Songs for young learners

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Songs for young learners. Using songs in the EFL classroom. Your trainer. Teacher, trainer, writer IATEFL’s YL SIG committee Young learner materials - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Songs for young learners

  • Songs for young learnersUsing songs in the EFL classroom

  • Using songs with young learners

  • Your trainerTeacher, trainer, writerIATEFLs YL SIG committeeYoung learner materialsReal English & Early Start; Onestopenglish; Next Stop; Macmillan English Campus; Grammar for Young Learners (OUP 2009); Take Shape (Macmillan Mexico 2010); Supasongs (FracasEnglish)Materials for teenagers, young adults and adultsLink-up (Klett); Tourism and Hospitality English (Garnet), New Outlook (Noordhoff)

  • Why?Incidental learningIntentional learning

  • Processing

  • Types of songsChantsRhymesChoral.........

  • Why are songs so suitable?

  • Do all learners like songs?Gardner: Its not how intelligent you are, but how you are intelligent. In activities we develop with songs we can listen and sing (aural/musical style)dance and act (physical learning style)read, draw and do puzzles (spatial intelligence) tell stories, and write (verbal learning styles).

  • Move to the music: working with tunes we know

    Frre JacquesHi, hello, hi, hello,Goodbye, goodbyeHello, hello, hello.Hello, hello, helloGoodbye, goodbye!

    Eyes and ears, eyes and earsMouth and nose, mouth and noseHead and hair, head and hairLook who's there! Look who's there!It's me!

  • Move to the music: working with tunes we know


    Mary's here today, Mary's here today.Let's all clap our hands,And say Hip, hip hurray!

    Tune: "The Farmer In The Dell"

  • Move to the music: working with the tunes we know

  • Move to the music: working with movement and dance

    If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show itIf you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)


  • Move to the language: working with wordsThe songThe worksheetOne big family is a song from

  • Why music? Why songs?

    Social & emotional growthPhysical developmentCognitive trainingLanguage learningCultural literacy

  • How to use songsSensitizingcreate interestGesturingmiming, actingExpressinggiving opinionsHypothesizingguessing meaningVerifyingchecking meaningSystemizingListening, singingFollowing upgames, role-play, writing

  • Move to the song: working your ownThe songThe worksheetWhos got a dog? is a song from

  • When?Open a lesson warming-upClose a lesson reward or consolidationIllustrate words reinforce soundUnderbuild a grammar point or practice functional chunks - internalisationAdd variety auditory stimulus, TPRChange of pace slow down or speed up

  • What can you do with songs?Focus itHighlight itStop itLip-sync it

  • Focus itWhat do you think the song is going to be about?

  • Highlight ithear oceanskywhisper heartlucky love waiting goodbyekiss

    home friendsailing island music flower prettyhold somedaypromise

    Form1 Circle verbs in red.Highlight nouns in green.

    Meaning2 What do you think the story will be about? Tell the story.

    Vocabulary3 Match the pictures to the words.

  • Stop it!Say stop when you hear these words.


  • Lip-sync it

  • What can you do with songs?Strip itQuestion itGap itWrite it

  • Strip itAnd so I'm sailing through the sea

    To an island where we'll meet

    You'll hear the music fill the air

    I'll put a flower in your hair

    Though the breezes through trees

    You hold me right here, right now.

    As the world keeps spinning 'round

    Move so pretty, you're all I see

  • Question itTrue or false?The boy and the girl are in a relationship.The girl is in love with another boy.

    Answer the questionsWhere is the island they sing about?Are the boy and the girl always together?

  • Gap it

    Every nth wordDo you hear me? _____ talking to youAcross _____ water across the deep _____ ocean.Under the open sky, oh _____, baby I'm tryingSpecific word typesBoy I _____you in my dreamsI _____your whisper across the seaI _____you with me in my heartYou _____ it easier when life gets hard

  • Write itDear friend

    I heard your story and I just wanted to say Im happy for you. Dont give up! Being in love is wonderful!

    Best wishes


  • Write itThe next morning he woke up. She wasnt there. He couldnt find here. Where was she? What was going on?

    He got up and looked everywhere ...

  • What can you do with songs?Change itDraw it

  • Change itBoy I hear you in my dreamsI feel your whisper across the seaI keep you with me in my heartYou make it easier when life gets hardI'm lucky I'm in love with my best friendLucky to have been where I have beenLucky to be coming home again

    I cant hear you in my dreams.I cant see you anywhere.I keep looking in my heartIts not so easy, you know its very hard.

    I want to be in love, but where are you?I want to see you now and be with youI want to be at home with you.

  • Draw it

  • ConclusionsWe live in a world surrounded by music, its part of every learners life. Make sure its also part of their English life: include songs in your lessons as regularly as possible there are so many good reasons for doing so!

  • ConclusionsIts a social act and lets learners involve their emotionsMovement stimulates and enhances memoryIt develops spatial intelligenceIt allows for repetition and develops automaticity (chunking)It develops phonemic awarenessIt reinforces stress, intonation, rhythm and pronunciationIt allows you to teach and learn new words and grammar in a fun way

  • Hope you dont feel like this now...

  • But like this ...

  • GoodbyeNow its time to say Goodbye Goodbye!Weve had fun and so have you!Goodbye!With a goodbye here, and a goodbye there.Here a bye, there a bye,Everywhere a bye bye!Now its time to say goodbye Goodbye!

  • Goodbye again It is time to say good-bye to all my friends. It is time to say good-bye to all my friends. It is time to say good-bye, Give a smile and wink your eye. (Wink) It is time to say good-bye to all my friends. Good-bye, friends. (Wave) Yee haw! (Put fist in air)

    (to the tune of "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain")


    The exercise of singing is delightful to Nature, and good to preserve the health of man. It doth strengthen all parts of the breast, and doth open the pipes." William Byrd (1588)

  • Want to listen to good EFL music?

