earworms language learning
Learn a new language on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
Frequently Asked Questions +
  • What exactly does 'earworms' mean? [+]
    The term ‘earworms' or ‘catchy tunes' refers to those songs which you hear a few times and then just can't get out of your head. We are putting this phenomenon to a positive educational use.
  • How long does it take to learn a language with the earworms method? [+]
    The earworms programme not only anchors words and phrases into your memory in a very short time, it also fits in with busy lives, thus saving time. You can learn in a traffic jam, on the Underground, while jogging, where and when you want to. You take control.

    You can be using your newfound knowledge within hours, unbelievable though it may seem. We recommend that you listen to the app relatively intensively over a two-week period (the learning phase), and then continue periodically to listen in order to refresh your memory (See below).
  • What does the 'Rapid' series actually cover, what do I learn? [+]
    The programme's aim is simple: to enable you to hold a conversation in the target language. There are two initial volumes which cover two phases of the language course. Volume 1 covers the words you need for your initial trip abroad: ordering in a restaurant, asking for directions, dealing with problems, shopping, numbers, telling the time, etc. At the same time a number of useful grammatical structures are taught, especially the modal verbs: would, could, can, in combination with other verbs like: to be, to look for, to want, to know, to have, to like, to eat, to drink, to buy, to rent.
  • What age group are the earworms Apps aimed at? [+]
    Rapid Vol. 1 and 2 are for all ages, but the subject matter appeals more to adults.
  • At school I was hopeless at languages. Can earworms help? [+]
    There is no such thing as "no talent for languages". Speaking a language is a natural human ability. It is also natural that the brain is hungry to learn. The art of language teaching and learning is supplying the material in an easily digestible, brain-friendly package. Forget what your teachers said, they were wrong! After seeing how easy learning a language can be with earworms, hopefully you will be motivated and continue with this most rewarding activity.
  • Do I have to really concentrate hard to learn properly and fully? [+]
    No, don't concentrate too hard... in fact try not to remember, just relax and enjoy it as if you are listening to the radio.
  • earworms mbt® is only audio? [+]
    Of course, reading and writing are important. Included in the package is a phrasebook with all the words and phrases on the CD. We recommend that you do also familiarise yourself with the written words.
  • What information does the supporting booklet include? [+]
    The booklet includes the English and target language and the phonetics for each word or phrase along with other information to support your progress.
  • If someone is dyslexic, do they really need to study the booklet? [+]
    This course is ideal for dyslexics and people who just don't like book learning, also for blind people. In this case your aural sense of perception and memory will probably be heightened. For others the booklet is a great support.
  • How do the results compare with conventional learning? [+]
    The earworms concept draws on the latest research into accelerated learning and memory enhancement and takes advantage of the scientifically proven capacity of the mind to memorize words far better in melodic patterns. Our own trials point to the phenomena being even more powerful than we had anticipated. With earworms, students usually get over 90% in difficult vocabulary tests, compared to less than 50% with conventional book learning.
  • Does the earworms syllabus work to any recognised standards? [+]
    earworms follows closely the Common European Framework (CEF) of Reference on Language Learning. These are guidelines which categorise six different levels of language proficiency. It also corresponds to the UK's National Language Standards level one.
  • How often do I have to listen to the earworms tracks? [+]
    With the appeal of the earworms songs we hope that it is not a question of “having to” but rather a question of “wanting to”. But seriously: the memory is like a muscle, it needs to be trained and exercised. The ideal is listening relatively intensively at the beginning (the learning phase), thereafter listening periodically to review what you have learnt and refresh your memory.

    In practical terms this means listening to the whole album the first day, in order to ‘tune your ear in' to the sounds of the target language. Then listen regularly, several times, over a period of one or two weeks, making sure that you listen to every track equally as many times.

    After this, go through the booklet and test your knowledge, picking out any gaps that you may wish to concentrate on.

    Lastly, the review phase. As we all know, memories fade, so it is important to refresh your memory by using the App at your leisure, say, once a week for the following few weeks. Thereafter, monthly. This review phase is crucial as it consolidates your knowledge and transfers it into your long-term memory. Although this demands self-discipline, it is of course without effort, as you are only listening to music. The result is that you will be able to recall the words and phrases with the same ease that you remember your telephone number!
  • We are a bank with extensive training programmes for our staff. [+]
    We offer tailor-made solutions for organisations. Contact us for more information.
  • What activities do you recommend to improve my language skills? [+]
    A trip abroad is always good to get your linguistic juices flowing. Use your iPhone's dictionary and notebook to take down any new and interesting words and phrases you might come across. Also, Internet resources are often very good. The BBC languages web site is very commendable: www.bbc.co.uk/languages
Have you ever listened to a tune that you couldn't get out of your head? Now, earworms has adopted this approach to language learning, introducing a new range of revolutionary Apps. Some may call it brainwashing, but earworms takes the hard work out of learning.

It really is the first effective language course to get your toe tapping. Just sit back and relax to the mesmerizing Musical Brain Trainer (MBT) and, with minimum concentration, listeners will find that picking up new vocabulary and phrases is easier than ever before.

Why is it so effective?
Developed by language teaching experts at Earworms MBT, Earworms is based on the science behind catchy songs that stick in the head: the music acts as a catalyst for the memorisation of words and anchors the new vocabulary deep in the long term memory.

Listening to melodious music puts users into a relaxed state of alertness, the 'Alpha state' the ideal condition for learning. The sound patterns of melodies, with rhythmic repetitions from a mesmeric male voice who speaks the English and a native speaker for the target language, 'worm' their way deep into the memory, permanently burning into the aural cortex -- an area of the brain from which words can instantly be recalled. In this way, the 200 essential words and phrases will literally be ringing in the ears, making the learning of a new language effortless and enjoyable.

The app comes with an integrated booklet that contains all the words and phrases spoken on the App, plus the sounds of the word.

iTunes Best Seller
Since its European launch in 2000, Earworms has seen incredible success both in terms of sales and customer satisfaction. The audio-books have routinely ranked #1 for downloads in the U.S., U.K. and Australia often outselling popular titles such as "The Da Vinci Code," and Rapid Spanish was named an iTunes Top 5 Non-Fiction Best-Seller in 2007, alongside "The Secret," "Stephen Colbert" and NPR's "This American Life."

Both the App and booklet also contain a number of invaluable memory hooks. For example if you want to memorise the Greek term 'Excuse me!', phonetically written 'messee ohriteh', imagine saying 'Excuse me, I've got a messy oil heater' and you will easily remember it.

Compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, the apps are perfect for those on the move - whether travelling in the car, working out at the gym, or walking the dog. Earworms comes in two volumes: Volume 1 is a survival kit of essential words and phrases for use when travelling abroad on a short business trip of vacation, while Volume 2 allows you to talk about yourself, past, present and future, express opinions, chat, and even flirt.

There are 13 languages to choose from including Arabic, Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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.

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.
What Wikipedia says:-
An earworm is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing. Phrases used to describe an earworm include musical imagery repetition, involuntary musical imagery, and stuck song syndrome. The word earworm is a calque from the German Ohrwurm.

Researchers who have studied and written about the phenomenon include Theodor Reik, Sean Bennett, Oliver Sacks, Daniel Levitin, James Kellaris, Philip Beaman, Vicky Williamson, and, in a more theoretical perspective, Peter Szendy.

FAQ's for Earworms Language Apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch