How to overcome the language barrier in English

Imagine a situation: you are standing on the street and catch the eye of a nice guy or girl, he or she smiles at you with a white-toothed smile, and you would also like to start a conversation with a smile, but instead your hands start to tremble, your throat dries up and a cold appears on your forehead sweat - this person does not speak your native language. What if you don't understand each other?

Your knowledge is not enough and in this situation fear and uncertainty speak for you. How to overcome these feelings, get rid of the language barrier and be fluent in English? Let's see what you can do!

What is a language barrier

The language barrier in English is the difficulty in speaking in a foreign language. It's no secret that almost every English learner has encountered a similar phenomenon. But why does the speaking barrier arise at all?

As you know, everything has its own reason. Knowing your mistakes and shortcomings, you can easily avoid them, and therefore, overcome your insecurity and easily deal with complexes in relation to the English language, and, consequently, carry out your plan without falling on your face in the mud. Let's look at the reasons why a person suddenly "swallows his tongue."
Reasons for the manifestation of a conversational barrier and how to overcome it
Fear of making a mistake.
Let's be honest, only you pay attention to your mistakes ... well, and your English teacher, of course. Throughout your school life, everyone has said that making mistakes in school is unacceptable. Forget about it.

Making mistakes is the best thing you can do when learning a foreign language (and more). You learn from mistakes. And you will allow them in the future until you reach the level of a native speaker.

No quick response.

You know a lot of words, but in a stressful situation, all words seem to simply evaporate from your head! And it's okay! You have a huge card index in your head, and there are hundreds of cards with foreign words.

Give yourself a couple of seconds - take a breath, because it takes time to rummage through this card index thoroughly, not to confuse anything and understand how to use words in speech correctly. Switching between native and English needs to be trained.

Cards with suggestions for translation can come to the rescue. On one side, a sentence in the native language, on the other, in a foreign language. The key is to learn how to quickly formulate a whole sentence.

Fear of not understanding the interlocutor.

We think that each of you has heard the expression: "The best way to speak a foreign language is to go to a country where this language is spoken fluently." This is, of course, true.

But in our experience, if you are covered in cold sweat in an unfamiliar place and with strangers, it is unlikely to give positive results. Start communicating in English not with native speakers, but with those who know it at an intermediate level.

It is now very easy to find a group of people who want to improve their English just like you. Scour the internet and social media - we guarantee that you will definitely find yourself a conversation club next door. The main thing is to practice.

Fear of being misunderstood.

We all want to speak correctly and beautifully, almost from the first meeting with a native speaker. But there is no need to complicate your life - choose the easier way! Use simpler sentences instead of complex sentences. For example, instead of "I would like ..." or "Could you bring me ..." just say "Tea, please." They will definitely understand a simple sentence, and you will be confident in yourself.

To keep simplified speech from sounding rude, remember to add polite words like “please” and “thank you,” they are appropriate in any conversation. Use also simple vocabulary - you don't need to use all the idioms and expressions you have learned in one conversation, because this can get confused.
You learned to speak, but you did not learn to listen.
Anyone who does not even think to learn English, French, Spanish or any other language can face such a problem. After all, we don't know how to listen to each other, and we don't really want to in principle. But without this skill, it will be quite difficult to enter into dialogue, isn't it?

Has it ever happened to you that you felt ridiculous in a situation where they tell you something, but you cannot understand what is being said, and naturally, you are not able to maintain a conversation, since you have no idea how to respond to a reply interlocutor? The question immediately arises: “And what have I been taught for so long ?! If I can't even keep up a simple conversation! " But this problem can be solved.

Just focus on listening! Listen to podcasts on your favorite topics, radio and download audiobooks. The main thing is that you have found the reason and you know what to work on.

You are ashamed of your pronunciation.

When learning a foreign language, many are faced with the fear of incorrect pronunciation, they are afraid that their accent will sound stupid and other interlocutors will simply laugh at them.

And the point is not at all that you do not know how to pronounce a word correctly, but in your speech apparatus, which is tuned to your native language. In order to reproduce English sounds, it needs to be rebuilt physiologically. That is, to make those muscles work that did not work before.

This cannot be achieved in any other way than by training these very muscles - reading aloud, for example. Clearly and a lot, up to a soreness in the muscles of the speech apparatus. In order not to memorize incorrectly, read the texts that you first have the opportunity to listen to.

Also, listen to native speakers a lot and try to repeat exactly after them. Movies, songs, radio and your favorite YouTube channels in English will help you with this. Watch your favorite TV show (if necessary, then with subtitles), stop the video, try to repeat the phrase simulating intonation and pronunciation, listen to it again. Repeat these steps as many times as necessary. And you will definitely achieve a smooth and flowing beautiful speech.
You have a small vocabulary.
Native speakers love to use phrasal verbs and idioms. What leads to the fear that you will again misunderstand something in the conversation. For example, if you heard the phrase “I’m feeling under the weather”, then you might think that a person is really standing under some kind of rain and is worried about the weather forecast. Although in reality, today he is simply not very well or he is upset about something.

To avoid misunderstandings, start gradually learning these idioms. You don't have to memorize everything all at once, start small. Two phrasal verbs and one idiom per day.

Also, do not forget that you can always use similar words - synonyms, or try to explain a word through the opposite - an antonym.

Ultimately use your hands, facial expressions and gestures. Sometimes it’s easier to portray ice skating or simulate the roar of a lion than it’s tedious to remember the right word. If you can't remember the right word, then don't be silent - you are not a cat.


Man is a multilevel and complex system. Much of what is going on inside us may be incomprehensible to us. Learning English is not an easy process, but surmountable and interesting.

By gradually developing all aspects of the language and not being afraid to make mistakes, you can achieve a feeling of confidence in speaking with a foreigner. We hope that our article will help you overcome the language barrier and learn to speak English fluently.