Thinking aloud, also known as private speech, is often viewed as a sign of insanity, but in fact, it enhances your mental ability. It enables you to achieve focus, and it is a behavioral pattern that you should practice every day to achieve self-regulation. As a child, thinking aloud was a way to demonstrate your knowledge or open yourself to learning. You sounded out words, expressed ideas, and formed sentences. Anytime you were corrected, you rehearsed until you had it right. As you grew older, you internalized this act of thinking aloud, and your speech shifted to interpersonal communication.
The following are seven ways thinking aloud can help you think and learn better:
1. Spur Curiosity During Learning
Individuals who think aloud are usually curious about a broad range of topics and develop broad interests. Thinking aloud helps you retain inquisitiveness about people and the world around you. It enables you to gain a deep understanding of beliefs, culture, and viewpoints that are shared aspects of what makes us human. Those who think aloud are lifelong learners.
As you think aloud, you will find answers to crucial questions. You don’t make decisions based on assumptions, but you can explore topics deeper. You also gain deeper facts locked up within the information.
2. Enhance Your Creativity
Creativity is one of the most significant skills you need to survive beyond school. Learners who think aloud nurture their creativity and ability to solve problems. It is a requisite skill to collaborate in the workplace.
Thinking aloud is relevant in business, marketing, and professional networks. It helps you develop creativity on how to advertise, increase revenue, and advance your career. When you think aloud, you ask ‘how’ or ‘why not?’ Private speech has limitless potential. This applies to young and old learners. It will enable you to train your brain to be creative.
3. Reinforce Your Problem-Solving Skill
You become an instinctual problem solver when you think aloud. Problem-solving is ranked the most crucial ability you can build as a learner. You will be positioned to address complex problems by thinking aloud about how to engineer innovative solutions.
Thinking aloud also positions you to face complex problems to survive, succeed, and be significant in life. When you think aloud, you can curate solutions to big problems such as overpopulation, global warming, water shortages, energy crises, pollution, need for health care, and electronic waste management, etc. Those who think aloud will continue to be relevant in producing lasting solutions to these problems and others that continue to evolve.
4. Cultivate Multi-Faceted Skill
When you think aloud, you are nurturing, not just a skill, but many skills. Thinking aloud is a cross-curricular cognitive talent. It exercises your mind, and once your mind is empowered, you will not only stay healthy, but you will be more productive.
Thinking aloud enhances your:
– Observational skills
– Reasoning skills
– Logical thinking
– Evaluative skills
– Language skills
– Organizational and planning skills
– Creative visualization methods
– 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
Thinking aloud helps you think independently, which is the most essential learning goal. It helps you become independent during the learning process. You don’t depend on the instructor to achieve learning outcomes, but you learn to take responsibility for your learning.
Thinking aloud will not only position you 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.
Thinking aloud helps you to be self-directed as a learner. Your thinking becomes organized, and you learn how to take charge of your life. When you are successful in your thinking ability, you can make progress beyond learning in your future pursuits and relationship with pride and confidence.
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.
By thinking aloud, you can learn how to read through assumptions and gain knowledge based on realities.
7. Develop a Life Skill
As you think aloud, you develop more than just a learning skill, but a lifelong skill. According to John Dewey, “Education is not preparation for life; it is life itself.” Thinking aloud helps you become successful within and beyond the classroom. You learn how to lead your life through life.
The bottom line is 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.
Adopting the Thinking Aloud Strategy
Thinking aloud or 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 read, create diagrams or pictures, use motion or music, converse with others, and with yourself.
Thinking aloud helps you to leverage multiple senses and personal experiences in processing and reinforcing 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
– Appreciate poetry through dramatization
Here are three ways to think aloud:
1. Spot the Juicy Tipping Points
The first approach to adopting the thinking aloud strategy 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. You can also combine sticky notes with diagrams or pictures to visualize information and retain learning outcomes.
In conclusion, thinking aloud is a doable act that has immense potential for enhancing your mental ability. You can practice it anywhere, anytime, and have positive outcomes that last a lifetime. The more you practice it, the more familiar it becomes and the more brainpower you unleash.