If you’ve ever had a song stuck in your head, the chorus on an endless loop in your mind, then you understand the power music has when it comes to memorization. Why not harness a bit of that power to help you learn something new – something like a language?
That’s the idea earworms Ltd goes for with their language learning app series, including Rapid Spanish Volume 1. Rather than going about teaching basic Spanish phrases the traditional way, this app has you jamming along with tunes, the words, meanings and accent gradually becoming a part of your subconscious.
Sounds great in theory, but does it work? Absolutely. The thing I love most about the approach earworms takes is that it’s pretty much effortless for you as a student. You can study flashcards, transcribe podcasts or listen and repeat along with so many other language programs. Or you can pop in your earbuds and just listen to music while you walk, email, cook, anything.
The recordings are high quality, as is the design of the app. Real instruments were used in the process; this doesn’t sound like the stuff you used to plunk out on your old Casio. And the interface and look is slick as can be – the main menu is a wheel, with the tracks both numbered and labeled with an icon that explains what that track’s lesson is about (i.e. an airplane for airport phrases, an arrow sign for directions, etc). Tap the track once to see what it’s about, twice to listen. The app will automatically move on to the next track when that tune finishes. You’ll hear the target language spoken throughout the song by a native speaker, and between the catchy music and repetition of the phrases, you’ll have your “please“s and “where is the“s down in no time.
Again, you can just hit play, sit back and listen. But for those who have to see the language, or to double check on the spelling of a word that’s troubling you, a chart with all the phrases taught and their translations appears in order on the screen while the song is playing. So the app is more than just music – you’ve got a phrase book as well.
The phrases taught here are aimed at those new to the language who are taking a trip and want to learn the most essential basic phrases they’ll need. earworms makes that process not only possible, but enjoyable as well. Highly recommended for anyone ready to try a new language learning method.
Rapid Spanish Volume 1 [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.