How to Combat Shyness in Another Language

To overcome shyness in any language requires a change in your personality. Learning a language gives you the opportunity for new expression.

You have to express yourself in a new way when you’re learning a language.

The words are different, the sounds are different, and you can’t say things the way you normally would. When you learn a language you adopt new behaviours. You have to exercise different muscles in your face. You must change the sound of your voice. In doing this you automatically develop a new way to express yourself and by virtue of repeating aloud what you learn, you add facets to your personality.

The conclusion must be that learning a language is one of the best ways to overcome shyness, and the reason is because you get to choose the speed and manner in which you develop.

You can choose which situations to immerse yourself in. You can throw yourself in at the deep end, and spend time in the language’s native country. You can join language clubs in your area or online.

When your functional fluency arrives you might not even realise because you’ll be busy thinking about the problems of your current level. This is where the opportunity arises to recognise your achievements and congratulate yourself. This is what vitalises your development because you consistently take the time to acknowledge what you can do. This is how you increase your confidence, by becoming aware of your growing capacity for self-expression.

The key is to immerse yourself in a subject and situation that is so engaging, that you enjoy it so much, that you forget about the language and just express yourself. Find a favourite activity, hobby or pastime and go and do it, in English!

You can take a moment now to reflect on your development so far. How far have you come in your language journey? It’s time to congratulate yourself, you’ve worked very hard. Well done. Keep on learning!


Khalil S. Patwa
Accelerating Your Language Journey

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