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Why Speaking Starts From Within: A Guide for Students

Speaking a foreign language can be daunting, especially for students who are just starting. However, it is important to remember that speaking starts from within. This means that speaking a foreign language should come from a genuine desire to express oneself, rather than simply displaying language skills. In this article, we will discuss why this is important and how you can train yourself to speak a new language with confidence and authenticity.


The Problem with Textbook Dialogues


Many language textbooks rely heavily on model dialogues, role plays, and stories to teach students how to speak a new language. However, these materials are often created without any input from the students themselves. This can result in students who are able to display language in the classroom, but who are unable to use it in real-world situations. To avoid this problem, it is important to build a connection between what you want to say and the language that is needed to say it.


Express Yourself: Building Authentic Connections


In our language classes, we encourage students to express themselves in the foreign language, from the trivial to the profound. This means talking about your life, your feelings, and your opinions in the new language. By doing so, you are building an authentic connection between what you want to say and the language that is needed to say it. This is the key to speaking a new language with confidence and authenticity.


Using Objects to Create Situations


Of course, beginners may not have the language skills needed to express themselves in a foreign language right away. To help with this, language teachers may use objects in the room (such as Cuisenaire rods) to create situations that students can become involved in and learn to talk about. As their language skills develop, the focus of the class can shift to the students' interests, lives, and even their inner thoughts and feelings. The teacher can then help them find the language they need to express their intent.


Authentic Conversation: The Real Thing


There are situations where people use language simply to provide information, without any expressive element. However, these situations are rare and not at all normal. Authentic conversation is rich and can easily be generated from the people in the room, all of whom have something to say. By building authentic connections between what you want to say and the language that is needed to say it, you can learn to speak a new language with confidence and authenticity.


In conclusion, speaking a new language starts from within. It is important to build an authentic connection between what you want to say and the language that is needed to say it. By expressing yourself in the foreign language, using objects to create situations, and focusing on authentic conversation, you can train yourself to speak a new language with confidence and authenticity.

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