Science Backs Repeat Listening: Find Out How! Ep 736

A human brain, one half is dull and grey the other is showing vibrant colours. Stop translating and start understanding naturally.

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 3639 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 19 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 13.4 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

Listening is your shortcut to British English fluency. Believe it?

What happens when you stop translating and start listening? 🎧 Today we explain the why and the how of using listening to speed up your language learning. We explain how our approach, the Listen & Learn approach, uses the power of repeat listening to make your British English understanding automatic and fluent.

Why Join Our English Lesson?

  • 🚀 Fast-Track Learning: Dive into our focused lessons on vocabulary, grammar, and idioms to skyrocket your English fluency.
  • 🧠 Brain Training: Harness the power of our 'Listen & Learn' technique to train your brain to think in English, eliminating the need for translation.
  • 🗣️ Speak Naturally: Learn how to speak English fluently and automatically without second-guessing every word.
  • 🎧 Engaging Podcasts: Enjoy lively discussions and practical tips that make language learning seamless and fun.
  • 📚 Comprehensive Content: From beginner to advanced levels, we cover all aspects of language learning—vocabulary, pronunciation, conversation, and more.

✔Lesson transcript:

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
⭐ Dr. Seuss

Have you ever wondered why some language learners grasp English faster than others? Changing just one simple thing in how you learn a language can make a huge difference to how fast you can become fluent in that language.

Today we explain how our "Listen & Learn" approach can turn your learning into an almost automatic process.

Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self.
⭐ Dean Jackson

Start listening to today's podcast and start unlocking the secrets of spoken fluency through listening! Visit to learn more!

More About This Lesson

Welcome to today's English lesson! We're going to explore the powerful impact of listening to make understanding English automatic and fluent. Our "Listen & Learn" method is designed to transform how you interact with English, making it natural and intuitive.

To have another language is to possess a second soul.
⭐ Charlemagne

You'll discover numerous advantages to enhancing your English skills through our focused listening approach. This method is not only about hearing words but also about building an English mindset for quick and natural responses.

Listen & Learn helps you:

  1. Improves automatic understanding, reducing translation reliance.
  2. Trains your brain for natural, quick English responses.
  3. Helps develop the ability to think in English.
  4. Introduces essential, common words for practical usage.
  5. Engages the intuitive, right side of your brain.
  6. Builds new neural pathways for English fluency.
  7. Encourages repeat listening for deeper learning.
  8. Allows for intuitive grammar acquisition through context.
  9. Provides a wide vocabulary through diverse topics.
  10. Offers practical spelling tips for difficult words.
We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.
⭐ Lloyd Alexander

If you want to know why out approach works so well, then this lesson is vital because it applies proven cognitive science techniques to language learning. Listening reduces cognitive load, allowing you to learn as naturally as you did your first language. Multisensory learning enhances this process, making it more effective, while sleep helps consolidate what you've learned into long-term memory.

Don't miss out on making your English learning journey easy and enjoyable! Follow and subscribe to our podcast for more transformative lessons. Start today with Adept English and experience the joy of speaking English fluently and confidently!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How does listening help make understanding English automatic? Listening to English regularly activates neural pathways in your brain, adapting it to think and understand directly in English. This shift from translating to direct understanding is key for developing fluency and natural response in conversations. By immersing yourself in English through listening, you train your brain to recognize and process English intuitively.
  2. What is the 'Listen & Learn' technique mentioned in the podcast? The 'Listen & Learn' technique involves Repeat exposure to spoken English through audio and video materials. This method helps build an "English part" of your brain, allowing you to understand and think in English without translating back to your native language. It's designed to make English understanding more intuitive and automatic.
  3. Can focusing on common words in English speed up my learning process? Yes, concentrating on the most common words in English can significantly accelerate your learning. These words form the backbone of daily conversations and by mastering them, you achieve more progress in a shorter time. The Adept English Most Common 500 Words Course, for example, targets these essential words to boost your fluency efficiently.
  4. What does it mean to 'think in English' and how can I practice this skill? Thinking in English means processing thoughts directly in English rather than translating from your native language. You can practice this by engaging in active listening exercises, where you focus on understanding spoken English without pausing to translate. Regularly listening to English podcasts, songs, and conversations helps develop this skill.
  5. How does understanding English automatically impact my ability to speak it fluently? When you understand English automatically, your brain bypasses the need for translation, allowing for quicker and more natural responses in conversations. This automatic processing is crucial for fluency, as it enables you to speak without consciously thinking about grammar rules or vocabulary, much like a native speaker.

