English can be entertaining through the usage of various media, such as music. Thanks to the music, acquiring a new language becomes more pleasant and furthermore it acts as a learning method during English lessons: scientific researches have demonstrated that music helps students to learn vocabulary and grammar. Moreover it plays an important role when memorizing the new language, during its learning process and so it’s useful to reach bilingualism.
Reasons to include music in a language laboratory
Songs contain a lot of expressions and many vocabularies aimed at native speakers’ audience, so what we listen is authentic, it is to say not written for students. This can be very helpful in order to get a quick adaptation to English in everyday life.
Furthermore thanks to music we develop the listening comprehension: we get used to pronunciation, so we can improve ours. And mysteriously, music has the virtue to get impressed in our memory: melodies and lyrics are difficult to forget.
How to prepare activities with songs to motivate your students
- Find them in websites like YouTube or Vimeo, you can choose among many videos, lots of them also with subtitles
- It’s important to select songs adequately: they should have a language of general use, not too difficult and neither being sung too quickly. Moreover, it’s even better if students like that music. In this way they will take full advantage of learning.
- Use the songs lyrics in order to give them a “physical” support to understand them better. In this way they can read, understand and search the meaning of those words they don’t know. This will help them to improve their comprehension.
- Do not rely completely on the lyrics transcription, as not all the websites are correct. It would be useful to make comparisons among various of them and in case the lyrics coincide, the level of correction is higher.
- They have to repeat songs, the goal is to enjoy, but also to learn. Thanks to the repetition they will improve the learning process.
- Singing songs will permit them to practice the pronunciation. Without fear!
- Your students should include this activity in their daily life, every day, you’ll notice their progresses.
In Bilingüismo y Tecnología we propose music as a powerful tool to learn languages. It has always to be included among the resources of a language laboratory.