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Why do we sing songs?

Singing songs is a great way of learning/improving languages. We do it in my class, every single day. The students have fun and that on itself can be enough to take this activity into my class but there are more important things while having fun implied in singing songs. 

In order to help my students to develop independency, autonomy, we always talk in class about the strategies, activities we do and we reason them out. This continuous practice allows them to take ownership of what they do and help them realize they are in control of their education and that being an active agent of it is crucial for them to become a better student and person.

How do I do this with my students: 

We start singing songs without any explanations or comments, we just sing. After that I ask my students to write down their thoughts on Why do you think we sing songs in class? [you will be surprised by how accurate their responses are sometimes] To conclude this activity I ask them to read this post and we do a debate the following class to put everything together.

Let's try to summarize what I think in bullet points [they don't come numbered because the order is not related to importance]:

Some benefits of singing songs: 

  • It's a fun way of learning vocabulary and pronunciation
  • Through singing you are training your "ear" for Spanish
  • It helps you comprehend Spanish better because you get used to native speakers of the language in a natural context. Singing is authentic.
  • When you listen songs from different singers from different places you are being exposed to different native accents
  • It is a new and enthusiastic way of learning for many students
  • When you are singing and learning you are being emotionally involved, therefore that learning that takes place is going directly to your long-term memory
  • A song gives you the opportunity of dramatizing the lyrics
  • When you are singing you acquire the information you need naturally
  • Songs present the language as parts and wholes
  • Singing songs will help you score highly in reading, spelling, reading comprehension, mathematical reasoning, numerical operations and listening tasks
  • Music training will give you a major boost in terms of spatial-temporal memory
  • It benefits your oral communication skills 
  • Songs are the perfect fit for many activities [language related]
  • If you are new to the language and you are struggling, singing songs will let you join the joy of learning at the very same level as the rest of the class
  • Songs are a snapshot of the culture, so singing songs you are gaining not just language knowledge but cultural one too
  • A song will make you learn language without even realizing it because it keeps the stress bar low while you are just enjoying singing with your friends
  • While listening to Mozart will not make you smarter, music instruction will help you score significantly higher on measuring spatial-temporal cognition, hand-eye coordination and arithmetic 
  • Music improves your verbal skills and sensorimotor integration [musicians are better drivers]
  • Your neurocognitive skills will get better
  • Singing will help you achieve that fluency you have been struggling with in a natural and authentic manner
  • ...

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education
Mark Twain

2 comentarios:

  1. I agree 100%! We sing much in my Spanish classes and the kids usually love it! I led a tour to Spain a couple of years ago a week before the new king was being installed. We were walking in front of the Royal Palace on our last night, and my students just "broke out" into ERES TU--very spontaneously! Our tour director (a Madrileña) started singing with them and it was a great moment for me!

  2. What a great story Tracey! Thanks for sharing ;)
    Gracias amiga!






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