Being afraid of speaking English or any other language

Hello, my name is Mara, I’m an Italian and a part of the MosaLingua team.

Being afraid of speaking English is an all too common fear given the lack of opportunities to speak it with native speakers or even with people from your own country. And for this, I want to share with you my personal experience of learning languages and being afraid to speak them.

Like the rest of the MosaLingua team, languages are a part of my work, but they aren’t my biggest passion. I speak English and French every day at work, and I also know a little Spanish. Writing in these languages is easy for me, but when I need to speak them, I get shy (most of all with English) because I don’t want to make errors or have the person I’m talking to not understand me.


But in the last Skype meeting the rest of the team and I had, I felt much better being surrounded by people from different countries who were sharing their idea for projects we were going to work on together. This and being able to speak without worrying about grammar or punctuation errors really calmed my nerves. I could share my thoughts, and I felt much better about being able to confront this fear that always had held me back.

So my tip for you is to start speaking without dwelling on this fear, and do so progressively: a small online conversation group, between friends or with a language partnership with people at the same level as you. It’s important to have faith in yourself, not to rush it, and to believe that you are capable of overcoming your fear. Keep in mind that young children always make mistakes, but, little by little, they become totally fluent.

Enjoy yourself, and watch how quickly your fear of learning English becomes just a memory!

How about you? How do you react when you need to speak in another language? Share your suggestions with us in the comments section! I’d love to read them.