Concise Analysis of Integration of Music and Reading Research Proposal

Pages: 12 (4086 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 41  ·  Level: Doctoral  ·  Topic: Music

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] This can then lead to improvements in fluency, and literacy. Although the researchers searched for evidence from randomized controlled trials to see if musical training had a positive impact on the reading ability of students with dyslexia, they could not find any evidence suggesting the possibility. The article brings to attention a gap in research showing there is a dearth of enough information to infer definitively about any direct connections between musical training and literacy improvement in children with learning disabilities.

Not many studies focus on the benefits of musical training on reading. One study endeavored to examine benefits musical training has on language skills through discussion of five subskills that underlie reading acquisition. They are: "phonological awareness, speech-in-noise perception, rhythm perception, auditory working memory, and the ability to learn sound patterns- and show that each is linked to music experience" (Tierney & Kraus, 2013, p. 209). The researcher searched longitudinal studies to see if musical training can improve those areas and thus improve reading. Their findings suggest musical training can offer effective educational strategies for all children as regards language development and reading. This also includes helping those with language learning impairments improve their skills providing support for the previous non-conclusive article on musical training and dyslexia.

Speech and Reading

Speech is part of music, just as sound is. Reading often incorporates the use of speech by reading aloud or listening to others read aloud. One article examined (through quantitative co- relational research) how linguistic technology-based integrative teaching strategies worked towards improve reading competence in college-aged students (Madkour, 2016). The different phases tested six skills, some of which were identifying central ideas, comparing and contrasting, and cause and effect relationships. Students that used the linguistic-integrative model showed significant improvements throughout testing than those that did not. The study strongly supports the use of models that include sounds, speech, and technology into their reading practices.

Continuing with the theme stated above, while one study came up inconclusive with musical training and improvement of skills in students with dyslexia, another study provided marked improvement in phonological development. Phonological development is associated with speech and language development. In the study, musical training helped students with dyslexia improve their sound rise time. By showing their progress or regression over time, the researchers identified musical beat structure as a major longitudinal predictor of "development in reading, accounting for over half of the variance in reading comprehension along with a linguistic measure of phonological awareness" (Goswami, Huss, Mead, Fosker, &Verney, 2013, p. 1363). This provides direct evidence that musical training can help improve reading comprehension.

Speech can be an important common factor of music and reading integration. A 2011 study experimented with speech and music within interrupted reading. They found that background speech and music have a positive effect on reading; specifically background speech, by slowing down reading rates and promoting long-term working memory (Cauchard, Cane, &Weger, 2011). This is because students had to re-read the words and pay more attention to what they read. Studies like these help offer an understanding of the mechanisms involved in the act of reading and why such methods improve reading comprehension.

This literature review covered musical training and its impact on reading comprehension. It did so by exploring speech, music, and the mechanisms behind their ability to improve reading comprehension in children. The information gained from the literature review will help set up the framework for the hypotheses in the next section.

Hypothesis

The hypothesis centers on whether music and reading integration can improve reading comprehension in children before attending school. The literature review pointed to music and reading integration improving reading comprehension for children before entering school, for children in school, and for children with learning disabilities like dyslexia. However, the hypothesis then took a small detour to focus on specific aspects of music that may enable potential reading comprehension improvement when integrated with reading. The experiment in this paper will try to explore new avenues based on the knowledge inferred from work on specific aspects of music that leads to learning improvement.

Specifically, can music and reading integration lead to increase phonological awareness/development that will then lead to improved reading comprehension? A 2016 study examining the left hemisphere of young readers, saw a link between phonological awareness and temporal processing (Ugolini et al., 2016). "Phonological awareness, the ability to manipulate the sounds of language, is key for learning to read. The first step towards phonological competence is identification of syllables and rimes" (Ugolini et al., 2016, p. 17). For young reader to see improvement in their reading, music integrative methods should focus on cultivating phonological awareness.

Children with higher levels of phonological awareness may be able to improve their listening comprehension (a topic briefly covered in the literature review) as well as their reading comprehension. As Ugoloini et al. (2016), mentioned in their study, rise times or amplitude rise times (ART) influence a child's degree of phonological awareness. Experiments performed should target rise times and other aspects of phonological awareness to better understand its potentially positive impact on reading comprehension. As another article stated, the need to understand the impact is imperative as many have come to realize phonological awareness as an essential precondition for early literacy development (Kempert et al., 2016).

In the present school curricula and suggested teaching methodology, there is a significant stress on outcome-based teaching. Such stipulations require a continual improvement in standardized test-scores achievements by students, that also rates the teaching acumen and expertise level of the teachers (Bryant, 2012). This important mandatory requirement is taken into account while creating the theoretical base of the present work.

Thus, the Hypothesis of this work is: "Preschool children who get integrated music and reading as compared to those children who do not get integrated music and reading will have increased phonological awareness and better reading comprehension in terms of the Phonological Awareness test scores.

Method

The research design is experimental, in which an experiment is performed via a procedure, program, or treatment with an observed outcome/result. A true experiment has four elements. These elements are random assignment, random selection, control, and manipulation. For scientifically-based experiments, manipulation and control are the most important elements. "Manipulation means that something is purposefully changed by the researcher in the environment. Control is used to prevent outside factors from influencing the study outcome" (Munigal, 2017, p. 57). Through manipulation and control, the outcomes seem more accurate and reliable due to the minimization of bias and error.

The experiment consists of participation from children aged 5-7. The sample has two groups -- one section as the control group and another section subjected to the proposed music integration. Both the groups comprise of children of the same age group and academic year. One group is the control group that has no access to music and reading integration, instead traditional reading instruction, and curriculum. The other group has music and reading integration. The information collection takes place in two periods. The first before school starts and the second three months after teaching has commenced. This is so potential reading comprehension improvement can be seen in two ways, outside of formal reading instruction and from within it.

They will have access to various tools and programs that incorporate music and reading. They will be monitored for a period of 6 weeks. Their progress will be marked one day before school commences and three months after school commences. One group will receive integrative curriculum while the other will receive non-integrative, traditional curriculum.

The methodologies behind experimental studies are to explore, compare, explain, demonstrate, and validate theories. Types of experimental designs consist of true experiments, repeated measures, quasi-experimental designs, and time series designs. An example of a true experiment, educational technology application will be deployed, where students would be randomly assigned feedback treatments. An example of repeated measures involves the use of three presentation formats assigned randomly to a set number of subjects. An example of a quasi-experimental design is one that has a control group and measures effects over time like the present experimental study involving music and reading integration. A time series experiment example can be seen in the Alper Thoresen, and Wright Study; the researchers focused on the effects of videotapes on increasing the positive attention of a teacher to suitable student comportment (Jonassen& Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 2004).

The quasi-experiment is the appropriate method for this empirical study because it is often used to evaluate the causal impact of an interposition on its participants without the need for random assignment (DeLuse& Braver, 2015. Because this is an educational-themed study, the call for randomization is not necessary. Participants are students of two different sections of the same age group and same academic year. Although random assignment lends to higher internal validity, researchers in education use this methodology more frequently than other methods.

The pre-test and two post-tests for the study involved use of surveys with closed-ended questions. The aptitude, motivation, and engagement will… [END OF PREVIEW]

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