It is Never a Sign of Insanity to Think Aloud
Have you ever caught yourself thinking aloud, expressing your thoughts out loud, only to be met with strange looks from those around you? Well, fear not, because thinking aloud, also known as private speech, is not only a normal behavior but also has been proven to enhance mental ability in various ways.
Private speech is a behavioral pattern that individuals practice daily to achieve self-regulation. As a child, thinking aloud was a way of demonstrating knowledge or opening oneself up to learning. You may recall sounding out words, expressing ideas, forming sentences, and rehearsing until you have mimicked the established model in your family, school, or neighborhood. As you grew older, you internalized this act of thinking aloud, and your speech shifted to interpersonal communication. In this article, we will explore seven ways thinking aloud can help you think and learn better.
1. Spur Curiosity During Learning
The goal of curiosity is to enable you to gain a deeper knowledge of things that are crucial within the scope of our experience of the world. This includes the concepts you have learned in school and those that are relevant to your daily life. Individuals who think aloud are usually curious about different topics and develop broad interests. Private speech helps you retain inquisitiveness about people and the world around you. It enables you to gain an in-depth understanding of beliefs, culture, and viewpoints that are shared aspects of what makes us human. Those who think aloud are lifelong learners.
Thinking aloud will help you apply your best thinking habits to solve complex problems. It also helps you to achieve constructive outcomes. As you think aloud, you will find answers to crucial questions, explore topics deeper, and gain deeper insights locked up within the information.
2. Enhance Creativity
Creativity is one of the most significant skills you need to succeed beyond school. Learners who think aloud nurture their creativity and problem-solving abilities, which are essential skills in many fields of work. Students who possess these skills have a better chance of excelling in their careers.
Thinking aloud is relevant in business, marketing, and professional networks as it helps you to develop creativity on how to advertise, increase revenue, and advance your career. You will also learn to question assumptions about different topics. When you think aloud, you ask ‘how’ or ‘why not? Private speech has limitless potentials, and it will enable you to train your brain to be creative.
3. Reinforce Problem-Solving Skills
Thinking aloud helps you become an instinctual problem solver. Problem-solving is one of the most crucial abilities that you can build on as a learner. Private speech enables you to address complex issues effectively, by thinking aloud about how to engineer innovative solutions. Albert Einstein once said, ‘It’s not that I am smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.’ He once propounded that when you are allocated one hour to perform a task, spend 55 minutes to define and research the problem while you spend 5 minutes to solve it. Private speech affords you this kind of commitment and patience, which is the reason you will learn to understand the problem and solve it effectively.
Thinking aloud positions you to face complex problems to survive, succeed, and be significant in life.
4. Cultivate Multi-Faceted Skills
As you think aloud, you are nurturing not just a skill, but many skills. Private speech exercises your mind, and as your mind is empowered, you become more productive and stay healthy. Thinking aloud enhances your observational skills, reasoning skills, logical thinking, evaluative skills, language skills, organizational and planning skills, open-mindedness, creative visualization methods, and decision making. The list is inexhaustive, but this is an overview of what you develop and promote when you think aloud in your daily lives.
5. Foster Independence
Private speech helps you think independently, which is one of the most essential learning goals. You can learn how to take responsibility for your learning and become independent during the learning process. You don’t depend on the instructor to achieve learning outcomes; instead, you learn to take charge of your learning.
Private speech positions you not only as a great learner but a great thinker and leader. You will learn how to appreciate the world from your point of view and experience. You become more confident, and you learn from your mistakes as you build a successful and productive life. Private speech helps you to be self-directed as a learner, become organized in your thinking and proactive in your thinking ability. It also means this kind of proactive thinking ability becomes part of you as you nurture it through the lifelong learner.
6. Improve Your Reading Comprehension
You become motivated to identify the distinctions between reading words and understanding the text when you apply the process of thinking aloud. You also gain insights into the reading complexities and expand your understanding of what it means to be a great reader.
How does this apply to life? You will learn how to read through assumptions and base your knowledge on realities.
7. Develop a Life Skill
Thinking aloud helps you to develop a lifelong skill, not just a learning skill. According to John Dewey, ‘Education is not preparation for life; it is life itself.’ Private speech helps you to become successful within and beyond the classroom. It helps you learn how to lead your life.
The bottom line is that you don’t need your teachers once you have completed a learning phase; you become the leader and the teacher. Learning also becomes a continuum for you.
How to Adopt the Thinking Aloud Strategy
Private speech is a crucial learning tool. The more you engage your brain in different dimensions, the more you can connect and retain what you learn. You can read, create diagrams or pictures, use motion or music, converse with others, and with yourself. Most times, you talk through with your friends or in a group to recall a topic you have learned. In other cases, you may not need a second party to think aloud.
Private speech helps you to leverage multiple senses and personal experiences in processing and to reinforce your learning. You can think aloud to memorize vocabulary by vocalizing the words, talk through mathematical problems to arrive at possible solutions, edit papers by reading the words aloud, and appreciate poetry through dramatization.
Here are three ways to think aloud:
1. Spot the Juicy Tipping Points
The first approach to adopt if you want to think aloud is to sift through the text. Read the text while holding your sticky notes, search for spots to make inferences, ask questions or think through the intent of the author. These are the juicy tipping points that lead to the next challenge or comprehension opportunities.
2. Know When and Where to Think Aloud
Examine each tipping point and reflect on the purpose of the point. This will help you scale down the points to more manageable points, so you don’t become overburdened or detracted from the process. You need to also factor in the purpose of picking the text you want to learn, your objective, and the strategies you are familiar with before reading the text.
3. Write on Sticky Notes
Writing on sticky notes provides a guide for your thought pattern during the learning process. It helps you to stick to what’s significant and discard what’s less important.
In conclusion, thinking aloud is an essential tool for learning and personal development. Don’t be shy about utilizing this technique and see how it enhances your mental ability in various ways. So, go ahead, start thinking aloud, and unlock your potential.