Cute Cats: The Key to Language Learning?
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 skeptical to begin with,” says Whately. However, “we're a scientific group, and data driven — but the data did drive us towards cats.”