Think in English; Not in your mother tongue!
The truth is that we always keep thinking something or other within our mind. All of us do so, whether consciously or subconsciously. While thinking on some issue, naturally, one thinks in his/her mother tongue, without any exception. But, when you want to learn a foreign language, you must abide by some rules to enhance your learning.
This discussion is being made assuming that you have completed your basic studies and now you are preparing for the IELTS test, either for the ‘Academic Test’ or the ‘General Training Test’. While you are learning the ‘English Language’, especially when you are learning ‘Spoken English’ one of the ‘Must Follow’ rules is to ‘Learn to Think in English’.
A silly habit that almost all the non-native English speakers adapt while learning English is that they first think in their mother tongue and then translate it out into English and speak out. If you are the one habituated in doing so, it is for sure that you are not going to be fluent in ‘Spoken English’, never, yes that’s for sure.
Why so? because if you think and translate, it will make you fumble and take some extra time to answer a question. The person you are talking to would easily understand your problem, and if you continue to think in mother tongue and translate in English while taking the ‘Speaking Test’ or talking at an ‘Interview’, then be sure about your failure.
Moreover, it is impossible for any person to communicate and run a conversation in any foreign language by thinking and translating. So, if you want to master the art of ‘Spoken English’, you have to give up the habit of ‘Thinking and Translating’. Just, keep speaking in English in your mind, with yourself. A funny thing about us is, we always talk within ourselves; sometimes with ourselves, sometimes with others, don’t we? Researchers and case studies say, if we think and keep thinking in ‘English’, we will learn ‘English’ faster and learn ‘English’ better.
Often people get stuck at and ask, ‘How to start thinking in English?’. Well, that’s not a big problem at all. It is as simple as anything. Ask yourself ‘When I talk to a friend in general cases in my mother tongue, do I think and compose before talking?’. Think honestly and you will get the answer ‘A Big No’. So, when you ask a question or think about something in your mother tongue, nobody needs to tell you how to think or how to compose the question. However, if you are asked to think in English, you are in deep-water, why? It is just because you are not habituated in thinking in a foreign language. So, without asking any question, just start thinking in English, think simple and think in English. Let me present a sample, say, you have a conflict within yourself, whether to skip your coaching class today and go to watch ‘Jurassic Park 2′ with your friends or not.
You (1): Oh! feeling so confused, I haven’t seen the movie, and they have bought a ticket for me, so I think I must go.
You (2): No, no I shouldn’t miss the coaching class today; its’ extremely important one; if I miss I won’t get the class notes.
You (1): I’ll collect the notes from John, the next day. I’ll go to the movie. Moreover, Sophie is also coming. She will be angry if I’m not joining.
You (2): But, what about the homework? John has lost his mobile. I won’t be able to contact him either…so…no..no, drop the plan.
The conversation above is very familiar to us. Often we get double-minded and think that way…Its’ pretty, isn’t it? Now let’s talk about some good effects of thinking in English.
First of all, as you are talking to yourself no point to feel shy about your bad pronunciation (if it is bad at all). Thus, you can judge yourself, hoping that you are aware of ‘Good English Pronunciation’. If you get stuck pronouncing a word or two, just take help of your dictionary or your mobile. You can thus improve your pronunciation quickly. Think and speak in complete sentences with yourself, so you won’t have to face any trouble while speaking in full sentences. You might make some silly mistakes, but depending on your knowledge level you can rectify them if you can spot them.
While thinking in English, initially you might feel trouble with your vocabulary, take help of a dictionary to enrich your vocabulary. If you have access to the Internet, it would be pretty helpful. Use your PC or Mobile, take help of dictionaries that read aloud the words. That would be immensely helpful.
When you are writing something, say an essay or some question answer if you think this way, ‘Oh! What next? I can’t remember, I have read it, but I can’t recall it right now. Should I check the study materials once or skip it now?’. Here you are seriously thinking and thinking in English, it’s of great help. Try to narrate something to somebody: Imagine you have seen a robbery and try to describe the whole incident to your friend. It would require using a lot of new words which you don’t need to use in day-to-day situation. So it would naturally benefit you.
Thus, make thinking in English a habit, by talking in English to yourself. There are so many different ways to engage you talking within yourself. It would, in fact, compel you to think in English. Some examples are:
Argue with yourself within yourself, raise points and counterpoints and confirm a point by arguing.
Imagine some ‘Real Life Situations’, like talking to a Hotel Manager inquiring about a room, talking to a restaurant waiter ordering your favorite dishes, etc.
You can imagine talking to the principal of your college, pretend to forget a word and try to explain.
Read articles and discuss with yourself how to make it better, what are the points you are missing.
Virtual talking with a stranger native speaker: Just imagine a situation when an English Speaking Stranger meets you by chance and ask about how to communicate to a famous place in your city. Run such a conversation in your mind, and you will surely get a boost with confidence.
Thinking in English would not only enable you to learn much faster than you can imagine,t would make you shrug off any shyness that you might have. You should always be in a learning mood, spot your mistakes and fix them. Don’t accept some foolish pieces of advice like: ‘While you are learning, don’t bother about your mistakes; you will learn automatically with time’. No, nothing happens automatically and don’t keep making mistakes and keep wasting time. It would take you a decade to learn with that absurd attitude.