Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cohen, James A.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department



More and more students in the classroom are English learners (ELs) (U.S. Department of Education, 2017). Despite the historically strong evidence that music is beneficial to the language acquisition process for ELs, there is very little music education occurring (Engh, 2013; Salcedo, 2010). The more teachers know about the benefits of implementing music in the classroom, it is hopeful that they will be more likely to include music in their curricula. The purpose of this literature review is to explore the positive impact of music on language acquisition and communicate the role that music can play in lowering the affective filter and developing intercultural competence. The researcher identifies key findings, such as how music introduces and reinforces language pronunciation and grammar, and more nuanced aspects of language acquisition (Ajibade & Ndububa, 2008; Brandt, Gebrian, & Slevc, 2012; Culp, 2017; Degé & Schwarzer, 2011; Gordon, Magne, & Large, 2011; Li & Brand, 2009; Murphey, 1989; Zhang, 2011). One limit is the lack of empirical data from a clinical study. Overall, music can have a positive impact on language acquisition as well as related aspects and child development.


26 pages




Northern Illinois University

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