Language learning: it’s all in your head
A quick search for visualisation and success brings up nearly four million results about how to improve your life just by visualising yourself doing something successfully. It’s a common topic in self-help seminars, but using this method can also help in your language learning.
You don’t need to be sitting in the lotus position with your eyes closed for this to work, either. You can use visualisation to imagine yourself having an upcoming conversation, or successfully getting through a day speaking only your target language.
The more long-term visualisations are things like imagining yourself speaking a new language fluently, conversing on your favourite specialist subjects with ease. I prefer the more day-to-day stuff.
Sometimes if I’m waiting in a queue to buy something, I will imagine what the clerk is likely to say to me, and what I will reply. Going through a conversation like this will bring up necessary vocabulary (which will make it easier for you to find the words when you do actually need them), and running through the sentence structures in your head beforehand will make your speech more fluent. Think of it as your practice run before the real thing.
Even if you aren’t living in a place where you can practice in daily life, you can use a similar method. Run through everyday conversations in your head, like giving directions to a taxi driver, or buying a newspaper. This will help you to think in your target language, and familiarise you with the vocabulary.
What goes on in your head? Is any of it in the language you’re learning?
Image: Torley from Flickr Creative Commons. Click the link for some inspiration!