There may come a point in your study of English where in you feel like giving up because you seem to be not learning. And when you hear yourself not saying much or using impressive words, you tend to just stop and quit.
In a conversation, when everybody seems to be fluent and you are not, you involuntarily keep silent while one part of your mind says, “Come on, talk!”; “Say something.”; “You can do it!”, while the other part says, “No, I can’t.”; “I don’t want to be embarrassed.”; “They might just laugh at me.” I will not condemn you for thinking that way because it is true. It could be true that other people will make fun of your mistakes, and the truth about the expression “Who cares!” will only be proven easier said than done. Who, in the first place, would want to be a laughingstock?
If you are a carefree person and you do not mind criticism, go ahead, enjoy the conversation and learn. If you believed that it is the fastest way you will improve your English, then by all means, participate. Or if you do not want to read; you do not like listening to music, moreover English music; you have no time watching English movies or TV program; and you would say, “I’ll do these stuffs when I’m ready and when I’m free.” Okay, that is fine. Do not force yourself to do things you are not comfortable doing; you will be just wasting your time. Your brain will not absorb anyway what you are studying. The intention to learn is present, but the concentration is absent.
You know, the question as to whether you will learn to converse in English or not is so easy to answer. Yes, of course, you will learn! No doubt about that. But the real question is “When will you become fluent?” It is a matter of how fast or how slow the progress is going to be. The answer is up to you. Ask yourself how much you want success. How desperate is your need to become proficient in communicating? Are your purposes as to why you need to become fluent clear in your mind?
After you acknowledged your motives, what you will surely ask next is how you are going to improve your conversational skills? You have to identify what tools are effective to you. If the above methods I mentioned were so tiring or laborious for you, then use the easiest. Conversational English from the word itself ‘conversation’ is the key to a successful learning. Converse to someone who speaks English. Yes, there are text books or e-books where you can find a lot of expressions. But these expressions are like vocabularies that when you do not use, you will only forget. How can you be sure if your construction of phrases or sentences, or your use of the words and expressions are correct if nobody hears you. There must be someone who will at least say you are doing good or someone to correct you. If there is no one who can help you practice speaking, then find a good tutor. Look for one that has a lot of topics to talk about. Find a good conversationalist so you can become a good one, too. You might say that it is expensive to get a tutor. Maybe you right. How about asking yourself again? How desperate is your need to become fluent in English? How far can your fluency in English take you?
You have to practice every day. Try to recall the expressions you learned before going to bed so that you will still remember when you wake up the following day. Continue doing the same exercise again and again. Talk to yourself. Pretend you are talking to someone, like your tutor (of course when nobody sees you). Recollect the topic you discussed and the expressions you heard him or her used. Ask yourself and answer similar questions repeatedly until you become so familiar.
Do you believe that your confidence affects your way of talking? Lack of confidence blocks your thought. The more you panic, the harder it is for you to think of the word you need or want to say. That is also the reason why it is easier to learn with a tutor because with her, you can easily overcome your shyness. As you converse with her for so many times, you develop in yourself confidence – confidence that you will not have when you force yourself to talk to eloquent speakers who you do not often mingle with.
And last but not the least, do not be tongue-lazy. Remember that you are improving your English conversational skills. What is the use of learning it if you are not going to use it? When in a conversation, participate. Merely listening will help you, but with speaking, you will conquer all – your shyness, doubts, ignorance and wrong notion about your ability.
Be inspired in this quote of Napoleon Hill: “Reading instruction is not enough; practice is what makes it perfect.”