Have you ever thought something like that?
What if I told you that you're a lot closer than you think?
In this article, I will dissect what it actually means to think directly in a foreign language, and demonstrate to you that it is not only attainable, but you're already doing it!
1. Self Talk
This comes first and foremost with anything we want to accomplish. What are the words you are currently using to describe your English and your English goals?
Are you using phrases like, "I would like to think in English." "That would be the dream." "If I could..." "I want to, but..."?
Before reading the next line, read the phrases above one more time, and observe what you notice about these expressions. What do they have in common?
They are doing one of two things:
- They are focusing on the problem instead of the solution.
- They are talking about the solution as if it were a hypothetical (not real) imaginary situation.
How many accomplishments have you achieved in your life that you're proud of which are a result of focusing on what you CAN'T do?
Don't think too hard. You probably won't come up with any.
The importance of how we talk to ourselves and the words we use can not be overstated when it comes to creating the results we want.
You want to speak English fluently? Tell yourself you can.
You want to think directly in English? Tell yourself that it has already happened and be thankful for it.
Nothing good happens by telling yourself you can't do something or by making excuses.
Instead, use this sentence pattern.
"I'm so happy and grateful now that ___________."
For example, "I'm so happy and grateful now that I can finally think directly in English."
- Make this sentence short so that you can say them to yourself without much thinking effort.
- Write it down and carry it with you.
This will fire connections to your brain as you touch the card as you're looking at that just simply
imagining the card will not do.
- Write it down and carry it with you.
- Say it out loud.
When we say things out loud, they become real to us because we literally hear them with an audible
All English is not created equal, just like all art is not created equal. This goes with any skillset.
If you want to get better at drawing hands, you probably won't spend hours practicing sculpting hands out of clay. You'll draw hands in different positions. If you play football and you're a goalie, you're probably not going to spend time perfecting your penalty kicking. You'll probably practice people kicking penalty kicks on you.
Practice what you want to improve. Period.
If you want to improve your reading and vocabulary, read more. If you want to improve your writing, write a diary or blog post every day. If you want to get better at conversation and speaking... study conversation and speaking.
Listening skills are directly related to speaking skills. This gives you a sense of the rhythm of our speech, the words and expressions we use in spoken language, and the general timing in a conversation or speech. These are all essential skills to be able to truly improve your speaking in another language.
Otherwise, you're just improving your general language skills... which is good... but it won't get you any closer to your goals of mastering this language from the inside out.
The more consistently you perform concentrated practice of the desired skill (in this case, we're talking about thinking and speaking in English), the more it will become second nature as you you form your new habit.
3. The Big Realization
The most important thing I can share with you right now about thinking directly in English is... you're already doing it!
Think about it. I'm positive that you do NOT automatically translate everything in your head before you speak in English. For example, "Yes, I do."
If you're thinking that, do you translate those words from your language? Probably not.
If you're talking about routine things in a foreign language, do you have to translate in your head? Probably not.
Sure, some complex or new sentence structures, you'll probably have to do some translation or think in your grammar first. Of course.
But this is different.
The point is that you are probably fixated on the idea that you have to constantly translate in your head. CONSTANTLY?
This goes back to the first point that we discussed above. What you say to yourself is important.
The sooner you can get past this limiting belief of "constantly having to translate in my head" to realizing and celebrating the times that you DON'T have to, the sooner you can move onto the next sentence structure or specific example when you are translating and attacking only that specific case.
Tackling a single case or example at a time is much easier and energy efficient that trying to "stop translating in my head."
If you would like specific help identifying a certain weakness or mapping out a plan for you to follow, book a call with our team and let's chat. We will ask you some very specific questions and gauge your goals and discuss what you will have to do to achieve the goals.
There will be no pressure to buy anything in this call, we want to offer you the best options possible for you to finally reach your English-learning goals this year!