An independent language course review by Andrea Martinsaudible-earworms-rapid-french

Now this is a new learning experience for me: learning a language through the use of music. This is an interesting concept and something that Earworms calls an   ‘accelerated learning technique’. The idea behind it is to listen to words and phrases in a rhythmic way  set to melodic music .  You feel at ease as you listen and somehow the phrases become catchy and easy to recall.

I tried volume one of the Earworms Rapid French language course. It is just over an hour long and covers subjects that you might encounter whilst you are abroad such as ordering things, asking for things, asking directions, telling the time, numbers, days of the week, greetings and other useful expressions. You also cover verbs such as to eat, to order, to buy, to rent as well as asking questions such as ‘do you like?’, ‘what’s this?’ and ‘how much is it?’.

The first track deals with ‘je voudrais’ – I would like. Before you know it you are ordering drinks, as well as saying other expressions such as ‘parfait’, ‘de rien’ and ‘merci’ – all good conversation fillers and useful pleasantries!

Each sentence is repeated at least three to four times, but each time it is said at a slightly different pace and with a slightly different intonation. The sentence is then broken down into parts. So, for example ‘I would like to eat something’ is broken down into its components and then the word order is compared to English:   ‘I would like’, then ‘to eat’, then ‘something’ then ‘to eat’ again and then ‘something’ again and then the whole sentence is said in full once more. This idea of breaking up an expression and reconstructing it reminds me vaguely of the Michel Thomas method. But the Earworms method uses music and rhythmic repetition to great language learning effect!

The music varies from techno to funky jazz, guitar and ‘lift’ music (musak)! Each type of music denotes a different chapter so learning doesn’t become monotonous and allows you to associate certain language with certain music. At the end of each chapter track, a challenge is set for us, although the male English language speaker answers the questions. The female French speaker asks us ‘how do you say…..?’ with something that we have just covered in the chapter. It’s a good exercise and nothing too challenging.

In fact, this is what I enjoyed most about the Earworms Rapid French; I found the whole experience not too challenging or exhausting and yet I remembered quite a bit of the French. This particular course comes with a useful downloadable booklet. It gives more information into what the accelerated learning technique is about. It also lists all the phrases and words found in the course. This is useful for those (like me!) that like to see the written language and associate it with hearing the language at the same time. You even get a list of the English, the French (along with the audio of the sound) and its ‘memory hook’ – something which helps you associate the French to a visual memory and familiar words in English.

Overall, I thought that this course was fun, entertaining and I was under no pressure to memorise words. I later found myself humming one of the tunes and remembering the repetition of the French words! This method really does seem to work! C’est parfait!

Learn a language on your iPod ® with Earworms Rapid French Volume 1 [UK and Europe]>>

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