Hypnosis to help to learn a second language

You might want to learn a new language for many reasons. It could be for personal reasons, such as boosting a relationship, wanting to travel around a foreign country, or emigrating abroad, or it could be for work reasons to enhance your career opportunities.


Language learning should be fun and have a purpose, but some people find it difficult, while others are relaxed and excel at speaking another language.

Hypnosis can offer a unique approach to language learning, especially if you feel stuck and are struggling to learn or want more motivation and support. It may help you improve unconscious learning and remove the barriers to learning.

The value of hypnosis has been recognised in numerous therapeutic settings for many years, yet hypnosis has progressed slowly in education. This is probably due to the old misconceptions that hypnosis is authoritarian and manipulative, which may have been a barrier to using hypnosis in learning establishments. Furthermore, education requires lots of research before adopting new ways of learning, and that wasn't so available in the past.

But hypnosis has undergone tremendous growth in the 20th and 21st centuries, and there is now a lot of evidence and research to support its use in various therapeutic settings and increasing amounts of research specifically related to learning and cognitive enhancement. There is always a need for more quality research and evidence. However, the good news is that the public's perception is also changing, and many people today have been helped with hypnotherapy in many different ways.

This article will introduce how hypnotherapy can help people who want to learn a second language.

How can hypnotherapy help in learning a language?

Hypnosis can help with emotions, habits and personal growth. There is no claim that it can make people fluent in a second language, nor will it rapidly improve learning, as the individual still requires commitment and regular practice. However, it can assist with self-control and help you focus your attention, relax and visualise success. It can also reinforce positive habits and assist in stopping negative habits. It can aid memory recall, increase that motivation to learn, reduce procrastination and anxiety and increase self-confidence. Consequently, it can help with reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Hypnosis could be delivered through self-hypnosis, audio downloads, or by using a qualified hypnotherapist to guide you.

Many areas of specific language learning could be helped with hypnotherapy.

Enhancing vocabulary acquisition

The first step in language learning is building a vocabulary, but some people struggle to remember or pronounce new words. Hypnosis can help with memorising and retrieving new words and phrases. It's suggested that it may also help with spelling.

A study by Cetin et al. (2016) found that it helped people improve their vocabulary when learning Spanish. Yet it should be remembered that language study is complex, and jargon and phrases that can't be directly interpreted need time to learn. Furthermore, languages such as Spanish are spoken differently in different Spanish-speaking countries.

Improve fluency and emersion in the language and culture

Hypnosis can help people to focus and listen to the rhythm of the language, which will aid language learning. It can also help with social anxiety or embarrassment about practising with groups of other learners or going out and using the language with native speakers. 

Reducing negative emotions

Many emotions can hinder language learning. For example, you may worry about learning. You might overthink what you are learning if you feel anxious and overwhelmed, have low confidence and self-esteem, and believe you aren't good enough, which will also detract from learning.

Some people must overcome fears such as public speaking or completing tests and exams to progress. And if you have other problems, such as insomnia or pain, that will also make learning more difficult because you will be tired or your focus will not be on learning.

In conclusion, second language learning should be enjoyable, although it will take time and effort by the learner. Many psychological barriers might get in the way of learning; this is where hypnosis can help.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Bournemouth, Dorset, BH7 6DS
Written by Linda Witchell, MSc Hypnosis, HPD, MSc Psychology. Stress/anxiety specialist
Bournemouth, Dorset, BH7 6DS

Linda Witchell is a qualified hypnotherapist, counsellor, coach, trainer/supervisor and author. She runs her full-time hypnotherapy practice, Awaken the Change, established in 2007 in Bournemouth, Dorset. She also offers an online hypnotherapy service. Linda specialises in stress and anxiety issues, fears and phobias, and bereavement and loss.

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