Language challenge 8


If you love speaking, that’s great! If you don’t, I know how you feel. It’s easier for me now, and I don’t mind when I have to speak German – unless perhaps it’s for a live interview, and then the old nerves come back! But generally, speaking German is much easier for me than it was when I first started.

When I started learning Turkish, I had the same all over again.

I haven’t really kept up with my Turkish, but with my German, I can definitely say that the more I did it, the easier it became.

One of the issues with speaking is that, unless you are living in a country where the language is spoken, you have to hunt out opportunities to speak – otherwise you just won’t do it! You can use all kinds of delay tactics – some of my favourites were

  • I’ll feel better about speaking once I’ve improved my vocabulary
  • I’ll do it later
  • I’ll improve my writing skills first.

I don’t actually subscribe to the idea that you have to start speaking straight away if this is not how you learn best, but you can’t put off the inevitable for ever, and if it’s something you want to be good at, the only way is to get out there and do it!

If you’re stuck for ideas about what you can do, I wrote a post about Activities for improving your speaking skills.

If speaking is something with which you struggle, have a look at this post on What prevents us from speaking and what can we do about it?


Today’s task is to identify two or three activities that you can do to improve your speaking skills. Make the arrangements for these activities so you are committed to them. If you’ve already arranged to have a Skype call with someone/ have coffee with a friend/ do an English lesson/ join a group activity in English, it is harder for you to pull out at the last minute – because the arrangements are already in place.

Let me know what you decided to do and how you got on with it!

More from English with Kirsty

After 3rd February 2016, the whole challenge will be available as a PDF. Sign up here for your copy:

Kirsty working with students

Author: Kirsty Wolf

I am an English teacher and a language enthusiast who also speaks German and Romanian. I help motivated professionals to improve their English so that they can communicate confidently and authentically.

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