Friday September 21st 2012, 1:00pm
There is increasing interest in the correlations between musical skills and language skills (Slevc & Miyake, 2006; Fonseca-Mora, Toscano-Fuentes & Wermke, 2011) and the potential of musical stimuli to support language learning and memory (Schön, Boyer, Moreno, Besson, Peretz & Kolinsky, 2008). In this talk, I will present the results of several experimental and classroom-based studies that explored whether listening to songs and singing can support foreign language learning.
Experiment 1 investigated whether a 20-phrase, paired-associate (L1-L2) ‘listen-and-repeat’ singing method would result in better overall performance on a range of language tests, compared to learning through a speaking method or a rhythmic speaking method. Results with adult learners showed the highest scores in the listen-and-repeat singing group, which was significant at the p < .05 level for spoken production of phrases in the new language (Ludke, Ferreira & Overy, submitted). Experiment 2 investigated whether listening to the sung phrases was sufficient, or whether a listen-and-repeat learning method is required for the benefit of the melodic stimuli. In this study, pre-existing group differences on several measures of individual differences had a large effect on the results.
I will also present the results of two arts intervention studies that explored the effects of incorporating music and singing (vs. the control condition: drama/visual art) into the beginning-level French language curriculum for secondary school students over a period of several weeks. I will conclude by presenting the outcomes of the Comenius project European Music Portfolio: A Creative Way into Languages (EMP-L) which aims to support the teaching and learning of primary music and languages through a flexible, integrated approach (EMP, 2012).
Dr. Karen M. Ludke
from the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (IMHSD),
Reid School of Music, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
Sibylle Mohr