Singing songs is an important part of foreign language lessons for several reasons:
• Singing improves motivation because it is a relevant activity in children’s lives and they love it.
• Songs are great to work on phonological aspects of the language: pronunciation, stress, rhythm and intonation.
• Songs help pupils remember vocabulary and structures as sung words are easily remembered.
• Singing builds students’ confidence as it allows them to enjoy a degree of fluency in English before they have achieved it in speaking
Songs also cater for different types of learners. Musical learners can benefit greatly from using songs and singing in the foreign language class. Likewise, kinaesthetic learners can benefit from the type of songs that use body movements accompanying the lyrics.
There are many types of English songs that pupils enjoy such as Nursery Rhymes, Traditional songs or English Pop. Depending on the age of the students and the purpose of learning we can work with one or another.
In YLE, with first and second graders, we make an extensive use of this resource and pupils love it. For example, the “Alphabet song” helps pupils to remember the English alphabet. Action songs such as “in, on, under” allow students to remember and use the prepositions correctly. We also use songs to set up different parts of the class, such as a goodbye song or a song to tidy up.
Last, but not least, they can keep listening to songs and singing at home in their free time!