. Small grammatical errors won’t make a big difference to your sentences
2. The second common mistake: You speak too fast
Do you think that fast speed equals high fluency? The faster you speak, the more you will sound like a native speaker.
No, it’s not. Speaking quickly does not mean good communication, but speaking clearly and coherently, ensuring that the listener understands what you are saying is really an effective communicator. In addition to that, speaking too fast can cause you to make pronunciation mistakes.
In fact, some of the most impressive orators in English speak very slowly with frequent pauses between words and sentences. Barack Obama, for example, is acknowledged to be a great orator. If you listen to Obama speaking, he speaks very slowly and frequently pauses, almost as if he is searching for just the right word. He also doesn’t hesitate and falls back into ‘um’, or ‘uhh’, filler words.
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3. The third common mistake: You’re waiting for the perfect version of yourself
You want to speak in front of a crowd, you want to enter a speech contest. But wait, you need to wait until your pronunciation is better, you are not confident with it right now. And just like that, you wait from day to day, wait until you are really good before taking part in a competition, speaking in front of the crowd.
However, the day when you become perfect will never come. You will never be satisfied with your abilities. Self-doubt will cling and keep you from making progress. The solution is to remember that mistakes are inevitable. No matter how many mistakes you make, you can at least be proud of yourself for having the courage to speak to a native speaker, and take part in an English-speaking contest instead of waiting for the perfect version of yourself and doing nothing
4. The fourth common mistake: You judge your progress against other people’s
Comparing yourself with other learners is inevitable, but you shouldn’t let that comparison generate negative emotions in you. Learning English is not a race and everyone has their own goals and methods. What works for them may not work for you. Don’t feel pressured to follow all the methods you learn online without knowing if they really work for you. It makes no sense to judge yourself by someone else’s yardstick.
5. The fifth common mistake: You don’t practice consistently
Here I want to emphasize the continuity of practice. Maybe, you feel like you need to improve your listening and speaking skills, you go on the internet and search a lot of methods and then “frantically” rush into practicing for 4 hours.
You feel full of enthusiasm at that moment. However, you will not be able to maintain such learning. You forget to learn to speak until a few months later, you find that you haven’t made any progress, you feel regret and decide to study again.
You continue to go online to look up methods and study again for 4 hours. This goes on and on and your learning stays the same. The solution here is not focusing on how long you practice, you need to keep practicing as regularly as possible. Just 5 minutes of practice every day will be much more effective than studying for hours and forgetting it the next day.
Those are the most common mistakes in English of non-native speakers. Have you encountered such errors?