It’s not just unfounded theory. It’s actual science that learning a foreign language is achieved so much more quickly and effectively when repetition teaching methods are used.

Repeat Day is celebrated on 3rd June every year. So, it’s a befitting day to take a look at the science behind learning a foreign language by doing just that – repeating.

Lilli Kimmpa of the University Of Helsinki researched the subject and concluded:-

“Even short repetitive exposure to novel words induced a rapid neural response increase that is suggested to manifest memory-trace formation. Rapid learning of new words is crucial for language acquisition, and frequent exposure to spoken words enables vocabulary development.” 

Put plainly, repetition aids learning a foreign language by teaching us to say words and remember them. In addition, the more we say them, the more we understand them and learn to how to use them in various contexts.

The science of repetition goes beyond echoing parrot fashion. It takes a step even further with a method known as spaced repetition. According to Wikipedia:-

“Spaced repetition… is usually performed with flashcards. Newly introduced and more difficult flashcards are shown more frequently, while older and less difficult flashcards are shown less frequently in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect. The use of spaced repetition has been proven to increase rate of learning.

…spaced repetition is commonly applied in contexts in which a learner must acquire many items and retain them indefinitely in memory. It is, therefore, well suited for the problem of vocabulary acquisition in the course of second-language learning.”

At award-winning La Academia, we’re always ahead of the most effective teaching techniques per age group and per language. This an important point to make. Whilst there are similarities, one cap rarely fits all for learning a foreign language.

We trust our lessons aren’t reminiscent of Groundhog Day for our amazing students. But, with learning a foreign language, there’s something to be said for, “If it’s worth doing once; it’s worth doing again.”


Repetiton a key factor in language learning by Lilli Kimmpa, University of Helsinki, Science Daily

Spaced repetition, Wikipedia