My husband, a native Spanish speaker, who didn't learn English until late in life, always encourages me to just speak - don't let mistakes stop you from connecting with people. He says, "The important thing is to be able to communicate. If people can understand you, then you've accomplished the goal."
It is such an obvious suggestion and one that is reiterated over and over again and one that can't be stressed enough. That is don't let mistakes stop you from connecting with people! Teachers almost always say the same thing to their students. Don't let fear of making mistakes prevent you from connecting with people. However, at the same time, we put fear of making mistakes into the students by testing them and giving them grades and by forcing them to perform in front of a group and then making a big deal of their mistakes by correcting them in front of everyone. That's like being publicly whipped for some students.
If you are interested, you can get more information about the Bilingual Families at the Bilingual Families Web Page.