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From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.
Many adults remember songs from their childhood. Have you ever found yourself remembering all the words of some songs you sang many years ago? There appears to be a scientific reason for this. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied the relationship between music and remembering a foreign language. They found that remembering words in a song was the best way to remember such a language.
Dr. Katie Overy led the study at the university’s Reid School of Music. Her research team took 60 adults and placed them into one of three groups. Then they gave each group three different kinds of “listen-and-repeat” learning conditions. Researchers had one group simply speak words of a foreign language, Hungarian. They asked members of the second group to speak Hungarian words to a rhythm, or beat. And they asked the third group to sing the words. All three groups studied the words for 15 minutes then took a series of language tests to see what they remembered.
The researchers said they chose Hungarian because not many people know the language. Hungarian does not share any roots with Germanic or Romance languages, such as Italian or Spanish. After the testing was completed, the people who learned the Hungarian words by singing them showed higher overall performance. They did the best in four out of five of the tests. They also performed two times better than those who simply learned the words by speaking them. Dr. Overy says singing could lead to new ways to learning a foreign language.