Teach English in Jiuhua Zhen - Nantong Shi

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Children’s songs contain rhymes and repetitive language. These elements aid in the fluency of the language. Through the use of song in the classroom, students sharpen their listening comprehension skills. The songs and rhymes teach pronunciation, vocabulary and naturally introduce language structure to the student. The lyrics of these catchy songs contain the message that compliments the curriculum and subject matter being taught. Song and music is a positive way to introduce new subjects and aid in the easy recall of language and lessons. Music was used as a teaching tool on a TV program, Sesame Street, in 1969. Fifty years have passed and the show and its past episodes are continuing to teach young learners their alphabet, counting numbers and social issues affecting children. The success of the show is testimony to its educational format and the curriculum it uses. 1 The songs written and performed on the show fulfilled specific purposes and supported its curriculum. “with the lunacy of puppets and the buoyancy of advertising jingles, it proved that kids are very receptive to a grammar lesson wrapped in a song.” Culturally relevant pedagogy in the classroom seems to have been born and cultivated on Sesame Street through song, (Caribbean, Soul, Latin, Opera, etc.) and social interaction. Young learners of English as a Foreign Language will benefit greatly having relevant songs introduce grammar and subject matter to them. Learning the song will build confidence in the student and open conversation among the children. Vocabulary growth will become noticeable and recall of subject matter will result in pride among the students. With the availability of technical devices in the classroom, creating a song list and storing a playlist of jingles will make it very convenient and natural to incorporate appropriate songs without a gap in the lesson. Using songs at specific times during a class will also aid in classroom management as well. Playing a specific song during transition signals to the students to clean up and move onto the next subject. The words of that jingle can reinforce the subject matter the students have just finished learning about or a subject they are about to begin. As the students sing the song and say the words of the song they build their vocabulary bank and unwittingly participate in a smooth transition in their classrooms. Unlike games, textbooks and worksheets, songs can be taken anywhere and sung just about anytime. If the song is catchy it can be remembered easily. The student can teach it to others around them. Sharing the song and its lyrics gives the student a great way to include their family, extending the lesson and vocabulary into their home-life. In bedding the English language into the students home helps the student converse in English outside of school cementing the lessons and creating confidence and pride to the student. Practice and accuracy leads to immediate and positive reinforcement giving the student confidence. Memory and recall is easier when the subject matter is sung. The authentic language provides grammar and cultural aspects in a fun way to the young learner in a non threatening manner. 1 Reyzik, Melena. “How ‘Sesame Street’ Started a Musical Revolution.” New York Times, 22 Aug. 2019.