    *******Why are we able to follow a complex conversation while even apes can only understand individual words? German researchers from the Max Planck Institute have used the fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) technique to discover that our brains are hard-wired for grammar. They found that simple language structures are processed by an area of our brain that we share with apes. On the contrary, complex language structures are processed by a younger part or our brains that apes dont have.First, what are the differences between simple and complex language structures?The human ability to apply complex linguistic rules has been held responsible for the fact that, in contrast to other species, we can produce and understand long sentences. When analysing language rules (syntax), one discovers two fundamentally different grammatical patterns.A simple rule governs the establishment of typical (probable) connections between words, like between article and noun ("a song") in contrast to article and verb ("a pleases"). The probability for a noun to follow an article is very high, while the probability of a following verb is very low.However, in order to understand longer sentences, a complex structural model is required - what is called a "hierarchy". Hierarchical dependencies serve to connect parts of a sentence - for example "around" an inserted subordinate clause: "The song [that the boy sang] pleased the teacher".The researchers decided to use the fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) technique to see which areas or our brains were activated when processing various language structures.Below is an image showing this brain activity when processing different linguistic rules (Credit for image and caption: Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Neurosciences). Here is a link to a larger version.[Here is a] comparison of the activation and structural connections of brain areas during the processing of simple or complex linguistic rules. A: The frontal operculum engages in the processing of both rule types (upper image).By contrast, Brocas area becomes active for complex rules only (lower image). B: The frontal operculum is linked to the anterior portion of the temporal lobe via the fasciculus uncinatus. Right: Brocas Area is connected with the posterior portion of the temporal lobe via the fasciculus longitudialis superior.For their experiments, the researchers invented and used artificial grammars. Here is a short description.The scientists created artificial grammars with meaningless but structured syllables (e.g., de bo gi to). The ordering of these syllables was based upon either the simple rule ("local probability") or the complex rule ("hierarchy"). The syllables were divided into two categories. Syllables of category A ended with (in German) phonetically bright vowels (de, gi, le), and category B with dark vowels (bo, fo, gu).The simple rule involved alternating sequences from categories A and B (e.g., AB AB = de bo gi ku); the complex rules on the other hand required hierarchies to link both categories (e.g., AA BB = de gi ku bo). This principle was meant to reduce grammar into the simplest formal rules.For more information, this research work has been published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences under the title "The brain differentiates human and non-human grammars: Functional localization and structural connectivity" (Volume 103, Number 7, Pages 2458-2463, February 14, 2006). Here is a link to the abstract of this paper.And for another point of view about this research work, you also should read an article by Maggie Wittlin published by Seed Magazine on February 14, 2006, "Researchers find elements of grammar are hardwired into the human brain," which focuses on how " core elements of grammarsubjects, objects and verbsare integral parts of human cognition and are present in every language, even those developed in isolation." Here is a short quote.Elissa Newport, a cognitive science and linguistics professor at the University of Rochester, and Marie Coppola, a University of Chicago post-doc, studied the sign systems of three deaf young adults in Nicaragua who had previously had no contact with a deaf community. They found all three had integrated the complicated, formal ideas of subjects, objects and verbs into their languages, even though no one had taught them language.But what are the practical implications of this research? It will simply help us to better understand the human language faculty.Sources: Max Planck Society Press Release, February 16, 2006; and various web sites

    At the Levitin Laboratory for Music Perception, Cognition and Expertise researchers have been working with people with Williams Syndrome, a genetic abnormality that affects the brain. "They can't do very much that most people can do. They can't tie their shoes; they can't read; they can't tell time," Levitin says. "They are what you would call severely mentally handicapped, but they can play music just fine, so this suggests music has its own neuro-structures.Logue, 2007

    *******If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show itIf you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)

    **Socio-emotional growthYoull often find learners of any age singing together socially when they are visiting friends, at a party or in karaoke bars. Teenagers and young adults seem to know an endless number of songs by heart and share them continuously through the Internet and portable music players. Even though its not always easy to copy this spontaneous love of music in the classroom, singing songs in and with a class is a social act which allows learners to participate in a group and express their feelings, no matter what their English is like. Physical developmentSongs provide a great opportunity for young learners to move around. Clapping, dancing and playing instruments stimulate memory, which makes it possible for learners to hear chunks of language as they sing and use them in different situations later. Older learners can also benefit from clapping, dancing, rocking, tapping, and snapping their fingers to music and songs.Cognitive trainingWe all know the phenomenon of the song-that-is-stuck-in-my-head. With the right kind of song it is easy to simulate that in the classroom. Interacting with songs again and again is as important to language learners as repeatedly practicing a tennis technique is for a tennis player. The skill which develops from this is called automaticity. Learners get to know what to say and to produce language rapidly without pausing.Cultural literacyNow that most music is accessible to almost anyone anywhere, either through radio, CDs, DVDs and downloads from the Internet, learners can enjoy songs from all corners of the globe. Songs used in English classes can, in that way, shed light on interesting musical traditions in countries, but can also teach teens, young adults and adults to appreciate other cultures. For adult learners they can be a rich mine of information about human relations, ethics, customs, history, humor, and regional and cultural differences (Lems, 2001).Language learningIn a world where non-native speakers of English are likely to produce the majority of songs in English, learners have the opportunity to listen to pronunciation in a wide range of varieties of the language. Songs will help learners become familiar with word stress and intonation, and the rhythm with which words are spoken or sung also helps memorization. Again, this will enable learners to remember chunks of language which they can then use in conversations or in writing. As language teachers, we can use songs to practice listening, speaking, reading and writing.**************************** Dr. Jean Feldman ( ***