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Repeat after me!

What´s the perfect language learning tool? Across cultures, the traditional answer to this has always been: Nursery Rhymes.

Hoppe hoppe Reiter,
Wenn er fällt dann schreit er…

or

Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrily,
Life is but a dream…

As all carers all over the world will tell you, children cannot get enough of these little poems and the gestures and actions that often accompany them and want to repeat them endlessly. Why? Because that´s what they are made for (both the children´s brains and the nursery rhymes). Through repetition, sound patterns, rhythmical and syntactical structures are not only lodged in the mind indelibly, but can also be reproduced and varied at will. In other words, with nursery rhymes repetition is the start of creativity.

Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
And if you see a crocodile
Don´t forget to scream…

Unfortunately, most adults have lost the instinctive enjoyment of nursery rhymes and the quasi-automatic language acquisition skills that go with it. Fortunately, however, modern online language courses can help. Like a nursery, they provide a safe private space where the learner can repeat patterns freely, at their own speed and as often as they like. That the good ones have a nurse (or rather: a teacher) on standby to offer encouragement is part of the fun. Why not try it out?

Row row row your boat
Gently to the sea
And if you say how things are done
Don´t forget a “-ly”!

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