If you are afraid of making mistakes in English WATCH THIS

Read More

In this lesson, we address the common fears of speaking English as a second language, drawing on studies like Horwitz et al. (1986) and Dörnyei (2001). We offer practical strategies for overcoming speaking anxiety and enhancing motivation. We empower learners to communicate in English confidently and effectively.

Imagine mastering the English language, speaking fluently, and communicating your thoughts seamlessly to the world, only to find yourself crippled by one lingering fear. Making mistakes. Does that sound familiar? It's a common story for many advanced English learners. A story that we are going to flip today.

So, get ready to embark on a journey where we conquer the fear of making mistakes in English. Replacing it with confidence and proficiency. Let's turn this page together. Are you ready?


🎤 Sign up for my group coaching program 
🤩 Join our community of Explearners 
Learn about Explearning Academy The #1 Professional Development Platform for The Modern Executive
🏆 Sign up for our 33-Day Executive Excellence Challenge 


Welcome back to our blog, dear advanced learners of English. I'm so excited to present an enriching discussion today. One that I believe will strike a chord with many of you. We'll be talking about a crucial barrier that many language learners face, particularly when they reach the advanced stages of learning.

The fear of making mistakes in English. This fear might sound illogical to some, given your high level of proficiency, but believe me, it's very real and incredibly common. This fear can be paralyzing, hindering your ability to express yourself fully and authentically. It creates a mental block that affects your speaking skills, thereby reducing your overall confidence in English.

However, the good news is that we can overcome this fear, and that's precisely the goal of our discussion today. We're not here to merely recognize and empathize with this fear. We're here to combat it head on. 

We will delve deep into why we fear making mistakes, and then armed with this understanding, we'll tackle several strategies to beat this fear. I invite you to join me in this journey of growth a journey where we'll learn to embrace our mistakes, enhance our English language skills, and emerge more confident and fearless.

By the end of this lesson and discussion, we will hopefully transform your view of mistakes from being these terrifying roadblocks to opportunities for learning and self improvement. So, buckle up, and let's start this empowering journey together.

Have you ever wondered why the fear of speaking English can be so intense, so visceral? After all, it's just a language, a means of communication. However, let's be clear. Language is more than that. It's a symbol of identity, a reflection of intellect, and an emblem of culture. 

Therefore, making a mistake isn't merely grammatical. It can feel like a personal failure. 

There are several underlying reasons why language learners might fear speaking English.

At its root, this fear often stems from the apprehension of being judged, misunderstood, or even rejected. Many learners dread the embarrassment of making a mistake in front of L1 native speakers or their peers, which can feel like a public display of their perceived inadequacy. Moreover, this fear can be further exacerbated by previous negative experiences.

Perhaps an unkind comment about your accent from a classmate, an impatient listener not allowing you to find your words, or a harsh teacher who was quick to criticize and slow to praise. These experiences can often have a lasting impact, creating a negative association with the English language and reinforcing the fear of making mistakes.

However, what we must remember here is that learning a new language is a complex and personal journey. It's about mastering a completely new set of rules, sounds and structures all while trying to express our thoughts and ideas accurately. Everyone stumbles. Everyone makes mistakes. And that's not just okay, it's part of the learning process.

So let's normalize making mistakes, because they aren't roadblocks, they're stepping stones on the path to fluency. Adding on, a study conducted by Horowitz, Horowitz, and Cope in 1986 describes this fear as foreign language anxiety characterized by feelings of tension, apprehension, and fear related to the learning or use of a foreign language.

The researchers found that many language learners fear to speak a foreign language due to the possibility of making mistakes and the fear of negative evaluation. Remember, fear is a natural part of the language learning process. 

But you don't have to face this challenge alone. At Explearning Academy, we work with international professionals to overcome this fear, boost their confidence, and pave the way to social fluency in English.

So I hope that you join us at academy.explearning.co. We would love to have you.

Given these fears, the question then arises, how do we motivate language learners to break through this wall of fear and start speaking English? There isn't a one size fits all answer here, but there are several strategies that can encourage learners to express themselves freely in English. 


🎤 Sign up for my group coaching program 
🤩 Join our community of Explearners 
Learn about Explearning Academy The #1 Professional Development Platform for The Modern Executive
🏆 Sign up for our 33-Day Executive Excellence Challenge 

Firstly, we need to create a supportive, non judgmental learning environment. A safe space where learners are encouraged to express themselves without the fear of criticism. This approach validates their efforts and helps them view mistakes not as failures, but instead as learning opportunities, as teachable moments. 

Don't worry about the mistakes. They show that you're trying. Every mistake is a step closer to fluency, so remember those key phrases. 

Secondly, goal setting plays a crucial role in motivation. These goals should be realistic, measurable, and should cater to your individual learning needs. 

