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Understanding the Science Behind Forgetting Words While Speaking English and How to Overcome It

Forgetting words while speaking English is a frustrating experience that many people face, regardless of their language proficiency. However, understanding the reasons behind this phenomenon can help you overcome the challenge and improve your language skills. In this blog, we will dive deeper into the science behind forgetting words while speaking English and provide more comprehensive tips on how to overcome it.

Our brain and English and the science behind foreign languages.
How does our brain work while speaking a foreign language? / Picture:

The Science Behind Forgetting Words While Speaking English

Memory is a complex process that involves multiple areas of the brain. When we hear or read a word, it is stored in our short-term memory. If we use that word repeatedly or if it has personal significance, it is transferred to our long-term memory, where it can be easily recalled when needed. However, if we don't use the word frequently, it can be difficult to recall it when we need it.

Forgetting words while speaking English can also be influenced by various external factors, such as stress, anxiety, and fatigue. When we are under stress, our brain releases cortisol, a hormone that can affect our ability to retrieve information from our memory.

Another factor that can contribute to forgetting words while speaking English is interference. Interference occurs when similar words or concepts are competing for space in our memory, making it more difficult to recall a specific word. For example, if you are trying to remember the word "flower," but your mind keeps thinking of the word "tree," it can be challenging to retrieve the correct word.

Stress and English
Stress prevents showing what we are capable of.

Tips for Overcoming the Challenge of Forgetting Words While Speaking English

Relax and Take Your Time

As mentioned earlier, stress and anxiety can affect your ability to recall words. If you find yourself forgetting words while speaking English, take a deep breath and try to relax. Slow down and take your time to gather your thoughts. This can help reduce the pressure on your brain and make it easier to recall the word.

Use Context Clues

Using context clues is a helpful strategy for overcoming the challenge of forgetting words while speaking English. If you forget a word, try to describe it using other words. For example, if you forget the word "umbrella," you can say "the thing you use to stay dry in the rain." This can help you convey your message even if you can't remember the exact word.

Build Your Vocabulary

One of the most effective ways to overcome the challenge of forgetting words while speaking English is to build your vocabulary. Read and listen to English content frequently to expand your vocabulary. Make a habit of learning new words every day and using them in your conversations. This will help you become more comfortable with using the language and increase your fluency.

Practice Speaking English

The more you practice speaking English, the more comfortable you will become with using the language. Practice speaking with friends, family, or language partners to build your confidence and fluency. You can also consider taking English classes or working with a language tutor to improve your skills. Speaking English frequently will help you become more familiar with the language, making it easier to recall words when you need them.

Take a look at LUSE English's speaking packages here

Use Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonic devices are memory aids that can help you remember words more easily. For example, you can create an acronym or a rhyme to help you remember a specific word. This can be especially helpful for remembering complex or technical terms.

Seek Professional Help

If you are experiencing persistent memory problems or have concerns about your cognitive abilities, it's essential to speak with a healthcare professional. They can perform a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.

In conclusion, forgetting words while speaking English is a common challenge that many people face. It is important to be aware of your weaknesses and determined to overcome them. By understanding the science behind this phenomenon and implementing the tips discussed in this blog, speaking English is not a nightmare.

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