Hello! It’s konkaz (@konkazuk) here.
With this article, three essential rules for implementing “self-talking” practice and a brief but concrete example of how you proceed it are featured.
Some people might find the procedure of self-talk uncomfortable in the beginning.
However, I can assure you that you will be able to reach the level that you can have a general conversation in English without living in English-speaking country, if you incorporate the habit of the “self-talk” for half an hour a day in your daily life.
Especially, if you are living on your own, I can say that you have got the best environment to carry out the practice, since there is nobody to interrupt you.
Anyway, if you take this “self-talk” method as a game to play within a day just like having fun, I believe you will last long. ✨
Transforming yourself into an Earthling
I’m going to show you how to implement “self-talk” which is the core subject of this blog post.
To begin with, “self-talk” is basically…
a live coverage of your own action and what’s going on in your mind.
Therefore, there is no special desk work for you to deal with or no need of opening your laptop to go through any online tasks.
You can just continue living your normal life.
If there is anything you need, it could be just your mobile phone but nothing else…
However, you are to transform yourself from a “Japanese” into an “Earthling” and live as an earthling for a certain period of time during the day.
Having said that, the length of time people can spare per day really depends on individual’s situation.
If you commit yourself too much from the beginning, you might end up with stressing yourself and it won’t be a fun to continue with at all.
I mentioned earlier that ”half an hour” of self-talk per day would help you develop speaking skills, however, if you are only starting, 10mins… or even 5mins a day might be a good length to keep up with. ✨
It’s important that you are implementing this with a living-with-it sort of vibe rather than doing this with I-must-do kind of attitude, so… take this activity just like you are doing some kind of game.
Well anyway, it’s time for action. But before you actually start transforming yourself into an earthling, I’ve got a couple of things I would like you to carry out…
Firstly, since there are no visual changes involved in this transformation, it will give you no special feeling at all.
So, in order for you to be able to regard yourself as a different being, I would like you to create an original “yell” or a “pose” you can display…
…and I want you to perform this each time the transformation takes place.
Secondly, before you actually start carrying out “self-talk”, I want you to set an alarm that will tell you the end of the practice. (Possibly with your mobile phone?)
You might think it’s dull or unnecessary, but let’s keep it just like holding a ceremony until the habit of talking to yourself in English has completely become a part of your daily life.
Giving a special procedure to implementing something new will often help you stop letting it slip away.
…And of course you can stop doing these actions, once you have successfully integrated the habit of self-talk into your daily life and feel uneasy when you miss it.
The rules of self-talk in English
Have you succeeded in transforming yourself into an earthling?
Let’s brush up our Earth language speaking skills, so that we can interact with other earthlings in the world!
Rule ① No languages other than “Earthling’s one” are allowed to use!
Until you hear the alarm going off, it’s taboo to speak in Japanese!
Other than that, you can live as usual… this means it doesn’t matter if you listen to Japanese music or watch Japanese YouTube channels. (I wouldn’t really recommend though…)
the language that comes out of your mouth is restricted to the Earthling’s one.
Playing a game is fun because there are some rules to follow, so make sure you respect this.
Rule ② Speak out whatever comes up in your mind and whatever action you will take!
Rule ② is the key point of “self-talk”.
You are going to output whatever comes up in your head by talking to yourself, but you also have to follow the rule ①.
In the beginning, I presume you will be experiencing following process…
1). Ideas/thoughts come up in Japanese in your head.
2). You translate them into English.
3). You let the words go out of your mouth.
Some of you might struggle with the procedure and find it extremely frustrating, but at the end of the day…
It’s only self-talk!
There is no need to worry about making mistakes, bad grammar, or pronunciations that might be strongly influenced by Katakana at all, because there is nobody around you listening to what you are saying and laugh at you after all!
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and let whatever comes up go out of your mouth!
I tell you one more time.
There is no need to be ashamed.
It will be such a waste using your time for being ashamed even when you are all by yourself while life is very short. ✨
So, it would be better to get over it and let everything go out of your mouth!
Ideas/thoughts come up (brain)
Speak out (mouth)
What comes up or the knowledge you accumulate in your head is only “letters”.
And “letters” in your head cannot be comprehended unless you read them out.
You will never be able to speak until you acquire the technique to turn the “letters” into “sound/voice”, in other words, until you learn how to build pipes and run a motor between your brain and your mouth.
In a nutshell, spending your time for building pipes and running a motor is the quickest route to be able to speak English.
Rule ③ No taking notes!
Although you are meant to speak out whatever comes up in your mind, you will eventually (and possibly very often if you just have started studying English) get stumbled at English vocabularies/expressions.
