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  • Judy Schulten

22. Join or form a bilingual Toastmasters club.

Toastmasters International has chapters in many countries and has been helping people learn public speaking for years. The structure of a Toastmasters meeting is a proven success. Everyone speaks at every meeting. On different occasions, you might make a prepared speech, reply to an impromptu question, lead a formal part of the meeting, or give your critique of another member’s speech, all in addition to socializing and small talk.

For three years, I belonged to a bilingual Toastmasters club. Some of the members were trying to improve their public speaking ability in English and some in Spanish. The business of the meeting and most of the social exchanges were in Spanish.

If this idea appeals to you and you can’t find a bilingual club to join, it would be worth the effort to organize one yourself. The variety of speaking experiences in a typical meeting makes you stay alert and gives you useful practice in formal and informal situations.

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53. Take heart from other mediocre linguists.

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