Are You Rewiring Your Brain With English Ep 716

A steampunk illustration of a brain expanding neural networks. Learn how English rewires your mind.

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 3568 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 18 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 11.9 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

How Learning English Transforms Your Brain: Don't Miss Out!

A journey into the science of language learning! 🧠💡 Our latest English lesson reveals how speaking English fluently is not just about vocabulary and grammar. It's a brain workout that forms new neural connections, confirmed by cutting-edge research from the Max Planck Institute.

Why Join Our Lesson?

  • 📚 Blend of Tutorial, Review, & How-to - Learn English across all levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced.
  • 🧬 Neuroscientific Backing - Learn how your brain rewires itself for language acquisition.
  • 🗣 Practical Speaking & Listening Practice - Transition from learning to fluently conversing.
  • 🤔 Engaging Lessons on Vocabulary, Phrases, Grammar - For real-life conversations.
  • 📈 Proven Study Tips & Language Learning Strategies - Boost your fluency with the Adept English method.

✔ Lesson transcript:

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.
⭐ Stephen Hawking

Participating in this lesson, will help you unlock the magic of your brain's ability to form new connections. As you immerse yourself in English, your brain crafts pathways that make speaking naturally possible. It's like learning to ride a bike through repetition; listening shapes your brain for fluency.

This isn't just theory—it's proven science, making your journey to English with us both effective and exciting. Every one of our English lessons you listen to is not just learning; it's your brain weaving a tapestry of new neural pathways that will fuel your fluency. It's a journey of transformation, one word at a time. #EnglishFluency

'Ancora imparo.' Translated from Italian, it means 'I am still learning.'
⭐ Michelangelo

Transform your English learning journey with our neuroscience-backed approach. Speak English fluently; rewire your brain with us!

More About This Lesson

Learning English is like unlocking a superpower for your brain. It opens up new paths in your mind, making you smarter and more fluent in speaking. Let's dive into how this magical journey transforms you!

Education is a liberating force, and in our age it is also a democratizing force, cutting across the barriers of caste and class, smoothing out inequalities imposed by birth and other circumstances.
⭐ Indira Gandhi

Ever wondered why repeat listening is key to English fluency?

  1. Builds new brain connections: Every listen weaves new neural pathways for speaking.
  2. Proven by science: Research confirms language learning rewires your brain.
  3. Mimics skill acquisition: Like riding a bike, language comes from practice, not cramming.
  4. More than academic learning: Focuses on practical skill over rote memorization.
  5. Engages both brain sides: Learning strengthens language networks across your brain.
  6. Requires repetition: Emphasizes repeated listening for natural language fluency.
  7. Not stored in muscles: Learning physically changes your brain, not just muscle memory.
  8. Practice beats self-doubt: Regular practice can overcome any language learning barriers.
  9. Encourages persistence: Continuous effort leads to remarkable skill and fluency.
  10. Offers free resources: Points to additional help for accelerating your learning journey.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

Learning with us means you're not just studying; you're changing your brain for the better. Here's what you get:

  • New Brain Pathways: Like building bridges in your mind, making speaking English feel natural.
  • Boosted Brain Power: With every lesson, you become sharper, more creative, and better at solving problems.
  • Confidence in Speaking: The more you listen and practice, the more confidently you'll speak English.
Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.
⭐ Malcolm X

Here's what our lesson covers:

  1. Brain Evolution: How learning English makes your brain grow stronger and smarter.
  2. Mistakes Are Good: Every mistake is a step forward. They help you learn and improve.
  3. Effort Pays Off: Your time and practice build a solid foundation for your English skills.
  4. Consistent Practice: Like riding a bike, the more you practice, the better you get at speaking English.

Ready to rewire your brain and boost your English skills? Follow and subscribe to our podcast for more magical English learning experiences. Start your transformation today and see how far you can go! Let's embark on this journey together. Your path to English fluency starts here!

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning British English and Brain Rewiring

Embark on an adventure where your brain is the landscape, and learning English is the journey, reshaping your mind's terrain with every new word, like rivers carving canyons into the earth.

