It's well known that French language learning revolves around trying to communicate in the target language. French lessons involving speaking, writing, reading and listening all go hand-in-hand and provide the best way to learn French.
All that learning can be exhausting, but here's good news! Even while sleeping, you can get the most out of your French lessons! Studies have confirmed that not only is night time one of the best times to study, but you can adapt certain tactics while you sleep to keep learning all night long.
That's right--every student's dream has come true. You can't learn all your French at night, but you can make the most out of your 8 recommended hours of shut-eye by following our tips.
Wait, How Can We Learn and Sleep?!
Wondering just how it's possible to learn while you sleep?
Researchers at Northwestern University conducted a study with participants who, while sleeping, listened on repeat to a tune that they had studied before going to sleep. Those same participants experienced a type of brain wave associated with memory consolidation; they were more likely to be able to recall that tune when awake than those who had not listened to it while asleep.
In other words, listening to French recordings (or any of our tips below) while you sleep could help you to remember that same vocab when you awake!
What's more, sleeping allows you to re-learn the material being played with no other distractions around. Scientists have confirmed that while asleep, our brains are able to focus entirely on the stimuli in an undistracted environment.
Think about the last time you sat in a class and listened to the teacher. How many outside distractions interfered with your learning? When you're catching zzz's, it's just you, your brain, some comfy pillows and the language being played.
And, if you're really motivated, try doing some French language learning first thing in the morning when your brain is the most refreshed and able to focus on the material. It may help you to better remember information.
Ready to get some ideas on how to maximize your night? Read on to find out the four best methods to accessing the best ways to learn French while you sleep.
Learn French Lessons With Music
Sure, music can be an awesome way to set the mood at a party, add some energy to a workout or chill out after a long day of learning.
But have you ever thought of sleep's amazing ability to relax you enough to lull you into a deep sleep? If you haven't already, consider setting up a play list for music to help you sleep. Studies show that a relaxing tempo and calm melodies can do wonders.
So, the question for those interested in French for beginners is, why not make it French music? French is known for its soft consonants and sensual sounding words. It's the perfect music to put you to sleep, and it's well known that listening to music in the target language can help your language learning game.
And let's not forget that listening to French music not only helps you with your language skills; it also teaches you cultural lessons, as many French rap songs remind us.
Learn French With an Audiobook
We all know how important it is to practice listening comprehension when learning French for beginners.
The best way to learn French is to increase your exposure to authentic French. You can do that a number of ways, one being through Speechling's amazing service that allows you to work with a coach and receive personalized feedback. You can even practice dictations with Speechling by listening to native speakers!
Another way to practice listening is with the use of audiobooks. Audiobooks can be great for catching up on reading while you drive, work out, clean, and do just about anything that allows you to listen at the same time.
Some studies suggest reading the book while listening to it, but listening to audiobooks in French while you sleep can allow you to hear the sounds and words of the language as you doze off.
Review French Lessons Vocabulary Before Sleeping
It may seem crazy to think you can learn vocab while you sleep, but studies that have recently come out have shown that it may just be true.
Researchers found that the brain can in fact process accents (thereby working on listening comprehension) and remember words learned while sleeping.
In addition, researchers have found that learning new information such as memorizing vocabulary lists and then going to sleep afterwards helps the brain to process that information. In fact, some scientists claim it's the best way to learn French or any language!
Watch French Movies While Falling Asleep
Movies are one of the most fun, entertaining and practical ways to learn French. Movies are considered the "7th art form" in France. They provide more than just laughs; they embody culture and demonstrate the ways in which humor is truly culturally relative.
Besides being amusing, movies also can help you to learn a language by introducing you to tons of vocabulary in context. Where else can you be exposed to an hour or two of authentic conversations?
You don't have to just watch movies while awake. Falling asleep while watching a movie can let you feel relaxed while learning a ton and expose you to all that rich language while you sleep.
If you're concerned about leaving your television on all night while you sleep, you could set a timer (most smart TV's have that feature nowadays), or you could stream a movie on your phone or laptop and allow it to eventually time you out.
If you're comfortable with it, leaving a movie on while you sleep can let you hear and process the sounds of the language just like audiobooks.
Not sure which movie to pick? Given France and the Francophone world's love of the screen, you have a lot of choices to consider! From historical drama to horror to comedy, hundreds of options are out there.
And, don't forget that you can often change the language on Netflix to French if you want to stick to a movie or show that you like in English.
With these four methods of learning French while you sleep, you are guaranteed to be speaking at lightening speed in no time!