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So where does this fear of making mistakes come from and why it’s so prevalent among foreign English speakers?
I think there are a couple of reasons for that, and the biggest of them goes back to your school days when you studied English sitting behind a desk.
So what initially shows up only as moments of slight embarrassment can grow into a proper speech anxiety, and you can start avoiding contacting other English speaking people to avoid those embarrassing situations 😯 And this is where it gets serious.
While being a bit confused and making an odd mistake here and there is absolutely normal, those foreign English speakers who are constantly worried about making mistakes have their English improvement seriously impeded; in other words – they find it hard to enjoy themselves when speaking English.
But similar to what I just said about signing performance, as far as you’re smiling and being friendly and the small mistakes you make aren’t as big as to create a real communication barrier, you’re fine!
In the most extreme cases you might even be avoiding communication only not to experience embarrassment and humiliation!
That’s when it gets really serious because no matter how badly you fear making mistakes, you’re not going to improve your spoken English simply because you’re not speaking enough ❗ So how to deal with this anxiety and how to overcome your fear of making mistakes?
We all can definitely remember situations when we’ve made a mistake when speaking or attempting to speak, and that has made us feel insecure, embarrassed and ashamed of our level of spoken English.
The more similar situations we encounter, the more conscious we become, and fear of making mistakes constantly feeds on itself.