Phobia in simple terms mean fear of something. It could be of anything like height, electric shock, being alone etc. But I would be focusing on phobia of English language. It primarily means phobia of not being able to speak English confidently in front of others or the fear of being judged by others for their English ability. The person suffering from such a phobia underestimates his/her ability as an English speaker. Many people go through this fear and anxiety and whenever they face others, they get anxious and start trembling with fear.
Few reasons could be cited as an evidence for this particular fear. One could be the nature of a person; an introvert would never be comfortable in being a part of the crowd or to face people and would never appreciate getting along with strangers. They usually suffer from this phobia. Such people remain contented with a handful of people they are comfortable with and thus remain secluded.
Another reason could be the fear of being mocked at by others. People have a fear of being judged when they can’t talk fluently and confidently with others. This happens when people fumble or use a lot of fillers in their speech.
Rejection can also be one of the reasons for this phobia. People may have apprehensions that others might not accept them due to their lack of knowledge or awareness about the language or their haphazard presentation of ideas in speech.
Now I would like to put forward my views on how I overcame my English phobia up to some extent. Earlier, I also had the anxiety of not speaking English fluently and confidently in front of others. Whenever I used to see a group of people or an audience which I had to address, I tend to become nervous and fear used to grip me so much so that even my body started to shiver. I experienced this a lot of times and I felt so underconfident that I barely talked to strangers and never initiated a talk. I always avoided talking in English especially in front of numerous people. I only spoke in English when I forced by my teachers or when there was a situational urgency.
But one fine day I decided I cannot take this anymore and need to come out of this fear because this was stopping me to grow. I was resolute to get over the fear. I made a firm decision that I would not let my anxiety overpower my personality and I would face everyone with confidence. I was determined to break the shackles.
In my efforts to get over this fear, Englishmate helped me a lot. I still remember my first day of the course. I was nervous and hesitant to converse in English. Even when I was being interviewed to get admitted in the course, I was very nervous due to my old apprehensions. If I compare my position since that day to present, I can see a big change. Now I don’t hesitate much when I have to address an audience. I gather my courage and face people with utmost confidence.
In a nutshell, I can say even though I faced some difficulties but I successfully overcame it with the help of regular practice and efforts with the guidance of my teacher and support of my family and friends. I am proud to admit that I left this phobia behind which was the greatest impediment in my life yet.
This article has been written by Pranav Sharma a student at Englishmate, a Hindustan Times venture. Englishmate helps learners to improve their communication skills by providing Cambridge certified English speaking courses.