  1. How does learning English rewire my brain? Learning English, or any new language, stimulates your brain to form new neural connections and pathways. This process is akin to building a network of roads in a previously uncharted area. Every listening and speaking exercise contributes to this network, making it easier for you to access and use the language fluently. The transformation is backed by scientific research, including studies from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, demonstrating that language learning causes physical changes in the brain.
  2. Can learning English actually make me smarter? Engaging in the process of learning a new language like English can enhance your cognitive abilities. It improves memory, increases attention span, and even enhances the ability to multitask. These benefits arise from the brain's adaptation and the creation of new neural pathways, which increase its capacity and efficiency in processing information.
  3. How much repetition is needed to learn English fluently? Fluency in English, similar to acquiring any other skill, requires consistent practice and repetition. Just as you would practice repeatedly to ride a bike or swim, learning English demands immersion and frequent listening and speaking exercises. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for how much repetition is necessary, as it varies per individual, but the key is consistent, daily practice to reinforce the neural pathways associated with the language.
  4. Is it too late for me to become fluent in English? No, it's never too late to learn English or any language. Your brain remains capable of forming new neural connections throughout your life, a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. What matters more is your approach, consistency, and the immersion in the language, rather than your age. With the right method and persistence, you can achieve fluency at any stage of your life.
  5. What is the most effective way to learn English according to neuroscience? The most effective way to learn English, supported by neuroscience, involves immersive learning experiences that mimic how we learn our first language. Listening to spoken English regularly, engaging in conversation, and practical use of the language in everyday situations help forge and strengthen neural pathways, making the language more accessible and natural to you. This method aligns with the findings from neuroscience research, emphasizing the importance of practice, repetition, and real-world application in learning.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Transforms: Changes form or appearance.
  • Neural: Related to the nerves or nervous system.
  • Rewires: Changes the way something is organized or operated.
  • Pathways: Routes or ways of getting from one place to another.
  • Compelling: Very interesting or convincing.
  • Circuitry: The system of electrical connections in a device or in the brain.
  • Acquiring: Getting something.
  • Instinctively: Doing something naturally, without thinking.
  • Repetition: Doing something again and again.
  • Fluency: The ability to speak or write a language easily and smoothly.

Most Frequently Used Words:


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Transcript: Are You Rewiring Your Brain With English

Neural Networks: The Science of Speaking English

Hi there. Have you ever wondered how your brain transforms as you learn English? This English lesson looks at how learning a new language, like English, actually rewires your brain, creating new neural connections. Imagine this: every time you listen to spoken English, your brain is weaving new connections and pathways that weren't there before! Sounds like magic, doesn't it? But this is what happens every time you listen! And it’s these new neural pathways - NEURAL - that you will use when you come to speak. Recent scientific discoveries have shown that this is not just an idea but a reality. A new piece of research, neuroscientific research was published just last week. And it confirms - learning a language builds new connections in your brain! The study is called ‘The brain rewires itself when learning a second language’. Highly relevant and interesting to us, so let’s explore this today - and let’s link it to your language learning!

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Does learning English change your brain's wiring?

In some senses this is a piece of research that I read, cutting-edge research from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig - it made me think ‘Well, what else did they think was happening? Why is this news?!’ But I think the point is that the ideas which result from this research have long been thought true - it’s just that now we have proof, PROOF - evidence that this is what happens. The study revealed that as learners progressed, their brain's language networks grew, proving that language learning causes physical changes in the brain. This makes our method of language learning all the more compelling!


A concept image of a Brain learning British English. Strengthen your brain with each lesson.

©️ Adept English 2024

Let's make this personal. Think back to when you learned a skill through repetition. That’s ‘skill’, SKILL. A ‘skill’ is an ability that you’re not born with, but which you acquire through practice. So something like swimming or riding a bike - it happens through repetition. You start from scratch, you struggle a bit - maybe you fell off your bike and cut your knee! It’s important not to be put off by setbacks. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up the belief that you’ll succeed in the end! But you get back on the bike and you continue. Repetition, repetition. And gradually, through practice, you arrive at being able to ride a bike or at being able to swim. And this is exactly how English works. It's not about cramming vocabulary or drilling grammar. It's about immersing yourself in the language, listening, practising, repeating until the words and phrases have inserted themselves into your brain and then they flow naturally, just like they do in your first language.

Are traditional school methods wrong for English learning?

The research from the Max Planck Institute caught my eye because it was specifically about language learning. But actually what the research says is also true of many things that we learn. First of all - different types of learning. I think it’s useful to understand ‘acquiring a skill’ is something different from the sort of learning that we did much of the time in school. And I believe the most useful way to see your language learning is as ‘acquiring a skill’ - different from what we call ‘academic learning’. For example, if you learn History at school, this activity is great as it helps children learn to think, be logical, put an argument. And actually passing your History exam is about being able to remember facts and make a good argument, using those facts. Being able to do that is important in life of course, which is why History is seen as an important academic subject. But when we talk about ‘acquiring a skill’, something else is going on. Lots of activities, things we learn, things we become good at are ‘skills’. So a ‘skill’ is an ability that you’re not born with - but which you acquire through practice, through repetition. Whether that’s swimming, ‘keepie uppies’ in football, juggling balls, riding a bike or driving a car - we start off not being able to do something. And then we practise and we improve and we get better - and eventually, if we carry on, we acquire that skill. And often skills are seen as ‘remarkable’ because people who haven’t practised simply can’t do what we can do and therefore they find it impressive. You’re familiar with this idea, I’m sure - or you certainly recognise it when I describe it? And this is the basis of language learning. Studying Shakespeare in English may be useful or interesting at an academic level, or not - but it’s not going to help much you with your fluency or your English conversation in a coffee shop. Instead what helps you with these things is practice - and specifically in the first instance, listening practice. That’s how you become good at English, that’s how you become fluent. And this is the basis of the Adept English way of learning. So acquiring a language like English ‘as your own’, meaning you can speak it fluently, is in my view firmly in the category of a ‘skill’, not an academic piece of learning.

