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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: (Edge #3): Meditation and How it Helps You Learn a Language

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hello everyone this is Paul and you are

watching the Lang focus Channel today

I'm going to talk about language

learning edge number three and that edge

is meditation so you might be thinking

what the heck does meditation have to do

with language learning well it has a

couple of big benefits that can really

affect your results so I wanted to share

it with you it's something that I do all

the time but I want to make clear that

this is not religious meditation if you

have your own religion and you're

worried that maybe this is Buddhism or

some other religion that uses meditation

no I'm not teaching you that I'm just

talking about how to relax your body and

also your mind so that you can focus and

learn more efficiently

alright well let me talk about some of

the benefits that meditation has for

your language learning one of them is

that it puts you in an ideal learning

state it puts you in something called an

alpha state which means that your

brainwaves are moving at a slower speed

than they are when you normally go

throughout your day when you normally go

about your day you are in a beta state

in your brain waves are moving at more

cycles per second than they are when you

are in a relaxed alpha state when you're

in an alpha state you are alert you are

aware of what's going on around you but

you're calm you're relaxed and there's

an absence of agitation or an absence of

stress or anxiety so that absence of

stress and anxiety is very important for

learning now if you're taking a language

course in a classroom I mean you can

enter that alpha state through

meditation by doing that to yourself and

hopefully your teacher doesn't strike

some kind of anxiety into you hopefully

they're not the kind of teacher who

tries to intimidate you or yells at the

students a lot or takes their own life's

frustrations out on the students if you

have that kind of teacher they're

probably going to give you anxiety which

spikes you up into a beta state which

means you'll be more agitated and

outside of an ideal learning state so

let's just say you have a teacher who is

perfectly calm relaxed and pleasant so

there's no nothing inhibiting you from

becoming relaxed so you can do a kind of

meditation on yourself to enter that

alpha state but if you're at home doing


study then there are some other things

you can do to help yourself

enter that alpha state even more easily

you can listen to some relaxing music

especially classical music is quite

well-known for helping you enter an

alpha state especially if the tempo is

quite slow like if it's at a Largo tempo

that can help you even more but it

depends on you as well I listen to a lot

of jazz jazz in the background like not

really fast fusion type jazz but

laid-back classic jazz from the old days

of Miles Davis that kind of thing and

that helps me get into that relaxed

alpha state I could be whatever you like

some kind of slowed down deep house or

whatever whatever you think relaxes you

and doesn't agitate you or give you any

anxiety so any kind of emotionally

torturous music is probably out the

window you don't want that you want

something that's just calm relaxing

eliminates anxiety another thing you can

do is listen to binaural beats now what

these are is you put on some headphones

and you hear just a frequency just a

sound at a certain frequency so when you

put it on you just hear one more move

like a kind of wave sound pinging back

and forth between your headphones but

what that does is it changes your brain

waves or your brain waves match the the

waves of the binaural beats in your

headphones there are all sorts of

different binaural beats for different

brainwave speeds for different purposes

but you want to find ones that are

putting you in an alpha state now if you

just look on YouTube you can find some

binaural beat videos that people have

uploaded and if you type in binaural

beats alpha you'll see a lot of examples

and if you want you can type in binaural

beats alpha language-learning and then

you'll get some more specific examples

that have been created specifically for

language learning so look for those I

use those when I'm studying I put on

headphones in the binaural beats help me

go into that alpha state while I'm

studying it gives me that relaxation I'm

in that ideal learning state it just

does it a bit more easily if you have

the binaural beats in your headphones at

least they work for me some people say

it's pseudoscience they don't think it

works if you don't think it works then

skip it and you can just relax yourself

however you see fit

but I find it works so you can give it a

try if not go to the classical music or

just focus on meditating yourself the

key is just to get into that alpha state

where you're relaxed you don't have any

anxiety and you can learn efficiently

another awesome benefit of meditation

for language learning is that it helps

you with your listening comprehension so

when you're listening often there's

something that's blocking you or getting

in your way now what I mean is this all

of us have a kind of running inner

dialogue inside our head it's kind of a

voice that's constantly narrating our

lives and commenting on what's happening

around us

so if you see a dog walking down the

street your inner voice will probably

say hey nice dog or wow that dogs ugly

or whatever it's commenting on things in

real time as you live your life and it's

even doing that when you're speaking to

another person now if you're talking to

someone who speaks your own native

language then it's no problem because

you're getting the message instantly

without any effort so your inner

dialogue she's commenting on the content

