Musical Expertise and Second Language Learning


  • Chobert Julie J
  • Besson Mireille R


  • Musical expertise
  • Speech perception
  • Speech production
  • Phonetic contrasts
  • Musicians
  • Non-musicians
  • Second language acquisition

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Increasing evidence suggests that musical expertise influences brain organization and brain functions. Moreover, results at the behavioral and neurophysiological levels reveal that musical expertise positively influences several aspects of speech processing, from auditory perception to speech production. In this review, we focus on the main results of the literature that led to the idea that musical expertise may benefit second language acquisition. We discuss several interpretations that may account for the influence of musical expertise on speech processing in native and foreign languages, and we propose new directions for future research.

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