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The reason you're not confident in English

I want to tell you about the big mistake a lot of language learners make:

Waiting too long to start speaking.


You spend countless hours with apps, and courses, learning tons of words and grammar rules.


But when it comes to actually speaking with a real person, uh-oh, it feels like you're trying to climb Mount Everest.

I've gone through this painful process multiple times with English, Chinese and Korean.

Every single time it was the same story:

I can read and listen but I'm terrified of speaking.


If that's you, you'll have to know about the paradox of fluency.

The paradox of fluency
The paradox of fluency

The very reason you can't speak fluently to a real human is that you're not speaking enough.


Unfortunately, most people wait for the “when I’m ready” moment and never fully commit to speaking regularly.

Guilty here!


Let me tell you something: if you can read and write in your target language, you can also speak.



The ability to read and understand means that you already know the vocabulary needed. It's passive and you need to activate it (by speaking).

The ability to write means that you can already use that vocabulary to create sentences. You just need to become faster (by speaking).

So, you’re ready, already (wink, wink).


However, if you don’t speak, you're like a chef who knows all the recipes but never cooks.


It's great to know the theory, but the magic happens in the kitchen – or in our case, in conversation.


Luckily, you’re reading this so I’m gonna give you 2 killer tips you can use right away to boost your speaking skills in any language today.


Thank me later (An expensive Christmas gift will be much appreciated).


1- Find a language partner


Ask a friend to help you practice your target language. If you don’t have any, pay for one (it will be worth it).


Avoid language exchange apps. They’re messy, disorganized, and most times people want to date you, not teach you.


Once you found the right person, follow these steps:


  1. Schedule 3 to 4 sessions a week (15 to 20 minutes are more than enough)

  2. Agree on a topic before the session (if no topic is decided it will be boring)

  3. Add it to your calendar and invite your friend too (this way it’s a commitment)

  4. Ask your friend to never correct you (you need fluency now not accuracy)

  5. Ask your friend to make lots of open-ended questions

  6. Repeat for many months…  

2- Record yourself


This is something I don’t particularly like, but if you don’t have anyone to talk to, it’s worth giving a try.


Here’s how you do it:


  1. Open the recording app on your smartphone (Voice Memos for Apple and Voice Recorder for Android)

  2. Record yourself for 2 to 5 minutes straight without pausing - (focus on fluency, not accuracy)

  3. Change the subject of each recording (describing your day, talking about future plans, expressing your opinion about a matter)

  4. Do it daily at the same time. Add it to your calendar and activate reminders and notifications.

  5. If you have time and motivation, listen to the recording, understand how to do better and do it again.



So, to recap:


  1. Don’t waste time with language apps. They don’t teach you how to speak for real.

  2. If you can understand what you read and write what you think you already have the vocabulary to start speaking.

  3. You must practice regularly to master the art.

  4. Find a speaking partner and commit to it for the following months.

  5. Try recording yourself in case you can’t find anyone who can help.


If after 2 or three months you don't improve, you might be in the Intermediate plateau.


Of course, all of that only matters if you already have an A2/B1 level in the language you’re trying to learn.


If you’re a complete beginner, instead, there are other things you should do.


For example, using graded readers to increase your vocabulary.

If you're still not subscribed to Mindlingo's Weekly, every Tuesday at 8 pm CET time I tell you how to:


  • Learn new words quickly

  • Drastically increase your fluency

  • Overcome your fear of speaking up

  • Speak a second language better at work

  • Use the best tools to learn any language fast

  • Become a confident speaker in your second language

For FREE, forever. Directly delivered to your inbox. Check it out here.

I hope this was useful. But even more, I hope you'll do something with it.

Take care,



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