“People laugh at me when I speak English.” We hear this from many of our students.
It can be upsetting to have people laugh at us when we are trying our best.
At first, I couldn’t understand why people would laugh at others. Are they just being mean?
But when I saw this happen in a workshop I attended, I realised that people who laugh at others are not necessarily being mean. They just find something to be funny.
This can be frustrating for you, as the speaker, if you are not trying to be funny.
My advice to you is: try not to think too much about it.
But at the same time, find out the possible reasons they laugh at you. You could even ask a friend why she or other people laugh when you speak English.
1. Do you sound unnatural?
If you sound unnatural, speak English more at work or at home so that people get used to hearing you speak in English. The more you speak English, the more natural you’ll sound.
2. Do you speak too fast?
When you speak too fast, it may be because you’re nervous. You may not only speak fast, but you may also have such high nervous energy that people find funny. So take a deep breath and slow down. You’re in control. There is no rush to get your message across.
3. Do you have a peculiar accent?
I love listening to people with different accents. It shows that they are fluent in more than one language. But if your accent is too strong that people struggle to understand you, it’s good to learn to improve your pronunciation. Listen to English-speaking podcasts (our podcast is a good place to start) so that you’ll learn the correct pronunciation for English words.
In this week’s podcast episode, we’ve published a FB Live session where Madam Azimah talks more about this topic. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
I hope you found these tips helpful. We’ll talk to you again soon!