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How to learn foreign languages with the Quantum Leap?

Language learning can often be a source of anguish. Fear of public speaking or comprehension difficulties often form a blockage that begins in highschool, and which sometimes may be hard to handle. While the French foreign language school of the Collège de Paris, Elfe, had already established very singular learning courses under hypnosis, it brings once again innovation at the heart of his pedagogy with the quantum leap method. To learn more about this concept, we interviewed Richard Grandison, associate professor at the Collège de Paris, which provides these outstanding courses…

Can you tell us more about this notion of quantum leap?

Imagine a rapid change where nothing is as before. In physics, a quantum leap is a sudden change in the state of a system, almost instantaneously. Moving from one energy state to another given energy state. Applied to language learning, it comes out of a state where one is often installed with long certainties about the impossibility of progress and to eventually be able to use that language fluently in various situations of oral communication. It’s also the leap that any student can do with an intensive training in oral expression and listening comprehension at the end of the level A21, that is to say “basic” level.

How did the idea of making the quantum leap a learning method come to you?

Since 1986 I have taught mainly to senior multinational executives. In Brussels, Seville, Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Paris, Moscow or Bilbao, I continually meet students who have already acquired many bases but cannot use them correctly. They remain blocked at the intermediate level. This is also the case for those who leave highschool.

I first started by creating a special unit of expression and oral comprehension at the end of level A2 with a lot of listening exercises and role plays to develop these skills. But it must be noted that people who have the level B1 (intermediate) are left with the same difficulties of comprehension and expression, because they have learned in a very didactic way with their intellect without involving other elements of the learning process (pleasure, emotion, game), and partly because they are convinced to be incompetent. This certainty can come from personal or family programing…

It was then that I leaned on the use of personal development techniques and / or therapeutic as part of language learning. Hypnosis, NLP, Sophrology to deprogram this inability certainty but without forgetting the use of systematic exercises that involve concentration, memory, responsiveness, alertness, etc.

You put this technique into practice following the success of your language module under hypnosis, already provided in Elfe, French Foreign Language School of the Collège de Paris. How do you bring something more with the quantum leap method?

I’ve done so for many years now. But, in fact, we started with Elfe, following the success of French group classes where I applied some of the quantum leap method. The good results under hypnosis courses in English, French and Spanish also encouraged us to continue on this path. A strong demand exists among French customers, and the quantum leap responds it perfectly. They really want to make a qualitative leap in the use of English or Spanish at work or in their personal lives. You know, the need is enormous.

What happens during a session?

There is a protocol, a spine, but which must adapt to the profile of the person or group.

1. Systematic listening exercises with the help of existing methods and focus on listening comprehension and oral expression.
2. The use of the song, not just as opening to the francophone culture, English-speaking or Spanish, but as a mean of memorizing idioms, vocabulary, and become familiar with the rhythm of the language. A playful learning, good for the brain to cease associating learning with difficulty.
3. Oral comprehension exercises and expression of a pre-intermediate and intermediate levels at the lower level, with the help of short television news and role play between two or more characters corresponding to the information. This is the key to this training. The student understands nothing, or almost nothing at first listen. Gradually, we help him to understand, and then later he is able to reproduce all the information from the first year. The change is important. The brain of the learner begins to realize that he is able to speak, to clarify his thinking, to explain something in detail.
4. If necessary, for mental blockages, hypnosis, sophrology², the NLP3 and even EMDR4 may be used.

In terms of time, there are blocks of 20 hours per week, renewable for 20 hours 4 times depending on the starting level and the speed of movement. They may be supplemented by blocks of 10 hours of lessons by phone, Skype and / or Webex.

Have you ever seen the efficiency of its implementation among Elfe students?

Yes, for the French with Chinese students groups, Swiss, American, Brazilian, Polish, German, Japanese, British, Dutch for English and Spanish with French students coming from very diverse sectors (insurance, cosmetics, construction …) who were able to free themselves from the slowness and lack of confidence that they could feel.

1The European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​-CECRL- was developed by the Council of Europe (European Union). It provides a common basis for the design of programs, diplomas and certificates for foreign languages. It validates skills in languages ​​and has six skill levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2; C2 being the highest level.

2Technique based on relaxation breathing exercises and management thinking. It plunges the subject into a state of semi-consciousness that enables him then focus on a very specific need. The four main principles of relaxation therapy are breathing, physical and mental relaxation, visualization and thought.

3The neurolinguistic programming is a specific communication technique, which aims at changing our old mental patterns to find more confidence in life and optimize our energy and creative potential.

4Desensitization and Reprocessing Eye Movement deals primarily with post traumatic syndromes. It is intended for patients with significant behavioral modification, conscious or unconscious, following an old trauma. Its uniqueness lies in the sensory stimulation through eye movements most often.

Published by Collège de Paris
On 13 January 2016