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MUSICAL EXPERIENCE IN SINGING AND GRAMMAR ACHIEVEMENT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Iskra Kalcheva, Maria Carmen Fonseca-Mora

Abstract

Growing evidence has demonstrated the relationship between music and language and its influence on different aspects of language learning, such as, auditory perception, pronunciation, reading, writing, verbal memory and grammar. Many studies point to the evidence that learners with musically trained ears have an advantage of a better discrimination, recognition and imitation of foreign speech sounds, as well as an increased verbal memory in foreign language. However, there are very few studies contributing to the relationship and influence of music, and particularly, of singing on grammar achievement. Acknowledging this gap in language acquisition research, the aim of the current study is to test the relationship between musical experience in singing and English language learning, particularly in the aspect of grammar achievement. Fifty adult Spanish learners of English were involved in the study. The English grammar achievement was assessed by an initial grammar pre-test, a validated Cambridge English (B1 level) grammar post-test, and three questionnaires examining the demographic, linguistic and music background in singing of the learners. A close relationship between musical experience in singing and English language learning was established. The current study opens new directions for further studies to additionally determine the influence of musical experience on the grammar achievement in the course of foreign language acquisition.


Keywords

musical experience, singing, grammar achievement, English language learning

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