Folium: New Study May Revolutionize Language Learning via

Folium: New Study May Revolutionize Language Learning

Folium: New Study May Revolutionize Language Learning


Learning a new language seems to always be a summer goal, only when you have “enough time” to sit down and memorize some new vocabulary. But if you think about it, many say that they will and seldom do it. Learning a new language can be hard. The difficulty in actually remembering the words that you study, when you actually find yourself studying, is this: Learning languages is hard because it requires brand new cognitive frameworks in your brain. Yes, your brain is very much involved here. But there is a new study that allows those cognitive frameworks in your brain work in such a way that are you capturing the words and applying them correctly in a language that is not your native one.

Folium: New Study May Revolutionize Language Learning

“Learning languages is hard because it requires brand new cognitive frameworks in your brain…”

Research done by PhD graduate Paul Sulzberger in New Zealand has expanded the minds of many to a new level of language learning that has never been brought to light before. Dr. Sulzberger’s hypothesis is simple. The cognitive frameworks that were mentioned earlier, he says that by simply listening to a new language sets up the structures in the brain (or the cognitive frameworks) required to learn the words. You may not realize it, but your brain does that every time you learn a new word in your native language!

“Our ability to learn new words is directly related to how often we have been exposed to the particular combinations of the sounds which make up the words.”

Dr Sulzberger says; “Neural tissue required to learn and understand a new language will develop automatically from simple exposure to the language – which is how babies learn their first language,” When we were babies of course we had no idea that our brains were in constant absorb mode that took the words we were constantly exposed to and put them into use, or allowed us to later fully communicate. We didn’t realize it at the time, but now that it is understood that our brains undergo such a thing, we need to realize our full potential, and not be discouraged to start learning a new language.

Neural response coincides with word recognition points.
This means that when we hear a word, we can recognize it before we hear it in its entirety…

Some ways Dr. Sulzberger has said that we could get on track to learning a new language easier than we ever thought possible by simply listening to a Spanish radio station or watching the news in Portuguese. He says: “It is easier to learn languages these days because they are so accessible now. You can go home and watch the news in French on the internet.” There aren’t any excuses as to why we can’t be doing this. There are countless language learning opportunities, we just need to find them.

“Even short repetitive exposure to novel words induced a rapid neural response increase that is suggested to manifest memory-trace formation.”MedicalXpress

Dr. Sulzberger also points out that” people trying to learn a foreign language in their home country are at a disadvantage compared to those who travel to another country and immerse themselves in its sounds and culture.” We need to rethink the way languages are taught. If there is going to be any real growth and learning, there needs to be exposure, there is no other way. One hour of sitting in a classroom, or skimming over vocabulary words before a test is not going to help you know a language. But another hour spent listening to news report, or watching a foreign film will allow you to expand your mind and force your brain to remember what you are trying to learn.

Julie Martin
LEAF Editor and Contributor