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LINGUIST List 22.3773

Tue Sep 27 2011

Diss: Lang Acq/Psycholing: Ludke: 'Songs and Singing in Foreign ...'

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        1.     Karen Ludke , Songs and Singing in Foreign Language Learning

Message 1: Songs and Singing in Foreign Language Learning
Date: 21-Sep-2011
From: Karen Ludke <karen.ludkeed.ac.uk>
Subject: Songs and Singing in Foreign Language Learning
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Institution: University of Edinburgh
Program: Institute for Music in Human and Social Development
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2010

Author: Karen Ludke

Dissertation Title: Songs and Singing in Foreign Language Learning

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Language Acquisition

Dissertation Director:
Fernanda Ferreira
Katie Overy

Dissertation Abstract:

Educators have claimed that listening to music in a second or foreign
language (L2) can provide fun and motivating educational material and that
singing can enhance the L2 learning process by improving listening and
speaking skills, pronunciation, intonation, and vocabulary. Experiments
have shown that under certain conditions, a sung presentation of linguistic
material can facilitate verbal learning in the native language. To date,
however, there is very little research evidence that singing can increase
L2 skills. This thesis begins to methodically evaluate whether listening to
songs and singing in a new language can facilitate L2 learning, compared to
practising L2 material through more traditional, speech-based instructional
methods. The research studies also explore the extent to which individual
differences (IDs) between learners may mediate any observed benefits of
using songs in L2 instruction.

The first two studies examine under controlled experimental conditions
whether singing can support adults' beginning-level modern language
learning compared to speech over a short time period. Results indicate that
when no significant group diļ¬€erences exist for the ID measures, an
instructional method that incorporates L2 singing can facilitate short-term
learning and memory. Results also showed that IDs between learners, in
particular previous language learning experience, musical abilities, mood,
and motivation, can mediate the benefits of L2 learning through a singing
method. The third study describes a four-week, classroom-based arts
intervention exploring the effects of incorporating songs and dramatic
dialogues into the L2 curriculum, both in terms of learning outcomes and
the adolescents' opinions. In addition to increases in French skills, many
children reported that the dramatic and musical activities had increased
their confidence to speak in French. There was also an overall preference
for listening to songs and more children reported that the songs repeated
in their heads after class. The thesis concludes by discussing practical
implications for L2 instruction and proposes a framework to guide future
research exploring how and why singing can support modern foreign language

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