General Tips for Gaining Confidence in English
Here are my top 5 suggestions for feeling more confident in English.
1) Incorporate English into your everyday routine in the most natural and enjoyable way possible for you. Ask yourself what you need or want to do anyway, so you don't have to find a new slot in a day that is already too full but just transfer an activity you regularly do into English. For example, download a news app in English, sign up for newsletters on subjects you really want to dig deeper into, put your telephone or computer system into English.
2) Familiarise yourself with all the tools you need to quickly translate text when necessary. This is NOT cheating! This is using the tools at your disposition to assimilate new language without letting yourself get stopped by the frustration of not understanding. Reading on tablets allows you to click on words you don't know for translations or definitions. I read Euronews in Spanish on my telephone and can click on words for translations.
Bookmark a translator like DeepL (in general, better than GoogleTranslate for sentences, idiomatic expressions etc.)so you can access it quickly if you need to write an email, understand a report, etc. You will learn a lot by reading the translation to ensure that you understand and agree with it. When using dictionaries for individual words or expressions (WordReference is great for this), ensure you check all the possible translations to make sure you use the correct one for the context. And click on the pronunciation icon in online dictionaries to make sure you know how to say the word also!
3) Find an English-speaking friend who wants to improve their French (or whatever your native language is) and exchange emails, or short messages with them. You could each write in your native language at first, just reading the language you are each learning. Maybe after a while you'll want to change the other way, writing in each other's language and correcting each other's text.
Enrol in sports or cultural activities in English, online or in person. Visit English-speaking countries. Do Wwoofing in English-speaking countries.
4) Watch videos in English with English subtitles. It is extremely hard work for the brain to listen in one language and read in another. You will learn much more quickly by hearing and reading the same language, so recognizing words that would otherwise escape you. Reading books (as long as the story or theme is gripping for you!) is a great way to increase vocabulary and expressions by osmosis, without feeling like you are 'working' or 'studying'.
5) Talk to yourself! As you go about your daily routines, talk to yourself in English and notice what vocabulary you are missing. Note it down to look it up. Think and talk in English as you are showering, having breakfast, doing sport, shopping, cooking, cycling to work, etc.