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Working Papers in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education (WPLCLE)



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dialectal features, listening comprehension, music, second language, Spanish


First and Second Language Acquisition | Other Music | Spanish Linguistics


This paper reports the findings of a study that examined native English‐speaking learners’ comprehension of Spanish language music containing Caribbean dialectal features. Twenty‐one learners enrolled in 300‐ and 400‐level Spanish content courses at a large, Midwestern public university in the US participated in this study. Each participant completed the following five tasks: (1) listening task, (2) listening task difficulty questionnaire, (3) vocabulary familiarity task, (4) Spanish language proficiency test, and (5) background questionnaire. The listening task contained short clips of Spanish language music, several of which contained dialectal features present in Caribbean speech and music. The results revealed that comprehension accuracy was very low on the listening task, and listening task items containing dialectal features were more difficult to comprehend for learners. Additionally, listening task scores were significantly correlated with knowledge of vocabulary items present in the music lyrics.


This article was published in Working Papers in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education (WPLCLE), 5, 37-58, 2017. It is included here with the permission of the editor. Copyright © 2017 Working Papers in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education (WPLCLE), and the respective authors. This volume can also be found online at this link.