Teach English in Taizi Zhen - Huangshi Shi

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The importance of learning through song. Songs have always been part of the learning experience. Evidence of the importance of learning through song is that most of us can still recite the nursery rhymes and sing the songs from our childhood days, yet we have difficulty remembering where we last saw our mobile phones!The songs are indelibly stored in our minds and remembered with nostalgia. Studies have shown that children who love music and sing regulary , become more creative,confident and learn to speak earlier. The use of songs in a pre-school classroom can help to teach behaviour,basic social and communication skills, skills necessary for everday life. According to John Asher ,the developer of Total Physical Response, the benefits of songs when acted out with physical movements, stimulate the kinaesthetic learning centers of the brain, combining left and right cerebral hemisphere activity ,aiding learning and helping the learners internalize more efficiently the language. These benefits include listening skills, learning of vocabulary, and creativity. Social skills and self confidence are enhanced. In an ESL classroom of young learners, singing can be used to help children to learn vocabulary , numbers,colours and action verbs depending on the level of language in hand. Singing gets the whole class speaking in English, reduces teacher talk time and is fun. Small children love repetition and the repeated singing of a song about colours, parts of the body or the alphabet is an excellent way of teaching them these concepts. Older young learners ,those of a more self conscious age and who would not thank you for making them sing in public can also be motivated by the use of songs.Young teenagers regardless of their origen can probably relate to modern western pop songs and will have learnt some of the words of their favourite songs without trying. A good teaching idea would be for them to choose a song of their taste and print out the lyrics.These lyrics can be used for teaching reading, speaking ,listening and even creative writing if we suggest that they make up their own additional lyrics to the song. Songs can also be used to work on pronunciation, intonation and rhythm. Songs provide an ESL classroom with an infinitive ,easily obtainable source of authentic materials that can be used and adapted to suit all ages and levels , they contain coloquial expressions, contempory language and idioms.They are ideal for older young learners , with a higher level to practice listening skills of different accents and styles of speech.Careful selection of songs is essential to ensure that the language contained is suitable for the age group in hand, some modern pop songs contain explicit language not suitable for a classroom and cultural issues must be taken into account to prevent potencial problems. Teachers with any doubts about the suitability of the material should check with the directors of the languge institution where the classes take place. All ESL teachers should consider the use of songs in their lesson plans, they add variety and diversity to lessons, and timing is easily controlled.Internet is a great source of songs and music videos, these can be downloaded for repeated use if necessary. The use of songs in classrooms is a great tool for teaching in general all over the world and for all ages, songs are especially useful for the teaching of language, be it a mother toungue or a second language. Love of music is natural to children, and if we take proper advantage of this fact, by teaching using songs we can help build a love of language and a solid foundation for learning.