T Nation



I read the book Superlearning by Ostrander last semester for a class of mine and I found it very intriguing. However some of the claims in the book seemed to be too good to be true.

For example, learning a foreign language within a few months.

Right now I'm trying to learn Korean, and the only thing I would like better is to be able to learn Korean faster. (I don't know anybody else who wouldn't want that when trying to learn a new language)

I'm just wondering if anybody here has employed the techniques in the book and what sort of results they had.



bump, this is really interesting.


I got into Superlearning 2000 and all the related literature when I was in high school... I really think it's a waste of time. Some of the information is useful, but the "rapid language learning" stuff just doesn't make any sense, and there really isn't any good research to back it up. But hey, feel free to get yourself a tape recorder, put some baroque music on it, and listen to a language tape while just relaxing. See if you pick anything up. If you do, then awesome.

My suggestions for someone who wants some help learning a language quick: Pick up any Harry Lorayne book on memory (the Page a Day Memory Book is good, but they're all basically the same) and buy a copy of SuperMemo (www.supermemo.com). Supermemo is basically a supercharged flash card program that tracks your progress and tests you when you need to be tested. It determines when you're likely to forget a piece of information, and quizzes you at that point. It's a great piece of software with a good community behind it.

I also suggest Berlitz audio courses (I don't know if they have one for Korean). They're very basic, but they get you listening and responding in the language, and they're pretty fun.


I agree about Harry Lorrane...good stuff.

Check out Pimsleur's stuff, get some vis-ed cards and practice, practice, practice....and find a korean to speak korean with...preferable a cute girl korean.


Yeah, I forgot that... that will push your progress far, FAR ahead of what it would be if you only listened to tapes. Especially if you have an ear for languages, talking to native speakers helps a great deal.

I've been searching high and low for a cute Italian girl to chat with... that would be sweet...


Thanks for the tips. I'm willing to try the Superlearning program but the problem is that in the book they give a list of different songs that they've found work to accomplish the left-right brain cross-activity that is considered necessary for superlearning to occur.

I'm just worried that I'll find some of the songs and they may be just a little bit off the descriptions (for example, the book may call for the 3rd movement and I find the 4th movement instead). So I'll use the songs and it won't work and I won't know if its because the program is bullshit or if the songs aren't right.

I guess I could by the CD from the Superlearning website, but that costs money and thats something I just can't do.

Thanks for the other suggestions guys. That Supermemo sounds interesting, oftentimes when I'm learning something I'll be studying and feel like I'm absorbing everything perfectly but 15 minutes later I'll quiz myself and learn that I only retained like 10% of what I studied.

As far as finding a cute Korean girl to speak Korean with. In my quest for learning the language, that is the one thing that I already have. The cute Korean girl is the reason I want to learn the language and am going through all this painful memorization that was once only reserved for my 9th grade French class.

Thanks for the info.


Drive up to south jersey...we are overflowing with koreans and Italians...tis why I live here, despite all the other crappyness.


Yeah... well, South Jersey's a little far for me to go even for a hot italian chick.


[quote]chrismcl wrote:

I'm just worried that I'll find some of the songs and they may be just a little bit off the descriptions (for example, the book may call for the 3rd movement and I find the 4th movement instead). So I'll use the songs and it won't work and I won't know if its because the program is bullshit or if the songs aren't right.

I haven't any info on the SuperLearning course but sounds intriguing - but i can advise you on the music.

Whatever music is recommended - go to your library and borrow the piece. On the cd it will list the movements. If it is recommended that you listen to the 3rd then listen to th 3rd. I think you can figure out how to do this last part.

I'm learning Chinese so I sympathsize.


My dive partner and I used it to memorize dive tables back in 1982 (well before dive computers). I don't think it worked any better than just regular repetition would.


You must be near Monmouth then, Ocean has been clearing out of them last time I was there..


Unless you want to end up like this guy, I wouldnt reccomend wasting your money on porgrams that promise the oversimplified fact that its so easy, everyone should do it. I know its tempting. I almost bought a system like that.

Whats too simple and often overlooked, is Sleep, my Bong, and a mountain hike every now and then. Its how I got through College.


Actually, I'm near atlantic city...we have just about every ethnic group represented there.


That's exactly what I recommend to my students.


agreed, and jobe is a jerk.


Hmm it sounds like you are fairly well educated neophorm, but i dont remember reading about what you do. Could you tell me what you do and a little about yourself?



Read: I think you're hot, can you tell me if you're single and give me your phone number?


It's the glasses, isn't it? Chicks always dig the glasses.


Educational history? I was originally an art major, and I was going to go into computer graphics. I got bored with that, and I got my BS in Computer Engineering. I caught the political theory bug while in college, and now I'm working on a PhD in political philosophy. I make my living by programming/engineering, as well as by tutoring at night.


Thanks! I downloaded the SuperMemo freeware and it seems to be a great system. I also bought the book you reccomended by Harry Lorayne. I have trouble remembering things so this thread especially sparked my interest. Have you tried Ginko, DMAE or any other supplement to help in this area?