All your hard work and dedication builds to that one moment: your first conversation in a new foreign language. Yet, the second you open your mouth things begin to spiral downward.
The words don’t seem to flow. You stutter. Your mind goes blank. And then you panic. Soon, your conversation partner sees your struggle and decides to “help” you by reverting to English. Or worse: You’re told that your accent or language skills are “bad.”
When starting out in a new foreign language, these are all real possibilities. All your practice at home, listening and repeating conversations from your iPod, and writing to penpals will never fully prepare you for your first foreign language conversation with a native speaker.
But despite the hardships you’ll face, you need to push through and persevere — your language learning success depends upon it.
Not sure how to recover from a low blow? Here are a few tips to repair your language learning confidence (even if it’s been completely shattered).