We’ve talked about paraphrasing, about your mood, about your brain, but we haven’t talked about imagination yet, and imagination is one of the greatest sources to be used when learning a language. The reason why you cannot translate or memmorise everything is simple, languages are not remembered in blocks, but built from zero each time you need to talk. And for building ideas, imagination has the power to make it happen.
There are moments in which we simply dissapear from reality and become pure imagination. The realm of dreams comes to live while we are awake and we can fly, we can be heroes and we can do anything we want to. We call this day-dreaming, and I don’t want to hear anyone giving excuses about this, you may not want to recognise it, but you do it. Everyone does! And it’s pleasant, it’s beautiful, it’s pure poetry…
When I was a child, as most of you, I spent hours and hours day-dreaming, creating different world, changing what I didn’t like and expandind what I wanted. I invented imaginary characters, I invented stories and I put myself into very different situations.
Reality or fiction
If you have read my previous articles, you know that the Dormant Giant, or our subconsciuos mind, cannot differ reality from fiction. So, even though you know day-dreaming is not true, this is just a secret betweem you and me. The Dormant Giant has not a clue about it, so we can tell him some sweet little lies in order to learn a language.
Imagine you are studying Japanese. You go to classes, you do your homework, you believe you will speak fluent Japanese soon and you do all the things a good student does. Fair enough. Do you want to expand your knowledge and to increase your learning? I’m sure you do, but I’m sure you do not want to make a bigger effort! Well, I could tell you to have no excuses, but I am not going to right now.
Get on your sofa, ride your bicycle, lie on a sandy beach or do whatever you like the most to enjoy a peaceful time… and day-dream in Japanese. Nobody is listening, there are no teachers, it’s only you and you can decide, you could be the very best Japanese speaker of your day-dream that you control… and most importantly, as it’s only you producing the language, nobody will use words you don’t know.
In order to give you ideas abour this, I will frequently write some posts under the category imagination. There, I will use my day-dreaming capacities to write stories. You don’t have to write them down, well, at least not yet. You can start just by inventing something, and the good thing is that your subconscious mind will think the story is true, and it will be studying the same way it used to when you were just a baby trying to understand your parents!
It seems that nearly everyone has dreamt of flying, and I say nearly because apart from me, it’s everyone I’ve ever asked, but I haven’t. I once dreamt about breathing underwater, and it felt like flying. Since then, after a relaxing day swimming and even diving in the sea, I lay down with my eyes closed, and feeling the brightness of the sun even with eyes shut, I imagined coral reefs and fish all around me.
I was mentally describing the colours of the fish, the shape of the rocks and flying above the sandy sea bed. I could count the sharks I saw, and there were seven shipwrecks just a few fin kicks away, it was marvellous. I had a huge smile on my face, and the water was warm and crystal clear…
Then, I mermaid appeared, and she told me about her underwater realm and how she could feel the waves from underneath. Stories of old came into the conversation, and breathing underwater was just natural, as I was just day-dreaming. However, I stopped for a second.
The children playing football near were screaming too much, so I just lost my concentration and came back to the real world, but the Dormant Giant was still believing that it had been true. I didn’t finish my story as reality calls and no need to, as we should only do this when inspiration and the moment come.
With this example we could review colours, numbers, sea vocabulary and past tense when we talked to the mermaid, and we were really doing nothing, just relaxing. Nobody noticed, that is your secret with your Dormant Giant.
Don’t you have the time for doing this? Of course you do, just one little thing, frequency works, so do it on daily basis.
And it would also be great that you tell us your day-dreams on our comments.
Thanks for reading, thanks for thinking!