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Question
Posted by: Thandik | 2009/04/16

Language

Am a Zulu speaking girl and I’ ve always struggled with speaking English...(Well language in general is not my strong point, I' m quiet person by nature) well proper English (I even avoid speaking the language cos I know that I don' t speak it that well) I know that to know the language I have to speak it as often as I can but I think I have developed a phobia of some sort, because I panic when I have to speak English around my friends, boyfriend and some of my colleagues...(most of my friends spreak good english) this makes me lose my confidence and myself esteem and feel very incompetent at work (Am very good at my job but it’ s the language I can' t get right).... How do I get over this?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I wonder whether you really have any actual lack of skill in speaking English ( you write it better than many who post questions here !) --- but maybe, rather, you might have a social anxiety disorder --- that is, the main problem may be feeling anxious and self-conscious and awkward when you think people will be paying attention to you, such as when you speak English ( and I wonder if you'd feel entirely happy if you had to stand up in front of an audience and give a talk even in Zulu ? ) --- a problem more of self esteem and confidence than of actual language. IF possible, seeing a psychologist providing CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ), an alarming-sounding name for a friendly, pleasant and rather short therapy to help one to learn greater confidence and comfort in talking with people.
And to further help you hear and speak English comfortably, try to watch Enlish-language DVDs, and TV, in which there's a lot of talking going on ( not so much the action films with more explosions than speech !) and just hear it, and its variations. And don't be self-conscious if you have an accent ( so long as you can pronounce words so they are understandable ) --- I remember when I went to study in Britain, I was amazed to find how many different Englishes were being spokemn, in how many different accents.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Thandik | 2009/04/16

Thank you for all the advice.
To answer your question:
" and I wonder if you' d feel entirely happy if you had to stand up in front of an audience and give a talk even in Zulu ? " 

I cant stand up in front of an audience and give a talk even in Zulu.


Reply to Thandik
Posted by: Anon | 2009/04/16

Hello Thandik, reading is a great way to improve your english, read novels and when you dont understand a word look it up in the dictionary. You will find the more books your read the better your english will become and what a wonderful hobby to enjoy! good luck lovely lady!

Reply to Anon

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