Using Music in the ESL Classroom
Music is the universal language of mankind.
When students make a major breakthrough in learning, it is music to a teacher's ears. There is nothing more rewarding for a teacher, than seeing their students smile and laugh while they learn. The same can be said for students. Students who are taught in a fun and creative way, love coming to class. Using music in the classroom is a great way for teachers to achieve success with L2 learners. Oliver Wendall Holmes suggests taking a musical bath once a week, saying that music is "to the soul what water is to the body."
Benefits of using MusicHave you ever heard of anyone who doesn't like music? Some people may not like art, dancing, reading, or movies, but almost everyone likes one kind of music or another. Most people like many different kinds of music. Studies have shown that music...
"Music stabilizes mental, physical and emotional rhythms to attain a state of deep concentration and focus in which large amounts of content information can be processed and learned." Chris Brewer, Music and Learning
Techniques for Using Music with L2 LearnersThere are a variety of different ways to use music in the classroom. Some teachers prefer to use background music and others use music lyrics as the basis of a lesson. Music can be used to:
Many teachers try using music once in the class, but forget to do it again. It might take a few times before you and your class get used to hearing music while learning. If you can commit to using music once a week, you may soon see the benefits, and realize that you want to do it more often and in a variety of ways. Here are 10 activities for you to try:
Teaching Kids with Music
Using music with ESL kids has all of the same benefits mentioned above and more. Children are natural music lovers. You don't have to convince them that it will help them learn. If you feel uncomfortable singing in front of the class to teach a song, use a tape or CD player. (Don't expect your students to sing if you don't. Remember, that they don't care about the quality of your singing voice, just like you don't care about theirs.) Here are some suggested activities to use with kids (If you are not familiar with any of the songs mentioned, simply put the titles into an online search):
Tips for Using Music Effectively
Online Materials and Resources
These online music resources offer numerous ideas and tips for using music in the classroom.