The Psychology of Thinking in a Foreign Language

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The peculiarity of a foreign language as the object of teaching in schools is that pupils have to obtain a practical grasp of it as a means of communication, i.e. they must learn to think in it.

The basic defect of our present method of English language more than they are taught knowledge about the English language more than they are taught to think in it, as a result of which the main aim of teaching English language is often not attained.

In other words, pupils are principally taught the forms of a foreign language without attention being paid to the fact that practical mastery of these forms is only possible if they are directly linked with the students’ thought process.

The problem of thinking in a foreign language has not been fully worked out by psychologists, for which reason the technique of language teaching lags behind in this respect.

Moreover, and on the associated principles of techniques is hampered by the incorrect view of some of our educationists and psychologists that only a person’s native language is directly linked with thought. This point of view is refuted both by experience and research.

In investigating the psychology of thinking in a foreign language, we take it as a principle that language and thought are closely linked with each other. This gives rise to an interesting question whether a person’s thinking has the same character when he uses a foreign language as when he uses his own, or whether it is somehow modified.

In fact, the structure of the foreign language is more or less sharply differentiated from that of the native language in its phonetical, lexical, grammatical and stylistic means of expression, so that this difference must also be accompanied by differences in the
sphere of thought.

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