Title page for ETD etd-04102008-134208

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author White, Kelli
Author's Email Address kbooth3@lsu.edu, kelliwhite2006@yahoo.com
URN etd-04102008-134208
Title Listen, Sing and Learn: The Effects of Musical Activities on Phonemic Awareness in the Foreign Language Classroom
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Foreign Languages & Literatures
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
King, Jeremy W. Committee Chair
Hegarty, Michael Committee Member
Orozco, Rafael Committee Member
  • phonemic awareness
  • phonology
  • foreign language
  • music
Date of Defense 2008-04-02
Availability unrestricted
Traditionally, there has been a lack of emphasis placed on proper second language (L2) pronunciation in recent theoretical perspectives on foreign language pedagogy. Pronunciation is important because it is indicative of a learnerís level of phonemic awareness, an important component of second language acquisition. Inaccurate pronunciation (and therefore poor phonemic awareness) is often the result of a lack of training in this area due to the focus on grammar and syntax in many language classrooms. One often-neglected method of training students in L2 pronunciation discussed in some theoretical literature is the use of authentic materials in the form of musical recordings. This thesis reports on the results of a lengthy longitudinal study in which the researcher measures the effects of musical training in the foreign language classroom on the acquisition of a series of phonemes in Spanish. Pretest and posttest scores for all participants in both the control and experimental groups were judged by native speakers of Spanish and assessed on a 5-point scale. The range of increase for the experimental groupís scores ranged from 5% to 53%, with 33.4% as the mean percent of increase. The results of this study indeed suggest that musical training is an effective manner of increasing learnersí pronunciation accuracy through developing phonemic awareness in the L2 classroom.
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