Hey there! This is TOP episode 219. Think in English

Do you struggle with speaking English? Does it block you from achieving your true goals? This is the place to for you. This is Teacher Ola Podcast. My name’s Ola Mierniczak, I’m a teacher empowering English learners to become confident speakers. I firmly believe that the key to fluency is in your pocket. Join my TOPeople newsletter for weekly motivation and free materials. Enjoy your journey to fluency! Happy learning!

Hey there! Welcome to today’s episode! In this lesson, I’ll walk you through a simple and effective way to think and speak in English. Today, we’ll dive into a method that’ll help you speak English fluently. Excited? Let’s dive in! 

This is a kind of a speaking exercise and I’d like you to do this daily. I mean, every day. At least once a day. 

Thinking in English in fact does not really exist. I’s because our thinking actually doesn’t happen in words. Right? If we really think in words, because of some kind of internal dialogue (in my case it happens when I’m stressed out or scared) then, if we think in words we do it in our mother tongue. That’s it. Research shows this, it’s proven. 

But now, what we can do for sure is this. We can automate our speaking in a foreign language. One technique that is exptremey helpful is shadowing. Go to episode 17 to learn all about shadowing. 

Now. Today I’d like you to learn another technique that is extremely effective in training your brain to create  sentences in English automatically. Without translating them from your mother tongue, in our case from Polish. This is a five step proces. Here it comes. 

Before we go throught the 5 steps we should analyze step zero. Step zero is you choose a person. Choose a person that you see on a given day. Anyone. Someone you see on the street, on a bus, some stranger. Ok? Not a friend, not a colleague. A stranger. Look at that person and go through 5 step process. 

Step one. WHO. Make a sentence answering the question Who. Listen o an example. This is a women in her early 40s. She is a vet and she is single. Right. I don’t know these things. I make them up. I look at the woman and make up a story. I answer the question WHO. Let’s move on to…

Step 2. WHAT. I’m asking myself WHAT. I’m thinking in English and speaking to myself, in a quiet voice because I don’t want to look crazy, WHAT. What is she doing? This is my answer, again, just an example:

She’s waiting for a bus. She always commutes by bus because it’s her favourte form of transport. She hates driving the car through the city. She preferes to relax, dream about her future, visualize her goals, read a book, or simply scroll social media. So in this step you answer the question WHAT. You have to use your imagination, think in English, create short and simple sentences directly in English. You think it’s impossible? It is totally doable if you do it on purpose. As we said before, thinking doesn’t happen in words unless you do it consciously. So, go on and consciously choose to make sentences in English. 

Step three. WHEN. So now you’re thinking about the routine activity of that person. So, continuing my example with a 40 year old single vet I’m saying to myself: She goes by bus from Monday to Thursday at the same time, that is 8 o’clock am and in the afternoon she commutes back home at 5 p.m. She doesn’t work on Fridays. She’s self-employed and she’s decided to have her Fridays off. 

Step four. WHERE. This question is just a prompt, just a trigger for your creative juices to start flowing, ok? WHERE. Talk to yourself about anything that jumps to mind with connection to the word WHERE. So, here’s my answer: She lives in the outskirts of the city. She likes the serenity of her home and the neighbourhood. See? I could talk about her workplace, about the place where she spends her free Fridays, use your imagination. 

Step five. WHY. The same situation, you know the drill. Talk about anything that is connected with the story so far but also something that answers the Socratic question WHY. This is my example answer: she is a vet because she’s always been drawn to animals. She cares about them and feels they’re like friends. Loyal, loving, trusting. 

That’s it. A 5-step plan that will help you, guide you, navigate you in practicing so-called ‘thinking in English’. Who, what, when, where, why. 

You can automate creating sentences in English. Gain that fluency by practicing. Nothing teaches you more than a good practice. It’s like with learning how to cook. You can read a lot about cooking, read the recipes but notice how much that experience of learning the theory differs from what experiencing real cooking is. Right? The same goes for a foreign language. You can read and learn forever but what will take you to that next level is speaking. So speak every day. 

And now, let’s practice. Start speaking right here right now. Listen and repeat the sentences out loud:

Research shows this, it’s proven. 

We can automate our speaking in a foreign language.

Someone you see on the street, on a bus, some stranger. 

She is a vet and she is single. 

She always commutes by bus because it’s her favourte form of transport. 

You have to use your imagination.

She’s self-employed and she’s decided to have her Fridays off. 

She lives in the outskirts of the city. 

She likes the serenity of her home and the neighbourhood. 

Gain that fluency by practicing. 

That’s it for today, I hope you’ve learned a lot and I hope you’ll implement this technique today! Do it consistently for week and you will a difference. Go on for another week and watch what happens. Catch me on Instagram, let me know you’re a podcast listener. Let me know you’ve done the 5-step plan and how it works for you. 

Don’t forget to complete the Worksheet for this episode. It’s available at teacherola.com/219. Or, you’ve got it in your inbox if you’re a member of TOPeople. I’ll be back next week, until then, stay fearless, keep speaking, and take care. My name’s Ola Mierniczak, and you were listening to Teacher Ola Podcast. Bye for now! Till next time!