Learning English (or any other foreign language) is an intricate process in which you have to take care of every single thing, including your thoughts.
Apart from acquiring all the basic language learning skills, starting to think in English is the wisest decision you can take in your language learning journey. Albeit you score well in grammar and feel relaxed during conversations, if you haven’t reached a level you can think in English, it means you haven’t mastered the language yet.
Why Start Thinking in English?
• It helps you develop all the key learning skills viz; Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
• It improves your chances of becoming fluent as it makes your brain attuned to think in English.
• It gives you a hundred percent freedom to express what’s on your mind because there’s no chance you will get embarrassed.
• Thinking in English requires less confidence compared to speaking in English.
• It is that one thing you can do and practice anytime of the day.
How To Do It?
Thinking in English is the step many learners skip as it’s not that simple to let your thoughts start flowing in a language that is not your native. As it’s human nature to think in their mother tongue, you have to take conscious efforts to accustom your thoughts to evolve in English.
Here are some tricks that help you start thinking in English.
1. Create a Contextual World
This is the most effective way to let your thoughts blow in English. You have to surround yourself with English. This eventually makes it difficult for you to think in your native language. Listening to music or news, reading etc. help you create a world where everything is connected to English.
2. Try to Think Directly
Take deliberate attempts to think directly in English. It helps you detect the gaps in your knowledge, and you can start working on it. In the early stages, you can substitute your native language where you lack the flow while you are trying to think directly in English.
3. Don’t Focus on Perfection
The best thing you can do to get fluency through thinking is to get rid of your conviction that it should be perfect. When you emphasize on perfection, ultimately you get frustrated out of not being able to express what’s going on your mind.
4. Try to Visualize
Brain treats imagination and reality alike. So it’s always good to visualize you are learning English. Envisage the things you are going to say by associating the images in your mind with the words in English.
If you continue to think this way, you can witness remarkable progress in your language.
4. Say No to Translating
It takes only half a second to speak directly what you are thinking!
But we think in our native language and then translate word by word to English before we actually speak. This mentality won’t make you fluent as your mind will be involved fully in translating, which takes relatively more time. So try to think directly in English rather than thinking in your mother tongue and kill your tendency to translate.
When it comes to thinking in English, reading widens your spectrum of thinking, improves your vocabulary and fluency. It gives you ideas for further thinking.
You won’t read means you won’t think!
6. Start Journaling
Writing makes it easy for you to think in English and channelise your thoughts. It also helps you to remember and put to use the things you have learned. You can write about your ideas, feelings or things that surround you.
Try to practice the above listed tips and bingo, you are confident enough to talk like a native!
PS: There are no set of rules as to what topic is best to think about.
Be at your comfort zone, relax and think about the things that excite you but only in ENGLISH!