So this piece of research - and I include some links in the transcript, which you’ll find on our website at - comes from scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. The research involved 59 people who were native Arabic speakers and who were learning the German language in a controlled, six month intensive course, aimed at fluency in German, useful in everyday life. The study used MRI imaging - Magnetic Resonance Imaging to look at their brains, at their neural networks. Those are the connections that we all have in our brains. And ‘neural’, NEURAL just means ‘to do with the brain’. So they did MRI scans at the start of language learning, in the middle and at the end of language learning, over a period of six months. The results showed - and I’m quoting here ‘ that as language learning progressed, stronger connections were formed in the language skill regions on both sides of the brain’ and that it could be concluded that ‘the process of learning German was demanding enough to create major alterations in the brain circuitry’. The word ‘circuitry’, CIRCUITRY is borrowed from the physics of electricity. ‘Circuitry’ is where there are wires and connections that the electricity flows through. But the word ‘circuitry’ is apt when talking about networks in our brains. We also talk about ‘how our brains are wired’ - more ‘electrical idioms’ for the brain.

Muscles don’t have a memory function! But your brain does….

Maybe this is less surprising in the context of language learning, but I think that we sometimes misunderstand skill acquisition in other contexts. In English, when we’re talking about one of these ‘learned physical skills’ - whether football keepie uppies or playing the piano or tennis, we talk sometimes about ‘muscle memory’, MUSCLE, as though the muscles in our arms or legs somehow remember what to do. As though the skill, the information about ‘how to do something’ is somehow stored in our muscles. It’s not and this is misleading. Information is only ever and can only ever be part of our brain function. So when we practise something, we are literally building new neural networks in our brain. To some extent this explains why learning makes us tired and makes us hungry. We’re literally building new connections in our brains - physical changes are taking place when we learn. No wonder we’re hungry and tired afterwards!

We understand the brain well enough now, to know that something like trauma can change the brain very, very quickly. But skill acquisition happens slowly, we need many repeated experiences. And we know this instinctively. We might say to our children ‘go and do your piano practice’ or ‘Oh, you need to do your swimming lesson’ or ‘let’s take you out on that bike again and see if you can stay upright this time’. We know instinctively that learning a skill requires repetition.

Understanding English Naturally Through Listening

English learning doesn’t require special talents - just practice!

And when it comes to language learning, it can be something that people find really difficult - or which people are self critical about. ‘I’m no good at languages’ is something that people say to themselves. ‘I’m no good at language learning - I’m no good at English’. I would say this is unlikely to be true - you are probably very skilled at speaking your first language. And if you’re down on yourself, because your English isn’t progressing as you would like, it’s more likely to be because you’ve underestimated how much repetition and practice your brain needs to acquire the skill. That - and the fact that languages are often taught in schools and colleges as though they’re simply another academic subject, like learning History. They’re not - they’re a skill and therefore many hours of practice are needed to acquire that skill. It’s more like riding a bike than it is learning History. I you give your brain the right experience - those many hours of practice - it will repay you. Our human brains are wonderfully designed to respond to practising - it’s is a large part of how we learn.

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So I hope this is encouraging - don’t be down on yourself as a language learner. If you aren’t where you would like to be in your journey of learning English, it’s probably because you’ve either ‘not practised enough yet’ OR you’ve been encouraged to learn English in that academic way - as though it’s the same as learning History. Cramming unrelated vocabulary items for a test is not the best way to learn. Give yourself a different way of learning - and you will see how much more success, how much more understanding and eventually how much more fluency you attain. Encourage yourself by thinking about how, every time you listen to spoken English, new neural pathways are gradually being built in your brain!

Try to Seven Rules of Adept English for more help with this

If you want any more help with this - or you’d like further information on how to do this sort of language learning, sign up for our free course ‘The Seven Rules of Adept English’.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

The value of repetition and practice for language learning is only one of the many tips and pieces of advice on this course. Equipped with this information and understanding - your language learning will speed up! Keep learning, and remember: your brain is adapted to language learning. With persistence, it’s capable of amazing transformation!


Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



The voice of Adeptenglish, loves English and wants to help people who want to speak English fluently.
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