Speak Italian Magically!

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    • A story, many stories at the Polyglot Gathering 2016 16 maggio 2016
      If you want to read this article in Italian, go here: https://goo.gl/Xc5Mo4 As you are reading the following text, from any device you’re doing it, and regardless of your background, I invite you to do a little experiment with me. Imagine for a moment that you are in a beautiful place. What is it? Think about it [...]
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Mentally train in 2012 to speak better Italian!

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 20 dicembre 2011

Imagine just for a moment that you were asked to lift 365 pounds even if you haven’t been training for several months…

What would your first reaction be?

Mine would have been “Dai, che dici?“:-)

And what if they told you that if you got relaxed and imagined the lift vividly, you would actually do it?

Would you believe it?

This was the situation in which Charles Garfield found himself in 1976, when he met a group of Soviet doctors. By the way, who’s Charles Garfield? He’s the author of several books…and also the one I’ll tell you in a little while.

Before reading further, answer this: Have you ever read about mental training? What do you know about it?

Stop for a moment and create a little and quick mind map about it…

Then look a the following mind map, which I made out of the 1984 book “Peak Performance” by C. Garfield and H. Z. Bennet.

Well, this is my personal and quick mind map, so let me resume it for you.


This is actually about the pillar of mental training: VOLUNTARY RELAXATION, which according to the authors can be achieved with two 15 minute sessions a day in three months…Very quickly here are the steps:

1) First you need to EXPLORE your body, voluntarily tense it and then relax;

2) Then you need to focus on DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING. The authors suggest the following pattern:

  • fill in your lungs completely, breathing in through your nose;
  • hold your breaths for ten seconds;
  • release your breath with a sight of relief, exhaling through your mouth.

[I talked about a different and also effective pattern on this post]

3)  The AUTOGENIC TRAINING phase, where you (in sequence and in the due time):

  • mentally “wear” a relaxation mask;
  • feel your body heavy;
  • feel your  body warm;
  • calm your heart;
  • create warmth in your stomach;
  • cool your forehead.

4) once you are deeply relaxed you add MENTAL REHEARSAL.

Of course this is just a quick summary of the Peak Performance book, that, although dated (it’s 27 years old!),  contains a lot of useful information about the subject.

Sometimes, I wonder what you think while reading these posts…

And I imagine you asking me: “And what has this to do with Italian learning”?

Well, some principles of mental training were already in my Speak Italian Magically book, even though the relaxing phase was not so deep as the one required by Peak Performance standards.

Several months ago, after reading an article of Tim Ferris, I thought “why can’t I  adapt mental training techniques to let you speak better Italian in shorter time than normal”?

So, I researched the subject and found out about several authors (Ivan Barzakov, Ed Strachar, Richard Bandler and Garner Thomson, Rubin Battino, and many more) who have talked about mental training,  learning, taking decisions and following them through.

And then I realized that you don’t need three months to mentally train. It could be much faster than that.

And I started to put everything together, connecting the dots, as I enjoy to say, to create my new book, which I consider my contribution to 2012, as a year where we’ll have a better world.

In fact, 2012 is about to come and many are talking about the implications that this year might have. Pessimists imply that this would be the end of the world, optimists say that this will be the year of the AWAKENING. What do I think about?

Well, of course, I am a positive person, and as that, I AM SURE THAT something positive will happen by the end of the next year.

What will happen?

Who knows…Anyway, I do think that everyone should contribute to a better world.

And then I thought, how can I contribute to a better world, being just an humble Italian teacher for foreigners?

Of course it’s been  a while that I’ve been thinking about an answer to this question.

And of course there’s no right answer to this.

This book  is just one of my answers to it.

And what’s the title?


Enjoy it! Insert the following discount code before checking out to save: 3264T874 Click here and Awaken Your Italian!

Ebook version will come soon!

Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo da Antonio!

Pubblicato in The course, The science behind learning Italian | Nessun commento »

Embracing the wide Sky and learning Italian

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 4 aprile 2011

What does Daniel Tammet report about mental training?

Wait a minute, don’t you know who Daniel Tammet is? Then you should check this entry on Wikipedia (in Italian) or watch this 48 minute video, that I found on Youtube:

Well, today I started reading his second book (I haven’t read his first one yet), Embracing the wide Sky, available everywhere and about to be print in Italian too…

As usual I created a mind map before reading it, so that I can focus and get even more interested in the book…


Then, I started rapid reading it when I found about this experiment, that neuroscientist Alvaro Pasqual-Leone held.

“…taught a group of non musician volunteers to play a simple fivefinger piano exercise, then he had them practise in the lab for two hours a day for five days. After a week, brain scans of the volunteers showed an increase in the amount of territory the brain devotes to moving the fingers”

Nothing extraordinary till now, you would say. Read further…

Pasqual-Leone then repeted the experiment with another group of volunteers, asking them this time to rehearse the same five-finger sequence in their heads, while holding their hands still and imagining how they would move their fingers. Subsequent scans of these volunteers showed the same result as for those who had played the sequence with fingers. The scientists’ conclusion: mental imagery may be just as good as actual practice”

Tammets goes on quoting what mental training athletes do to enhance their performances…but I already talked about it in this other article of mine…

I have read further and I have found the book to be quite interesting, so while waiting for a student of mine to show up, I found myself reading the first 76 pages…Great book! I am enjoying it very much!

And it gives even more fundation to the Speak Italian Magically approach;-)!

Pubblicato in The science behind learning Italian | Nessun commento »


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