Universität Wien FIND

160151 PS Current trends in language teaching and learning (2021W)

Music, Aesthetics and Language Learning: is it all sound?

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 40 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Covid note: ideally we would start the semester in person (Präsenz), and be perpared to switch over to online, should this be necessary again.

Wednesday 06.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum 8 Sensengasse 3a 5.OG
Wednesday 13.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum 8 Sensengasse 3a 5.OG
Wednesday 20.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum 8 Sensengasse 3a 5.OG
Wednesday 27.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Seminarraum 8 Sensengasse 3a 5.OG
Wednesday 10.11. 12:30 - 15:30 Seminarraum 8 Sensengasse 3a 5.OG
Wednesday 24.11. 12:30 - 15:30 Seminarraum 8 Sensengasse 3a 5.OG
Wednesday 01.12. 12:30 - 14:45 Seminarraum 8 Sensengasse 3a 5.OG
Wednesday 15.12. 12:30 - 14:45 Seminarraum 8 Sensengasse 3a 5.OG
Wednesday 12.01. 12:30 - 15:30 Seminarraum 8 Sensengasse 3a 5.OG
Wednesday 19.01. 12:30 - 15:30 Seminarraum 8 Sensengasse 3a 5.OG


Aims, contents and method of the course

Recently there is an increasing interest into the overlap between music and language learning, not only as a motivation boost, but also more generically as regards the underlying phylogenetic (evo) and ontogenetic (neuro) commonalities of both domains/systems. Even more recently, and much less researched, is the connection between the field of aesthetics and language learning. Here, the field of phonaesthetics might act as a link between music or the psychoacoustics field of "sound" and (foreign/second) language learning (which is also largely based on properties of sound learning). Therefore this proseminar wants to tap into these connections and discuss recent trends in this research and enable students to perform own research in this area.

The course participants will, ideally in small groups for the literature research and independently or in focus pairs (should interests be very similar), use a mixed methods approach (qualitative + quantitative methods (statistics) via online questionnaires and interviews, field research whenever possible).
The course is suited for students interested into research of the acoustic/sound properties of language teaching and learning, music, plurilingualism/polyglottism or psychology of language learning. The course is highly explorative, because this is an under-investigated, potentially new research field. It should render the course participants sensitive towards new methodological paradigms and try exploring new methods or the ones already acquired in the course of their previous studies.

Assessment and permitted materials

Written paper and 2 oral presentations (single and as part of group).
(40% talks, 40% paper, 20% discussion participation)
The course should be highly interactive and practical (performing experiments and statistics) with students elaborating their own group projects (presentation of a preferred topic chosen from this field (i.e. the topic of the seminar). This will be chosen during the first 14 days of course after brain storming period in the first session, thus fixed in the second/third session. Additionally students can bring in own material and ideas presented in a first series of “brainstorm” mini presentations as result of the literature search (alone or in focus groups). Students should discuss their findings and thoughts in class and produce a presentation of their own findings and research results (second presentation in class) and write a final paper about the chosen research topic.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Active participation in classes (maximum missing time allowed equals 180 minutes in total), online field research, presentation of field research in class (or in online meetings), application of explorative qualitative and/or quantitative methods, round table discussions, active contribution of own ideas, final proseminar individual paper (app. 20-25 pages, 6.000 words).

Examination topics

Reading list

some examples as background inspiration literature here (more provided in the classes):


The Palgrave handbook of applied linguistics research methodology
Plonsky, Luke [HerausgeberIn] ; De Costa, Peter I. [HerausgeberIn] ; Phakiti, Aek [HerausgeberIn] ; Starfield, Sue, 1952- [HerausgeberIn] London : Palgrave Macmillan ; [Ann Arbor] : ProQuest Ebook Central ; 2018. https://ubdata.univie.ac.at/AC15281274

Fonseca-Mora, Marie-Carmen and Gant, Mark (2016). Melodies, Rhythm and Cognition in Foreign Language Learning. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publisher. (online via UB)


Turker, S. and Reiterer, S.M. (2021) Brain, musicality, and language aptitude: A complex interplay. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 2021, 41, pp. 95–107.

Christiner, M. and Reiterer, S.M. (2015). A Mozart is not a Pavarotti: Singers outperform instrumentalists on foreign accent imitation
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9(AUGUST), 482.

Kogan and Reiterer. (2021). Eros, Beauty, and Phon-Aesthetic Judgements of Language Sound. We Like It Flat and Fast, but Not Melodious. Comparing Phonetic and Acoustic Features of 16 European Languages. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2021.578594

Reiterer, Kogan, Seither-Preisler and Pesek (2020). Foreign language learning motivation: Phonetic chill or Latin lover effect? Does sound structure or social stereotyping drive FLL? Chapter in: The Psychology of Learning and Motivation (Elsevier). Volume 72, 2020, Pages 165-205. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.plm.2020.02.003

Aniruddh Patel and Joseph Daniele (2003). An empirical comparison of rhythm in language and music. Cognition. Volume 87, Issue 1, February 2003, Pages B35-B45. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0010-0277(02)00187-7

Association in the course directory

PhD Programm CoBeNe

Last modified: Fr 01.10.2021 11:30