NLP and learning

NLP, using its roots in psychology and neurology, is one of the way the mind works and just how the mind could be trained with regards to enhancement. It includes or relates to ‘ left / right brain’ functions, ‘ visual / auditory / kinaesthetic ‘ learning styles, multiple intelligence and other parts of research that are trying to recognize modes of learning although identifying the significance of the person student.

NLP and related subjects get their sceptics, particularly when it comes to general class usefulness and just how NLP is in a commercial sense promoted as an approach to self-improvement. NLP continues to be labelled a ‘ quasi science ‘ and criticised due to insufficient empirical studies, but you will find seem explanations why NLP works with current class practice.

NLP is all about identifying designs.

NLP is worried with process instead of content.

NLP supplies a type of the way we talk to ourselves yet others.

NLP and learning

The NLP model describes the way we process information which involves us in the outdoors and is dependant on the job of Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who initially recognised the significance of eye-to-eye contact and movement in determining emotional states and just how (instead of what) people think.

In NLP, information arrives through the senses, and ‘ six methods ‘ are recognized as ways in which different people

see the messages. These methods are:

Visual Appreciated

Visual Built

Auditory Appreciated

Auditory Appreciated

Auditory Digital


These clearly make up the foundation of what now that we know as ‘VAK’ – the identification of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic students and the necessity to look after different learning styles within the class.

As externalities arrive, our perception could well be modified by three major elements – deletion. distortion and generalisation. These processes are instantly recognisable in language students:

There’s an excessive amount of information for that student to deal with. Students remove or omit some good info to be able to make input workable. In the teacher’s perspective, we’ve already learnt to not present an excessive amount of new language at the same time, and also the principle of ‘less is more’.


Language students will distort information into forms that are understandable and learnable. This method is both negative, for the reason that it creates errors and misconceptions, and positive for the reason that it adds to learnability and motivation.


This is among the ways in which we learn, if you take the data we’ve and drawing broad conclusions. At its worst, over-generalisation happens, leading to misuse of rules and poorly created ideas.

However, what’s really learnt by people is determined by their own individual filters. NLP identifies these as ‘ values ‘, ‘ values ‘, ‘ choices ‘ and ‘ reminiscences ‘, broadly understood to be the way in which someone handles information.

In NLP, these filters affect our model around the globe and our behavior. In learning, they explain an array of learning styles and methods:

Students make choices according to values and cost judgements. They’re frequently in a condition of conflict as their previous learning encounters don’t coincide using their current learning atmosphere.

Values supply the grounds for choices by what is appropriate and wrong, what they need / have to know and do not need to understand. In a few cultures, some values are crippling, for the reason that they prevent students implementing methods for example risk-taking which instructors want to encourage.

Reminiscences and prior choices create values which affect our current behavior. Students frequently revert to formerly adopted methods and wish deconditioning, while it may be contended that adult learning designs basically replace earlier learning methods that have been forgotten.

NLP also recognises the significance of non-verbal communication, particularly eye-to-eye contact, posture, breathing and movement. ‘ Congruency ‘ is accomplished when there’s a match between verbal and non-verbal communication. Congruency, here, could have a learning parallel in the idea of fluency, recommending that non-verbal communication ought to be trained alongside functional language and phonology to be able to achieve natural language production.

NLP within the class

Instructors using music to produce atmosphere and stimulate creativeness, or using mime and drama strategies to build confidence and add body gestures to speech functions happen to be drawing in the NLP repertoire. Only lately, however, have class activities particularly and overtly according to NLP been produced by ELT professionals.

A number of these activities also integrate the abilities and therefore are extensions or modifications of existing techniques for example storytelling, led fantasy, role-play and simulation. Places that NLP may have a real impact, however, are individuals which explore the associations between students and between students and teacher, and individuals that really help to produce a healthy and positive learning atmosphere:

Creating rapport

Rapport may be the feeling of ease that evolves when individuals are getting together with others they understand, and it is required for significant communication to occur. Rapport is probably when like-minded people interact. Within the class, mingle and ‘getting to understand you’ activities, in addition to continuous settlement between teacher and students promote rapport, while communication gap activities and group work reinforce it.


Just one way of creating good rapport would be to mirror the behavior of individuals we want to influence in order to be affected by. Reflecting of posture, gestures, facial expressions as well as breathing may be easily practised within the class, while simple drilling accomplishes exactly the same results with phonological options that come with connected speech and key lexical phrases. To attain natural communication, verbal and non-verbal aspects have to be combined in communicative activities. Students might be requested to reflect the behavior of figures on tv before reflecting one another and also the teacher.

Creating positive states and anchoring

This really is about motivation and looking after positive attitudes to learning. In NLP, an optimistic condition is produced via a mental image created by the entire process of achieving something psychologically or physically, which condition is moored with a gesture, expression or movement that is repeated to keep or can remember the condition. Led fantasy might be accustomed to produce the condition, along with a movement or seem selected to represent it. Some instructors, frequently unconsciously, go for different positions within the class to handle certain actions, for example give instructions, train grammar or tell a tale. In ELT this is a kind of anchoring through which students instantly know what will happen next inside a lesson, and therefore are prepared for this.

Maintaining flow

NLP matches nicely with ‘Flow Theory’. the concept learning flows like water which the very best learning happens when continuous. For that reasons of lesson planning, flow is accomplished when there’s an account balance of abilities development and new challenges, obvious task goals and the requirement for concentration. Effective learning happens when students feel a feeling of control of what’s happening within the class, don’t feel self-conscious, and receive positive feedback from one another and also the teacher. In good training, time appears to pass through rapidly. You will find obvious messages here about balance of activities, interest, attitude to errors, confidence building, student training and autonomy. Competitive and collaborative games, jokes, tunes and anecdotes, logos and well-structured information gap activities all assistance to maintain flow.

Pacing and leading

Some methods needing the listener to ‘tune in’, accept and properly condition the speaker’s perspective (pacing) before recommending an alternate perspective (leading). Acceptance of the argument is going to be supported through the listener’s reflecting from the speaker’s behavior. Activities including listening without response, turn-taking, planning and decision-making are helpful for raising understanding of this method.

Perceptual positioning

It is really an extension of reflecting utilized in NLP for solving conflicts and including a neutral 3rd party like a mediator in disputes. An ELT application here could be inside a reading through or storytelling lesson, where one position is taken through the author / teller, another with a character within the story, along with a third with a readers or neutral observer of occasions.

Modelling sound practice

NLP asks us to reflect what others prosper. In ELT, point about this is all about student training, specially when students uncover each other peoples methods or adopt new study abilities, for revision and examination preparation for instance.


Whether the first is a disciple of NLP or otherwise, what’s obvious is the fact that NLP and ELT are complementary for the reason that NLP discovers by watching communication designs, and ELT discovers from what NLP indicates as well as practice in enhancing

social communication and for that reason learning. There’s nothing in NLP that’s unlike current ELT methodology when it comes to communicative learning and humanistic approaches, while NLP has much to lead towards the already huge repertoire from the informed eclectic.

Further reading through

Revell and Norman, With you. Saffire Press

Revell and Norman, Handing Over. Saffire Press

Rinvolucri and Baker, Unleashing Self-expression Through NLP. Delta Posting