Talk to everyone!
After 8 years of being completely fluent in Spanish, I STILL get the jitters every time I speak with a new native Spanish speaker!
However, the fear I feel has been pretty much taken care of through a rule I follow every single time I encounter someone who speaks Spanish.
My rule is this: I ALWAYS approach them and speak with them in Spanish. I don't shy away. I don't act like I don't have time, or that I don't speak it out of fear of making a mistake or sounding silly. I make it my priority to at least say hi, how are you, and have a little chit chat. Often it leads to more amazing conversation, but sometimes it's just a hello.
I get to accomplish two things. One, I break their possible stereotype of a gringa who doesn't speak Spanish that doesn't care about them or their culture. And two, I change my own perception of fear and never let that mind game win! I dive in with my imperfections, my fear, and my jitters and always come out stronger because of it. I practice my language muscle relentlessly. I also practice my courage nonstop.
Everything about this helps me be who I want to be: Fearless, kind, and growing.
If you too experience that fear when meeting someone new put on your confidence and push through! Make it your challenge to constantly put yourself out there when it comes to Spanish!
Confidence comes with the way I teach and if you're lacking in your Spanish gusto, please reach out today!
-Brittany, VAMOS Denver
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Brittany is a bilingual Spanish teacher who has lived in Spain and Argentina. Through this blog, she hopes to relate her travels, insights, and Spanish speaking journey!