How singing helps children learn languages

child development language acquisition languages Aug 18, 2021

When learning a new language, babies and young children respond really well to repetition, short phrases, changes in pitch and emotional tone of voice.

Nursery rhymes and songs are therefore the perfect recipe for learning a new language – something which Cate is currently exploring more of in her master’s in Applied Linguistics.

Singing really helps adults grasp new languages effectively too.

Have you noticed you suddenly know all the words to “Row row row your boat” in Norwegian, after singing it with your little ones a couple of times? This is a ‘singing earworm’ and according to a Harvard article by Srini Pillay, “these relentless tunes play in a loop in up to 98% of people in the western world!"

It is the repetitive aspect of songs that enable them to become ‘earworms’ and, according to Pillay - in the case of music, “may signify a process that becomes pleasurable when it is understood through repetition. Also, each time music repeats, you hear something subtly different. This learning may constitute one of the positive aspects of earworms.”

How amazing is that?! And how wunderbar is little Lilah singing Die Räder vom Bus 🇩🇪 she learnt through our online languages hub!

We think you’re fabelhaft Lilah, danke schön for sharing with us!

To start exploring languages with your little ones - like Lilah & her mummy Jayney - why not try our hub for free!

With our taster membership you’ll receive an intro video featuring songs and a story in various languages - including Wheels on the Bus in German! 🚌

Sign up via the linkinbio - no card details required.