I occasionally get emails from people wanting to buy advertising on this blog. No, I don't know why either really. Let's be honest: it's not as though the likes of Endsleigh Insurance are really going to drive much click-through traffic from you lot, is it? Nor is £500 enough money for me to put adverts up (just so you know). I had a slightly different approach from Stella Artois the other week, who sent me an email with some very specific comments about my blog and an invitation to go and visit some film website or other they were launching in return for a pile of free stuff. I'm not really sure what they were hoping to gain by inviting me on board, but I actually thought about that one, being as they'd clearly done some reading here and all, but in the end I simply couldn't be arsed.
I was trawling the spam folder on my email today though, and I found an email with the heading "WILL THE CHRISTMAS NUMBER 1 BE AN EARWORM?". Hello, I thought, what on earth is this?
Dear Swiss Toni,
I notice you suffer from the occasional earworm or two! Thought you might be interested in the following and at least put them to good use!!!
WILL THE CHRISTMAS NUMBER 1 BE AN EARWORM?
Jingles on the brain help language-learning stick
‘Tis the season when you find Christmas songs stuck in your brain – if only it was that easy to remember Italian or Spanish words when you need them!
But it is, with XXXXXXXXX [product name removed to avoid free advertising] you can give the gift of language to someone planning to catch some winter sun, take to the ski slopes or even stay at home struggling with their GCSE revision.
Our researchers estimate that many of the best selling Christmas number ones are in fact ‘earworms’ - songs that have sound patterns that are indelibly burned into your auditory cortex. Just try saying the following out loud and immediately most pop-pickers over the age of 20 would be able to give you a rendition.
* Return to Sender – Elvis Presley 1962
* Long haired lover from Liverpool – Jimmy Osmond 1972
* Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade 1973
* Don’t you want me – Human League 1981
* Do they know it’s Christmas – Band Aid 1984
* Can we fix it – Bob the Builder 2000
The elves from Earworms have captured this magic, incorporating something useful, so you can say ‘Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?’ in the sort of French accent that gets results. Languages for the most popular holiday destinations are included in the ‘Rapid’ series including Italian, French, Spanish, Greek, German, and Portuguese and even Mandarin, Russian and Japanese.
Volume 1 covers all the essentials such as polite phrases, ordering a drink, at the restaurant, hotel, dealing with problems etc. Volume 2 will have you talking about yourself and others, likes and dislikes and general conversational items (even flirting). Using the lexical approach, by breaking vocabulary into ‘chunks’ and then reconstructing them, you can mix and match phrases to create natural conversations.
Earworms is unique in that it’s effortless – just play the CD in the car, at the gym, or as a download on your MP3 player while jogging, and after a few repetitions key words and phrases and are embedded in your mind, ready for instant recall when required.
The idea is not new. Song and verse have always been a powerful memory aid - from the Aborigines ‘Songlines’ to the advertising industry slogans – Earworms taps into this subconscious brain function to make learning spontaneous.
Music puts listeners into the ‘alpha state’ of relaxed alertness, which is ideal for learning and Earworms exploits this by using simple techniques which open up more of the brain's native power, making language learning fun and rewarding even to people that struggled in the past to learn languages.
Available from high street bookshops, major Post Offices, Amazon etc. etc. etc.
Well, full marks for effort, anyway.
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