Learning Chinese through song Music, singing, and dancing aren't just fun, fluffy fillers in a foreign language class. Music is a powerful tool for language learning and retention. (Diane Farag, 2008) How Music Helps Language Learning: Using Songs for Learning French, Spanish, German, and More http://languagestudy.suite101.com/article.cfm/why_use_music_to_learn_language#ixzz0hwy3wq9d
Music Brings Culture Alive
Traditional songs and rhymes offer a wealth of cultural heritage. Just think about the history of a song that goes back generations and generations. There are songs associated with holidays, places, and times gone by.
Listening to Song Lyrics Improves Comprehension Skills
If you've ever tried to figure out the lyrics to a song on the radio, you know that careful listening is required. A popular activity in middle and high school foreign language classes is to listen to a rap or pop song from the target country and fill in blanks to the lyrics. Apple iTunes makes it easier than ever to find and download Latin music, or pop music from France and Germany.
Singing Songs Develop Good Pronunciation
Music lends a natural rhythm to words and phrases, helping language learners to use good pronunciation. Melodies and rhymes guide learners to speak in a native cadence. Every time you play a recording of a traditional or popular song, you are exposing your students to native speakers who model correct pronunciation.
Singing Songs Increases Vocabulary and Speech Patterns
Songs automatically put language into a context. Students will begin to pick up vocabulary and complex expressions they might not otherwise come across. Some songs can be used to teach specific vocabulary, such as singing "Alouette" to learn the parts of the body
Music Aids Memory
Teacher-created rhymes, chants, and songs can help students memorize grammar and vocabulary. It is easy to use a familiar children's tune and change the words. Consider creating songs for verb endings, possessive adjectives, days of the week, months of the year, prepositions, weather expressions, and any other chunks of language that must be memorized.
Classical Music Aids Concentration and Retention
In the book "The Mozart Effect", Don Campbell explains the fascinating research on the positive effects of classical music on the brain. While students are completing written work, play Mozart or Vivaldi quietly in the background. Your classroom will take on a calmer, more focused tone. Some studies even indicate that certain baroque pieces might specifically aid foreign language acquisition.
Music is Fun
Music, singing, and dancing liven up learning. When students are having fun, they are more motivated to learn.
Sing, sing, sing! Motivate your foreign language students with music.