How I Learned to Speak English Confidently and How You Can Too – Tips For Non-Native Speaker

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Hi, my name is Chris, and I am a trainer at ICCOMIPE, the institute for speech, presentation, and teaching courses. I have been teaching English for over 10 years, and I have helped thousands of students and clients improve their spoken English skills and confidence.

But did you know that I was once a shy and nervous speaker myself? Yes, that’s right. I used to struggle with speaking English, and I know how frustrating and challenging it can be. That’s why I want to share with you my personal story and tips on how I learned to speak English confidently and how you can too.

Speaking English confidently has opened up many opportunities for me, both personally and professionally. It has also enriched my life and made me happier.

And I want you to experience the same benefits and joy that I have. That’s why I want to share with you some of the tips and strategies that I learned and used at ICCOMIPE to help you speak English confidently. Here they are:

1. Practice, practice, practice

A non-native english speaker practicing english language
A non-native english speaker practicing english language

Practice is the key to building confidence in any skill, and speaking English is no different. The more you speak, the more comfortable and confident you will become.

Therefore, you should try to speak English as much as possible, even if it’s just with yourself or with a language exchange partner online. You can also try reading out loud, recording yourself speaking, or practising with a language-learning app like Duolingo.

One of the things that I did to practice speaking English was to join a local Toastmasters club. Toastmasters is an international organization that helps people improve their public speaking and leadership skills.

I attended their meetings regularly, and I participated in their activities, such as giving speeches, evaluating others, and taking on roles.

I also received constructive feedback and support from other members. This helped me improve my pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and fluency in spoken English. It also helped me overcome my fear of speaking in front of an audience.

2. Focus on Fluency, Not Perfection

Many non-native speakers get caught up in trying to speak perfect English, but this can lead to hesitancy and self-doubt. Instead, focus on fluency, which means being able to express yourself smoothly and clearly.

It’s okay to make mistakes; in fact, they can be valuable learning opportunities. Remember, native speakers make mistakes too! The important thing is to communicate your message effectively and learn from your errors.

One of the things that I learned from my instructors and mentors at ICCOMIPE was to use the “sandwich technique” when I made a mistake. The sandwich technique is a simple way to correct yourself without losing your confidence or interrupting your flow. Here’s how it works:

  • First, you repeat the word or phrase that you said incorrectly, but this time correctly. This is the “bread” of the sandwich.
  • Second, you say “sorry” or “excuse me” or any other polite expression to acknowledge your mistake. This is the “filling” of the sandwich.
  • Third, you repeat the word or phrase that you said correctly again. This is the other “bread” of the sandwich.

For example, if I said “I live in Legos”, I would correct myself by saying “I live in Lagos, sorry, I live in Lagos”. This way, I can show that I know the correct pronunciation, and I can move on with my conversation without losing my confidence.

3. Build Vocabulary and Learn Phrases

Building your vocabulary and learning common phrases can help you feel more confident in conversations. Make a habit of learning new words every day, and practice using them in context.

Memorizing common phrases can also help you feel more prepared for different situations, such as ordering food at a restaurant or introducing yourself at a networking event. You can use online dictionaries, flashcards, or word games to expand your vocabulary and learn phrases.

One of the things that I did to build my vocabulary and learn phrases was to watch English movies and TV shows with subtitles. I enjoyed watching different genres, such as comedy, drama, action, and romance.

I learned many new words and phrases from the dialogues, and I also learned how to use them in different contexts. I also improved my listening skills and learned about different cultures and accents. I also tried to imitate the way the actors spoke, and I repeated their lines out loud. This helped me improve my pronunciation and intonation.

You might also like: How to Boost Your Vocabulary in 30 Days with These Amazing Online Tools

4. Sign Up for a Course Program

Taking a course program can provide motivation and accountability for practicing speaking skills on a regular basis. By setting goals and regularly practicing speaking in English, you can gradually overcome your shyness and become more comfortable communicating in English.

At ICCOMIPE, we offer various course programs for different levels and needs, such as basic, intermediate, advanced, and professional. Our courses are designed to help you improve your pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and fluency in spoken English. Our instructors are qualified, experienced, and friendly, and they will guide you through the learning process and give you constructive feedback.

One of the things that I liked about the course program that I took at ICCOMIPE was that it was interactive and fun. We had a lot of activities and exercises that involved speaking in English, such as role plays, debates, presentations, and games.

We also had a lot of opportunities to practice speaking in real-life situations, such as making phone calls, ordering food, asking for directions, and booking a hotel. We also had a lot of feedback and support from our instructors and peers. We learned from each other’s mistakes and successes, and we encouraged each other to speak more and better.

5. Find a Support System

A support system can be a great way to build your confidence in spoken English. Find a friend, family member, or an English mentor who supports your language learning journey and practice speaking with them.

You can also join a language learning group online or in person, where you can connect with others who are also learning English. Having a support system can help you overcome your fears, share your challenges and successes, and learn from others.

One of the things that I did to find a support system was to join a Facebook group for English learners. I met many people from different countries and backgrounds who were also learning English.

We shared our tips and resources, asked and answered questions, and gave each other feedback and encouragement. We also had live video chats where we practiced speaking English together. We had fun and made friends, and we also improved our spoken English skills and confidence.

6. Celebrate Your Progress

A person who is celebrating cause they've been able to master english language
A person who is celebrating cause they’ve been able to master english language

Finally, it’s essential to celebrate your progress, no matter how small. Language learning is a journey, and every step counts. Take note of your achievements, such as completing a conversation in English, learning a new word, or getting a compliment on your pronunciation. Celebrating your progress can help you stay motivated and build your confidence.

One of the things that I did to celebrate my progress was to keep a journal of my language learning journey. I wrote down my goals, challenges, successes, and feedback. I also wrote down the new words and phrases that I learned, and I used them in sentences.

I also wrote down the positive comments and compliments that I received from my instructors, peers, and clients. I reviewed my journal regularly, and I saw how much I improved and how far I came. I felt proud of myself and my achievements.


Speaking English confidently is a skill that can benefit you in many ways, both personally and professionally. However, it can also be challenging for many non-native speakers who face shyness, fear of making mistakes, or lack of confidence. Fortunately, you can overcome these challenges with some tips and strategies that I have shared.


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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Chris Nkwocha

    Great writeup! I enjoyed reading it.

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