Can You Learn Spanish While You Sleep
A Look At Whether Listening To Spanish Whilst Sleeping May Accelerate Learning
Allowing Us To More Rapidly Assimilate A New Language
There is much research and debate regarding whether learning a new language can be enhanced by using an audio program that helps you learn while you sleep.
Learning a new language is difficult and any methodology that can hasten our adoption and usage is always welcome.
Also many people find the fact that we could learn while we sleep, very intriguing.
The question is, of course, does it work.
Well apart from trying it yourself, the only way to know is to look at the research that has been done over the years and see what their findings are.
STUDIES & RESEARCH
One interested work published in Scientific American 319 (5), 2018 by Ken A Paller, Delphine Oudiette looked at experimental techniques to demonstrate how to strengthen memories when our brains are off-line. It’s a fascinating read. Sleep Learning Gets Real
One study entitled ‘Boosting Vocabulary Learning by Verbal Cueing During Sleep’ published in the journal Cerebral Cortex by the Swiss National Science showed that memories could be reactivated during sleep by re-exposure to associated memory cues and improves memory consolidation. In other words that listening to newly learned foreign vocabulary while sleeping can help solidify the memory of new words.
In another study it was shown that humans can encode verbal associative information (word pairs) during slow-wave sleep.
There really is a wealth of new studies and research going on and if you want to delve deeper check out some of the references at the bottom of this page.
As can be seen by the above studies there is no conclusive evidence. A lot more still needs to be studied and learnt. It may take years to fully uncover, but what is striking is that what was once disparaged because the sleeping brain was thought to be turned off, turns out to be quite the contrary. Our brains remain highly active during sleep in ways that assist in storing memories.
Common sense then, would tend to suggest that whilst sleeping, the subconscious mind is still aware and therefore it may be possible to learn while we sleep.
What we do know is that repeated exposure does seem to reinforce learning.
The question then becomes, are we being exposed in the same way, when asleep, as when we are awake.
The answer to that is most likely no.
However, studies have shown that although our awareness is not the same as when we are awake, some material seems to be processed subsconsciously.
This could be helpful because it may wire our brain more rapidly to the new language.
MOST IMPORTANT WORDS
We think a far better way to learn Spanish while you sleep is to first concentrate on the most important sounds, words and sentences that inherently impart the grammar of the language.
Listen to this material whilst you are awake.
This approach gives you a good headstart. Instead of learning what is a massive amount of material, you concentrate on a very defined but useful subset of the language. This boosts your confidence because you see manageable and rapid progress.
Motivation is often a key factor in learning as no one likes to spend hours trying to remember things, only to find that they can’t use them or that they are quickly forgotten.
Instead of trying to learn everything you learn just enough to start speaking and create your own basic sentences.
Then to supplement this way of learning Spanish you can also listen to the same material whilst you sleep. Repeating and reinforcing what you have already learned during the day.
In summary, learning Spanish or any other language is not easy.
It takes a lot of effort and commitment.
Listening to Spanish while you sleep may help reinforce what you have learned during the day but more importantly you need a good course that concentrates on the most important words and sentence structures to expose the inherent grammar.
Finding a course that concentrates on these basic building blocks of the language can help make the amount of material needed to be learnt much more manageable.
This simplified way of learning will give you a confidence boost as well as be a stepping stone to more advanced learning.
Furthermore listening to the same material while you sleep, will repeat and reinforce this to your subconscious mind.
Together these two approaches may supplement each other to boost your knowledge of the essentials of Spanish or any other language you are trying to learn.