As in a fairy tale, our mind has a giant monster sleeping inside. We rarely see him, but when he shows up, his power is so immense, he could destroy everything around. And as in fairy tales, most of the people in the village have heard of him, but only the hero in this story, and that’s you, will battle the giant.Welcome to your subconscious mind.
Human brain is a great unknown to many, including Science. However, we are learning more and more from it these days. Your brain is the organ that has to learn a language, not your arm or your leg, your brain. So we should get to know a bit of how it really works, so we can work following you brain’s rules, and not your own. As many are not aware, human brain has a unique way on its own. Some of us believe to know the best way to learn, and speaking about languages, everyone seems to have a theory. But, I just have to have a look around and realize that they had not a clue according to the number of people out there who cannot speak any foreign language, even if they’ve tried.
I don’t want to get very deep into psychiatry, but I am going to decompose your brain in different parts, to show you how it’s formed. The first layer is in the one you’re in right now, and it’s called Conscious Mind. We’ll discuss about it later on in Thinking Languages!, just let you know that when you are awake reading this, or doing any other staff, is the part in which your thinking resides. We are currently in that part of our mind, and that part inside your brain is not paying attention at all to your heart beating or breathing. Never-mind, you know there are more parts of your brain, at a deeper layer, that really takes care about your life functions. What part do you think is bigger?
The immense majority in you you don’t have control about
Against science just a minute ago, you subconscious mind, they one I call the Dormant Giant, is the biggest part of our brain. Say 80% more or less, and I’ll just be trying not to exaggerate. Science is stating these days that we might reside in an even smaller percentage of our minds. Neuroscience have proved that our actions are highly influenced by our brain, which is quite logical I would say. By knowing that the majority of our brain is the Dormant Giant, no need to be very smart to reach the conclusion that we need to work on it if we want to learn a language.
The Dormant Giant has several strangely misunderstood. These are concepts such as time, clothes combination, logic or even people. That is why you can’t be sure of the time while dreaming, and your friend Michael suddenly becomes Phil, or you find access to grandparents’ house when you open your room’s door. This may seem clumsy, however, it has a reason to be, and that is to check on us so we are well and we keep ourselves alive. Its main function is to survive, and in order to do that, it needs to understand nothing at all about the conscious world. Humans are stupid enough to get themselves killed by many factors that the Dormant Giant will never allow if it’s in his hands.
And as survival means to belong to a Group of other humans, nature gives us all the necessary tools to learn a language (the key to belong to a pack) by the actions of the Dormant Giant. A newborn will develop several strategies and patterns that will define how to learn a language naturally. The Gian guides the process in a natural way and we are not even aware of it. When we become teenagers, the Giant simply changes it’s target, and focuses on sexuality.
The new focus will only come into play once we’ve understood that we are in a group and that we have grown up enough for it, with the protection of our society. And we need to thank our society with newborns in order to go for a new step in our lives. And it’s very curious how in the modern world we’re living in, we are still influenced by all those biological needs, even though we might not mark our territories the same ways chimps do, why don’t you try to convince a teenager to leave his smartphone for a while? Losing connection is the worst punishment in this highly connected world.
The Dormant Giant, whose Orly wish is to make you survive, once awaken, can see very clear messages. Flirting is something good to survive, or keeping in touch with friends, or playing football, or hanging out in the pub with your fellows. That is why, it has not a clue of what the Conscious part of our brain wants to learn. It gets even worse if it’s a language he cannot understand. What we have to do is to translate that intention to him.
Back in the old days, a foreigner was an enemy, and no matter who civilizad we believe we are, we still have a bit of that in our minds, but transformed into predujides rather than in an agression. We want, or we need, to learn a second language, but we can’t give to it the importance it deserves, and our Giant can only see it as a secondary need. In order to learn that language, we should include it in our conscious mind and in our life. Only by doing that our Dormand Giant could think that it is important to belong to a new group, with new individuals, in which we’ll need new protection, and we could have new offsprings!
I know you are a 21st Century person, and so am I, but that doesn’t mean that the genetically influenced behaviour explained above does not affect you. What we are to do with Thinking Languages! Method is using them in our favour, and stop fighting nature as other system do with their students.
Have a few minutes thinking on the tongue you’re studying. No matter what your level is, do if from day one. If you only know colours, then just think of colours, but work it out with your brain. Thinking Languages!
Get as much input as possible in the second language. We have music, internet, books, chats, friends, TV, magazines… does it matter what? Does it matter how much you understand? Do it!
Let your Dormant Giant wakes up thinking your life is at risk and make it work for you immediately. Thinking Languages!
Get interested in the culture you’re getting in, a language and a culture are the same thing in essence, and they have a lot of things to give to you. Don’t be a viking and think the outsiders are worse, be smart. Thinking Languages!
And I guess there are things you don’t fully understand, as for example that thing that the Dormant Giant is going to start working for us just by lying to it, and some will also think it wouldn’t be easy to lie to him if our conscious mind knows what we are doing. Well, the Dormant Giant cannot distinguish reality from fiction, and it is a fact. I will explain it on the next e-lesson. Meanwhile, practice.
And what about you? How do you wake up your Dormant Giant?