A Music-Mediated Language Learning Experience: Students' Awareness of Their Socio-Emotional Skills.

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In a society where mobility, globalization and contact with people from other cultures have become its distinctive traits, the enhancement of plurilingualism and intercultural understanding should be of the utmost concern. From a positive psychology perspective, agency is the human capacity to affect other people positively or negatively through one's actions. This agentic vision can be related to mediation, a concept rooted in socio-cultural learning theory, where social interaction is considered a fundamental cornerstone in the development of cognition. These social interactions in the language learning setting may be facilitated through musical activities due to their social bonding effect. This paper tries to offer insights into how a music-mediated experience in language learning may develop students' interpersonal and collaborative competences to become active members of a more inclusive society. Mediation, considered to be a paradigm shift in the foreign language classroom and for different out-of-class language learning possibilities, could also provide an environment where learners maximize their emotional intelligence. Our paper focuses on this paradigm shift spearheaded by the Common European Framework for Languages Companion Volume (CEFR/CV) and the considerable repercussions it is bound to have for foreign language didactics, as cooperative tasks become central to foreign language learning. We hypothesize that mediated language learning experiences (MeLLEs) imply a socio-emotional change in learners, focusing on the others, on their needs and interests, by trying to help them understand texts, concepts or facilitating communication with their peers. An intervention with a music-MeLLE was designed and implemented in an L2 classroom of adult learners with divergent backgrounds. A self-assessment scale with mediation descriptors and the socio-emotional expertise scale (SEE) were administered. Results show that students become more mindful of their strengths, and of their capacity for collaboration and teamwork. This leads to more awareness of their mediation skills. Students' mediation skills correlate significantly with their socio-emotional skills - specifically with their expressivity. The implementation of a music-mediated experience also promoted tolerance and enhanced learners' intrinsic motivations for language learning at the same time as acknowledging their diversity.
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expressivity, foreign language learning, mediation, music, socio-emotional skills, teamwork