The sad fact is that those with dyslexia are usually written off in schools and work as incapable of learning languages. That is about 10% of the population! I recently approached 2 schools dedicated to teaching dyslexic children who don’t even have language learning as an option for the students! The fact is that this assumption is totally wrong. The problem is how they are taught!

“Dyslexic students who study languages have difficulties hearing sounds, connecting those sounds to letters, sounding out words and memorizing new vocabulary. They also struggle more in reading and writing activities”. (Google)

Linkword deals with the problem that dyslexic learners have with the sound of foreign words by making very strong links between the English word and another English word that sounds like the foreign word to be remembered (the Linkword). This acts as a stepping stone to remembering the foreign word. Very quickly the Linkword drops out leaving the learner knowing the foreign word.

The free demos on this website show you how Linkword courses solve these problems for dyslexic learners.

Why language learning with Linkword works for dyslexic learners

Below is an illustration of the Linkword method for learning vocabulary. Picture each of the images below in your mind’s eye as vividly as you can for about 10 seconds.

The Japanese for SHORTS is HAN ZUBON
Imagine my HANDS UPON your SHORTS

The German for BRIDE is BRAUT (pronounced as in SPROUT)
Imagine a Belgian BRIDE, a Brussels BRAUT

The Italian for NIGHT is NOTTE
Imagine spending a NAUGHTY NIGHT out

The Spanish for COW is VACA
Imagine a COW with a VACUUM cleaner, cleaning a field

Imagine your HAIRY SON looks like a HEDGEHOG

What is the English for: HERISSON, VACA, NOTTE, BRAUT, HAN ZUBON?

If you got most of them right, the Linkword method will help you learn the language of your choice. Linkword also teaches grammar in a really easy way.

What is the evidence it works in general?

Although the method has been around since at least the 19th century, the first studies proving it worked were done some 50 years ago. They showed that learning vocabulary with this method was about 3 times faster than normal learning. At least 100 studies since then have shown that the method is very significantly faster that a variety of alternatives including the normal rote learning. Using this method, Tim Ferriss of the FOUR HOUR WEEK fame claimed you can learn 200-300 words in a day and 1200 word in a few weeks.

Studies we have conducted showed that a group of manages at Thomson holidays learned a vocabulary of 400 words AND a basic Grammar in 12 hours- about 3 times faster than normal as assessed by an independent assessor. In fact an assessment of normal learning of languages by school children in the UK found that on average they learned only about 800-900 words in 4 years!!

What is the evidence it works for dyslexics and poor learners?

We carried out a study at Rugby school in the UK. The class was of poor and dyslexic language learners. They spent one class a week using the Linkword course, which uses the keyword method for teaching vocabulary as well as teaching a basic grammar. After 7 months the students were given an end of term exam. The average mark for the class went up from 38% the year before to 50%. A quarter of the class were promoted to the class above, something that had never happened before! furthermore the pupils reported far higher feelings of enjoyment and speed of learning.

A second study which was carried out in another well known school, compared a group of pupils who were dyslexic with another group of students who were of average ability at language learning. Before the study started, all students were given a vocabulary test in French and it was found that dyslexic learners were significantly poorer in their vocabulary knowledge.

Both groups were then taught about 56 words using the linkword course in French described above. The findings were that both groups retained significantly more than previously, and that the dyslexia group now learned at the same level as the non dyslexic group. No study as far as I am aware has ever shown dyslexic learners learn to the same level as non dyslexic learners.

Adult learners can also benefit greatly.

Why do dyslexic learners benefit from the Linkword method?

One possible reason is that many dyslexic learners might have a specific problem in remembering the sound of a foreign word when associating an English word with a foreign word, e.g. The Spanish for COW is VACA. A study by Krug* looked at students who had specific language learning difficulties but not overall learning difficulties and found that these students had a specific problem in remembering the sound of foreign words. The Linkword method specifically addresses this problem by giving learners another English word to remember as a bridge to remembering the foreign word. Whatever the reason, it is clear that the Keyword method very much helps many dyslexic learners to a very significant extent, both in terms of performance and motivation.

Some FAQ’s about the Linkword method:


As noted above, Tim Ferriss argues that 1200 words can be learned in a few days, and he is probably right. But when we started our studies, we found that after learning about 200 words learners wanted to learn grammar mixed in with vocabulary so that they could start communicating straight away. Learning only grammar became a bit boring after a time. So we developed a course which introduced simple grammar soon after a set of about 10 words was learned and let learners translate simple sentences within minutes of starting the course. Our research showed this strategy worked. In the Thomson holidays study, learners learned about 400 words in 12hours but in addition could communicate in sentences. A later study found that 600 words and a more advanced grammar could be learned in about 24 hours.


We carried out a study on someone who learned Italian with Linkword 10 years previously and had not looked at it since. Without any revision he recalled about 30% of vocabulary. He then had 10 minutes to go through the glossary and then got about 70% correct. He was then given an hour to go through the course and got well over 90% correct.


Studies have shown that using imagery without testing what you have learned immediately after learning leads to less good learning than rote learning. In our studies and and courses we always tested learning immediately after a set of words had been learned to avoid this problem. Also, as noted above, just learning vocabuary is not the optimal way to use the method.


This is a complicated question. One study has shown that poor images lead to less retention than rote learning, but that good images result in better retention! For our Linkword courses we tested and tested, dropping out images that did not lead to very high levels of retention. Only when the evidence of a number of studies (see above) showed that our images were working for the vast majority of people, did we go public.

