LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||12/MAR/2010 9:52 PM|
|Assunto:||Fear of speaking in a second language|
Hi there, Sidney.
Were you talking about me? he he...
In some ways I am like this, have been part of my life, studying and job.
In fact, in the last course I took I could talk well, but I experienced a feeling like my mind gone blank.
We went to another room to train (for some minutes) our lines but, for me, the words simply never came, and then they came; at first awkwardly then I would have them.
It was some sort of adjustment. Even in Portuguese; one day I had to make an essay (digo, redaįão) and when I saw the title "ploc" my grey matter had dissolved or something. Again, with time it worked.
On the other hand, I have noticed that when I know, when I do know something I donīt get nervous or anxious. Letīs say, if I have to say something obvious, an easy matter, I donīt get that edgy.
Even if I have to deal with a difficult boss, an hostile audience or what you have
but if I have to explain that two plus two equals four I donīt get my hands sweating or shaking, donīt stutter, my voice doesnīt get thin and I donīt jerk when I grab things.
Sidney, many pieces of advice there (in the link you divulged) are very interesting and gainful. About breathing, it wasnīt there, but I would add to them: count to five (or more), give a damn to mistakes (the minor ones, donīt be such a perfectionist!).
Why do you feel at home in Canada? some possible reasons:
1-Your neighbourhoods or your co-workers were nice;
2- The Canadians you knew let you at ease (werenīt that judgemental or nitpickers...); there are people even in Brazil that I donīt get comfortable to talk to, if this can be of some cold comfort.
3- You had some stereotypes into play (pre judging that Americans are mean, because you had some bad previous experience with one...) or even by hearsay; sometimes our parents pass on "commo-sense knowledge" like these. They stuck in our brain even tough we donīt realize.
4- As for English speakers doing well in Brazil, to begin with, their parents teach about being a world citizen and the variety of languages.
Second, they know that in Brazil people are warm and welcoming; and most of them arenīt judgemental; and third, they know that English is the language or commerce and finance and international movies/art etc.
Now the accent; I think we are starting the language learning in Brazil (in a serious way, I mean). So, itīs natural that our accent donīt be that good as yet.
Plus, even many Americans donīt master a perfect accent.
Thatīs more, many of them accept that the proverbial "local variety of English" exists, so they know that there are a Singaporean English, a Caribean one, a British one. And who knows? maybe they are adjusting themselves to accept the Brazilian one (pronounce-wise, but I am not advocating an English on itīs own right. The more close to the "original" English wich you learn from, the more accepted it is).
Sometimes it is not complaining, itīs a way of trying to help, they are very practical sometimes and we understand this as they being rough! itīs not the case, many times.
Cultural, on Brazilian part, yep. Because our society have a serious problem with
self-steem. Like a soccer team from Northeast playing agaisnt a team from Rio (no matter how he is doing well; suddenly, when confronted with these teams they lose or get a tie!) I am not talking about a match, there some matches in wich our teams
score 3 or 4-0 agains them, but I am talking about the pattern...the long run.
On the other hand, there are many (millions) of English speakers that really donīt feel comfortable with a simpleton like me, butting in their conversations (I have noticed that in chats...but most of times they turn into friends of mine).
Well, I am not going on and on, even because I am uninspired today. However, my aim was not to cover all sides of this question, only kick it off.
Thatīs my twopence, then.
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