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Sleep like a baby, learn like Einstein

Learning a language isn´t particularly difficult if you compare it to calculus or Formula 1 engineering, but it does take a lot of time. You learn a word, repeat it over a few days, use it context in reading, listening, speaking and writing. You think you´ve got it, and then when you need it in a real conversation POOF! It´s gone, and you´re back to learning it again. It can be a long process.

Over the last 40 years there has been a plethora of quick fix language "methodologies", most of which have been discredited and the rest not even worthy of an academic look-in.

But let´s humour the mumbo-jumbo guys in language learning for a moment. If you wanted to learn a language without any effort, could you? Well, the short answer is "yes", but...

To learn a word without effort requires hearing it repeated 160 times. That´s two and a half minutes for one word. Let´s put that in context In order to understand 90% of all written English communications, you will need approximately 2,000 words. That is 83 hours. Not so bad, about equivalent to an English course.

According one study, you might even be able to enhance memory retention of words by up to 10% in your sleep.

The above are still only in the lab stages, but if scientists can make them useful in the real world it could have a huge impact on language learning. There will still be the need for word association, contextualisation, and social-cultural competency development, but anything that makes learning easier for students is a step in the right direction.

Written by:
Nicholas Allen
Director RoSEA

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