The use of music and song: an effective approach to ELT | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

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Автор:

Рубрика: Педагогика

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №2 (188) январь 2018 г.

Дата публикации: 16.01.2018

Статья просмотрена: 168 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Кенжебекова А. Г. The use of music and song: an effective approach to ELT // Молодой ученый. — 2018. — №2. — С. 116-118. — URL https://moluch.ru/archive/188/47753/ (дата обращения: 19.11.2019).



Music is a universal language that does not need translation. Even without knowing the words, we feel what the musician sings about, because the songs directly «talk» with our hearts. And everything that can cause deep emotions in us, we are easier to remember, so it is not surprising that many teachers resort to songs in English lessons. Songs have been an amusing companion for human beings for as long as or even longer than we can speak. As an integral part of our language experience, it can be of great value to foreign language teaching. This helps to make the learning process not only fascinating, but also effective. Georgi Lozanov incorporates music into his teaching method—Suggestopedia, for music is instrumental in creating a relaxing and comfortable environment, which can propel language learning (Larsen-Freeman, 1985).

Reasons for using songs in the EFL class

English language teaching (ELT) can be implemented in a relaxed and enjoyable way by using English songs in classes. Music, rhyming and chanting combine two necessary phenomena for learning a language: the system of language and pleasure. This does not apply only to foreign languages but also to the mother tongues. Through listening to songs and singing all four language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing, can be easily taught and learned. Songs are good fillers in case of mixed-ability classes. They are easy to use, multi-functional and great fun. They are a good method for repeating some grammar structures, vocabulary or also pronunciation. Singing in English increases vocabulary, improves the perception of foreign speech at the hearing, helps you to remember new phrases and words, understand the grammar, reduce your accent and to overcome the language barrier.

Lo and Li (1998) offer similar suggestions, writing that songs provide a break from classroom routine, and that learning English through songs develops a non-threatening classroom atmosphere in which the four language skills can be enhanced. The belief that songs provide enjoyment and develop language skills is also noted by several other authors (Adamowski, 1997; Bechtold, 1983; Domoney & Harris, 1993; Griffee, 1992; Guglielmino, 1986; Lems, 1984; Little, 1983; Monreal, 1982).

Two studies, Domoney and Harris (1993) and Little (1983) investigated the prevalence of pop music in the lives of EFL students. Both studies found that music is often the major source of English outside of the classroom. The exposure to authentic English is an important factor in promoting language learning.

How can English songs be used in listening

There are two processes involved in listening, and both can be utilized when songs are used in the classroom. The activity which is selected for a particular song will determine which of these processes is active. Cullen (1999) states that the first is bottom-up processing where the listener builds up the sounds into words, sentences and meaning. The second is top-down processing where the listener uses background knowledge to understand the meaning of a message. A good listening comprehension lays the corner-stone for developing other skills in foreign language learning. But it is also the most difficult among all the language skills for novice to master. While listening to a native speaker, in most cases we find their speech running smoothly just like a river, even not fast, so that EFL learners may fail to catch them. Listening to English songs will prepare EFL learners to the genuine English language they are to be faced with. Teachers can devise special exercises to assist students in improving their listening comprehension. A gap-fill task as follows can be used to help students notice and absorb the phonetic reality in native English speakers’ speech. Take the popular song Rolling in the Deep by Adele as an example.

Rolling in the deep (Adele)

There's a fire ______in my heart

______ a fever pitch and it's bring me out the dark

Finally I can see you______ clear

Go______ and sell me out and I'll lay your ship bare

See how I'll leave, with every piece of you

Don't______ the things that I will do

There's a fire starting in my heart

Reaching a fever pitch and it's bring me out the dark

The______ of your love ______ me of us

They keep me thinking that we almost had it all

The ______ of your love, they ______ me breathless

I can't help______

We could have had it all

______ in the deep

You had my heart inside your hand

And you played it to the beat

The ______ of your love remind you of us

They keep me thinking that we almost had it all

The ______ of your love, they leave me breathless

I can't help______

We could have had it all

Rolling in the deep

You had my heart inside your hand

And you played it to the beat

Could have had it all

Rolling in the deep

You had my heart inside your hand

But you played it with a beating

Throw your ______ through every open door

Count your ______ to find what you look for

Turn my ______ into treasured gold

You pay me back in kind and______ just what you______

(Now I'm gonna wish you never had met me)

We could have had it all

(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

We could have had it all

(Now I'm gonna wish you never had met me)

