I'm writing this newsletter in a beautiful castle in Baarlo, where I teach Dutch to German journalists.
One of the activities will be singing Dutch songs.
Why? You can read it in the article below, written by Elisa Crassweller.
Can singing improve your language skills? (By Elisa Crassweller)
Researchers first discussed the idea that music can make you smarter, known as the Mozart Effect, in the early 1990s. Initial studies showed a tenuous link to music and intelligence but they did spawn further research on the benefits of learning with music.
Later studies showed an important link between music and language skills: rhythm. Singing and music can boost your language skills in the following ways: pronunciation and rhythm, memory, and vocabulary (plus it will teach you about the culture).
Pronunciation and Rhythm:
Rhythm is important in both music and language. Much like songs each language has its own cadence. When set to music, a language's rhythms are easier to hear and follow. To sing a song, you must imitate the tune and beat. The same is true of language; you must imitate the sounds and rhythm of a native speaker. It is often easier to imitate sounds set to music since you are focusing on them more.
Memory Music, specifically keeping beat, also helps with memorizing. Songs often involve repetition which reinforces memory. Focusing on the music can be relaxing and help the lyrics stick in your head. Aural learners have an easier time learning and remembering using music. Of course, you don't need to be an aural learner to benefit from music.
Vocabulary expansion: Songs expose you to new grammar and vocabulary. Children's songs often teach basic vocabulary and grammar. Pop songs are good for learning everyday speech, idioms, and slang.
You can learn a lot about a culture from its songs: how people express themselves, what topics are important, and how do people discuss them?
Plus, songs can be a fun starting point for meeting and interacting with others in your new language. So why not try singing to learn Dutch today?
Sources Bergland, Christopher. "Musical Training May Improve Brain's Language Skills." Psychology Today, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 19 Feb 2015. Henriksson-Macaulay, Liisa. "Are musicians better language learners?" The Guardian, 27 Feb. 2014 Web. 19 Feb 2015. Merritt, Anne. "Music – a gift for language learners." The Telegraph, 9 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Feb 2015.
If you like to improve your own Dutch by singing after reading this article, you can find a translated songtext right here. (It is a song about spring, because it really feels like spring here in the castle) And here you can see Dutch and German journalists enjoying our daily songs together (and they learn Dutch within 10 days!! So it works!)
If you want more,
come to this special day I organised for you
with singing teacher Jorine Samsom:
Date: March 27th
Time: 9:45 -15:00
Cost: only 30 EUR, lunch is included!
Do you enjoy singing? Do you want to improve your Dutch? You can do both! Learn to sing and improve your Dutch pronunciation with Jorine Samsom, internationally trained singing instructor.
Jorine studied with singers in the Netherlands, Germany, and France. She specializes in EVT (Estill Voice Training) as well as breathing and relaxation therapy.
During the lesson, you will learn about sound, articulation, and breathing techniques. You will also have time to sing in a group.
Mail me to reserve your spot: email@example.com
Tip: Interested in even more singing? To receive an introduction singing lesson with Jorine for just 25 EUR (that's a 50% discount),
mail her: firstname.lastname@example.org & use the special code
"Zingen met Learn Dutch Fast"
In the near future, Learn Dutch Fast will facilitate special NLP sessions for those less confident in speaking or scared to speak an other language.
More details in the upcoming newsletter, that will tell you all about my own traumas with learning a new language...
P.S.: the latest schedule for the Dutch courses is always here
Next Immersion Course level 1:
Learn Dutch in 1 Week:
11-15 May (Mon-Fri) from 10:30 -16:30
Learn the basics of Dutch through seriously fun activities.
You will learn basic vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar. Activities may include making appointments, grocery shopping, speaking with neighbors etc.
Get ready to gain confidence in your language skills.
Space is limited to 4 participants.
You can register here.
Impression of the Dutch lesson with the journalists: