No – It Can’t be That Easy! You Can Learn a Foreign Language in Your Sleep?

The average human utilizes less than 10% of the brain. What’s happening with the rest? Can it be harnessed while you sleep? The answer is a qualified ‘yes’.

Sleep learning has been employed with varying degrees of success for many years. It is not a completely passive process, however. You can’t plug in headphones, listen to a German CD, and expect to wake up in the morning, fluently speaking German.

About 50% of our daily speech is composed of approximately 100 common words. In fact, the majority of our daily conversation employs less than 1000 words. If you study the most frequently-used 1000 words in any language, you will have a solid foundation on which to build.

You can find frequently-used word lists on the internet for any language by performing searches like the following:

* 1000 most used words Spanish

* 1000 most used words German

* 1000 most used words French

* 1000 most used words Italian

* 1000 most used words Portuguese

You will find thousands of websites offering software, books, audio files, CDs, crossword generators, flashcard software, and other types of language-learning materials. You can use these materials to design and customize your own sleep-learning regimen.

Make sure that you locate appropriate audio files for your vocabulary lists. Produce print-outs and audio recordings for about 100 words per session.

You learn most efficiently when all of your senses are involved. Spend a few minutes just before you go to sleep reading a vocabulary list and repeating after the narrator. Then settle in for a good night’s sleep. Ensure that the volume of your CD- or MP3-player is just audible. A recording that is too loud may disturb your sleep and/or damage your hearing.

In the morning, quickly review the list once again. You should find that your learning progresses at a very brisk pace.

Some individuals may not experience a peaceful night’s sleep using this learning approach. If you are one of these unfortunates, try decreasing the volume. Listen without headphones or earphones – unless you are sharing the bedroom with someone who can’t sleep through the distraction. (Earplugs to the rescue!)

When all else fails, try cutting your sleep short by about an hour and napping for an hour sometime during the day. Use the same technique of reviewing, sleeping, and reviewing that you would for nocturnal sleep-learning.

It you are an intermediate to advanced language student, you might want to try the same approach with audio books. Tackle one chapter at a time, reading it aloud with the narrator, researching and writing down unfamiliar words, then listening to the audio while you sleep. In the morning, read through the chapter again and marvel at how much you have retained since last night’s review session.

Are you adventurous? A self-hypnosis CD played before sleep-learning will encourage brain receptivity. You can even find internet sites that allow you to customize a downloadable self-hypnosis recording in your choice of male or female voice; and there are complete CD sleep-learning packages for specific languages.

Why waste 1/3 of your life in slumber when you could be channeling it into learning your favorite foreign language!

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