and maybe deciding how you're going to

respond but when you're talking to

someone speaking your target language

maybe you're not even getting the

message of what they're saying so from

that inner voice you're getting nothing

but interference your inner voice is

probably saying stuff like what does

that word mean oh no I don't know that

word what grammatical structure was that

was he using the past perfect and that

kind of thing is just distracting you by

kind of making you jumpy and making you

think too much so what you want is for

that voice to shut the up you want

that voice to shut up so that you can

clearly listen to the other person

rather than have this interference from

a different voice you don't want to be

hearing two voices at the same time one

external and one internal you want to

just be hearing the one external voice

so we want to shut off that inner voice

and you can do that through meditation

so when you're talking to the other

person you don't want to think about

what they're saying you just want to

basically have a clear mind you want to

open the door and just let the

information come in rather than trying

to process it actively that may be

counterintuitive but it actually makes

it easier to understand then you would

have if you were thinking about what the

other person is saying meditating while

talking to someone so that you can

understand them better takes conscious

effort at first it takes some effort and

it takes some practice to get good at it

but after a while it becomes easier and

it becomes basically an unconscious

process and you start to do it

automatically after a while so don't get

too worried about it if it requires

effort at first that won't last forever

you just gotta reinforce it until it

becomes a habit okay so how do we

meditate well I'm not a meditation guru

or expert or anything but I know a few

techniques and I'll teach you the two

most common ones that I use all the time

every day as I go about my day and I

definitely use when I'm studying

languages or speaking a language that is

not my native language so the first

thing is to just focus on your breathing

all right so your breathing slowly and

deeply you're paying attention to your

breathing noticing your breathing and if

your attention drifts away and starts to

think about something other than your

breathing then just bring it right back

alright so it's not a big deal you don't

stress if your attention wanders you

just bring your attention back to your

breathing okay so that has the effect of

relaxing you physically but also

mentally because you're taking your

focus away from that inner voice inside

your head now the second technique is

something I call body awareness similar

to the breathing one except you're just

noticing sensations that are already

present around your body so for example

if you pay attention to your feet right

now and why don't you do it pay

attention to your feet and notice what

sensations are already there do you feel

any tingling or buzzing or do you feel

some kind of warmth or heat in your feet

so just notice those sensations and let

them be there maybe you'll feel them

moving throughout your feet or moving up

your legs or something like that and pay

attention to your hands to notice your

hands maybe you'll feel some sensation

there do you feel some tingling or some

buzzing or do you feel the warmth or do

you feel the warmth moving throughout

your hands and up your forearms and into

your your arms and shoulders something

like that so just pay attention to

sensations and you can move your

attention around your body some people

call this body scanning like when you

are moving your attention around your

body and noticing different sensations

there's no strict order to it you don't

have to do it all from head to toe or

toe to head you can start with your

hands then go to your feet you can then

jump to your buttocks so your back and

your shoulders whatever order you want

just just move

your attention around two different body

parts and notice the sensations there

now you might be thinking doesn't that

distract me from studying or doesn't

that distract me from listening to the

other person or listening to the teacher

it's actually not distracting because

you are taking attention away from your

inner voice in your head and that inner

voice in your head is actually full of

kind of intellectual ideas right it's

something you have to think about but

when you're just noticing sensations you

don't have to think about anything

you're just drawing your attention there

you don't have to actually process any

information you don't have to react to

that sensation you just notice it that's

it so it's different than your inner

dialogue which is something that is

varying and kind of annoying and


so just to recap meditation is good for

entering into an alpha state which is

ideal for learning it's also good for

listening comprehension and the two

techniques are pay attention to your

breathing and do some body awareness or

body scanning just noticing sensations

around your body all right so it's quite

a simple message for today I hope that

was helpful thank you for watching lang

focus have a good night I'll see you

next time now it's extremely important

to learn the phonological system of each

language you learn because it's really

what connects you to that language it's

the thing that associated with that

language it helps you access your

integrated skills your synthesized

skills in that language we speak closely

related forms of communication sometimes

they are called different languages

sometimes they are called dialects of

one language so how do we decide which

one they are sometimes there's some

disagreement about which one a

particular form of communication is is

it a dialect or is it a separate



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