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Theory Behind Using Music to Teach English as a Second Language
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Theory Behind Using Music to Teach English as a Second Language

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A presentation about the theory behind using music in the ESL classroom for the Arkansas State University Delta Symposium, presented April 6, 2011.

A presentation about the theory behind using music in the ESL classroom for the Arkansas State University Delta Symposium, presented April 6, 2011.

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  • 1. Elisabeth Chan The International Center for English Arkansas State University Delta Symposium – April 6, 2011
  • 2.  
  • 3.  
  • 4.  
  • 5.  
  • 6.
    • At what age did you start listening to music as a hobby?
    • As adults an adult, what type of music are you most nostalgic for? Is it music you listened to as a teenager or young adult?
  • 7. (Levitin, 2006)
  • 8.
    • The same amount of vocabulary was acquired from listening to a song as listening to a story.
    • More words were acquired when they were sung rather than spoken.
    • But the greatest amount of vocabulary was acquired when the stories were both sung and illustrated! (Medina,1993)
  • 9. This S ong Is S tuck I n M y H ead!
  • 10. Pop songs have a high verb count and few concrete referents for participants, times, and places.
      • Baby talk by adults and words in pop songs shares many similar aspects (Murphey and Alber, 1985)
    (Murphey, 1998)
      • “ Rhythmical structure allows it to be more memorable” (Sagawa, 1999)
    It is to teenagers, what “baby talk” is to babies.
      • Music is the “Motherese of Adolescence”
  • 11.
    • Verbal thoughts
    • Words used for thinking
    • When children repeat words to themselves
    • Thinking aloud
    • Rehearsing speech or song silently in your mind
  • 12.  
  • 13.
    • Pronunciation is more than pronouncing the sound /b/ correctly for the letter “B”.
    • Stressing the correct syllables and how you say certain words of a sentence faster than others is more important to increase English comprehensibility.
    • Different languages have different stress and timing.
  • 14.
      • I | read a BOOK | in the LI brary | YES terday.
      • Ki/no/u/ to/sho/ka/n/ de/ ho/n/ wo/ yo/mi/ma/shi/ta.
    • In the English example, you take the same amount of time to say “read a book” as “in the library”, although there are more syllables.
    • In the Japanese example, each syllable receives the same amount of time.
    • Using music to teach English can help increase comprehensibility and intelligibility by helping students with their stress-timing!
  • 15.
    • Chan, E. & Beni, K. (2007). Sounds Good to Me: Using Music and Song in L2 Teaching Workshop. Presented at DaTESL hosted at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
    • Levitin, D. (2006). This is your brain on music: The science of a human obsession. New York, NY: Dutton Adult.
    • Medina, S. (1993). The effect of music on second language vocabulary acquisition. FEES News (National Network for Early Language Learning) , 6(3), 1-8.
    • Murphey, T. (1990). The song stuck in my head phenomenon: A melodic din in the LAD? System , 18(1), 53-64.
    • Murphey, T. (1992). The discourse of pop songs. TESOL Quarterly, 26(4), 770-774.
    • Murphey, T. (1992). Music & song . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • Murphey, T. & Alber, J.L. (1985). A pop song register: The motherese of adolescents as affective foreigner talk. TESOL Quarterly, 19(4), 793-795.
    • Sagawa, M. (1999). TESOL: The use of arts in language teaching. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://homepage3. nifty.com/mmsagawa/hooked/tesol_art.html

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