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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Benefits of using Songs and Chants in teaching English

There is power in music—power to motivate students and to help their memories when they are learning a new language. For these reasons, I've been using songs and chants eversince I started teaching here in Thailand since 2006. Although I shouldn’t rely on music-based activities exclusively (they provide, at best, rehearsed practice), songs and chants can be helpful additions to many lessons—especially when they are used properly.


The benefits of music and rhyme


Songs (and related forms of music and rhyme, including rhythmic chants) can produce many benefits in your language class.


  •  When chosen wisely and used properly, they can produce greater motivation and involvement of students because they involve them actively and naturally in language practice.
  • When they have fun singing songs in their English class, students can develop improved attitudes toward the class and the target language.
  • The melody, rhythm, active involvement, natural repetition, and enjoyment all work together to produce increased retention of the language in the songs. In other words, songs help improve your students’ memory of the material they are being taught as part of the song.
  • Songs and other forms of music can also be used as vehicles for teaching culture. This cultural awareness can be taught directly (along with the other aspects of the song, such as its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation) or indirectly (simulating native-like experiences in which students pick up the cultural content naturally).  (Source

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