Think in English

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Back in high school, I had limited vocabulary. I spoke English inside the classroom with broken grammar. If you tell me to think in English, I would probably go insane. Why? Because my brain was closed to empty. It needed input such as:

Reading books, blogs, and newspapers.
Listening to songs or podcasts.
Watching TV series, video clips, and movies.

So, I'd complain, "How am I supposed to do that?" Imagine telling BEGINNER students to think in English. They'd probably scratch their head too wondering how to do it exactly in the first place.

Think Different — Apple Mantra

I first heard Think in English while working as a call center agent back in 2009. But long before I was told by my accent trainer to think like so, I had already developed the habit (2000) 9 years ago. From fishing to doing all household tasks, every action I took, I would talk to myself in English.

"What. am. I. doing?" (spoken nice and slow)
"I am. I am. I'm. (being self-conscious) washing. the. dishes."

Every opportunity, I would speak each word clearly, slowly, and firmly. I spoke like a baby. But then not too long, maybe 1 week after, I finally managed to link the words together with confidence.

"What is. my mother doing? Oh, where. is she? (looking around) There. she is!" (mother looking at me questioningly)

"She is. looking at me. She is. wondering. what I'm doing. I need. to get myself. out. of here. fast!"

I was not only thinking. I was moving. I was talking and then checking if the sentence structure sounded right. I made this exercise a natural activity. Most importantly, I did it every day everywhere even when I was fishing.

Wow, I got a big fish!

As you look, the sentence isn't bad. But amazingly, a few days after, I would hear or read this line somewhere. She caught a big fish. In my mind, Aha! I could have said it better: I caught a big fish!

Then I would modify it like so:

He caught a big fish. We caught a big shark. They caught a big snake.

Little things like these make a big difference. Don't get scared. Learn to experiment. Modify as you like. I've got students asking me questions like this, "Kenjie, how to improve my English?" 

How I wish I could explain everything within the snap of my finger. But online classes usually last 30 minutes at the most. 

That's why I created this book to handle the explaining. Now that it's in your hands, I could finally answer the question in one sentence. Ready for the great reveal?

Do what I did.

Do I hear a resounding, "What?!" Relax. I'm not forcing my style on you. I know everyone learns differently. What comes easy for me may be challenging for you. But why can't you? I am seriously interested to know. Why?

I'm not convinced these methods are unique to me either. It's highly possible someone out there has done the same. Besides, these learning hacks are not impossible to do. 

Give them a shot. Go ahead, get more input. Copy them. Speak them. Modify them. Make it a habit to think completely in English each time you do something: when you talk to your colleagues, when you talk to yourself, and when you talk to your dog. 

Yes, when you talk, think in English. When you do something, think in English. When you move, force yourself to think in English. The more you do it, the less thinking you will make next time.

We, non-native speakers, think hard enough before we talk. We spend so much time thinking about what to say next. You need to trick your mind into thinking that English is your own language and you know no other. 

If you keep doing it, the simpler expressing will become. Sooner, you can speak without much thinking and translating at all.

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