This article discusses the role of songs in vocabulary retention among English-speaking students of Arabic. It is based on a study conducted at an American university among students of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) at the intermediate level. Two groups of students—an experimental group and a control group—participated in the study. The experimental group learned songs in their sung form, whereas the control group learned the same songs in their spoken form. Data were collected through class observations, questionnaires given before and after the experiment, and vocabulary pre-tests and post-tests. The results of the study show that vocabulary retention was significantly higher among the experimental group and that singing increased the students’ motivation and engagement. Finally, based on previous research on the role of music in implicit language learning, we argue that songs can be a useful tool in addressing the issue of diglossia in teaching Arabic as a foreign language.


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pp. 101-123
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