Songs in the classroom Songs in the classroom inspires the
Songs in the classroom inspires the students as well as bring a sense of community and fun into the classroom. Music plays a role in focusing attention and providing a motivating environment for learning. Music and singing is an ageless activity for all generations, cultures and learning levels. Songs are useful in the beginner levels, intermediate levels and the advance levels of learning English as a second language. Language teachers can and should use songs as part of their classroom teaching repertoire. Songs contain authentic language, are easily obtainable, provide vocabulary, grammar and cultural aspects and are fun for the students. Research supports the use of music as a mnemonic device for the learning and recall of new information. Music is a strong resource which helps create positive feelings about English. Song- based lessons, projects, and activities are tools that will enable educators to create opportunities for all students to experience success in the classroom. Concurrently, student self-image and self- esteem will increase as they begin to view themselves as competent and capable learners. All students can learn and grow, but first you must get their attention.
Howard Gardner´s research on Multiple Intelligences supports this idea. He describes how people demonstrate different skills and talents while trying to learn. Therefore, classrooms must provide different approaches to meet an individual student´s areas of strength in order to be the most successful.
Song activities at the young learners' level are always positive events. The students sing along, imitating the body actions and dance steps instigated by the teacher. They experience the songs as "doing activities," just as young children all over the world do naturally in their own culture and language with no explanations necessary. Singing can build students' confidence by allowing them to enjoy a degree of fluency in English before they have achieved it in speaking. Also, songs can be incorporated to all language skills, listening, reading, writing and speaking, through repetition and consistency. For example, learning the ABC's through song or the days of the week to the 'Adam's family' theme, incorporating snapping. Or the months of the year to the Macarena dance moves. Reading and spelling can be introduced to early learners as well through song. The class can learn to clap or tap out the syllables on their tables or legs when building phonological awareness and practicing new vocabulary. As the level of English advances and the classroom ability is able to move on to more advance language and material, song lyrics are an excellent teaching tool that will engage, excite and motivate young people through writing and reading. The teacher can give the students lyrics to read and when the class is able to read the lyrics fluently the students are given the chance to sing it to the class. The teacher can also give the students rhymes to recite and memorize that are linked to important spelling generalizations, such as, 'I before E except after C.'
The use of songs in the classrooms is a great way to get young learners involved and enthusiastic about learning and having fun. But the use of songs in the classroom gets a little more difficult for the advance levels of teaching English. The students are usually older and know all the children's songs that help with certain vocabulary and pronunciation. But the use of song can be extended in a more resourceful way in planning lessons for advanced students. The creativity of analyzing and interpreting song lyrics helps students to develop essential research, writing, critical thinking, and media literacy skills in English. For example, a song is given to a class of advance students through writing or a recording. The students listen and read the lyrics, meanwhile utilizing their comprehension skills to discuss the lyrics and their meanings. Then they can take it a step further and write their own lyrics. The teacher can use any culturally rich lyrics for the class to analyze, listen and create their own words to. Integrating songs creates individualism, culture and creativity into an advance lesson plan.
We as humans learn and retain information better when we find it interesting and meaningful. Songs can make connections between emotions, thinking and learning. I believe musical support to be a valuable resource that teachers can depend on to help teach language and share culture at the same time. They contain authentic language, are easily obtainable, provide vocabulary, grammar and cultural aspects and are fun for the students. They provide enjoyable speaking, listening, vocabulary and language practice both in and out of the classroom. Music spreads through virtually every aspect of our lives. Students respect it. It contains numerous useful elements for language teaching and its fun for both the teacher and students. So, why not include music and songs in our language learning classes as well' Songs are a timeless expression of the human experience.
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