Songs in the ClassroomThere are many tools and materials that can be used in an EFL classroom. Different tools and materials can benefit different students, depending on their learning styles. Songs are an especially useful tool because of their ability to stick in the memory. The use of songs in the classroom can be a very effective way of teaching english as a second language. Songs and music in the classroom are presented and used in very different ways, depending on the age of the students. Songs are especially useful when teaching english to children
. Children tend to gravitate toward fun, melodic, and playful songs no matter what language the children speak and no matter the language of the song. For children of an EFL class, it is best to choose songs that are easy for them to learn with words they can understand and a pace they can keep up with. It can be especially helpful to choose songs that include any vocabulary or grammar patterns that are being taught in the class. I have recently discovered a popular children’s songwriter named Raffi. His voice is very soothing and comforting to listen to, and the words are easy for children to learn. Best of all, the topics of his songs are fun and comical and they are a delight to children. The way in which the teacher presents a new song should be carefully planned. It is important to teach new songs step by step so as not to move too fast through the song. The teacher can teach the words to the song line by line or word by word, depending on the age and competence of the students. After the students are familiar with the lyrics, the teacher can then add the tune, first singing solo and then asking the students to join. Finally, the teacher should use actions to illustrate the words of the song. The actions together with the melody of the song is an excellent way to commit the song to the students’ memory. Once the students are familiar with the song, they are likely to pick up the vocabulary and sentence patterns very fast! In addition to learning the class content faster, songs in the classroom get the students active and dancing, and they will go home to their parents singing songs in english, and the parents are bound to be impressed! Songs can also be very useful in teaching adults or higher level english learners. The songs can be used to teach more advanced vocabulary, verb tenses, and colloquialisms. Music can even be a great way to teach students about Western culture and styles. I think music is an excellent idea for an EFL class because it is something different from traditional board work and mundane book routines. Music in the classroom can change the entire mood and atmosphere of the space and the people in it. The teacher can choose songs of all different genres to keep the content fresh and interesting. Just like with children, music can get adult students active, as long as the music is well chosen! Music can be used in different ways, such as simply translating the lyrics directly, studying for verb tenses, or listening for key words without seeing the lyrics. One of the best things about using songs in an EFL class is the satisfaction the students get from understanding authentic material in a second language. The inclusion of songs in the classroom will prove to be a very engaging and efficient way of teaching english as a second language. Music is an invaluable tool in education, no matter the age of the students. I plan to utilize music and songs as much as possible in my classroom in the future. When it is all said and done, one thing is for sure: Using music in education is a winning idea!