dancing language learners

Dance: The Secret to Language Learning

dancing language learnersSo you stocked up on language learning tools and courses such as Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone and you have a stack of books to study and a fancy new Kindle to read them on but little did you know that your ability to learn could in fact be hampered by your famously terrible performance on the dance floor.

Somewhat strange but apparently true if the latest research is to be believed, but language learning ability is closely linked to our sense of rhythm, according to an article from the Journal of Neuroscience. More specifically, people who perform better on rhythmic tests showed enhanced neural responses to speech sounds. The researchers also suggest that musical ability or training could enhance other learning skills or abilities such as reading which is of course quite important for learning a new language.

“It may be that musical training – with its emphasis on rhythmic skills – can exercise the auditory-system, leading to less neural jitter and stronger sound-to-meaning associations that are so essential for learning to read,” says Neuroscience researcher, Prof Kraus.

So now aspiring linguists must also get funky on the dance floor and learn to shake their booty in time to the rhythm.. if your dance moves scare people nearby into thinking you are having some kind of seizure then it is safe to say you will find it harder to acquire fluency in a foreign language and must immediately seek out your nearest dance school, perhaps also dust off that old vinyl copy of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and make like Travolta.

Alternatively you could perhaps learn to play a musical instrument of some kind, take guitar lessons or buy some of these exceedingly awesome bongo drums or whatever takes your fancy as long as you get into the rhythm.

Now I finally understand why I am so bad at language!

Read more about it on the BBC site here.