Suppose you have nothing to see or read, no iPod, your hands are busy, and no one near to talk with – do you have any way of killing time?
I have one. It’s training to create English sentences within my mind.
After the great earthquake in March, I started to make more effort to study English.
Before I had not thought speaking so important. So far as you can write it, you could manage to express what you mean… But recently I have found that training of speaking drastically enhance both reading and writing. It might be because through speaking one could train himself to imagine a chunk of words together at once. Such kind of thing I had once written here before, so I’d like to skip the detail.
It is a remarkable thing that one speaks a language since one was really an infant. Count from 1 to 100 in English – most of Japanese can do it, I believe. But if the counting rate is raised to 0.5sec/time, for example, I will fall in confusion at counting over twenty-five. Of course, in Japanese, I will never make such a mistake.
But it is more difficult to arrange words within one’s mind, that is, to think in foreign language.
In Japan there are many English school, most of them recommend to learn conversation first of all. They say, “It’s no meaning in only meddling with words in your mind! Express them to outside!” – no, no, sirs, it’s too difficult to dealing with words in silence.
After I tried for some time to think things in English, I found that it should not matter to me so much, to recall each word. Leaning English for years I have become a fair amount of vocabulary. The problem was in keeping the words for a long time in my brain, until a whole sentence would be created. Each word came from my brain but immediately evaporated. When I write them, as I do now, I can take time to construct sentences looking over all the words I brought from the brain.
How can I fix words in my brain? There’s only one way: repeating.
So I made up a new way of training. I started to think about a funny story in English. It should be funny, or I would soon get tired of thinking. I will not write a word about it. I will repeat to recall words, arrange it, to create sentences in my brain, until I memorize all the words I create myself.
It was some weeks ago. Now I have not yet fixed even the first sentence. The way to master a foreign language would be long and steep.