Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 6 Ottobre 2011
Do you remember the song that sang “BREATHE”?
Don’t you know it?
I found a Youtube video for you. Here’s the song:
But, wait a minute: wasn’t this a blog about learning Italian? What does the song has to do with Italian learning?
Read further and you’ll discover.
Last month I purchased a biofeedback device…an IOM, to be precise.
Why did I do that? Well, because lately I’ve been interested in tools to improve my mind and body…and I read that it is possible nowadays to check and control your personal bio signals through these little machines called biofeedback (even though the one I bought is actually an active feedback machine)…And I read that you could even control your hearth rate and relax very deeply.
Wasn’t this a thing that only yogis could do? After all when I was at school, a teacher taught me that we cannot control our heart, as it is an unvolontary muscle.
Uhmmmm….Did I believe the teacher? Yes, of course. But then I started suspecting that this wasn’t totally true when I started to practice meditation last year. But, what could I do? I didn’t have anything to prove that teacher wrong (even if by now it really doesn’t matter anymore ;-)…Untill I bought this biofeedback machine and realised that through a simple breathing pattern I could slower my hearth rate! And the producer of this machine says that “the achievement of a ten second sine wave pattern [of the heart] correlates with optimal functionality of the major bodily systems including blood pressure, cognition, the immune system and mood”.
Then another AHA moment happened to me. What if I used this breathing pattern before learning something? Would this help? After all they say that it helps with cognition too.
I tried it and I am very happy for doing it.
The consequence of the breathing pattern is that you get deeply relaxed. Does being relaxed help in learning a language?
According to prof. Stephen Krashen it does. This American professor actually offered a set of hypoteses on the acquisition of a second language. One of them is the affective filter hypotheses. By it prof. Krashen refers to the affective factors which may block or facilitate acquisition. And being relaxed does help with the acquisition of a language.
The breathing exercise is very simple…and in my opinion it can improve any learning experience. But this is just my opinion. I’ll leave it up to you to try it.
If you want to try it with the Speak Italian Magically audios…just get your mp3 reader ready just before starting the process.
Here’s how to breath before learning Italian or anything else:
Sit quietly and still your body. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Slowly breathe in (while counting in your mind from 1 to 5 inyour own personal rythm) and slowly breathe out (while counting in your mind from 1 to 5 in your own personal rythm). If you find your mind wander, just aknowledge it, accept it and start again with the breathing pattern. Continue for at least 5 minutes (and not more than 20, they suggest) and then let the audio start (click on play). Continue with the same breathing pattern while listening. At the end, just take three faster deep breaths for you to awake and strech your muscles. NEVER DO this exercise while driving cars or any machine, as while practicing it you are supposed to be focused on your breathing, not on the car!
I still think that it’s all about connecting the dots and I hope this blog post helps you connect the dots too .