The influence of "happy" and "sad" background music on complexity, accuracy, and fluency of second-language speaking

  • The role of music in second-language (L2) learning has long been the object of various empirical and theoretical inquiries. However, research on whether the effect of background music (BM) on language-related task performance is facilitative or inhibitory has produced inconsistent findings. Hence, we investigated the effect of happy and sad BM on complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) of L2 speaking among intermediate learners of English. A between-groups design was used, in which 60 participants were randomly assigned to three groups with two experimental groups performing an oral L2 English retelling task while listening to either happy or sad BM, and a control group performing the task with no background music. The results demonstrated the happy BM group’s significant outperformance in fluency over the control group. In accuracy, the happy BM group also outdid the controls (error-free clauses, correct verb forms). Moreover, the sad BM group performed better in accuracy than the controls but in only one of its measures (correct verb forms). Furthermore, no significant difference between the groups in syntactic complexity was observed. The study, in line with the current literature on BM effects, suggests that it might have specific impacts on L2 oral production, explained by factors such as mood, arousal, neural mechanism, and the target task’s properties.
Author:Shahaboddin Dabaghi Varnosfaderani, Mohammadtaghi Shahnazari, Azizollah Dabaghi
Parent Title (English):Psychology of music
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/08/18
Date of first Publication:2021/08/18
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/03/01
Tag:L2 speech; arousal; mood; task performance; working memory
Issue:online version before inclusion in an issue
Page Number:15
First Page:1
Last Page:15
Early View: Online Version before inclusion in an issue.
Institutes:Neuere Philologien / Neuere Philologien
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 78 Musik / 780 Musik
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell 4.0