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mrlaconic's avatar

Have you used earworms?

Asked by mrlaconic (3973 points ) September 13th, 2012

I would like to learn new language and I am looking for opinions on earworms learning ? Do you have any personal experience with this product? If not do you think that something like this could work?

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11 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I think they are correct in saying that research supports the effectiveness of this technique. However, the key is in the execution. Anyone can put phrases to music. Not everyone can do it well.

I think you need to try it out and see how well they do it for you. You might read the user reviews if you can find any. But ultimately, you have to see how well it fits you. It probably doesn’t cost so much that you’d be really hurt if it didn’t work, so I’d go for it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I hadn’t heard of this particular method so I tried the samples on their web site. I found the music distracting. When I had to learn a foreign language quickly I used the Phillips program which was on tape. It was basically short phrases that you repeated over and over. It helped that there was also a book with pictures and text. Eventually you string the short phrases together. It worked for me and enabled me to work in a foreign office for many years.
It also helps if there is a little bit of grammar instruction. I know they say babies and young children learn by hearing and don’t understand grammar. That is true, but you are not a baby and want to learn as quickly as possible If you have a little bit of instruction that shows you the big picture, you will learn much faster.
Let’s take the example of learning how to use your PC. I you had never seen one before would you know how to turn it on? Or use the mouse or double click? Given enough time you’d figure it out. But 5 minutes with somebody showing you the mechanics will save you hours of frustration and disappointment.
See if you can find a meetup group studying the language of interest. Offer to buy someone dinner if they will spend the time with you. That will help you a lot.

mrlaconic's avatar

@LuckyGuy I am finding the music distracting also but I wasn’t sure if it was the music or the fact that I Was trying it at work when I had other things going on. I think I will try again at home to double check but I am pretty sure it’s the music.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I don’t understand why they have the music track. Sorry. I don’t usually have a light beat box going when I am asking for coffee. If the music is supposed to help you learn a cadence, fine. But it’s not. Do they think you will get that little earworm music stuck in your head and all the rest of the phrases will be there too? When I went to a language where I knew nothing, I quickly zoned out and only heard the music.
What happens when soft Beatles music is playing at a coffee shop? Will you become tongue-tied?
Or worse, will you crave coffee when while you are in a elevator and the background music coincides with the earworm clip?

Sunny2's avatar

Doesn’t Earworms get capitalized? I thought this question was about a return to an old medical practice, like the use of leeches. Silly me.

tranquilsea's avatar

The music may be there to try to capitalize on the fact that your long term memory and your music memory are in two distinct places in your brain.

This is why my head injured sister cannot remember what she ate ten minutes ago but she’ll remember a song she heard yesterday. We’ve often considered singing her schedule to her.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Sunny2, earworm (without caps) has recently been placed in several prominent dictionaries. I have earworms in my brain that have been there almost 60 years. Put a phone number on a catchy jingle and you have an award-winning advertisement.

Interesting observation concerning parts of the brain: I have a cousin with an extremely noticeable stammer. He also has a wide knowledge of songs (mostly from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s). When he speaks, his stammer is very noticeable; when he sings, however, he has never ever stammered.

Sunny2's avatar

@Yetanotheruser In college I sang in a church choir. We were introducing ourselves around a circle. One tenor said his name with a really bad stutter. My only knowledge of this person was that he had been elected campus clown and I thought he was being funny. I was the only one who laughed. He did not stutter when he sang. I believe that singing is one way to help a person to get over a stutter.
On the earworm: it didn’t occur to me to look it up, but I wouldn’t have found it in my circa 1965 unabridged dictionary anyway. So, it’s a tune or something that you can’t get out of your mind and it drives you crazy?

Adagio's avatar

You and me both @Sunny2 : ^)

Response moderated (Spam)
oratio's avatar

I like this technique, but I suggest you use several different audio courses to “attack” the language from different angles, and try to make it fun. There are many videos on youtube as well to help you. Besides, you won’t get very far in depth with Earworms as they haven’t made that many audio files. But emphasize the fun in learning, otherwise I think you’ll likely not get very far.

I think also that a very good idea would be to go to the country and immerse yourself in the language if only for some days. I myself is going to Munich in less than a week to do just that.

Good luck to you.

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