It all, it all, it all, it all

(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

(Now I'm gonna wish you never had met me)

We could have had it all

(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Rolling in the deep

(Now I'm gonna wish you never had met me)

You had my heart and soul in your hand

(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

And you played it to the beat

(Now I'm gonna wish you never had met me)

Could have had it all

(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Rolling in the deep

(Now I'm gonna wish you never had met me)

You had my heart and soul in your hand

(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

But you played it, you played it, you played it to the beat

(keys: soul, reaching, blessings, feeling, sorrow, crystal, starting, underestimate, rolling scars, ahead, leave, remind, sow)

The lyrics are first presented to students certain parts removed. After enjoying the song, students are asked to fill in the blanks with the words they catch. The words in the blanks are taken off not randomly but with intent. This exercise can be of great help because only when the natural pronunciation and all the phonological rules become internalized in the learners can they gradually catch up with the native speakers’ speech.

In Memorizing vocabulary, structure and grammar

When coming across an impressive song, most learners are eager to take a further step—to understand what the singers are expressing and to sing it by themselves. With such a motivation, learners will feel surprised they can remember all the words that appear in the lyrics, even difficult ones. To teach vocabulary in a melodic context appears easier and more effective. The nature of songs is fairly repetitive and consistent. For example, Lemon Tree a very familiar pop song provides opportunities for students to focus on the study of the present progressive tense in English grammar. “I’m sitting here in a boring room”, “I’m wasting my time”, “I’m hanging around, I’m waiting for you”, “I’m driving around in my car. I’m driving too fast, I’m driving too far”, “I’m turning my head up and down, I’m turning turning turning turning turning around”, “I’m stepping around in a desert of joy” and so forth. After listening to this song, students will easily memorize these simple sentences, tend to use them in their own conversation and even correctly produce their own sentences of the present progressive tense.

Counting Stars by One republic

By the time students have reached an advanced level, “Counting Stars” is a fantastic way to do a general verb review using the same fill-in-the-blank exercise we discussed above. The reason that this song is so perfect for this exercise is that “Counting Stars” features the past progressive (“I’ve been losing sleep”), future (“we’ll be counting stars”), present, (“I see this life”), present progressive (“life swinging”) and that’s all just in the first two stanzas!

If I Were A Boy by Beyonce

Teaching Point: Subjunctive mood. Use this song to introduce a lesson on the subjunctive, asking students what they think this mood implies in English. Once you’ve established the correct use of the subjunctive with your students, allow them to come up with their own “If I were…” scenarios. You can either have them share these statements orally in class or use this in-class preparation for a take-home written production assignment. Whether you might ask students to write a song of their own.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the right song will arouse their empathy, stimulate their inspiration and light their passion to express their experiences and emotions in the same way. Songs are comprehensible, enjoyable, authentic and full of language we need in real life. If used properly by the teacher, English songs are excellent material whereby students will cultivate interests and high motivation in the target language. Definitely, we do not listen to the songs every lesson but this kind of work makes the lesson more vivid, increases motivation and brings us closer. Let our students shine bright like a diamond sung by Rihanna.

References:

  1. Adamowski, E. (1997). The ESL songbook. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.
  2. Bechtold, J. (1983). Musical ESL. TESL Talk, 14, 180–184.
  3. Cullen, B. (November 1999). Song Dictation. The Internet TESL Journal.
  4. http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Cullen-SongDictation.html
  5. Domoney, L. & Harris, S. (1993). Justified and ancient: Pop music in EFL classrooms. ELT Journal, 47, 234–241.
  6. Gugliemino, L. M. (1986). The affective edge: Using songs and music in ESL instruction. Adult Literacy and Basic Education, 10, 19–26.
  7. Griffee, D.T. (1992). Songs in action. Herfordshire, England: Phoenix ELT.
  8. Larsen-Freeman, D. (1985). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching. England: Oxford University Press.
  9. Lems, K. (1996, March). Music across the ESL curriculum. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the TESOL, San Francisco, CA.
  10. Little, J. (1983). Pop and rock music in the ESL classroom. TESL Talk, 14, 40–44.
  11. Lo, R. & Li, H.C. (1998). Songs enhance learner involvement. English Teaching Forum, 36, 8–11, 21.
  12. Monreal, M. E. (1982). How I use songs. English Teaching Forum, 20, 44–45.
  13. http://www.lyricstraining.com
  14. http://www.youtube.com
Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): EFL, ESL, ELT, TESL, TESOL.


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