Sense of Belonging and Language Acquisition: a Pilot RCT Examining Effects of Group Musicking in Adult Migrants Learning Norwegian
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This master’s thesis uses a parallel Pilot-RCT design to explore a possible connection between group musicking, sense of belonging and second language acquisition in adults learning Norwegian in a Norwegian University. Based on a rationale of earlier research and several theories from developmental psychology, music therapy, pedagogy, linguistics and more, the concepts of musicking, sense of belonging and second language acquisition are directly and indirectly linked. Participants (n=24), who had to be older than 18 and in the Norwegian course of the University of Bergen, were randomly assigned by stratified randomisation to either a group (n=13) receiving group musicking in addition to standard language classes, or the control group (n=11) which received nothing outside of their standard language classes. No blinding was done. The primary outcome of the study, Sense of Belonging, was measured at baseline and after 9 weeks of weekly group musicking sessions. An ANCOVA showed a mean difference between groups of -2.84 (95% Confidence Interval: -14.40 — 8.71), with a p-value of 0.604, favouring the control group. The results are not significant, but further research needs to be conducted. There is a high risk of a type two error, considering positive narrative feedback. A large proportion of participants dropped out. This pilot study provides a good basis for a full-size RCT.