In this case, you are, of course, allowed to google them or check them out with some Apps such as weblio and so on to find out how you could express what you want to say in English.
if you get carried away with inputting and neglect the most important part of the practice, which is to spend your time for building pipes and running motor between your brain and your mouth (outputting)), you will be drifting away from the main exercise to be able to speak!
And this is the “trap” where diligent people often fall into…
To be able to speak English, you must give the time of outputting top priority.
Once you have checked the meaning and pronunciation of the vocabulary, just let it go.
If you can’t express exactly the same thing that you had come across before in English, then you simply check it once again.
And eventually those vocabularies/expressions will become familiar with you as you check them over and over again.
you must not use pen or notebook for the purpose of inputting, while you have become an earthling.
Keep this in mind and not to worry about the words you have once learnt slipping away, because you will bump into them more than enough times as you go on.
I’ll show you how the “self-talk” can be proceeded with some concrete examples.
Let’s say you have come back home from work and have just finished your dinner and are going to spend next half an hour as an “earthling”.
Don’t forget about the procedure of transformation and setting an alarm, by the way!
🔹 Slumping down on the sofa…
I’m going to have some rest on the sofa.
[You are so full.]
Huhh, I’m… …???
[You can’t continue because you don’t know how to express “full” in English…]
Oops. I’m stuck here!
🔹 If the phrase “I’m stuck” doesn’t come up in your head, try to find alternative ways such as…
“I can’t go on from this point”
“I can’t continue.”
“Nothing comes up in my mind!.”
Or if you really don’t know how to express the situation, then you can simply say…
I don’t know !!!!! ✨
Anyway, try your best to explain the situation with whatever knowledge you have with your current level.
It doesn’t really matter if what you’re saying is grammatically making sense or not at this stage.
[You are thinking how to say “Onaka-ippai (means full in Japanese) in English.]
How do I say ”Onaka-ippai” in English?
[You have decided to google it…]
OK, let me google it with my phone!
🔹 After checking how to express it in English…
[You’ve found out that you can say “I’m full”.]
Ah, I see. I can say “I’m full”!
So, you keep trying to speak out whatever you act or think in English during this practice.
The important thing here is that even if you are going to have to repeat the same actions or thoughts with similar manners, do not skip the procedure like…
“Hey, I’ve just said this before, so it’s fine”,
but instead, keep repeating over and over again!
As you go on repeating the same thing, they will start sticking to your head as patterns, and eventually your brain will be able to judge which type of expressions can be applied for each situation, automatically…
Come to think of it, we don’t think like “Err… I think I used the expression “I’m hungry.” yesterday, so I’m not gonna use it this time…”, do we?
🔹 Anyway, let’s continue…
[You’ve just remembered that your phone’s battery was running out]
Oh, my phone’s battery was running out, wasn’t it?
My phone was about to be dead, wasn’t it?
Well, above-mentioned phrases might come up for example, however, if you are a beginner in learning English and are not familiar with the form of “question tags” or with the proper use of “tense”, then…
you can just cling to the “present tense” for the time being.
“My phone die soon!” ✨
(“My phone will die soon! “ …to be exact.)
The important thing is to speak out whatever comes up in English.
Ultimately, just “Phone die!” can do!
When I just started applying “self-talk”, I was expressing things in English exactly with this manner.
Even if you are only able to express the situation by placing simple verb, noun, and adjective one after another at the moment just like … I walk slow, I hungry, I look there, or I go bed sleep and so on… I can tell this for sure!
When you have spoken out whatever you have in your mind in English, you are already one step aheadof those who don’t speak out what is in their head, despite their knowledge of English grammar or vocabularies is several or several tens of times better than you!
As I have kept saying, those who don’t have a habit of speaking won’t be able speak.
The pipes between their brain and mouth is not going to be connected.
If you manage to establish the habit of “self-talk” and carry out “outputting” steadily day by day, you will have overtaken them before you know it!
How come is it possible?
It’s because you will be naturally acquiring practical vocabularies and expressions which are directly connected to your everyday lifeby outputting whatis going on around you orchecking some words that are closely linked with your life.
On the contrary, if you keep inputting what you have learnt without outputting, the knowledge of new vocabularies and advanced English expressions that you get from some learning materials will be piled up one after another in your head.
Then, when it comes to the time for you to speak, you try to chose the best one from the pile of more-than-enough-of-knowledge you have accumulated, and as a result, you become too cautious about choosing the right one, and…the first word will never come out of your mouth.
For this reason, why don’t we set to work on “self-talk”?
No matter what level you are…
Now is the time to start!
You will be amazed by the outcome of implementing the “self-talk” later on…
*You can read this blog post in Japanese from the link below.
👉 英会話上達への最短の方法は、1日のうちに日本人をやめて地球人になる時間を作ることにアリ！《英語汁 第8号》