It has been said that children have a natural musical taste and that play is the only activity that they take seriously. If this is so, teachers should not let song practice or any activity seem like work. They should keep it spontaneous. This has been shown to apply even to language teachers.
Acting on the idea that just as the selection of a particular tempo and beat in jazz may convey powerful and varied emotions, stress, and intonation pattern of the spoken language are essential elements for the expression of feelings and the intent of the speakers, Carolyn Graham designed Jazz Chants to teach the natural rhythm, stress and intonation patters of conversational American English. Graham is not the only language teacher to recognize that music can be a wonderful medium for natural language learning, often called language acquisition.
Language teachers in Turkey, for example, have been using English language songs to help children improve their English thorough enjoyable activities. Readers who want to study related theoretical and research support can profit from examining the materials identified at the end of this article. I will present only some of the main supports as a rationale. But my main goal here is to share some songs and activities in the hope that more English language teachers around the world will use such enjoyable and effective means to enhance language learning and acquisition.
The Importance of Songs, Rhymes, Chants, and Musical Games
Songs, rhymes, chants, and musical games are fantastic materials for the language teacher to use with young learners. They have innumerable virtues. The following are the ones which I like best:
Games/plays are a essential part of a curriculum, not a time filler or reward (Vale & Feunteun). Here I would add songs, too.
Songs, rhymes, and chants are wonderful means of teaching stress and intonation patterns of English.
Play and music are a source of motivation, interest and... [continues]
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