How music can be used as a tool to help teach English

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How music can be used as a tool to help teach English

Previously in this blog, we have spoken about using art to help teach English and in this blog post were a going to discuss a similar topic. This week we are looking at incorporating music into the world of learning.

Music is a great tool to help with learning English because it is more memorable and can make learning seem more interesting, especially for young children. It has been shown that if you listen to information as part of a song you can comprehend the text better. So if students sing about the material they are trying to learn then they are connecting the information more engagingly.

Therefore in this post, we are going to discuss different ways to incorporate music into teaching English.

  1. Sing English songs or Nursery rhymes.

Nursery rhymes are better for younger children because they are very repetitive and simple. There are endless English songs that are great for learning new vocab but here are some to name a few.

 

´Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes’ (X2) , ´and eyes and ears and mouth and nose, head shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes´

This is great for getting children to learn the body parts because as you say each part of the body you touch that area too. To make it harder you speed up the song and see if the children can keep up.

‘Put your left leg in, your left leg out, in out in out shake it all about’

To continue with parts of the body you can use this song as well. Both are great to get them moving and since they are singing the words while moving they are likely to remember the body part.

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´Old MacDonald had a farm Ee I ee I o, and on that farm, he had some cows, ee I ee I o. With moo-moo here and a moo-more there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo-moo, Old MacDonald has a farm Ee I ee I o.´

This song can be used for teaching the vocabulary for animals and the sound they make. You can change the animal each time for hours of fun.

They are all very catchy songs and all the full lyrics can be easily found online.

 

  1. Listening to English song in the Background

Music is good for your mind and listening to English songs regularly will be very advantageous. This is often better for older students who have a decent level of understanding. So why is listening to English pop song useful?

  1. There is a considerable amount of scientific evidence that shows how music can help second language learners acquire grammar and vocabulary.
  2. Listening to music is an enjoyable experience and when the child listening to a song on repeat they are more likely to remember the language. This increases the confidence levels and reduces their anxiety of speaking a different language.
  3. Students are exposed to authentic samples of the second language meaning they will hear more colloquial speech and everyday language.
  4. The sound and pronunciation of the English language becomes more familiar.
  5. Music also teaches you about English culture. Often songs give you an insight into how people feel and think.

 

There are a lot of English songs out there so it is important to pick the correct ones but a good place to start is by finding out what type of music and songs the students like and then you know they are more likely to enjoy them. If you are still unsure of what songs to start with then you can listen to some of the songs by ‘The Beetles.’ These songs are great because they have simple catchy lyrics, they are often about relatable themes such as love and pronunciation is clear.

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You can either get students to actively listen to English music and maybe discuss the lyrics if they are at a high enough level or this can be just used as background music. That way they get used to listening to a large variety of English words and eventually they could include this language in their conversations.

Music is a luxury we have as humans and we want to make the most of it. Due to technology, new music is constantly at our disposal and we need to make the most of that opportunity. So if you are a babysitter, teacher or parent trying to teach English then consider incorporating music into your next session.

I hope this blog post has inspired you to get a bit more creative and consider how music can be used to teach English. If you found this interesting head over to our other blog post.

 

 

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