Teaching with Music: A Comparison of Conventional Listening Exercises with Pop Song Gap-fill Exercises

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Kim Kanel, Kinki University

Popular songs in the L2 classroom not only increase interest and motivation,
but also serve to meet a number of pedagogical needs. However, for songbased
tasks to gain wider acceptance, it must be shown that they are as effective
as conventional tasks. This paper reports a study comparing the progress in
listening comprehension for two groups: one given listening practice with
conventional (nonmusical) materials (n = 358), and the other given listening
practice with popular song gap-fill exercises (n "" 334). Results on pre- and
post-test scores using the Japan Association of College English Teachers QACET)
Basic Listening Comprehension Test indicate that both groups improved equally
and made significant progress. On post-treatment questionnaires, the song
group expressed both higher approval for the time spent on the tasks and
increased interest in English.