燕山大学 刘立军 编写
This is Scientific American - 60-Second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.
Musicians are said to have better language skills. And scientific studies have backed that up. But it's not clear why that might be the case.
Now a study of 74 Chinese kindergartners suggests six months of piano lessons can heighten the brain's response to changes in pitch. And kids who got piano lessons were also better at telling apart two similar-sounding Mandarin words, which contained different consonants, than were students who got extra reading training, or who went through regular kindergarten.
The results are in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Mandarin is a tonal language - the famous example is the word 'ma' which can mean mother or horse depending on its pitch. So might musical training translate better to Mandarin, than, say, English?
"Yeah it's possible that influenced the results." Robert Desimone, a neuroscientist at the McGovern Institute at MIT. But he says other studies do back up the fact that music lessons benefit language learners, even in countries without tonal languages. "And what our study added on top of that was some idea of the neural basis for those benefits."
And if you don't own a piano, don't despair. The reading group actually did just as good on many measures as the piano group. "Reading's pretty good actually. We don't mean to downplay reading instruction."
More important, he says, was to show piano wasn't actually worse than reading for these skills... perhaps encouraging cash-strapped schools to keep their music programs alive.
Thanks for listening for Scientific American - 60-Second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.
Adapted from http://www.kekenet.com/broadcast/201901/574227.shtml
1. back up: to support sb./sth.; to say that what sb. says, etc. is true 支持；证实（某人所言）。例如：
l I'll back you up if they don't believe you. 如果他们不相信你，我会为你作证。
l The writer doesn't back up his opinions with examples. 作者不用实例印证他的看法。
2. pitch n. how high or low a sound is, especially a musical note （尤指乐音的）音高。例如：A basic sense of rhythm and pitch is essential in a music teacher. 基本的韵律感和音高感是音乐教师的必备素质。
3. consonants n. (phonetics 语音) a speech sound made by completely or partly stopping the flow of air being breathed out through the mouth 辅音
4. tonal adj. (technical 术语) relating to tones of sound or colour 音调的；声调的；色调的
5. say exclamation used for attracting sb.'s attention or for making a suggestion or comment （提请别人注意、提出建议或作出评论）喂，我说。例如：Say, how about going to a movie tonight?
6. neural adj. (technical 术语) connected with a nerve or the nervous system 神经的；神经系统的
7. despair v. despair (of sth./sb.) | despair (of doing sth.) to stop having any hope that a situation will change or improve 绝望；失去希望；丧失信心。例如：
l Don't despair! We'll think of a way out of this. 别灰心！我们会找到出路的。
l They'd almost despaired of ever having children. 他们对生孩子几乎不抱任何希望了。
l I despair of him; he can't keep a job for more than six months. 我对他都绝望了，他做任何工作都超不过六个月。
8. downplay v. to make people think that sth. is less important than it really is 对…轻描淡写；使轻视；贬低。 play down 例如：The coach is downplaying the team's poor performance. 教练对这个队的拙劣表现不以为然。
9. cash-strapped adj. without enough money 资金短缺的。例如：cash-strapped governments/shoppers缺资金的政府；缺钱的购物者
Listen to the news and choose the best answer to each question you hear.
What’s the nationality of the 74 kindergartners in the study?
Which of the following statements is FALSE?
Musicians are said to have better language skills.
Kids who got piano lessons were better at telling apart two similar-sounding Mandarin words.
Music lessons benefit language learners, except in countries without tonal languages.
The reading group actually did just as good on many measures as the piano group.
B。细节题。命题出处：Now a study of 74 Chinese kindergartners suggests six months of piano lessons can heighten the brain's response to changes in pitch.
C。推断题。命题出处："Yeah it's possible that influenced the results." Robert Desimone, a neuroscientist at the McGovern Institute at MIT. But he says other studies do back up the fact that music lessons benefit language learners, even in countries without tonal languages. Music lessons benefit language learners, except in countries without tonal languages. 中，将原句子中的even改成了except，将except引导的内容排除在外。