Using the power of listening to make English understanding automatic and fluent is like lighting a fireplace; as you feed it with logs of attentive listening, the fire of fluency blazes stronger and warmer, inviting natural conversation to unfold effortlessly around its comforting glow.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Freestyle: To do something in your own way without following any strict rules.
  • Compromise: Finding a middle solution that tries to satisfy everyone involved.
  • Neurodiversity: The idea that people's brains work in different ways.
  • Aphantasia: A condition where a person cannot visualize images in their mind.
  • Tradition: Beliefs or behaviors passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance.
  • Intuitive: Knowing something instinctively without conscious reasoning.
  • Anchor: To firmly establish something in your mind.
  • Neural pathways: Connections in your brain that help you think and remember information.
  • Reprogramming: Changing the way something is set up or arranged.
  • Automatic: Happening or working without conscious thought or attention.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

🎧 Apple
🎧 Spotify
🎧 Google
🎧 Amazon
🎧 Deezer
🎧 TuneIn
🎧 Stitcher
🎧 BluBrry
🎧 PodBean
🎧 PlayerFM
👁️‍🗨️ Twitter
👁️‍🗨️ Facebook
👁️‍🗨️ YouTube

Transcript: Science Backs Repeat Listening-Find Out How

Hi there. In today’s podcast, the power of listening to make your understanding of English automatic. How to train your brain so that you can respond naturally and quickly in real English conversations. Let’s talk about how listening creates that ability to ‘think in English’, taking you away from translation and towards ‘automatic English’. This is what our ‘Listen & Learn’ technique helps you achieve. And this is essential for fluency in language learning. Have you ever wondered why some people learn a language faster than others? Well, the answers are here, in this podcast. It’s not simply that some people are better at languages than others. Most people can speak their own language well enough - so if you can do that, you can learn another language, including English. The difference between those who can and those who can’t learn a language? It’s entirely in the method of learning. Before we get on to that, three quick things to say to you first of all!

Firstly, I’m pleased to say that your comments are now being published on Spotify! Please comment, we really do listen and you influence the podcast! Secondly your feedback on our Spotify poll - the question was ‘Do you want me to spell out and explain difficult words during the podcast? That’s when I go ‘spelling’, SPELLING. So far it turns out that 88% of you like it and only 11% don’t. So how about I keep it but I really just spell out the difficult words? That’s a good compromise. A ‘compromise’? COMPROMISE - that’s a noun and it means ‘the middle ground’, something which attempts to please everyone because it’s ‘in the middle’ of two options. There we go!

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.

Do you want to short-cut to fluency?

Third thing. So Monday’s podcast was all about how to improve your fitness in the shortest amount of time - ‘the most bang for your buck’, as the Americans say. Did you know that focusing on the most common words in a language can significantly speed up your learning process too? I read a statistic once which said that language learners may take ‘up to 10 years’ to learn all the most common words in a language. 10 years? That’s madness! Why not ‘take the bull by the horns’ - I’m enjoying idioms today - and address the most common 500 words in English directly, with our Most Common 500 Words Course? We concentrate on these essential words because they form the backbone of everyday conversations. Focusing on these words is literally ‘more bang for your buck’ - more progress in a shorter time. And I’ll let you into a little secret - our Most Common 500 Words Course actually gives you the most common 600 words. Even better - you can say even more with those! If you want to take a short-cut to fluency, you can find this course on our website at

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

Is translating while learning English a bad habit?

Today’s subject is ‘Thinking in English’ and helping you to ‘think in English’ is the whole purpose of Adept English. I sometimes say that through listening ‘you grow an English part of your brain’! When you first start learning a language, it’s natural to translate everything back to your native language. But here’s what’s important to understand: the real magic happens when you move past translation and begin to think and understand directly in English. This shift is crucial. Through listening, you’re gradually equipping your brain with the knowledge that you need to speak English naturally, automatically, fluently.


An illustration of a character with his thinking cap on. Is English really that hard, or are you learning it wrong?

©️ Adept English 2024

Being able to ‘think in English’, to listen and understand in English, inside your head, without referencing your own language - this is the crucial change. And this is why Adept English puts the emphasis on listening. Listening is the action which creates this automatic understanding and if you like, helps you ‘switch off the translation software in your brain’. You need to ‘freestyle’! You need to understand as much as you can as you go. This is really, really important. If I had to choose just one thing to say about language learning - the ability to think in the language is what enables you to speak naturally, more like a native speaker. And it’s achievable only through repeat listening! If you stick with translating, you’ll never get to that point. Instead you risk becoming ‘a lost language learner’, stuck at the point of needing to translate. Nobody wants to be there!

How come you speak your own language so well?

Let’s think about what’s happening when you speak ‘naturally, automatically and fluently’. ‘Automatically’, AUTOMATICALLY means that it’s happening without you being consciously aware, without you thinking about it. So if we think of a person who’s speaking a language automatically, what’s going on? Well, I’ll give you some examples. If I think of a word in English like ‘sunshine’, SUNSHINE that immediately and automatically brings into my mind images of sunny days, the light hitting the grass or the pavement. Or light coming through a window and lighting up a wall. It’s so automatic, I can’t stop it! The word ‘sunshine’ is slightly different to ‘sun’, SUN - ‘sunshine’ really means ‘the light from the sun’ and its effect. But the point is that the word ‘sunshine’ automatically makes my brain see pictures of sunshine. And more complex, if I think of an abstract noun - for example the word ‘decision’, DECISION - automatically in my head, I have a picture of someone thinking deeply, trying to reach a decision.

