Do you have an important decision to make?
Do you think about this decision in English?
Here’s why you should do this, plus seven steps that explain precisely how to get started.
Don’t think about it in your mother tongue, think about it in English!
Studies have shown that thinking about things in a foreign language makes your decisions better and more rational.
Making better decisions is not the only benefit of thinking in English. When you think of English, you learn the language faster and speak more comfortably.
If you ‘speak’ English in your mind, it is easy to speak it from your mouth.
The importance of thinking in English
Depending on your level, you may first think about what you want to say in your mother tongue and then translate it into English. But by thinking in English first, you won’t have to translate – which will help you become more fluent in the language.
When you think in English (without translation), this also helps you understand the language. When you absorb the information, this means you know it thoroughly so that you no longer need to think about it.
Understanding English means you don’t need to remember grammar and pronunciation every time you speak. Furthermore, thinking in English is an excellent way to build your vocabulary using words that you already use.
It is essential to know many words, but it is vital to know the words that you will use in daily conversations.
There are seven necessary steps through which you can change the way you think and stop translating words before speaking.
1. Label everything that is around you:
If you are sitting in your room, you should name everything in the place, such as a computer, wardrobe, bed, window and other things that you find in your room.
This exercise is not only limited to your home, but every place you go to, you have to name everything in this place; the office, university, school, or the place where you learn English.
You should be aware of all the things surrounding you and know their meaning in English.
2. Think of simple sentences:
Imagine some simple sentences in your head, like “I’m hungry”, “I’m tired”, or “the door is open, the window is closed”. You have to make a lot of simple sentences and practice them with yourself continuously.
When you go to any new place, keep practicing this exercise, which helps you remember many sentences and words, and these sentences and words are always present in your mind.
3. Talk to yourself:
Now, let’s move on to thinking about conversation.
When you do this, you imagine yourself talking to someone else; you ask questions and think about responses.
This is a great way to practice what you might say in a real conversation.
For example, let’s say that an imaginary person asks you a question like, “What do you think about the English lecture today?” how would you answer?
Imagine the conversation and practice it in your head. You can do it out loud or in silence.
4. Change one of the device or application settings to English:
There are many things that you use daily in your life, such as mobile, Facebook, shopping list, and calendar.
Choose one of these things every day and change the settings to English; you have to get used to dealing with them in English, and if there is difficulty understanding some menus or words, translate them to understand their meaning.
5. Think about a situation in English:
During your day, choose one of your situations or activities and think about it in English. For example, you will meet your friends today.
Think about this situation from A to Z, but in English. What to wear, what transportation to use, where to meet your friends, and so on.
Repeat this exercise daily and choose different situations.
6. Track your activities to learn the language:
You should keep track of your daily activities related to the English language; continuous follow-up will help you continue developing and give you a sense of accomplishment, so do not stop doing this and follow up on what you’ve accomplished.
7. Today's summary:
Before going to sleep at the end of a day, make a summary of what you did in your day, provided that this summary is in English. Recall everything that you did from the beginning of the day until this moment in the day.
The biggest challenge is dealing with the frustration that comes with not being able to express yourself fully. The key is positive thinking and staying motivated!
Summary of what you can do to think in English:
- Choose to do everything in English whenever possible.
- Spend some time each day improving your English (focus on listening and speaking skills).
- Stop translating between English and your native language.
- Don’t think about language much before speaking.
- Hire an English teacher to follow up on the activities that you do with you and give you some advice to improve your level of language.