Learning music helps with language learning

Music helps with Language Learning | French Spanish Chinese | Lingo Jingo

Learning music helps with language learning

New research shows music really helps in the classroom

This has been debated many times, but researchers are now saying practicing music could have an effect on how well a student learns a language or other studies.

I was speaking to a group of Language Tutors who taught Spanish, French & Mandarin. All of them also played or taught music and they actually encourage their younger students to engage in music.

In the Journal of Neuroscience, the authors argue that rhythm is an integral part of language.

"We know that moving to a steady beat is a fundamental skill not only for music performance but one that has been linked to language skills," said Nina Kraus, of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University in Illinois.

More than 100 teenagers were asked to tap their fingers along to a beat. Their accuracy was measured by how closely their responses matched the timing of a metronome.

Next, in order to understand the biological basis of rhythmic ability, the team also measured the brainwaves of their participants with electrodes, a technique called electroencephalography. This was to observe the electrical activity in the brain in response to sound.

Those with musical training had enhanced brain responses to speech sounds

Using this biological approach, the researchers found that those who had better musical training also had enhanced neural responses to speech sounds. In poorer readers this response was diminished.

Time to get out those drums.

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Douglas Chrystall

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