At the beginning of getting used to a new foreign language, it is unavoidable for people to feel strange and surprised . Below are some common mistakes that beginners often encounter when learning English communication. Let’s disover with Learn English Fun Way
1, Focus too much on the grammar
Usually when people are pushed into a situation where they need to communicate in English, the first thing most people think about is “I’m not sure if I follow the grammar rules correctly or not?”, “Do people understand what I am saying ?”. As the result, the pressure to speak grammatically is the first and biggest obstacle that makes you less confident when speaking English.
However; in fact, the key to communicating is listening to key words and capturing the main idea. Therefore; even if you don’t speak 100% grammatically correctly, your interlocutor can fully understand what you are saying and give you an appropriate response.
So, during your daily practice of English communication, instead of being absorbed in arranging words properly in grammar before speaking, which actually reduces your reflex rate a lot of times, you had better encourage yourself to “talk randomly”, accept mistakes in English grammar, but make sure the keywords and the idea of the sentences are correct. Gradually, you will see fewer and fewer grammatical mistakes in your speaking.
2, Often use unnecessary vocabulary
Do not overuse vocabulary, especially difficult words when you do not understand how to use them. The harder the word is, the less common its usage is. Start practicing from the most basic, simplest words but use them accurately.
In fact, sometimes, even if you memorize the meaning of some extremely difficult English words, you still can not speak a whole sentence that includes those words. Therefore; the main problem is that you don’t remember it in a specific context, and my advice for you is to put those words into complete phrases or complete sentences while practicing English communication.
- “have an appointment with sb”
- “graduate from ABCXYZ school”
- “I have experience in Sales and Marketing but I have little experience in Banking and Finance.”
- “I prefer day-shift but night-shift seems ok to me.”
- “I’m allergic to onion so please make me a non-onion pizza. Thanks a lot!”
This way of learning will you remember new words longer as you often use them in phrases or sentences for your daily conversation. Besides, in this way, you will not need to spend such a long time thinking how to complete sentences. This is signficantly important in your daily communication because there is not much time for you to consider and think about how to arrange the words to express your idea when speaking.
3, Lack focus on pronunciation
The pronunciation plays an essential role in English communication, simply because the listener will be confused if you pronounce the words incorrectly. A common mistake is that speakers don’t pronounce the “ending sound” (the sound at the end of each word). For example, if you want to say “white hair” but lack the “ending sound,” the opposite listener will mishear the phrase into “why hair”. And many individuals often forget to pronounce “s” too.
Another error is lacking sentence stress (stress on key words). If you say very much but with a steady voice, without emphasizing the important words in the sentences, then the person communicating with you will not be aware of what your main idea is. Similar to when you take the Listening test, you also need to rely on the sentence stress of the speaker in the tape to understand the whole content of the speech and give the correct answer.
Next is put wrong stress on the word (word stress). This mistake is often made by people learning new vocabulary without paying attention much to pronunciation, which gradually becomes a bad habit that is difficult to change. When you place the stress wrong in a series of words in a sentence, the listener will not be able to understand the content you want to convey.
4, Use too many words “um”, “ah”, etc. while speaking
Many people unconsciously get used to using the words like “um”, “ahh”, “so”, “like” or “you know” and make your sentence “endlessly long”. It is incorrect to think that these words are used to fill the pause in speech, because if overused, the sentence will become troublesome, and difficult for the listener to follow.
For example, try to read aloud with this sentence: “I’m Mai. … um … I graduated from … um … National Economics University. … Ah … I have experience in Sales and Marketing but … you know …, I have little experience in … um … well … Banking and Finance. “
These filler words do not highlight the message you want to say but rather will make you seem more timid. The interlocutor will feel like you’re not confident about yourself and unsure about your answers. Sometimes these words also distract the speakers themselves, and they will not know what they are saying.
The best way to correct this mistake is to reduce the speaking rate, make yourself able to control the usage of those filler words. When you know you are about to say those words, stop for a moment, you can consider it a “pausing strategy”. This will give you more time to think about what you want to say, then keep talking without adding any middle words. “Pausing strategy” not only gives you more time to think, but also makes an impact on your saying when you communicate in English.
5, Speak too fast and always try to be perfect.
Speaking fast is considered as speaking fluently or speaking without translating in your mind. However, you should not speak fast when you can not speak exactly like a native speaker because you will easily make errors in grammar, pronunciation as well as vocabulary for there being not enough time to think about them.
Therefore; you should speak at a moderate pace and in a clear way. Do not swallow the words. When speaking slowly, you can remember to place the stress in important words in sentences. However; do not speak too slowly as you may make the listener become bored.
New English learners often pay attention to mistakes and worry a lot about making mistakes and fixing them. They try to speak everything perfectly, but, actually no one is perfect as the native speakers also often make mistakes. Hence, instead of focusing on fixing your mistakes, you should focus on the communication itself. Your goal is not to speak “perfectly”, but to be able to express your ideas, information and feelings clearly and easily. Focus on the English communication positively and your speaking will gradually improve.