There comes a point in every English language student’s life when it is time to step out of the classroom or home study environment and try to speak English with native speakers in real-world situations. How easy this is to do will, of course, depend on where exactly you live but assuming you live in or near to a large city, it should not be too hard to find a suitable opportunity to converse with native speakers. However, before you take this big step, it is a good idea to prepare yourself mentally.
Mental Preparation for Real-World English Practice
To make your first experience as pleasant as possible, run through the following checklist before you head out to have your first real-world conversation with native English speakers.
- Situational Vocabulary Notes – Prepare some notes containing the vocabulary and phrases you think are most likely to be used in your conversation. It can be easy to panic when conversing with native speakers for the first time but with your notes beside you, you will quickly be able to regain your poise if this should happen.
- Length of Time – Setting a time limit for your first real-world experience will help to make it feel less daunting. It is better to spend ten minutes chatting in a café and walk out feeling very pleased with yourself than to spend several hours in a local bar and feel completely out of your depth.
- Post Match Analysis – Organize your day so that you have time to reflect on your first conversation after you return home. You should be able to pick up some valuable pointers on what to study next, based on your performance.
Now that you are fully prepared, you can go and have your first conversation but remember, it should be fun as well as educational!