Browsing by Subject "FOREIGN-LANGUAGE"

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  • Tamminen, Henna; Kujala, Teija; Näätänen, Risto; Peltola, Maija S. (2021)
    Cognitive decline is evident in the elderly and it affects speech perception and foreign language learning. A listen-and-repeat training with a challenging speech sound contrast was earlier found to be effective in young monolingual adults and even in advanced L2 university students at the attentive and pre-attentive levels. This study investigates foreign language speech perception in the elderly with the same protocol used with the young adults. Training effects were measured with attentive behavioural measures (N = 9) and with electroencephalography measuring the pre-attentive mismatch negativity (MMN) response (N = 10). Training was effective in identification, but not in discrimination and there were no changes in the MMN. The most attention demanding perceptual functions which benefit from experience-based linguistic knowledge were facilitated through training, whereas pre-attentive processing was unaffected. The elderly would probably benefit from different training types compared to younger adults.
  • Linnavalli, Tanja; Putkinen, Vesa; Lipsanen, Jari; Huotilainen, Minna; Tervaniemi, Mari (2018)
    Several studies have suggested that intensive musical training enhances children’s linguistic skills. Such training, however, is not available to all children. We studied in a community setting whether a low-cost, weekly music playschool provided to 5–6-year-old children in kindergartens could already affect their linguistic abilities. Children (N = 66) were tested four times over two school-years with Phoneme processing and Vocabulary subtests, along with tests for Perceptual reasoning skills and Inhibitory control. We compared the development of music playschool children to their peers either attending to similarly organized dance lessons or not attending to either activity. Music playschool significantly improved the development of children’s phoneme processing and vocabulary skills. No such improvements on children’s scores for non-verbal reasoning and inhibition were obtained. Our data suggest that even playful group music activities – if attended to for several years – have a positive effect on pre-schoolers’ linguistic skills. Therefore we promote the concept of implementing regular music playschool lessons given by professional teachers in early childhood education.