Are Cute Cats the Key to Language Learning?

February 21, 2017

Amusing photos of #cats have become a firm favourite for those trawling the internet in search of a good laugh. Recent claims, however, have suggested that these furry #felines can serve a much more serious purpose and help with the learning of #foreign #languages.

 

Following analysis of what helped their members remember information, online learning company Memrise found an unexpected link between people’s abilities to recall foreign words and phrases and the entertaining cat pictures.

 

According to the chief operating officer at Memrise Ben Whately, speaking to the BBC, "We wanted to know what kinds of visual mnemonics were most effective at helping people to learn fast.

 

"The pattern began to emerge that pictures of cats always featured disproportionately among the most effective,"

 

Memrise has backed its claim with #research from #Japan, which studied the connection between cognition and cuteness.

 

The company has now developed #CatAcademy, an app that claims to help you learn Spanish by displaying a cute kitty alongside a corresponding phrase.

 

Still not convinced? “I have to admit we were slightly sceptical to begin with,” said Whately. However, “we're a scientific group, and data driven — but the data did drive us towards cats.”

 

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