Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Kelly Arispe


Music and movement have the potential to trigger memories and connections that affect mood and behavior. According to research in Second Language Acquisition (Del Campo 1997), meaningful communications is composed of three important elements: gestures, verbal language and intonation. Gestures and movement account for nearly 70% of communication, whereas the remaining 30% of meaningful communication lies in intonation and verbal language. Earworms, or Involuntary Musical Imagery (INMI), have played an important role in marketing by using music that gets “stuck” in the brain. Factors such as note duration, pitch intervals and exposure to an environment or movement associated with the onset of INMI may explain the brain’s ability to easily recall and reproduce songs or dances. The use of INMI can be useful when coupled with teaching methods such as Total Physical Response (TPR), which require full body interaction in language education and are effective in memory recall by using gesturing, our most dominant form of communication. Though music and movement have been independently proven effective in Second Language Acquisition, studies have not yet combined and analyzed the effectiveness of both of these forms of communication. Incorporating gestures and music may help second language learners grasp complicated lexical concepts such as prepositions, which can be difficult to understand because they describe both abstract and concrete relationships between animate and inanimate objects. The spatial prepositions used in this study that describe physical location, however, may be easier for language learners to visualize. It is hypothesized, for example, that using TPR to introduce prepositions might enhance cognition. In this study, students in an experimental group will mirror a teacher-led dance that includes instrumental music, vocabulary of prepositions and chanting to chase an imaginary mouse. Students will then be assessed for comprehension immediately following the lesson as well as one week later to determine the effects on memory recall. A control group will receive a lecture-based lesson with the same assessment administered at the same intervals as the experimental group. The data will be analyzed to determine the effects of the combined TPR and INMI methods on the language learner’s ability to understand, retain and reproduce the new vocabulary. Students will also receive an opinion survey following the study that will assess their experience and the effectiveness of the methods used.