Anonymous asked: Hi! I was wondering if you have any advice about speaking your target language? I want to start teaching myself French soon, but I can't imagine I'll get very good at it without speaking to anyone. The only thing is, I'm way too scared to talk to a native speaker on Skype, and I don't know any native speakers, or even people learning French in real life. Should I accept my fate and try to learn French without speaking, or...?
I actually learned written Portuguese before I learned how to speak it.
I think it depends on what kind of person you are. For me, I learn better/prefer reading/writing over listening speaking. Granted all parts of a language should be learned, if I’m starting out by myself, I start with reading and writing.
- A question to ask yourself: what learning method would help you the most?
After teaching myself enough Portuguese on the paper, I took a class where I learned how to speak it. It’s easier having a teacher telling you what’s wrong and what’s right, and just hearing him/her say the words (but then again in my opinion Portuguese pronunciation is easier than French..haha)
If you don’t have access to a class and you’re too shy to talk to someone on Skype, listen to and watch a lot of videos with subtitles so you can get a feel for how to say things.
I have to say though, sometimes as a language learner, you have to put aside your fears and put yourself out there to learn the language. It’s one thing learning it by yourself or in a classroom, but in a foreign country it’s a whole new ball game—that’s where talking with native speakers helps a lot. You’ll get your ears trained (and ready) for the “real world” side of French and your responses will come more easily.
I should take my own advice, but I know I can’t walk around in a foreign country with a white board writing down my every response. :P All the luck to you :)
P.S. I find it helps to find someone (in real life or online) that you’re really comfortable with! So even if you don’t talk in French at first, maybe build a friendship with someone and then you can practice your French ^^