Have you got an earworm?

I’m used to people telling me “I can’t get the Speekee songs out of my head”, but until today I didn’t know that such tunes, perhaps intruding on your thoughts in an endless loop, are known as earworms.

We didn’t know about earworms when we created Speekee, but we certainly did know about the power of music in creating memories – especially useful when learning a new language. The article linked above quotes Dr Vicky Williamson, a music psychologist and memory expert at Goldsmith’s College in London. Dr Williamson says that because music can be encoded in our memories in so many different ways, it acts as a ‘multi-sensory stimulus’. Secondly, this encoding is often very personal and emotional, and we know that anything with emotional or personal connotations is recalled better in memory.

That’s why the Speekee songs were written to be catchy – so that they would stick in your head and be an earworm. Each Speekee song is original, and carefully structured to pull together all the most important language presented in an episode. That’s why each main song comes towards the end of an episode, rather like a review or summary of the language presented.

So when you, or your child, has a Speekee song for an earworm, know that this is just one of the many techniques Speekee uses to aid in language recall and maximise the Spanish learning experience.

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