7 Tips To Apply Mindfulness to Foreign Language Learning

Mindfulness. Music. Language Learning.

How they are connected. Why they are connected. And how to learn a new language the easiest way possible. Here are 7 tips on how to use mindfulness techniques when learning or teaching foreign language through music.

1. Take a few deep breaths to bring you to your center, focus your attention. You can do this with the whole class as well. 

2. Take a few moments to stretch before you begin the class. Allow any anxiety to move through by touching your toes or swinging your arms about your waist. This will simple allow for a better flow before you begin the class.

3. Don’t worry about right or wrong. Stay in a state of non-judgment of yourself and your students. If you get off track or forget what is next - that’s OK! Let your intuition be your true north star.

4. Be gentle with yourself. As any beginner knows, it is only through trial and error that one truly learns. Don’t rush the process. Stay in the moment and treat yourself with respect and care.

5. Smile. You may have been in a yoga class when the instructor suggests smiling gently. There is scientific proof that the act of smiling can indeed bring on authentic feelings of well being.

6. Bring awareness about new foreign words anytime! Don’t restrict focus on learning a new song and its content only when you are in your class time. Notice where those vocabulary words might come up in other places throughout your day and embrace that recognition. Hopefully, the songs will pop into your head often, and how especially great if it comes to you in your new target language!

7. Have fun! The most important thing really, is to have fun. Whether you are already totally bilingual or learning along with your kids….we shouldn’t take life too seriously! Dive in, be patient, make mistakes, notice them, and find out what a more fertile learning garden you have created!

Kim Powell

Additional articles connecting mindfulness and music to learning (anything!):

Music and mirror neurons: from motion to 'e'motion


Academy of World Languages using 'Mindful Music' classes to aid third graders' learning

Short Term Music Training Enhances Verbal Intelligence and Executive Function