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Influence of Music to Language Learners

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ellenjane19
Words 2565
Pages 11
The Effect of Music on Second Language
Vocabulary Acquisition
This Document Originally Appeared in
Number 3 Spring 1993
Suzanne L. Medina, Ph.D. School of Education Graduate Education
Department California State University, Dominguez Hills 1000 East
Victoria Street Carson, CA 90747 Fax: (310) 514-0396 E-mail: It is currently a common practice to use songs in the classroom to support second language acquisition. The literature abounds with positive statements concerning music as a vehicle for first and second language acquisition. At the same time, empirical support for music as a vehicle for second language acquisition is lacking and there is concern that music may be simply a supplemental activity with little instructional value. In this study, the effect of music on the acquisition of English vocabulary in a group of second grade limited-English proficient children is reported.
Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition
In recent years, second language researchers have concerned themselves with the acquisition of vocabulary and have distinguished between vocabulary that is acquired incidentally and vocabulary that is acquired intentionally. During the preschool years, children rely exclusively on the oral language they listen to in order to acquire their first language. This acquisition of language takes place before children can read and without explicit instruction of any kind. Furthermore, even after children begin to attend school, they continue to acquire vocabulary that has not been learned formally. Of the 3,000 words the average child acquires each year, only a portion is learned as a result of the instruction received in school.
Thus, the remainder of these words must be learned incidentally from a variety of sources (Nagy & Herman, 1987).

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