Skip to content

Passive Audio Learning

    This learning method is one of the least practiced but most effective learning techniques available. The reason it is rarely used is due to the fact that the learner must do some preparation before this method can be used successfully.

    We are talking about passive learning through audio recordings of the lecture material. You guessed it – this involves a bit of effort, but it is the ideal way to use any form of routine that makes it physically impossible to stick your nose in a book for learning anyway.
    Whether you’re jogging, cleaning the apartment, driving, or at the supermarket, you just pop the headphones of an MP3 player into your ears and the learning can begin.

    The technical preparation itself is usually less complicated than it appears at first glance. If you want to record your own learning summaries at home, you can do this with the help of an inexpensive microphon or headset on your computer. The necessary free software for recording and cutting simple audio files can be found within a few minutes using search engines from a wide variety of providers.

    If you already own a modern smartphone, you can turn your phone into a dictation machine in a flash with the help of a few apps. Using the MP3 functionality of these devices, the recordings made in this way can be listened to again and again until the material has penetrated deep into the subconscious.

    It is often even possible, with the permission of the lecturer, to record entire lectures in this way and go through them again later at your leisure. This is particularly recommendable, because it can be reconstructed once again exactly, where the respective lecturer possibly sets accents with the lecture material. This serves as a first clue if one wants to set certain content emphases while learning.

    It should be noted that this technique only develops its true power through intensive repetition. What has been heard every other day for two weeks while jogging will eventually get stuck in your head all by itself. It becomes an earworm that you simply can’t get rid of.

    An advanced variant of this method consists of playing back the audio recordings of the learning material at increased speed. Even at almost twice the speaking speed, a clear listening comprehension can be achieved within a few weeks with a little training. In this way, the same material can be mastered in a much shorter time.

    If you don’t want to make the effort to record learning summaries yourself, you can use software that is able to read out texts (mostly in a female, well-sounding voice) and save them as an audio file. However, commercial software will most likely have to be used for this at the latest.