Ways to Learn Thinking in a Foreign Language: Guest Blog by Sophia Anderson
Although most people don't really pay attention to it, we all have our own internal monologues going on all the time. It is this very ability that can help you improve your knowledge of any foreign language. But, learning to think in another language is easier said than done, which is why we have put together a list of 7 practical exercises and tips to help you start doing so. Keep on reading.
1. Visualize Your Day in a Foreign Language
The moment you leave the apartment, start imaging all the interaction and all the conversations you will have in a different language. It can be anything from getting a bus to the city to ordering lunch in a cafe. If you find yourself not being able to verbalize some of these dialogues in your heads, note down those phrases to look them up later.
2. Start Reading in a Different Language
Don't let the fact that you still might not be fluent in a foreign language of your choice put you off. Find a popular and regularly updated foreign news website/blog, or you can choose a book or a novel, based on your level, and dedicate some time in your day to reading in a foreign language. Slowly, but surely, you will begin to pick up not just new words, but entire sentences. Again, you can write down phrases you are not familiar with, and translate them, or load a version of the website in your language, if available.
3. Watch Foreign Movies
You can try several variations here. Watching a foreign movie with your native subtitles, watching a movie dubbed in a foreign language, or even watching a movie in your own language with foreign subtitles. As you enjoy the movie, you will also be focused on reading the subtitles, or trying to connect the images on the screen with words that are being said or displayed. Learning a new language should be an immersive experience, and movies are one of the best ways for it.
4. Write Essays
Writing essays is challenging enough in your own native language, let alone in a foreign one, but this exercise will force you to think and analyze things in a foreign language and use more words and sentences that are complex. Also, it's a great way to practice spelling and grammar.
Emily Caldwell, an essay expert at EssaysOnTime, says, “Don't worry, you don't need to get it perfect the first time around. All you have to do is be persistent, and soon enough, you will be surprised at how far you've come when it comes to writing.”
5. Chat with People Online
There are plenty of social networks, forums, chats, and services which can connect you to people from all over the world in a matter of seconds. It will provide you with an opportunity to experience a conversation in real time, which is a truly immersive process. On top of that, you will also be able to make new acquaintances, which opens up the opportunity to visit a foreign country.
6. Listen to Foreign Music
Lyrics often contains unusual sentence structures, style, and words, because they need to adhere to a certain rhythm and flow. So, even though it is fun, it is also a great opportunity for you to analyze their meaning, improve your pronunciation, and acquaint yourself with the language a lot deeper. Even if you don't understand the meaning of the lyrics at first, they will get stuck in your head nevertheless.
7. Record Your Speech
Although it may seem weird or even embarrassing talking to yourself on camera, and speaking a foreign language at that, it is one of the most effective ways to improve your pronunciation, track your progress, and most importantly, actively think in a foreign language. It would also be a good idea to set up these monologues around a particular theme each time, instead of just rambling. For instance, you talk about going to the supermarket today, and discuss the weather the next day.
Applying these exercises and tips in your everyday life will help you master another language much faster, plus you will have a ton of fun doing it.
About the Author: Sophia Anderson is an enthusiastic language tutor and a freelance writer from Australia. She believes that learning something new every day is a must. Her inspiration comes from reading books and online blog posts that cover a wide range of her interests. Get in touch with her at Facebook.