Teach English in Huangjueping Jiedao - Chongqing

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Songs In The ClassroomMusic can be an incredibly powerful tool when used for teaching. Even in the earliest stages of learning written English, when a native english speaker is learning how to read and write, they usually begin with music--namely, the ?ABC song? (A-b c-d e-f-g, h-I j-k l-m-n-o-p, etc.). The foundations are taught using music, and it should not end there. Learning short songs in order to memorize more difficult concepts is common in many fields of study, including math and science (for memorizing certain theorems, laws, etc.) Having the material set to a melody and rhythm allows it to stick in a learner?s mind much more easily, requiring them (ideally) to be able to recall what was learned simply by humming the song if they are unable to remember it on its own. This can be applied to learning English in a variety of different ways. First, as mentioned before, songs can be taught to students in order to memorize different rules, grammatical structures, or vocabulary. If a teacher is creative enough and musically inclined, they can try to write their own songs to accomplish this. If not, then they can search online to find songs for this purpose. These can be either completely original songs, or songs with melodies that will be familiar to the students but with the lyrics rewritten for the sake of the material. All of these are good, however completely original songs will be more difficult for students to learn, while ones with familiar melodies will be easier to pick up. These songs can be used to memorize tricky or irregular grammar structures, vocabulary, rules, or any other number of aspects of learning the English language. Songs can come into play during any of the various phases of a lesson. During the Engage phase, a song can be played to get the students interested and paying attention. Music is naturally more appealing and ?engaging? to the human ear than regular speech, especially for students that are particularly fond of or interested in music. Following this, the song can be used during the Study phase to go over new grammar structures or vocabulary that was present in the song. Although many songs use language and patterns that are not entirely compatible with conversational speech, there are an endless number of songs that the teacher can find that will be useful for this. Many other activities are possible as well. For higher level students, the teacher could have groups of students choose songs in their native language, then have each group go through and do their best to translate the songs into English. Allowing the students to choose their own songs--ones that they definitely have an attachment and interest in--makes it easier to get the students motivated and interested in the material as well. Another possible activity is to have the class as a whole learn an English song and sing it together (covering the meaning, grammar, vocabulary, etc. while learning it). One of my japanese language teachers in high school did this activity with us, and it has stuck with my friends and I to this day. Sometimes when we are together now, we still sing it. It was both fun and educational, and very memorable as well. For all of these reasons, I believe that music can be a very powerful tool in the classroom. Although it is probably overlooked by many teachers, I intend to use it whenever possible. From the Engage phase, through any Study and Activate phases, it can be a fun and useful way to study the English language.