I clicked on a Google advert on our site that offered the chance to 'Learn German in 1 Day'. While the claim is ridiculous, I was curious about the method that lay behind it. It is 'a revolutionary memory technique developed by world-renowned learning expert, Dr. Michael Gruneberg', though Google could only find a few hundred mentions of him. Like all miracle learning methods, it gives us a scientific gloss, here claiming to be 88% more effective in one study.
The basic technique is to use 'mnemonic image' to remember vocabulary items. An example given on the website is the Russian word for a cow- karova - and the suggestion is to imagine a car running over a cow.
While this will certainly help me remember karova, the technique isn't original- it has been around for years, and I'm not sure that it could be extended into an entire teaching system and, like most methods that promise unbelievably fast learning, it concentrates on memorisation of vocabulary items, which can produce quick results in a demonstration, but doesn't necessarily build up to conversational fluency. It's the sort of thing that would work on a one-day course and be effective, but it really shouldn't be claiming that a language can be learned in a day, nor that learning words is the answer to all our language needs.