Does Listening to English Songs Motivate Students to Expand Their Extramural English? : A Case Study of Swedish Upper-Secondary School Students’ Perceptions of Possible Impact of Listening to Vocal Music on Their Extramural English
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate whether listening to music as an out-of-school activity, and English songs in particular, motivated a group of Swedish upper-secondary students to learn extramural English. One aspect that comes into focus is whether the students perceived that there were particular aspects of second language acquisition (SLA) that improved as a result of listening to music. The study focuses on the correlation between the needs of the listeners and the nature of their motivation for learning. This is a qualitative study based on the analysis of semi-structured interviews. The results show that all of the students perceived listening to music as an aid in their extramural English acquisition. A majority of the students had the intrinsic motivation for learning as they exhibited curiosity, emotions and internal needs as the primary factors that empowered them to expand their extramural English. The minority of the interviewees showed signs of extrinsic motivation to learn the vocabulary of the lyrics of the songs they listened to. The learning they experienced was linked to the expectancy in improving their academic performances. They may, however, have had a combination of the extrinsic and intrinsic forms of motivation where the former had a dominant position. In both cases the respondents showed awareness of the correlation between their extramural English acquisition and listening to vocal music. It is suggested that vocabulary acquisition was the primary aspect of language learning that benefited from listening to songs, followed by listening skills. The possibility to make their own choice to listen to music is linked to deep language learning, vocabulary learning in context and mastering listening skills.
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