However the quality of images is not the main issue. Linkword courses use optimal testing patterns , critical to long term retention. The vocabulary is integrated with grammar and both are tested with sentences using just presented material. It is this combination of Memory enhances that makes Linkword courses much more than using the keyword method.

Another factor making Linkword courses unique is that the author of Linkword Dr Michael Gruneberg, has published a large number of studies in refereed journals showing the effectiveness of his Linkword courses. We know of no other language course where performance levels have been published to show that any claims we make are based on evidence. Not only have the studies shown how fast is learning with Linkword, but how much more enjoyable learning is as well and how much it boosts confidence.

About the author of Linkword, Dr Michael Gruneberg

Dr Michael GrunebergDr Gruneberg’s background is as a university academic psychologist with an interest in memory and memory improvement. He has published a large number of research papers and books on Memory and Memory improvement and two popular books on memory improvement with his colleague, Professor Doulas Herrmann of Indiana State University.

He is a former President of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, an international learned society. He has been involved in a number of broadcasts for the BBC, including writing the original script for the BBC QED programme, THE MAGIC of MEMORY and was the scientific consultant for the BBC series on Unforgettable Memory.

For a list of relevant publications on Linkword by Dr Gruneberg, please visit:


* Krug et al. (2002) A test of foreign language acquisition. Applied Cognitive Psychology .16, 211-221

I am dyslexic. A few years ago, I found ‘Linkword’, I started to learn Spanish and it is absolutely fabulous. My husband does it with me and we both love it. It has to be one of the easiest ways of learning a language in the world. I run the British Dyslexia Centre and have told many parents about this way of teaching languages”

Maria Chivers, British Dyslexia Centre.

I have just discovered Linkword and I am Dyslexic. After a few hours of using the system I found it was very helpful. The Visual layout and color use is most effective for me.”

Lee Slaughter from LATG website

As a dyslexic person I was astonished at how quick, easy, effective and enjoyable the Linkword system is. The website says that, with Linkword, people can learn up to 3 times more quickly than with conventional methods. I would say that with my dyslexic condition I have actually learned even more quickly than that”

Andrew Glynn, Brixton

I have had difficulty reading and spelling all my life as I suffer from dyslexia. I live in mid Portugal. I decided to give it a try. To my amazement it was working for me. I am totally hooked”

Peter G from the iOS Portuguese European customer rating

I cannot recommend this approach to teaching and learning highly enough. If you find absorbing and retaining new information challenging …this course is for you. If you need learning to be fun and stimulating.. this course is for you. This is the best form of language teaching I have experienced… ever ..and I have been working within the education system for over 40 years. I personally have been diagnosed as having moderate dyslexia and found learning a foreign language extremely difficult. Linkword language has transformed my ability to understand , recall and confidently use the French I have studied . As I have said at the outset of this review a Win Win experience.

Trustpilot Review: 05 December 2022

I like it. It’s something good for people who suffer from ADHD and dyslexia. It sticks for longer.

Trustpilot Review:: 16 November 2022

Excellent course. I am a visual learner and have found the link word methodology really helpful. I can’t believe I’m actually enjoying learning Italian! I searched for a course that suited dyslexic learners and this one is very good. Support from Michael at Linkword Languages is very prompt and helpful. Highly recommend.

Trustpilot Review: 07 September 2022

The mnemonic videos are an excellent way to teach a foreign language to any student, but particularly those who are dyslexic. The visual component and the mnemonic are a powerful combination to help with memorization. It is also an enjoyable way to learn vocabulary and grammar. I’ve taught more traditional methods, and I believe this is the best.

Trustpilot Review: 25 January 2022

Linkword is an awesome way to learn a language. I’m dislecsic and struggled at school.ideal for ladies and gentlemen of all ages.i would use another system. I decovered it back in the 80s when paul daniels did a show on it on tv.since then I have been hooked.most gentleman are pridomitley visual,so ideal for all gentleman. Also ideal for business ladies and gentlemen. I’m an ex flight attendant. I used the linkword system to learn Japanese, its one of the hardest languages to learn.i passed all my training with top Mark’s.i worked for a top japanese company and traveled the the moment I’m going to learn Arabic and French. Its easy to learn a language with this systern languages are so simple to masters this can learn so fast as well.try the demo please and buy the apps or cds.when you can look into somebody’s eyes of a different nationality, and the person understands you you feel so happy you feel like crying. Thankyou Michael. Michael designed linkword and is a charming gentleman. Buy his systems from all the flags around the globe.thankyou very much indeed.Lisa Roberts from Coventry. United kingdom five *’s

Trustpilot Review: 10 October 2020

Having tried a number of language learning courses I always found it almost impossible to retain the information. Then I stumbled upon Linkword Languages and found its word association methods an absolute deal breaker for my limited retention abilities. I used it for massively improving my French a few years ago and I am now back as a customer again in expanding me Greek.

Trustpilot Review: 13 January 2021

I have mild dyslexia and learning a language in class was difficult. The linkword method as an alternative works very well for me’.

Trustpilot Review: 23 April 2021

I have dyslexica and this is a super easy way for me to learn different languages while on the move. Although I would like to see more languages added to linkword in the future like Swedish, Norwegian or Danish.

Trustpilot Review: 28 November 2021