When life gets you down, turn up the volume!
Music is a universal language. No matter what, it makes people feel- happy, nostalgic, relaxed, powerful, whatever, but it makes you feel! The beat makes your body move and the words make your heart pound. And if you notice, it brings people together and connects them in an inexplicable way.
When it comes to language learning, music can be a very helpful tool. Think of how easy it is to remember songs! Ever had a song you loved in a language different than your own? Were you able to sing along? I remember when I started to learn English I'd listen to Michael Bolton songs on a cassette player (yes, I'm a 90s kid) and read the lyrics off the insert #TimeLoveAndTenderness! Shut up- it's a great song! Anyway, I had no idea what I was saying but I could sing the entire album. This helped me a lot with pronunciation, reading, and comprehension. I was able to sound out the words just like the singer did. I was also able to see the words I was singing and this allowed me to learn them and then make connections to identify patterns in reading words that were spelled similarly. I would look up words I didn't know, like "tenderness", and learned new words this way. This is much easier to do now- thank you Google Translate! My favorite song to learn was the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Probably the first song I ever tried to rap.
As a Spanish and English (ESL) teacher, I have seen over the years how music can help in language learning. People go nuts when they get to sing- it's like sugar, instant happiness. I think it's because it doesn't feel like "work". Using music to teach grammar works like a charm too. I've seen teenagers nodding their heads to the beat of songs I taught them to help them remember things during exams. They always tell me how much they love music because it's fun and they actually learn a lot; great for auditory learners! We've even gone "Christmas caroling" from our classroom to the school's office a few times with about 30 kids jamming out to a Spanish questions song to the tune of "Jingle Bells". Those kids rocked their Qs test!
But not only has the music method worked for me, there is research on this stuff that proves it actually does work as a language learning practice! One particular study showed that incorporating music into language learning significantly helped students. The study researched "whether the incorporation of a music program in the second-language classroom, with methodology based on similarities that exist between the structures of music and language, reinforced both the learning of music and the learning of a second language". The results showed that the students who used music did much better in all music tests and in the oral, grammar, and reading comprehension exams than the students who did not.
So, there you go! #Science! Rock out & learn a new language while you're at it. Music@ is the answer :)
By: Janny B.D.- teacher, entrepreneur, creator, motivator, and believer.
Thoughts? Share below (preferably in song lyrics). LIKE it? LIKE & SHARE on FB too!