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Wanting to increase your comfort in conversation? Hoping to stop translating in your head while speaking English? I got you covered in this powerful (but simple) training video.
One of the biggest concerns my students have is how to think quickly enough to join a conversation in English and express themselves the way they want to. I totally understand. I had this problem too when I was studying German in Germany, and studying Spanish in the Dominican Republic. But the good news is there are things you can do to train your brain to think in English so that you don’t have to translate in your head, and you can jump right into the conversation in English.
We’re going to work on training your brain to think in English today, and also training your brain to respond quickly to questions. This is all stuff that you can practice and get better at. So the next time you’re in a conversation, you can join it as naturally and as freely as you want. Just think of that. To be able to express yourself in English the way you want to. If you liked this video, or you learn something from it, please subscribe with notifications and do like it. It really helps.
Now we’ve already done a few videos where we started building the skill of thinking in English. We started with naming objects and then describing sentences. Now, you’re being hit with conversation. You’re going to be asked a question. And there will be ten seconds for you to answer. Now if you can’t come up with something, some questions will be easier than others, that’s okay. If you can’t form a whole sentence, just think of the words you might use when describing, when answering that question. So for example, if the question is: What would you do if you won $10,000? You could say Mexico, Beach, vacation. If you can’t come up with something more full. For example: I would take my family on vacation to Mexico. I’d get a house on the beach and we would all have the time of our lives.
So whatever your level is, you can still respond in one way or another. At the end of this video, I’m going to show you a few resources for moving forward, for continuing to practice answering questions, and I’m also going to issue you a challenge where you can practice answering a question, make a video put it on Instagram, and then I’m going to share it with everybody. Alright, let’s get started. Here is your first question.
Hey how are you doing today?
That’s a pretty simple question. You can answer with just one word. Fine or great. Maybe if you’re a little bit more comfortable with English, your mind went a little further and in your mind, you said: I’m great, how are you? That’s awesome! Wherever you are, it doesn’t matter, that’s your starting point and putting in the work will help you get better.
As we go forward with these questions, you may find that you give very simple answers or that you can talk for days, that’s great! Pause the video and keep talking, keep working on that skill of answering in English. Are you tempted to speak out loud? That’s actually okay. I’m fine with that. I know this video is about training your mind to think in English, but if you’re speaking it instead, that’s okay. The one thing to be careful of is that you’re not thinking it in your native language first, and then translating it. If you find that you keep thinking in your native language, then you probably need to simplify what you’re doing, so rather than trying to put together a sentence, just think of words in English that you would use in an answer, okay?
So bring it back as simply as you need to, as far back as you need to in simplification, in order to be able to do it in only English, thinking in English, or speaking in English with none of your native language involved.
What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
So what is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Maybe answered in one word: bagels, or maybe you got more elaborate with your answer: For breakfast I love a David’s bagel, New York City cinnamon raisin toasted with plain cream cheese. Maybe orange juice with some pulp on the side. Okay, here’s your next question.
When’s the last time you needed an umbrella?
Okay so you see how this works. You don’t know the question ahead of time. You’re asked it and you have to think on your feet. You have to quickly jump in, answer that in English. And if you’re having too hard of a time doing that, and your mind keeps going to your native language, then drop answering the question and just say words that you would say in your answer like: bagel, or cream cheese, or whatever.
Wherever you are, I’m going to keep saying it. Wherever you are, that’s okay, that’s your starting point. Love it and take one step forward by practicing. I know a lot of people like to learn about how to get better at something, but then it’s hard to actually put in the time for the training. And it’s a challenge. I’m putting you on the spot here. Question after question. But you can do this. You’re now going to get two full minutes of questions. If you get frustrated or flustered, just skip that question. Just take your breath, and just breathe until the next question, and start again from scratch, okay? Two minutes. Here we go.
What shoes do you think are the most comfortable?
What’s your favorite movie and why?
What’s your dream job?
Did you sleep well last night?
What did you have for dinner yesterday?
Who is your favorite teacher and why?
Can you tell me how to get to the closest restaurant?
I love opera but what’s your favorite kind of music?
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and what would you do there?
How did you celebrate your last birthday?
Tell me about your family.
You’re still watching, you did it! You stuck with me and you trained your mind to think in English. Depending on your level, this is easy and fun, or this is hard and tiring. Either way, doing it every day will take you further down the road to where you want to be, to where you can join English conversation quickly, speak English fast, and just feel confident about your skills.
Now don’t stop here. If you want to keep going, go to Google and put in random question generator. There are a few that you’ll get at the top, and I’ll put some links in the video description. Go to those sites click on the button, and it’s going to throw a question at you. If you have no idea what the question means, just click the next button and keep it going until you get a question that you can answer. You know, do this one minute a day, just generate one question for yourself. Look at it, answer it, come up with your question right away in English. Doing this just a little bit every day will build this skill for you of reacting in English, thinking in English, and that’s just going to come in so handy every time you try to join a conversation in English.
And now for the challenge if you follow me on Instagram, take a video of yourself answering a question, following a prompt. Don’t plan ahead of time. Take the video, tag me in it, @rachelsenglish and I’m going to put all of those into my Instagram story here for the next week, okay?
Tag @rachelsenglish, I’m going to put it in my story then go watch the story and see if other students have also practiced their English, practice their conversational skills. And we can all watch, everybody’s together, and just appreciate the effort that everyone’s making together.
Now I make new videos every Tuesday. Please subscribe with notifications, and do come back here every week, watch the video, we have fun together. And keep your studying going right now with this video. It takes a little bit of English conversation, we study it together, it’s very fun you’re going to love it, watch it, click it, enjoy it. That’s it guys and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.