When to speak

I’m a beginner (Ich bin Anfänger) and I’m doing my best to keep my target bars happy and am really going to give the 90 day challenge a go but am afraid (Ich hab’ Angst) of one thing. Speaking. I’ve been able to do the writing part with a little help from Google translate but really want to be able to have at least a simple 15 minute conversation at the end with a tutor(was evening thinking of putting it on here or something ambitious).

I want to be able to do at the very least the min targets here for speaking but am wondering if I should go with a tutor or I know they have online exchange too for this and am wondering the best way to start. Well off I go to send another writing submission as my target bar is letting my know its time. ;p.

Any opinions would be welcome. Personal experiences, best way to start talking etc. The point is I want to but am kind of nervous.

I started off having conversations with myself. Have an idea about what the discussion should be about, e.g at the bus stop, or job nterview, then just crack on.


It’s a good idea to talk to yourself. It seems not easy to start a conversation with a native speaker. But 15 minutes is not too long. You just will be able to introduce yourself and to ask/answer some questions. Keep calm, a tutor will help you to finish these short 15 minutes :wink:

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Thanks for the advice Ferdy and Ress. I think I’ll book a 15 min skype chat with a Tutor here on Lingq once I know 2000 words (hit intermediate 1). I think I’ll pick a few subjects and go over some of my writing submissions and find some conversation material here at lingq relevant to the conversation I want. Any ideas where one can find skype convo’s here at lingq?

There are many advantages to a conversation, incentive to study, helping us notice our gaps and errors, practice at using what we have learned, listening to a real person who reacts to what we say. It is a good habit to get into speaking. As you get better you will want to do more and more.

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A good tutor can be very helpful when you’re just getting started. You shouldn’t have to worry about the topic too much. The tutor will ask you questions and give you small topics to talk about. If you’ve been studying something, like how to describe your family members for example, you could always request to speak about that.

ad nate81: (…) I’m a beginner (Ich bin Anfänger) and I’m doing my best to keep my target bars happy and am really going to give the 90 day challenge a go but am afraid (Ich hab’ Angst) of one thing. Speaking. (…)

A good tutor will make sure you’ll lose that feeling of “Angst” very quickly. You might be a bit tense at the beginning, but you should always keep in mind that nobody is out there to “judge” you. It is nothing like the atmosphere some of us might experienced at school where the main objective sometimes seems to have been to make you look bad (not in all cases, of course - I had some really great teachers too).

I think it is good to know a certain amount of words and to have a basic understanding of the grammar before you try to have a longer conversation but personally I don’t think you need to know 2,000 words before you start talking with a tutor. You can benefit a lot from a chat before you hit that number of words.

But, of course, you definitely should do things the way you feel most comfortable with. After all, you should be enjoying what you do and not feel stressed out.

‘Angst vorm Sprechen’ is quite common, just be aware that you don’t slip into general ‘social cowardice’ in your TL. (It’s easily done.) Just dare to trust your tutor and yourself, you can’t lose. I used to shake and be petrified at the same time (quite a feat) during my first conversations in French and Spanish. Tongue-tied? My tongue was firmly knotted… It passes.

Ress I also speak to myself sometimes. Probably sounds strangely, however it helps.

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LOL @ SanneT. I like your sense of humor. I think I was over thinking the whole thing. I do have sort of a plan now.

You might also notice something fascinating: language interference. We all get it to a greater or lesser extent.

When I start to speak Spanish and start looking for a word, French pops up in my brain. (I suppose that is quite encouraging - it could also have been English or German - perhaps it proves that I’ve made a lot of progress in French…)

In any case, you’ll love it in the end. Enjoy your flexible plan!

I noticed that i have ‘active’ words that I use all the time when I talk and other words that i know when i read or hear them but don’t use myself. What I’ve start to do after doing my flashcards is to talk to myself or wife using the new words I’ve learnt. I found this activates words quicker.

Nice one! My Italian is pretty stagnant. I decided against ‘active’ learning, though am still enjoying Camus, one paragraph at a time, sometimes even just one sentence.

“…it can certainly be a challenge on the production side of things with multiple languages, but the brain can always cleanly read or listen in various learned L2’s without interference.”

How true! I often have it on the train that I automatically and seemingly simultaneously tune into conversations going on in the carriage in three or four languages.

What a pity that I can’t keep a straight face, otherwise I’d have made a great spy…

Interesting stuff that. I’ve considered starting Spanish as my Mum is Spanish and I knew a little as a kid, but fear it’d interfer with my Czech.

So nice to have such a great and helpful forum here at lingq. I find the German forum to be very good as we have such helpful people on here like Vera, who answers questions so quickly.

hi everyone. I am maik, if anyone of you who wants to improve there english communication skills. i am free and willing to help you with that. Just feel free to add me on your skype account. and here is mine @mnmaiko

I need a partner who can help me out. I want to practice english with him/her through skype. do not hesitate to add me. My skype id: Gowthaman.kutty