Now as I’ve discussed in previous podcasts - not everyone has images in their minds. People’s minds work in different ways and some people don’t have images at all. If you’re interested in this form of neurodiversity, listen to Adept English podcast 724 to find out more about the phenomenon called aphantasia! But my word associations in my brain are largely visual, they’re in images. Your brain may work differently. Actually this doesn’t matter - you learned to speak your own language and make these associations - so your brain already has its own way of doing this. And it’s listening to a language you’re learning on repeat that gives your brain the opportunity to make these automatic associations. That’s why repeat listening in context is so important! You’re building new networks in your brain, new associations, new links. So that when you speak, the words are already there - they don’t need thinking about. When I introduce words and phrases to you, I try to paint a picture in your head of that phrase, or that word so that you’ve got some context around it to help you do this.

A personal word association fixed in my brain!

I’ll give you a nice example from French for me. There’s the verb ‘gagner’, in French - GAGNER meaning ‘to win’. And my association with this word is my French niece - she won’t thank me for mentioning this! When she was a child, I remember her doing a scratchcard - that’s SCRATCHCARD - a lottery card in other words. When she’d finished scratching, she danced triumphantly round the room saying ‘J’ai gagné, j’ai gagné!’ meaning ‘I’ve won, I’ve won!’ And that’s my association with ‘gagner’. Not all words will have such a strong association. But if you automatically know them, it’s because your brain has encountered them many, many times. I now know that ‘gagner’ can also mean ‘to earn’ - so understanding is first of all anchored, then it’s built upon.

Left brain v. right brain learning for languages

Now as you know I like to talk about brain function. Tradition has it that the left side of the brain is very logical, systematic – it’s what you use for doing maths. I say ‘tradition has it’ because the later news is that these functions are located in the left-side of the brain for most people - but not everyone. Some brains are flipped. But this logical, systematic part of the brain exists for most of us. And when we first learn a language, this is what we’re using. We ‘compute’ the language, if you like. We’ve no other way to do it. And this is the what traditional teaching builds on - you systematically learn grammar, you systemically learn vocabulary lists and then you systematically use this knowledge to construct sentences. And that’s fine at the beginning. But if you want to become fluent - to actually understand and speak English in real life - then the right hand side of the brain needs to take over. Or at least that part of the brain which works much more intuitively, automatically needs to take over - wherever it lives!

Escape Your Phone: Learn English And Connect With Real Life!

This part of the brain tends to work with the overall picture, the main idea, instead of the detail. We call it ‘intuitive’, INTUITIVE because much of its function is outside of our awareness. This side of the brain is good at Art or Design, or understanding the feel of something. This is the side of the brain that gets ‘the overall impression’ of something. This side of the brain learns automatically, without you knowing it, outside of your awareness. And this is the side of your brain, which you need to use, cultivate even, if you really want to become fluent in a language. This part of your brain can’t do calculations or translations - it works automatically, by association. The more listening you do – the more the unconscious, automatic part of your brain takes over and the more automatic your knowledge of English becomes. Even where grammar is concerned - you brain knows exactly how to learn grammar automatically through listening. This is the big difference between ‘knowing a language’ to pass a test and being to converse in it. Each time you listen to a podcast like this one, these automatic parts of your right brain are working really hard on the mechanics of English language, while your conscious attention is with my meaning - hearing the story instead! Each podcast isn't just a lesson; it’s building new neural pathways in your brain and reprogramming your mental language map. I just vary the topic to keep you listening longer!

Listening and repeat listening automatically builds that English part of your brain

Notice how when you speak your own language, your brain just serves up the correct words? You don’t think or plan a sentence. You don’t think about grammar - you just blurt it out! It’s quick, it’s automatic– you don’t think about it. So it makes sense that if you want to speak English fluently, you have to feed in that knowledge, feed in those words and associations into your brain in the first place. Again - listening! And you need to anchor the words and grammar solidly - repeat listening, which enables your brain to do this.

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

Solve The Maths Problem To Download Podcast & Transcript

Do native English speakers have super-intelligence?!

So actually those people who say ‘I’m bad at languages’ are incorrect. They’re not bad at languages, they’ve just not listened enough to the language they’re trying to learn. They’ve perhaps not made that switch from translating to automatic understanding. And even though there’s a lot to learn in English, a huge number of words, more than most languages - don’t be put off. Native English speakers don’t have some super-intelligence and yet they speak English without thinking about it. How have they got there? Like anyone else, they’ve heard lots of words when they were babies. And you too can arrive at fluency by hearing lots of English words, even though you’re an adult. If you just give yourself enough listening - your brain will know what to do. It will do the rest for you - just give it the right conditions!


Enough thinking 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.
🔺Top of page

TAWK is Disabled

Created with the help of Zola and Bulma