How do you think in English? You have to train yourself to think in English. It’s like a football player who practices everyday. That practice is what makes him able to perform well in the game. During practice the football player will pass the ball to his teammates over and over again. During a game he won’t have to think about passing the ball, he will just do it.
In order to train yourself to think in English, you will have to start practicing like the football player. The first step is to think of individual words that you use daily. Simple everyday words like book or shoe or tree. After you have learned to think of several words you want to start thinking in sentences. Train your brain by listening to oral English. After you understand a lesson or program then play it back and repeat. Listen and repeat, listen and repeat. The more you listen the more you learn. Listen first and make sure you fully understand what you’re hearing. Next, repeat what you hear. This will train your brain to think in English.After you reach that level start having conversations with yourself in English.
To start thinking in English you need to start simply. First, think of some words in English that you use everyday. For instance think of the word ‘book’. Whenever you see a ‘book’ you should not think of the word in your native language. Instead you should see the ‘book’ and think ‘book’. The more you practice, the easier it will be to think of book in English and not translate it in your head. Don’t worry about forgetting your native language, it won’t happen. What will happen is whenever you talk about a book in English you will have the mental picture of the book and not have to think of the word ‘book’. Just like the football player you practice and practice and soon you won’t have to think about it, you’ll just do it. You’ve trained your mind to see a ‘book’ as the word ‘book’. Practice everyday and soon you’ll be thinking of different words in English.
After you’ve added several words to your vocabulary move on to this next step. Start thinking in sentences or ideas. This will take some more practice but is well worth it. The first step in this process is to improve your comprehension or listening skills. Why? Most of us learned our native language by listening to others talk. We then repeated what we heard. This process of listening and repeating is the most effective way to learn a language. As your comprehension improves, so does your speaking ability. Listen first, then repeat when you understand what you’ve heard. If you practice listening to English you’ll be more relaxed when you are in a conversation. If you practice like the football player, you won’t have to think about it when you are speaking English.
Another way to start thinking in English is to say what you think in English. For instance if you think, “I forgot to do my homework last night” then say that aloud in English. If you think “I’m going to the store.” Say it aloud in English. Whatever you think, speak in English. You might want to be alone when you practice this to avoid strange looks. Better yet have your roommates help you with your conversation. If you practice this way enough you’ll be ready for the next step. Self-talk.
Have silent conversations with yourself. Whatever you think in your native language, think it in English. For instance, “This is a great day, I’m going to go to the park today. I’m hungry, I’ll make something to eat.” These are the same conversations you have with yourself everyday in your native language. Turn those conversations into English and before you know it you’ll be thinking in English without thinking about it.
by Ryan Kent-Temple from WorldEnglishClub.com