Teach English in GujiAdian Zhen - Yichng Shi

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Music has been a fundamental tool in the passing along knowledge since the dawn of man. Whether it be through song or played instrument, this medium of art is able to subliminally establish and teach the finer points of language. This historically relevant idea gives footing to the hypothesis that music can be used to enhance the learning process for students of all ages in multiple ways. Besides the spreading of actual information, music can also be used as a tool to facilitate the classroom environment in order to make the learning process more efficient. The first and most obvious benefit of using music with lyrics is the improvement of pronunciation. Simply by listening to a native speaker of a language, the natural tendencies and sounds are absorbed by the student. Any proper listening exercise should allow the listener to implant these repeatable sounds as future reference points. Songs are a natural and fun way to implant those reference points without causing unnecessary pressure or stress upon the students. Additionally, the pronunciation in songs is much more realistic than what is usually taught to students learning a foreign language. This linguistic realism will help them to develop an understanding of accents and possible differences that there are. The subconscious records all of these little differences and will make the information stick differently in the mind than regular repetition drills can. Beyond the obvious benefit to pronunciation, most songs with lyrics have regular and proper grammar. By hearing common sentence patterns frequently, it is possible for the student to subconsciously begin to recognize and anticipate what will come next. Once the pattern is audibly recognized, the written counterpart will become much easier to understand and figure out. The next teaching step is to use videos with lyrics on the screen so that the audio information is translated to visual information in front of their eyes. This will affirm the data and not only improve their listening and speaking skills, but also their writing skills as well. Songs can be a fantastic teaching aid because they can be picked, changed, and revised to provide exactly what the teacher desires for the lesson. The music of the lesson can easily be adjusted for age or difficulty. For example, when the students are young there is a whole different collection of topics, vocabulary, and purpose specific to that very specific age. When the students are older there are infinitely other collections of songs that can contain the ideas and vocabulary that is targeted. For example Rush has a song titled “The Trees” which has a thoughtful depiction of the ecosystem in our forests. Not only is it a catchy song, but it also has learning value to it as well. A song can be a great core topic for a lesson plan. The process for creating a great lesson is the same for all difficulties. You can elicit the target grammar or vocabulary beforehand and then through the listening activity the new vocabulary is enforced. Another alternative to using pre-existing lyrics for songs is to use only music from the track and apply new lyrics for the student to sing if the song is popular. Their previous knowledge of the music will make them more comfortable in putting in the lyrics. There is also the more difficult alternative of creating one’s own music and lyrics as well. Aside from the merits of teaching through music, the actual ability to teach effectively is important as well. A teacher’s budget is always a tricky thing. Music can be a very useful learning tool because in our day and age there are many free tools to access data. By using free applications such as Youtube to base a lesson off of, the teacher can save some money and stress. Lyrics are also free to find from many websites and there are many options of lesson plans to make based off of the written words. When the teacher is under less stress the students have a friendlier learning environment. While using music exclusively to teach is not recommended, music can supplement a lesson topic to create a thorough and enjoyable lesson plan. Music can teach many facets of the English language from grammar to syntax to pronunciation when presented in a strategic fashion. The subconscious effect of music on a student is immense and only a positive result can come from using it as a tool in the classroom.