Try singing to boost your English!

Try singing to boost your English!

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Published in Blog - 16 July 2018

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found a direct link between ‘listen and repeat’ singing and improved language acquisition. The following abstract describes the research study. The participants were asked to learn phrases in Hungarian, but the results could be applied to language learning in general. To put it simply, music activates an area of the brain that encourages learning and memory.

"This study presents the first experimental evidence that singing can facilitate short-term paired-associate phrase learning in an unfamiliar language (Hungarian). Sixty adult participants were randomly assigned to one of three "listen-and-repeat" learning conditions: speaking, rhythmic speaking, or singing. Participants in the singing condition showed superior overall performance on a collection of Hungarian language tests after a 15-min learning period, as compared with participants in the speaking and rhythmic speaking conditions. This superior performance was statistically significant (p < .05) for the two tests that required participants to recall and produce spoken Hungarian phrases. The differences in performance were not explained by potentially influencing factors such as age, gender, mood, phonological working memory ability, or musical ability and training. These results suggest that a "listen-and-sing" learning method can facilitate verbatim memory for spoken foreign language phrases.

As well as offering insights into the way in which the brain integrates music and language, with opportunities to enhance foreign language learning within and outside of the classroom, the study also opens the door for future scientific research in this area. One question, for example, is whether melody can provide an additional memory cue for speech, which later facilitates recall."

Bottom-line: Our clever brains know how to create a synergy between singing with language learning…try this tip to boost your English!

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