Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Six English and Foreign Language Learner Benefits of Listening to Music

Using Music in English or Foreign Language Learning
How can you effectively use music in your English or foreign language learning class room? Why, we can hardly count the ways. Listening to certain types of music has quite a number of additional benefits which go far beyond teaching and learning. The impact of music and songs in ELT is, in fact, profound. But let’s have a brief overview of some other of listening to music’s many benefits.

Photo: Jazz Tooter Stephen Bradbury belts one out

Benefits of Listening to Music:

Learning Time is Reduced
By lowering the “barriers” or Affective Filter to learning, students of all types can acquire information and skills in a much shorter period of time. By having a more relaxed, attentive and receptive state, most students can learn more in a shorter period of time. This can be equally true for English and foreign language teachers as well as the learners.

Learner Test Scores Improve
Test-taking anxiety is one of the major causes of poor exam results among many different types of foreign language and other learners. Several different types of music are proven to be effective in reducing varieties of stress and test-taking anxiety, therefore resulting in improved test scores. More relaxed, stress-reduced learners (and teachers too) typically perform better.

Has a Calming Effect on Hyperactivity
Not only is music an emotional-state modifier, it aids in calming hyper-activity in both children and adults. Classical, Baroque period and easy-listening music are a frequently-used tool in centers for hyper-active, learning-disabled and autistic children worldwide. Suggestions of musical works to try out were offered in the article post, “Using Classical Music in the EFL Classroom”.

Improves Creativity
In previous article posts we discussed the effect of music on altering the brain-wave state of the brain. This has a direct impact on creativity and imagination. Try this: Close your eyes while listening to a piece of Mozart, Chopin or Beethoven. Notice how images immediately start to flow through your mind. Input a problem or specific theme and your right, left and subconscious will all work together to give you not one, but several solutions to a problem or scenario.

Injuries Heal More Quickly
Is music used in hospitals in your area? In many health centers, clinics and hospital wards, including maternity wards, delivery rooms and intensive-care units, music is used to aid in controlling and maintaining a relaxed, positive state of mentality among patients. The medical staff benefits from the music too.

Integrates the Right and Left Brain Hemispheres
The “The Theory of Dual Psychology” states that the brain uses each of its two hemispheres for different types of functions. Located in the right brain hemisphere are creativity, imagination, color, music and intuition. While located in the left brain hemisphere are spoken and written language, logical thinking and reasoning, numbers and some physical skills. The two brain hemispheres are connected by a structure called the Corpus Callosum. Music has the effect of helping to integrate the two brain hemispheres for improved thinking and learning ability.

In the upcoming companion article post entitled, “How Listening to Music Influences English Language Teaching Learning and Everyday Life” we’ll continue to overview benefits of listening to music for teaching, learning and in our everyday life. See you again then.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, prolific writer, expert author and public speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 120 countries. Get your FREE E-book,"If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article! I completely agree. May I add one more benefit: Listening to music can greatly improve learner's sense of rhyme and intonation.