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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
Song In The ClassroomMusic is universal. Everywhere that you go in the world music is used. Music is not just used for entertainment but for worship and communication as well. Song can be very powerful and therefore can be a very powerful teaching tool, especially in a classroom of young students where interaction and engagement are key to the students' success. Although there are truly infinite possibilities and opportunities associated with using music in classrooms, especially EFL classrooms, I have chosen a few that I think are most relevant to my studies.
Most cultures associate song with happiness, excitement and positivity. Incorporating song, especially paired with physical movement, can lighten the overall mood and can increase the level of whole-class participation and interest. When teaching beginner students, particularly young students, motivation and engagement are the most important aspects because many times the students have not chosen to learn english
and therefore will need as much support as possible.
The rhythms, intonations and phrasing in music is a language of it's own and can really help with language acquisition. In unit 13 of this TELF course we learned all about pronunciation and phonology both of which can be learned and practiced through song. On the same path, songs can be a great way to learn and practice new vocabulary. Since song is used all over the english
-speaking world in classroom settings, there are songs written about just about everything some examples being, colors, seasons, numbers and even letters. Even the song “The Wheels on The Bus” can contribute to vocabulary. This song teaches students about the different parts of the bus and how they operate. Songs also tend to be very repetitive and repetition has been proven to be a necessary tool with regards to building knowledge base and retaining information. For example, the verse on the song about the bus wheels and how they go “around and around” can introduce and/or supplement a lesson about movement. Another song that can help to improve vocabulary is the song “Head and Shoulders”. This song is a great addition to a unit on the parts of the body and is fun and interactive. Pointing to the different body parts while naming them can help with memorization and can also be enjoyable. The song is also very repetitive and gets faster every time it is repeated, which does not only provide interest and excitement, but improves rapid word memorization.
Music can add variety and be a great addition to learning in the average classroom, however too much of a good thing is never a good thing. Songs are supplemental authentic materials that should be used to supplement and add to classroom plans and activities. It is important to remember that some may find music to be distracting and therefore it is important to use sparingly and only when relevant. Overall music is a gift to society and a special tool in the classroom. As both an educator and musician music is very important in my classroom. It is important to implement but not dwell on; incorporate but not overbear; helpful but not essential.