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Using song and music as a motivation to inspire interest in poetry analysis eventually led to achievement in other aspects of language learning. In this South African case study, English second language learners were initially overwhelmed by the language level and analytic thought skills required in the study of literature. Apathy, boredom and negativity in the learning situation had to be confronted. The teacher opted for an unconventional approach to resolve these issues – analysing contemporary music lyrics as poetry. The case study provides evidence for the argument that song and music motivates teaching and learning, leading to creative and enhanced academic achievement. Key Words: Music, motivation, language, learning
Language Learning Enhanced by Music and Song
Hilda F Israel
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
A song is poetry set to motion. A song in a second
language enhances the learning of that target
language. This study confirmed that English second
language learners were inspired by the singing of
songs and music to achieve better in their study of
literature, as well as other aspects of the target
language. Learners were overwhelmed by the high
standards and analytical thought skills required in
the understanding of poetry as an aspect of their
English curriculum. Lack of interest quickly set in,
until the teacher decided to motivate them through
the use of contemporary songs as a teaching
methodology. The skills learned were then
transferred to the study of other aspects of the
language curriculum. The application of song and
music as a teaching and learning classroom
motivation was affirmed, resulting in creative and
enhanced language performance.
1. Introduction
‘If music be the food of learning, play on’ (with
apologies to Shakespeare). There are times when the
language teacher has to be very creative indeed, or
else both content learning and the throughput rate of
learners suffer.
The setting of this case study was a post-
democratic, secondary school in KwaZulu-Natal,
South Africa (SA). Originally for South Africans of
Indian descent only, it included all black learners
living in the local area at the time the study was
undertaken. The class was Grade 11, a mixed ability
group of learners mostly from the local informal or
shack settlement. Some were definitely at-risk
learners. Many had just a basic knowledge of the
English language. The teacher’s task was to teach
English literature, one aspect of which was poetry
analysis. After foundation lessons, and a review of
two poems, she knew that traditional methodologies
and evaluations were not appropriate and had to
Turn the beat around…” by Gloria Estefan
became the newly adopted ‘teaching methodology’.
Music and song, whether pop, rock, kwaito, rap,
Rhythm & Blues, hip-hop, house… healed the world
and made it a better place for these learners. The
teaching and learning lesson plan and assessment
was simple, but experimental.
The Plan: Learners chose one song (for example,
the rap version of Just the two of us by Will Smith;
Beat It by Michael Jackson). The teacher chose one
song (for example, Turn the beat around by Gloria
Estefan; California Dreaming by The Mamas &
Papas) and the third was mandatory, the SA National
Anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’i-Afrika. Then followed the
prescribed poetry list, but learning now was based on
how the music lyrics were analysed. The anthem was
included to inspire national pride and citizenship.
Methodology: The introduction lesson was a
marketing strategy. The class was moved to a room
far away from the main teaching block and music
welcomed the learners for about fifteen minutes.
Popular music, kwaito and rap music was played at
high volume to make an impact on the young
people. Singing the lyrics and dancing was a natural
response from them. Students commented that this
classroom had an “electric mood” and that learning
“had a vibe”. One student notably added that this
was “Africa in the classroom”. No learner stood
still… until the words of the lyrics were transferred
onto the overhead projector screen. Then the
teaching and learning began. Actually, this was
when the teaching and learning continued.
The sudden dawning that the music they were
enjoying was actually a poem in motion seemed to
fascinate the students. The language did not matter
because they sang in English and African languages.
They accepted that they were singing a poem set to
music. It was this critical moment that transformed
what they thought was a music experience into an
education situation, a teaching and learning
situation. Music was the motivation behind the
learning. Words were analysed and meanings
debated. Rhyme was clarified. Figurative language
was identified and discussed in the context of the
text. The lesson was closed with five more minutes
of music. No learner wanted to leave the classroom.
The beat had turned the learning experience around.
More importantly, the young people wanted to learn,
they were motivated to engage with the words of the
The learners were thereafter allocated three tasks:
Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), Special Issue, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2013
Copyright © 2013, Infonomics Society
A writing assignment based on the analysis of
the 3 songs as poetry.
A small group presentation of any 2 of the 3
songs as their oral assessment.
A full discussion of what the learning process
meant to them as individuals and as a group.
By three weeks later, all English language
lessons were becoming increasingly boisterous in a
positive way. Five minutes of each lesson was
devoted to a progress report on Our Production”:
music motivated them to own the assessment tasks.
Students wanted to learn. The motivation was
clearly intrinsic, with visible benefits in other
learning areas as well. Grammar classes were not
tedious any more. Shakespeare was visualised as a
poet too, exposing them to more imagery analysis.
The learners’ oral presentations became more
ambitious than expected, with music, song, costume
and videotaping all being integrated into the task.
Funds were even raised to get T-shirts for their
The objective in using music was to motivate the
teaching and learning of poetry. Not only were the
lyric productions beyond expectations, but language
ability in the written task improved as well. The
poetry lesson changed. Each poem now had the
potential to be sung, while some learners proved
adept at converting them to rap format. The teacher
realised that analysing the poem was now more
accessible, more possible. Music had made the
environment more learner-friendly. Music had
motivated the learners to go beyond their language
limitations and respond to lyrics as poetry, and
poetry as lyrics. Music brought them together despite
diverse racial, cultural, economic and social
differences. Music made better learners of the at-risk
individuals. What was confirmed was that music as
an innovative teaching and learning intervention had
The poetry analysis section of the curriculum
thereafter merged with the oral presentation section.
