Songs in the Classroom:A Useful ToolKathiuska Murcia Cortes FUNLAM 2012
Songs are part of daily life… Who doesn’t enjoy music at home, while travelling or studying, or even at work?Language teachers can use songs to openor close their lessons, to illustrate themesand topics, to add variety or a change ofpace, present new vocabulary or recycleknown language. But how do songs actuallybenefit your students?
A useful toolThere is strong practical evidence supporting the useof music in the English language classroom; there isalso a growing body of research confirming that songsare a useful tool in language acquisition. In factmusical and language processing occur in the samearea of the brain. (Medina, 1993)
Studies have shown that music...• Improves concentration• Improves memory• Brings a sense of community to a group• Motivates learning• Relaxes people who areoverwhelmed or stressed• Makes learning fun• Helps people absorb material
What positive contributions to language learning can songs make? Socio – emotional growth Physical development Cognitive training Cultural literacy Language Learning
Types of songs There are many types of songs which can be used in the classroom, ranging from nursery rhymes to contemporary pop music. There is also a lot of music written specifically for English language teaching ‘Real’ music that students hear and play every day can be extremely motivating in the classroom, too. WATCH OUT ! the lyrics may not always be suitable
Why are songs so suitable? Pop songs help learning a second language:• Contain common, short words • Lyrics are often sung at• Language is a slower rate than conversational spoken words.• Time and place are • There is repetition of usually imprecise words and grammar • Motivate learners to learn Murphy (1992)
REFERENCES AND CIBERGRAPHY Lems, Kirsten, Using Music in the Adult ESL Classroom, ERIC Digest,2001.• Medina, Suzanne L, The Effect of Music on Second LanguageVocabulary Acquisition, ‘National Network for Early LanguageLearning’, Vol 6-3, 1993.• Murphy, T (1992), The discourse op pop songs, TESOL Quarterly26”(4), 770-774.• http:// www.englishclub.com/teaching-tips/music-classroom.htm• http://www.eslbase.com/articles/songs• http://www.eslbase.com/articles/pop-songs