Should You Think in Native Language While Writing IELTS Essays

Well, when it comes to speaking English or writing in English for a non-native English speaker one thing that happens consciously or sub-consciously that our mind acts like a compiler or CPU that takes input and processes it to generate output. There are many English experts who motivate their students to even think in English and not wasting time in interpreting or translating from native language to English.

However, I have seen that it does not necessarily work for everyone. So, here I am going to express my opinion if we should or should not ‘think’ in the native language.

I would say ‘yes’. We should definitely use the thinking process in the native language. This can be a very valuable tip while writing an IELTS essay. We all know that there is very limited time to write 250 words in the exam. Not everyone is able to finish their essay on time and as planned.

One thing everyone will agree that planning the essay structure is crucial before writing it and not everyone plans. That is where the problem starts.

How to Plan Your Essay

It is possible that you get a topic in the essay which you are not much familiar with. But most of the topics are crafted in such areas that most of us can correlate. If you are non-native English learner, my advice is that please think the matter in your mind in the native language.
It may help to correlate the topic better with your day to day life or problems that exist in the society around you or on the global level.

Once you start generating ideas, start jotting down main points at the end of the writing sheet. It will help you to not forget what you have already planned. You will reach at the end section of the writing sheet almost after 30-35 minutes. Once you have written your body paragraphs you can erase the points.

How This Technique Helps

This technique is equally helpful whether you think in English or think in your language. Thinking and storing ideas in the mind may not work for everyone as due to panic of completing the task on time one may forget everything planned in the mind. But writing down the points will help you to recall and by the time you need to erase the points, you will be at the conclusion stage. Hence, there is no risk of omitting important points you developed in the mind.

After all, it is better to waste initial 5 minutes on planning, no matter which way you use to plan, I recommended native language because we all are comfortable in decision making in the native language in the mind. Thinking in English is not discouraged here. Rather it is desirable.

However, those who are not able to think in English, they should not force their mind and follow the strategy I have suggested. Even if you are able to write as planned, without any grammatical issues, you can still score a band 6 very easily, provided you have addressed all criteria. The greatness of ideas is not of much importance but your language and accuracy would certainly matter.

It is strongly advised that you write at least 5 essays following this strategy and evaluate if you are able to control the time, flow, ideas and grammatical accuracy. No tips, tricks and strategies are guaranteed to work if you learn them at the last moment.


Here I combined two strategies to plan (not writing) an effective essay writing i.e. thinking in the native language and jotting down points rather than storing them in the mind. If you find these tips helpful please let me know. If you have any question then also you can comment here.

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