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Research Summary


We take your learning very seriously - so we’ve done everything humanly possible to get you to conversational Spanish in 30 days.  

Part of that involved a 9000-hour team effort to read, research and synthesise every academic paper, published book and scientific study into the world of language learning from the last 140 years.  

We have interviewed language experts on the forefront of innovation, worked alongside PhDs in language acquisition and hired exceptional Spanish language teachers from across the world.  

No stone has been left unturned in our mission to get you speaking conversational Spanish as effectively as possible.  

Below you will find an overview of the breakthrough insights we discovered on our journey and how we use these insights to help you learn Spanish more effectively.  

(Note: even 960+ papers in, this is still a work in progress! We are still investigating new learning techniques and updating our research base every single day.)  


1) Mnemonic links  

In a nutshell: mnemonic links create robust, multi-sensory neural associations between foreign words and their meanings, so you can remember foreign vocabulary more easily.  

Example: the Spanish word for question is pregunta. The two words sound nothing alike, so it’s hard for your brain to remember pregunta means question. There’s no association or connection between them.  

But we can create one: preg-unta sounds like preg-nant. So imagine a preg-nant Kim Kardashian crying in your bedroom. She’s just found out she’s preg-nant, and her family immediately start asking her questions or preguntas: who’s the father? boy or girl? when’s it due? is it mine?  

Now we have a mnemonic link: pregunta → preg-nant Kim Kardashian getting asked questions → oh, pregunta means question!  

The science: studies show even very simple mnemonic links can increase memory by 314%. In a study by Raugh & Atkinson, students using mnemonic links correctly recalled 88 out of 100 foreign words, whereas students not using the technique recalled only 28 out of 100 foreign words.  

Dr Gruneberg, internationally renowned memory expert, explains that over 50 studies published in scientific journals have found that the technique materially increases the level of foreign vocabulary learning when compared to traditional learning methods.  

How we’ve applied it to First Words: We’ve taken mnemonic links to the next level. Each of our 1000+ mnemonic links is presented in a stunning visual illustration, coupled with evocative sound effects and action-packed animation. We compound each mnemonic link with a series of other mnemonic techniques, including personal connection, the method of loci and concretisation, and have taken into account the latest research into image memorability to ensure optimal retention of foreign vocabulary. Finally, all of our mnemonics are tested on real students to evaluate efficacy.  

The result? You will memorise foreign Spanish vocabulary more effectively than ever before.  

References:

1. Raugh, M. and Atkinson, R. (1975). A Mnemonic Method for Learning a Second-Language Vocabulary. Journal of Educational Psychology, [online] Vol 67(1), pp.1-16. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0078665.  

2. Atkinson, R. and Raugh, M. (1975). An application of the mnemonic keyword method to the acquisition of a Russian vocabulary. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning & Memory, 1(2), pp.126-133.  

3. Alhomaidan, A., Ashamry, A., Almuzany, S. and Almutawa, T. (2018). The Effect of Interactive-Image Elaboration on the Acquisition of Foreign Language Vocabulary. Journal of Linguistics and Literature, 2(1), pp.25-29.  

4. Gruneberg, M. and Sykes, R. (1996). The use of mnemonic strategies in the learning of non Roman foreign language alphabets. The Language Learning Journal, 13(1), pp.82-83.  

5. Gruneberg, M., Sykes, R. and Gillett, E. (1994). The facilitating effects of mnemonic strategies on two learning tasks in learning disabled adults. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 4(3), pp.241-254.  

6. Karpicke, J.D. and Smith, M.A. (2012) Separate mnemonic effects of retrieval practice and elaborative encoding, Journal of Memory and Language, 67(1), pp. 17–29. doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2012.02.004.  

7. Levin, J.R., Levin, M.E., Glasman, L.D. and Nordwall, M.B. (1992) ‘Mnemonic vocabulary instruction: Additional effectiveness evidence’, Contemporary Educational Psychology, 17(2), pp. 156–174. doi: 10.1016/0361-476x(92)90056-5.  


We'll be writing up the rest of our findings & insights over the next few weeks - check back soon! The full summary detailing all 62 insights will be finished July 1st 2019.

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Speak Spanish in 30 days

Learn and remember 88% of spoken Spanish in less than a month

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Learn faster than you ever thought possible

We've taken breakthrough insights from 960+ research studies on the science of language learning — and packed ALL OF IT into the First Words course. 

The result? You will learn Spanish faster than you ever thought possible.

See our full research summary here.

How Does It Work?

1. Speak from day 1!

Our interactive conversation practice videos will get you speaking Spanish from the second you sign up.

By the first 30 minutes, you'll know how to order food & drinks, use public transport and start chatting to a local.



2. Conversation Tutors

Our team of friendly native Spanish conversation tutors are on hand 24/7 via Whatsapp.

You'll send each other voice messages, share stories and develop a real friendship - ALL in Spanish! They'll also keep you accountable!


3. Mnemonic links

The first 1000 words of Spanish make up 88% of spoken Spanish. 

We use mnemonic links to get these words into your brain as fast as possible - and make them stick. Studies show mnemonic links increase memory by 314%!  

 

4. Speak like a local! 

Spanish words are pronounced exactly as they're spelt! Unlike English words e.g. "knight" 

With our interactive pronunciation trainer you'll quickly master Spanish pronunciation and perfectly pronounce any new Spanish word - just like a native. 


5. UNLIMITED Tutoring

Immerse yourself in 7 days of unlimited private 1-2-1 online Spanish classes - from professional Spanish teachers. 

Unlimited? Seriously..? Yes! Book 24 lessons a day for all 7 days if you want!


6. Remember forever

Our companion mobile app uses an advance spaced repetition algorithm to make sure you never forget Spanish.

5 minutes reviewing what you've learnt while on the loo or commuting...and turn your new Spanish words & phrases into lifelong permanent memories!  


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Why Learn Spanish?

Love & Relationships

 Spanish opens the door to a world of exciting new relationships: whether it’s hooking up with hunky Spaniard, finding love in a sexy señorita or building lifelong cross-cultural friendships across South America.  

Travel

Get the hell out of your comfort zone. Discover the Amazon, go kitesurfing in Panama or trek the Rainbow Mountains of Peru. You’ll be able to bargain for lower prices, handle any tricky situations and travel beyond the usual tourist spots into the true soul of a country. 

   

Culture

Don't fall for overhyped tourist traps. Speak to the locals and find out what's really good! Discover new cuisines, secret fiestas and exotic music. Embrace true Spanish culture.  

Cognitive Performance

Research shows intensive language learning physically changes the structure of your brain. As a result, you'll see increased memory, improved focus, better decision-making and protection from Alzheimer's!  

Career

With over 400 million speakers and a collective $7 trillion GDP, it's no surprise Spanish is the most important language for English speakers. Spanish can help you secure that job promotion, start your dream career overseas or launch a new business abroad!  

Personal Growth

Challenge yourself, learn a new language and shatter your limiting beliefs! Spanish has been shown to make you a more positive, interesting and intelligent person. There's nothing better for personal growth.

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