Can you learn a language in your sleep?

Sleep learningIt seems like it’s human nature to try to find the easiest and fastest way to do things, and this is especially true for things we find difficult or don’t understand.  Language learning seems to be one of the things that people are constantly trying to find a shortcut for.  Are there quick fixes and magic solutions?

There are many websites that claim that it is possible for people to learn a foreign language easily and quickly, and you can get it done simply by being asleep.  One website even tells this fantastic story, of a student who achieved great success using their methods:

In Budapest, Hungary, a student wanted to learn English quickly enough to win a BBC contest. Using the sleep-learning method , he memorized one thousand and twenty-six English words in six weeks and won first prize!

Sounds easy, right?  Well, an EFL teacher thought he would ask some people who had tried similar methods.  Not only did he find out that there was a lot more work involved than just listening to audio while you sleep, but that the students who had tried it didn’t feel like they were learning about grammar and sentence structures.  They did report that they became more familiar with speech sounds of English, and improved their pronunciation, though.  The teacher also proposed that doing about 15 minutes of study right before sleeping, and right after waking up (as was instructed in the sleep learning courses) could be beneficial to all students.  Read his full post here.

Has anyone else had experience of learning or enhancing their learning by listening to things while they sleep?

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