I am a native English speaker just starting to learn Spanish. I find as I advance that some phrases become automatic (such as 'Hablo un poco de español, no entiendo muy bien ' :-)) this is a good thing. However I wonder, do you ever get to the point where you think in a non-native language?
Yes. I am often thinking in the language which I have used the latest. When I was working in an international working environment I switched from Dutch to English to German to Spanish every few seconds. It is just for a moment than you switch back again. It is nothing special and you dont have to do anything for or against it. The same goes for dreaming in a foreign language, also a very popular question here.
As a full time language instructor and language learner, every student should start thinking in the target language sisnce the beginning.
I have some clues I give to my students who are struggling with this:
1. Ask yourself what do you want to say: Statement, doubt, question, probability, etc
2. Choose the correct tense: Present, Past, Future, etc and what kind of tense you are needing in order to express what you want to say: Present Progressive, simple past, simple future, present conditional, etc-
3. Build up you phrase or question and follow the appropiate pattern: Subject + verb conjugated + complement if a sentence or Question word (Qué, cómo, cuándo, dónde, para qué, etc) + subject + verb + complement.
Spanish like other language is subject of trial and error.. So dont be afraid of making mistakes. If you are afraid of mistaking, you wont never learn.
Here my two cents.
I've noticed, that when I often speak on foreign languages and study a lot, I'm start thinking on this languages especially when I think about people with whom I talk on this languages.
Ive been practicing Spanish for a while now and I can say when I've been speaking it for like an hour with someone and I leave the conversation I do think in Spanish. Although my Spanish needs to improve greatly it is fun to be able to think in the language to a degree. You'll learn more and more words and more and more tenses and soon you wil be able to do it.
Hi. Interesting question. Now I start learning English. And I think on Ukrainian and Russian language concurrently :) But Russian language I learned many years ago ), and in Ukraine very many people speak on Russian... and Russian language very similar on Ukrainian language... I don't know. Maybe it is bad example. I hope in future I can will think automatically on English too :) sorry for my English and good luck !