Creative ideas are ideas that somehow fall outside the norm and the usual patterns of the mind. In this post I will describe a technique used to generate creative ideas and apply it to learning languages but it can be applied to find creative solutions to any kind of problem.
Author Edward de Bono in his book “Lateral thinking” suggests that one way to break the usual patterns of the mind is to use a random stimulus. A random word taken from a dictionary or a book could well serve this goal.
Step one: generate a random word
When I am working on my laptop I use an on-line website that generates random words or sentences to create a random stimulus. For example, I just run the random word generator and the output was the word “feeling”.
Now the next steps are to think few definitions of the word “feeling” and then try to relate them to your problem or question which in our case is “how can I learn languages creatively?”.
Step two: write a definition of the random word
So for example two definitions of feeling could be:
- An inner state that relates to some experience
- Refer to subjective sensations
Step three: relate your definition(s) to your problem
As mentioned above, now that you have a definition to the random word “feeling” you can relate it to your question. So how “an inner state that relates to some experience” can be linked to learning languages? Well, one could suggest, for example, that there are inner states that are more likely to accept new information than other ones and one could investigate all the optimal conditions for learning a new language. It is likely that a feeling of openness and acceptance could lead to a higher ability to learn. One could then look for ways to create these states of mind before studying or practicing the language. For example, one could listen to some music that re-creates these states of mind or feelings.