A study involving 124 teenagers has found that those who were most accurate at tapping along with a metronome also showed the most consistent brain responses to a synthesized speech sound "da". The finding is consistent with previous research showing links between reading ability and beat-keeping ability, and between reading ability and the consistency of the brain's response to sound. The finding also provides more support for the benefits of music training for both language skills and auditory processing.
I’d suggest that it might be particularly important for second language learning, raising the intriguing question: if you have problems learning another language, could you improve your abilities by working on your sense of rhythm?
You can find out more about the work of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at http://www.brainvolts.northwestern.edu.
(2013). The Ability to Move to a Beat Is Linked to the Consistency of Neural Responses to Sound.
The Journal of Neuroscience. 33(38), 14981 - 14988.