Experience something a little different. After a few listenings, Italian words will be popping out of your memory...when you least expect them!
These CDs put the words and phrases you need not just onto the tip of your tongue, but deep into your long-term memory, ready for instant recall.
Simply by listening to these specially composed melodies with their rhythmic repetitions a few times, the sound patterns are indelibly burned into your auditory cortex. You will have successfully learned the phrase and have the correct accent ringing in your ears.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing - in the car, jogging, in the bath, doing the ironing - you can be learning a language at the same time!
This is your instant survival kit of immediately useful words and phrases. Listen a few times and you’ll be able to ask for a table in a restaurant, order food and drink, take a taxi, rent a car, buy tickets, deal with money and numbers, ask for directions, know the times and days, deal with typical problems, hold a simple conversation and more.
“I really do believe you guys have cracked the code…your system sticks in my brain” - BFBS Radio 1
earworms mbt® Rapid Languages is the first language trainer to get your toe tapping.
You know those catchy tunes or 'earworms' that you just can't get out of your head? Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? Well, earworms mbt® has put this phenomenon to positive use. Gone are the days of learning pressure and frustration at not being able to remember, the experience of many on conventional language courses. In combination with music, our system automatically and effortlessly anchors the phrases you need deeply into your memory.
Music is the Key
The idea is as simple as it is old. Before the age of writing, ancient historical events e.g. in the Finnish sagas, were recorded in verse and song form, for easy memorisation. In his book 'Songlines' Bruce Chatwin describes how the Australian Aborigines were able to navigate their way across hundreds of miles of desert to their ancestral hunting grounds without maps. And how? The extensive lyrics of their traditional songs were exact descriptions of the routes!
Rhythm and words, i.e. song and verse, have always been a very powerful memory aid, and this is supported by recent scientific research. The advertising industry knows only too well how powerful music can be in getting the message across with brainwashing-like jingles and soundbites.
It really works!
Developed and used over years in the classroom, the earworms mbt® method has shown phenomenal success. In vocabulary tests, pupils using this technique regularly achieve average marks of over 90 % compared to less than 50 % with conventional book based learning.
Why hasn't music been used more in education
up to now?
Imagine kids at school getting a CD of hip-hop songs with all the historical dates they have to learn, or all the French verbs they have to learn, or all the countries and capitals of the world! Wouldn't that make their (and teachers') school lives much easier, much more fun, much more successful?
The Rapid Languages series
Volume 1 deals with the essentials for your visit abroad. It looks at typical situations: taking a taxi, at the hotel, at the restaurant, requesting, polite phrases, finding your way, numbers, dealing with problems and so on.
Volume 2 will have you talking about yourself and others, past, present and future, likes and dislikes and general conversational items.
The themes of these courses follow closely the Common European Framework for language learning level one, a recognised benchmark of simple conversational language proficiency, and the emphasis is constantly on usefulness to the learner.
The accompanying booklet contains all the text on the CD, both English and target language, plus the sounds of the words. An additional aid to learning, 'memory hooks' and comments to assist your memorisation and understanding can be found on the website under 'Extras'. These complement the CD and are really worth checking out. Memory hooks are for example, if you want to memorise the Italian term 'my name is' = 'mi chiamo', imagine 'my name is Micky Armo' - and you will
How to use earworms: Don't think, just listen!
Sit back, relax and groove along to the melodies without trying to concentrate too hard. Treat them as songs you hear on the radio. Our recommendation is that you listen a couple of times in quick succession on the first day to 'tune your ear in' to the sounds of the language. Then listen regularly over the period of a week. Thereafter, it is a question of 'refreshing' your memory. There is more on this subject to be found under FAQs. Also, familiarise yourself with the written words in the booklet - at least the first time you listen.
After listening several times, playfully test yourself - cover up the English side of the phrase book and see how many words and phrases you remember. Make a game out of it with your friends and family!
The science behind earworms mbt®
The earworms concept encapsulates two of the latest streams of learning thought:
1. How we learn
A large part of learning in general and language learning in particular is to do with the memorisation of words, facts and other significant information. It's a well known fact that we use only a fraction of our brain power and traditional book learning is now recognised as not suiting every learner.
earworms uses simple techniques which open up and exploit more of the brain's native power, and come under the heading of ‘accelerated learning'.
In the 1970s, extensive research was carried out into the powers of music in the learning process, by the Bulgarian physician Georgi Lozanov. He revealed that music puts listeners into a state of relaxed alertness, the “alpha state”, the ideal state of consciousness for learning, and his tests were conclusive.
More recently, in the March 2005 issue of the journal “Nature” researchers at Dartmouth College in the US reported that they had pinpointed the region of the brain where ‘ earworms ' or catchy tunes reside, the auditory cortex. They found that the sounds and words that have actually been heard can be readily recalled from the auditory cortex where the brain can listen to them “virtually” again and again. Music it seems is the ideal catalyst to the memorisation of words.
2. What we learn
earworms mbt® adopts the so-called lexical approach to language, as opposed to first concentrating on grammar. In essence, this means we look at language in terms of whole meaningful chunks, then break these down into their component bite-sized, easily digestable, easily absorbable parts and reconstruct them. You not only learn complete, immediately useful phrases, you also intuitively learn something about the structure (the grammar) of the language. These ‘chunks' which the learner can ‘mix and match', gradually build up to cover whole areas of the language.
This may sound logical to the layman, but it is only very recently that this approach (as expounded by Michael Lewis in his book ”The Lexical Approach”) has been taken up in the classroom with very positive results.