The concept of learning new words by making mental associations with familiar words, sounds, or even pictures, is not new. This approach can be used in many creative ways.
One teaching aid that relies on the idea of learning by word association is Linkword Languages. This fun and easy approach involves making mental associations based on sometimes hilarious connections between words! The idea is that to help you remember a new word in the language you are learning (e.g. Dutch) you are shown an interesting “connection” between that new word and its meaning in the language you already know (e.g. English). This helps the learner to visualise the new word in a way that makes it easier to recall its meaning. The software presents a series of words displayed on the screen together with their translations and a suggested “connection” through which to remember the new word. These words are also clearly pronounced and repeated as often as required (in response to the user pressing the “play” button again). After presenting a set of words one at a time, the system tests the student via a screen into which one must type simple answers. The correct answers are then displayed. Then one can then proceed to the next section that introduces more words and/or complexity.
Linkword Languages’ website offers software and audio courses that claim to help students to learn a new language quickly. Free demonstrations are available online. Click on the banner link on the left of this text to try the online demos, including the demo for learning Dutch.
This looks promising but relies on one ordering online as we haven’t seen this material for sale anywhere on the high street, at least not yet!
It’s great to see so many Dutch language teaching aids available. We’ll feature some more vocabulary-building products soon.