Celebrating small victories along the way can boost your confidence and fuel motivation. So, let's say you completed an English novel. That's amazing! You should celebrate that. Maybe you were able to watch your favorite TV show without any subtitles. Or maybe you had a fluent conversation with an L1 native speaker. These are such great achievements that deserve to be celebrated. So don't forget to do that along the way.

There's no shortcut to improving spoken English. It requires regular practice. So I encourage you to join English language clubs, have discussions in English with both L1 and L2 speakers of English, and even practice in front of a mirror. That could also help. 

If you really want to practice every single day and join us for some live video calls as well, then I would encourage you to come join our very own Private Community, Explearning Academy. It would be great to have you, and you can practice your English there with other learners.

Finally, patience and self compassion cannot be overstated. Language learning is a marathon. It's not a sprint. Some days will be better than others, and that is perfectly fine. So be patient with the progress and be kind to yourself when things don't go as planned, or when you feel like your progress has stagnated a bit.

Reframe and keep on keeping on. A study by Liu and Chen in 2013 showed that a supportive and non judgmental environment can indeed increase motivation and decrease foreign language anxiety. The researchers found that the students who were exposed to supportive learning environments had lower levels of anxiety and higher motivation levels to learn the language.

That's pretty cool, isn't it? Remember, language learning isn't just about attaining perfection. In fact, there is no such thing as perfection if we think about it. Rather, it's about improving communication. So let's shift the focus from fear of mistakes to the joy of expressing oneself in a new language.

I also really encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, which is part of what we do at the Explearning Academy. We create a supportive and non judgmental learning environment to encourage your journey towards English fluency, and with us, you can also practice your executive communication and improve your executive presence, which could also unlock new opportunities and job prospects.

Now that we've explored the reasons behind this fear and how we can motivate learners to overcome it, let's delve into some more strategies to conquer this fear of making errors in English. 

First of all, let's address the elephant in the room, shall we? Mistakes. Making errors while learning a new language is not a sign of weakness.

It's a natural part of the learning journey. We must transform our perception of making mistakes and begin to view them instead as valuable learning opportunities. You made a grammatical error? Used the wrong vocabulary? That's okay! Each mistake you make provides you with an opportunity to learn and grow.

Secondly, practice is paramount. Practice makes progress, as I say. The more you speak, the better you'll become. It can include casual conversations with L1 native speakers or L2 speakers, participating in English language clubs, or simply narrating your day to day activities in English. And yes, this could be to yourself. Remember, practice doesn't just make progress, practice makes permanent. So, it really will stick in here. 

Thirdly, it's crucial to foster a relaxed mindset while speaking English. Don't be too hard on yourself. It's not about being perfect. It's about communicating effectively and clearly. So, if you feel anxious or nervous, take a few deep breaths, remind yourself of your progress, and speak with confidence. Even if you don't feel confident in that moment, if you start acting confidently, your mind will follow. 

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we need to cultivate a positive mindset. I cannot emphasize this enough. Learning English isn't a race, and there are no winners or losers. It's a journey of self improvement and self discovery. Celebrate your progress no matter how small and stay optimistic. 

In a study by Zhang in 2019, it was found that the fear of making errors decreases significantly when learners begin to view errors as a natural part of the learning process and as opportunities for self improvement.

The study suggests that through this shift in mindset, learners become much more comfortable and confident in speaking English, ultimately leading to improved proficiency. In the end, it's about focusing on the joy of learning rather than the fear of making mistakes. When you change your perspective, you'll not only improve your English skills, but also enjoy the learning process so much more.

Remember, mistakes are stepping stones on your journey to mastering English. At Explearning Academy, we encourage you to embrace these moments as they come. Join us and let's turn those fears into stepping stones to success in your personal and professional life in English speaking contexts.

Let's take a moment to recognize that the fear of making mistakes is a shared experience for many L2 non native speakers of English. But it's also something that we can overcome. Making mistakes is not a flaw. It's not a defect. It's an inherent part of the learning process.

We should accept and even embrace these mistakes as part of our journey to fluency. The fear of making mistakes should never, ever be a hurdle in expressing our thoughts and ideas in English. It's crucial to keep practicing, keep speaking, and keep making those mistakes.


🎤 Sign up for my group coaching program 
🤩 Join our community of Explearners 
Learn about Explearning Academy The #1 Professional Development Platform for The Modern Executive
🏆 Sign up for our 33-Day Executive Excellence Challenge 

In this lesson, we've explored several strategies to alleviate this fear of making mistakes from creating a supportive learning environment, setting achievable SMART goals, and fostering a positive mindset.

But perhaps the most important takeaway from today's discussion is the need to shift our focus from perfection to communication and connection. 

In a research paper published by McIntyre and Gardner in 1991, it was concluded that language anxiety could indeed hinder the process of learning a new language, but this anxiety could be mitigated by focusing on communication rather than perfection.

