Decai Xia
Decai Xia
© Decai Xia

Dissertation project:

Singing training and its influence on foreign language pronunciation: A longitudinal study


  • CV

    (Academic) Work experience
    2018 -2022 English teacher and IELTS teacher
    2011 - 2015 Freelance Translator
    Akademischer Werdegang
    04/2022 Admission to Graduate School Empirical and Applied Linguistics, University of Münster
    2016 - 2017 MA in Multilingualism, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
    2007 - 2011 BA in English, Northeast Forestry University, China
  • Dissertationsprojekt

    Singing training and its influence on foreign language pronunciation: A longitudinal study

    In foreign language acquisition, to achieve an accurate pronunciation has remained a great challenge for a large number of language learners. Among various individual differences that could affect the final attainment of pronunciation, music ability has been extensively verified to be a positive influencing factor. Cross-sectional studies comparing musicians and non-musicians have shown positive transfer effects from musical training to language processing, and music ability is also proved to be a predictor of accurate pronunciation in foreign language pronunciation (Besson et al., 2011; Christiner and Reiterer, 2013; Milovanov et al, 2007, Gilleece, 2006; Slevc and Miyake, 2006). Enhanced speech processing skills caused by music training are also found in longitudinal studies. In addition, neuroscientific studies also reveal that verbal information and music may be processed partially in the same brain regions (Koelsch et al., 2009; Williamson, Baddeley & Hitch, 2010; Schulze and Koelsch, 2012). However, longitudinal studies which investigate how singing training interacts with the pronunciation of foreign languages are scarce.

    Therefore, this longitudinal study is conducted to find out if singing training can influence the phonetic production of English including the production of consonants and vowels and the realization of prosodic features at words and sentence levels. To this end, native Chinese-speaking students aged 13 to 15 will be tested on spoken language skills and music perception and singing skills. After pre-test, the experimental group will join a singing training class once a week and the control group will receive regular classes. After six months, they will all be tested again to compare the differences between two groups. If singing training can be proved to positively influence foreign language pronunciation, it is possible to develop useful tools that benefit both foreign language learners and teachers.