The ESL speaking SWEET SPOT – finding that MOMENT when you have nothing to LOSE


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Most ESL students have been out there somewhere, sometime thinking about using their English and have found it really difficult to get started, to get into that conversation. It takes incredible confidence and requires persistence, but once you get that moment, there is this incredible rush that follows – it’s exciting and exhilarating, before you know it, your English is rushing out all over the place, phrases are popping up that you practiced in class and now you somehow subconsciously understand the context and are using it perfectly (well it feels like it to you).

This is commonly known as that ‘sweet spot’, that moment when you start into something and you realise you are already in it and you have nothing to lose.

It really is quite an exciting moment, because the impact afterwards is this incredible rush of confidence, and all you want to do is find another opportunity.

I saw this myself recently when I was on my way walking to the train station. It was about a 20 minute walk. As I left the school, I saw one of the students that I had taught a few months before and he simply greeted me and began walking with me. He starting talking and asking questions and discussing this that and the other and I could see he was so excited to have a full 20 minute discussion that was not only practicing his English but also was funny, interesting, informative and engaging.

The conversation went from a simple greeting to a full blown experience. By the time the guy had bought his ticket for the train and was bidding me farewell, he had only one look in his eye – it said “I’ve got really fluent haven’t I?”

If you are a student, you too can reach that sweet spot, but make sure you get yourself engaged into the conversation and decide to simply talk and communicate. Once that happens you will have lost all sense of time and the conversation will be all about the content of what you are talking about, and your fears and insecurities about your incorrect grammar will dissipate into the big universe out there.

Have a go….you’ll find yourself on a high for the rest of the day.

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