Their findings reinforce the strategies that we've discussed in our lesson here today. Remember, learning a new language isn't about flawlessness. It's about effectively expressing our ideas, our thoughts, and emotions in a new and exciting way. So keep practicing, keep persevering, keep making those mistakes, and more importantly, keep enjoying every minute of the process of learning English.

Overcoming the fear of making mistakes in English is crucial to your language learning journey. At Explearning Academy, we are here to guide you through this journey, improve your communication skills, and boost your confidence with us, and open the doors to a world of new opportunities. So you can sign up by going to academy.explearning.co. Can't wait to see you there!

For some, speaking English with someone who shares the same first language can feel particularly daunting. It might even seem easier to converse with a native English speaker. However, let's remember that we're all learners here, embarking on this enriching journey of language learning and communication together.

To overcome this specific fear, there are a few strategies that I would like to share with you that you can use. First, remind yourself that mistakes are part and parcel of learning a new language. Everyone is bound to make them, and that's perfectly okay. Don't view errors as your failures. Instead, see them as opportunities for improvement and growth.

Secondly, seize every opportunity to practice speaking English. Even if it's with someone who shares your first language, practicing will always help. Look for opportunities to engage in English conversations and discussions, join language learning clubs, or simply practice speaking English with your friends and family.

And if you really want to practice your English, you can come and join us at Explearning Academy

Thirdly, patience and self compassion are key. Learning a new language is a marathon. Like we said, it's not a sprint. So, be kind to yourself. Don't get upset. Don't rush the process. And instead, celebrate your small victories and wins and keep pushing forward. Keep persevering.

Lastly, focus on the goal of communication and not on trying to be perfect, whatever that means. The aim is to express your thoughts clearly, not necessarily to sound like a dictionary. 

If you and your conversation partner can understand each other and build rapport, then that means that you're on the right track. 

A study conducted by DeWale and McIntyre in 2014 found that learners who use their second language to communicate with those who share their first language can actually experience more anxiety.

However, they also found that this anxiety could be reduced by focusing on communication rather than on grammatical accuracy. They recommend regular practice and a positive mindset as strategies to overcome this fear. 

So whether you're speaking English with a native L1 speaker or someone who shares your first language, remember, it's not about being perfect or mistake free, instead it's about communicating effectively and confidently and have fun in the process of communicating.

By practicing regularly and maintaining a positive attitude, which goes a really long way, you can conquer your fear and improve your English language skills in no time. 

Speaking English with a native speaker of your own language can be a unique challenge, but one that can be overcome with practice and the right mindset. 

And at Explearning Academy, we equip international professionals with the skills they need to communicate effectively in English, even with those who share their same first language.

Improve your English speaking skills with us and enhance your job prospects and opportunities as well. 

All right, Advanced English Explearners, thank you so much for joining me in this deep dive into overcoming the fear of making mistakes when speaking English. We've explored why this fear is so common, discussed strategies to help motivate you to speak English, and provided actionable advice for overcoming this fear, especially when speaking English with someone who shares your same first language where there might be some extra anxiety.

Remember, at Explearning Academy, we're dedicated to supporting your English language journey and communication, helping you boost your confidence, improve your communication skills, and achieve social fluency. 

Your dream job and a life filled with more opportunities in English speaking countries could be just a click away.

So if you found value in this video lesson please hit that like button and share it with your friends who also might benefit from these tips. And if you haven't already make sure that you hit the subscribe button and the bell icon so that you don't miss out on our upcoming video lessons. We post regular content aimed at helping you reach new heights in your English proficiency and communication. And finally, I would love to hear about your experiences and the strategies that you've used to overcome the fear of making mistakes in English.

Please share your thoughts in the comments down below. I read every single one of them. Remember, every mistake is a step forward in your learning journey. Keep practicing. Stay positive. And you'll find that speaking English can become a joyful and rewarding experience. Thanks again for tuning in and until next time, happy Explearning, everyone!


🎤 Sign up for my group coaching program 
🤩 Join our community of Explearners 
Learn about Explearning Academy The #1 Professional Development Platform for The Modern Executive
🏆 Sign up for our 33-Day Executive Excellence Challenge 


Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2), 125-132.

Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational strategies in the language classroom. Cambridge University Press.

MacIntyre, P. D., & Gardner, R. C. (1991). Methods and results in the study of anxiety and language learning: A review of the literature. Language Learning, 41(1), 85-117.

Piller, I. (2002). Passing for a native speaker: Identity and success in second language learning. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 6(2), 179-206.


🎤 Sign up for my group coaching program 
🤩 Join our community of Explearners 
Learn about Explearning Academy The #1 Professional Development Platform for The Modern Executive
🏆 Sign up for our 33-Day Executive Excellence Challenge