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Essay: Importance/integration of music to support development of young English Language Learners

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  • Subject area(s): English language essays Music Essays
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  • Published: 15 October 2019*
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  • Words: 970 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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Abstract

This study aims to determine the importance and integration of music to support the development of young English Language Learners (ELLs) in the early childhood. Songs are emotional and our relationship with music is usually profound, powerful and very rewarding. It unlocks our emotions, inspire our moods, and strengthen our mental and physical well-being. When something is so emotional, it becomes easier to be remembered as well as learned.
This work describes the advantages of music into lessons planning and gives good and practical activities for classroom application, like reading, writing, and singing songs for language abilities development. Despite teachers’ or students’ taste of music, the stimulation, creativity and literacy instructions through music is hugely valuable in today’s childhood classrooms. Music can transform classrooms into assertive learning environments where children develop academically, socially, and emotionally. Children who are given with organized and open-ended musical activities, creating an atmosphere of reciprocal approach, trust and respect, by sharing the joy of creativity with each other are potentially successful as an early childhood English language learner.
Keywords:
English language learners English, second language, music, listening, reading, vocabulary comprehension, fluency, writing,

Introduction

Regardless the kind of music and despite teachers’ and students’ taste of music, the value of stimulation creativity and literacy instructions through music is essential in today’s diverse early childhood classrooms because they develop abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Development
Music changes classrooms into positive learning in which children grow emotionally, socially, and academically. Exciting musical chances and meaningful learning experiences can be implemented to lecture the needs and to give support for diverse learners through the incorporation of music and song. Providing children with organized and open-ended musical activities, creating an atmosphere of reciprocal approach, trust and respect, and sharing the joy of creativity with each other are basic for the growth and development of the early childhood learner.
Music is usually used to support the learning of English of young children as second language. The intelligence to understand a foreign language through music is the first ability to appear in young learners. In general, children are naturally fond of music, so it is good to build their musical interests and strengthen their literacy development at the same time. Children are socially encouraged by music and songs throughout pre-school, gaining new vocabulary; applying their knowledge of the vocabulary and producing new statements; gaining reading strategies to the text; experimenting grammatical rules and various rhyming in songs. When songs, chants, and rhymes are used, words become more cognitively meaningful and easier to learn.
The repetitive nature of many children’s songs is valuable to non-English speakers as they hear words and phrases repeated. Many songs, like regional music songs, have repeated verses forms that make them easy to memorize, so it is advisable to teach English through music. Music develops vocabulary and comprehension competencies, improves listening and oral language abilities, and reinforces attention and memory. We should have a multicultural approach by keeping in mind the overall goal of multiculturalism in the classroom. It is important to talk with children about the music they listen to and sing, so they are aware that different cultural groups listen to and sing various kinds of music.
Songs may be used for the presentation and/or practice phase of language lessons. They can be used to teach a variety of language skills, such as sentences, vocabulary, pronunciation, rhythm, grammar. For young children, the best songs, whether familiar or unfamiliar, should have an international nature, such as Rain, rain, go away; Head, shoulders, knee and toes. The traditional song, BINGO, can be used for teaching individual letter sounds or spelling words.
For example, the song Mary Had a Little Lamb is good to learn and practice consonants. Row, Row, Row, Your Boat song is perfect to practice the /r/ sound. For example, the lyrics to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star help students to learn word rhyming, like are and star, or high and sky, words which may sound the same but differently written!
How to teach a new song
1. Play the song for several days so it is familiar when it is introduced to the children.
2. Teach children the chorus first while you sing the verses.
3. Sing along with a recording and let the children join in when they feel ready for it
4. Create a song chart.
5. Create a puzzle words song sheet to help children remember the verses.
6. Teach the song one phrase at a time. Then, combine the phrases.
7. Teach the actions to an action song first, then teach the words (or vice versa).
Popular musical lyrics, paired reading, repetition, self reading, choral reading, are strategies often used to improve listening, reading and writing fluency which can be  easily used within daily classroom learning.
After students listen to a song, they can draw a representation of what that song meant to them, by picturing it or dramatizing them with gestures and posting the lyrics accompanied by pictures/ objects or puzzled symbols turning learning more understandable and wishful.

Conclusion

Combining music into children’s everyday activities promotes literacy progress, particularly with ELLs. Music is a way for children to experience wide rich language in a pleasing way (Woodall & Ziembroski, n.d). It never minds what kind of music children listen to … it may be the “music” of the rain, the popular children’s songs, or make their own musical compositions. Important skills, such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking are developed. In an early childhood classroom, a musically, literacy-rich environment will generate interest, encourage creativity, and set the stage for a positive learning environment. Plato once said, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything” (Wordsworth Dictionary of Musical Quotations 1991, p.45).

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