The Magic of Popular Songs: A Case Study of Music Mediated Early Language Development



This article reports on an ethnographic study of the acquisition of language skills of a Chinese young girl. Using the notion of playful learning and mediation theory as theoretical framework, this inquiry explores how the experiences of Chinese popular songs in the domain of home contribute to children’s language learning. Through an examination of the music participation of the Chinese young girl, this study reveals what language skills are fostered, and in what ways these language skills are developed. The language skills developed through music participation are reflected in print-based language tasks. It is suggested by the study that popular songs be integrated into family language education as one of the myriad ways that household supports children’s early language development.


Popular songs; Mediation; Playful learning; Early language development


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