The fact that all of this was being performed in a
language other than their mother-tongue seemed
irrelevant to many of the learners. “Editing” became
their new buzzword. For many, their confidence in
using their limited knowledge of English visibly
grew. The writing task produced efforts that ranged
from mediocre to outstanding. Evidence of research
on the national anthem brought national history and
pride into the learning process. One group
videotaped themselves performing their song as part
of their presentation. Another did a stage choral
production, with all of the learners wearing red T-
shirts and jeans.
The critical analysis of the whole music-as-
motivation process was an unexpected development,
being exposed when learners shared their personal
reflections on the innovative teaching process. The
hidden curriculum emerged as questions focussed on
personal learning growth. Questions included the
following: What did it take to be a team player?
Why did tensions arise at times? How did each
contribute to the final written and oral product? Why
did they resent the “lazy” learner who did not
contribute as expected? Critical thinking was being
applied without the learners even recognising it, or
knowing that they were even capable of it. Music
motivated this enthusiasm and desire to learn.
Today, when the teacher meets some of the
learners from her English class, the conversation is
not about how much they have progressed, but about
how music helped them to enjoy their language
lessons. And they proudly add that, when they sing
the national anthem, they do not need to look at the
words anymore.
2. Music and Learning
The case study indicated that music enhances
one’s skills in academic achievement, self esteem,
national pride, identifying with one’s culture and
general self confidence. Music is a means of
communication. It crosses all barriers language,
culture, belief systems, age, gender and nationality. It
is an innate part of a person’s being. Depending on
taste, it soothes and relaxes, inspires and motivates.
Used carefully in the learning situation, it can turn
the beat of the learning process around.
In the SA Curriculum, the Arts and Culture
Learning Area states that music creates opportunities
for a learner to: develop a healthy self-concept; work
as individuals; acknowledge and develop the
diversity of South Africa’s cultures and heritage;
develop skills in art; respect human value and
dignity; develop life-long learning skills [17]. As
teachers of diverse primary and high school learners,
educators need to identify how we can use music to
motivate the learner. How can we tap into their
learning styles, limitations and strengths?
Eady and Wilson [4] confirm that various
studies prove that music does contribute to a
learner’s academic achievement, motivation and
creative development. They conclude that music
helps one to learn more, and more effectively. Music
contributes to all of education. The learner benefits
by enhancing key developmental goals such as self-
esteem and creativity.
Learners achieved better scores when music was
part of their social studies. McTeer and Bailey [8]
reinforce the thesis that music motivates learning in
other disciplines through their research on student
attitude towards history and subject knowledge
Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), Special Issue, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2013
Copyright © 2013, Infonomics Society
matter. An experimental group of senior high school
students were exposed to contemporary music to
rejuvenate their history class. The control group was
taught using the lecture-discussion method. With all
other variables being constant, the outcome was that
in the area of attitude and subject matter knowledge,
the group exposed to music as motivation scored
better averages.
Research conducted by Weisskoff [22], as cited
in Eady and Wilson [4], supports the premise that
music influences learning in core subjects and helps
to achieve the core goals of learning. He compared
two learning situations: learning in language arts
with music and without music, with his focus being
on task performance and continuing motivation. Did
the presence of music make any difference or not?
The outcome was that those who learned in the
music situation scored very much higher in terms of
sustained motivation, seen in the tendency of
learners to continue working on tasks after the initial
motivational lesson. Task performance was not
improved by the music motivation. Music was
neither a positive force nor a distraction in task
achievement. He further clarified that background
music during a learning task does not enhance
achievement. However, Weisskoff [22] proves that
music as motivation does work for learners. The
research confirmed that there is a solid relationship
between music and continuing motivation:
unmotivated learners became motivated because of
the presence of music. The SA case study, despite its
unusual and innovative context, confirmed these
An aspect that cannot be ignored is the massive
technological advancement in music today. Learning
tasks involving technology provide excitement and
innovation for the student. Moore [11] explains that
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)
technology allows learners to create, edit and
recreate music compositions, making the task more
personal. Divergent thinking is rooted in such tasks.
The creative potential of the learner is clearly
unlimited with such technology available at school.
3. Music and Language Learning
Language acquisition has a profound relationship
with music in that they can both develop and support
each other. Research cited reveals a positive
interdependence when music is used with much
reflection and planning in the language classroom.
Melodic recognition, contour processing, timbre
discrimination, rhythm, tonality, prediction, and
perception of the sight, sound, and form of symbols
in context are required in both music and language”
Stansell [18]. The obvious implication now lies with
the language teacher, and linguistic researcher, to
find methodologies that can be practically applied in
the classroom, ways that would make the learning of
language more effective. Traditional language
teaching methods have to be reviewed, and music
introduced as one means of further enhancing
learning. Fluency would be the outcome of merged
methods of teaching and learning, together with
motivated learners, improved vocabulary
development, use of vocabulary in context and
communicative confidence, as evidenced by the case
study cited. There was positive impact on the four
key language learning areas: listening, reading,
writing and speaking.
“Researchers over the last twenty years have
made astounding advances in the theory of language
acquisition. Many find the pedagogical conjoining of
language and music compelling” Stansell [18]. When
the case study learners colloquially talked of their
learning having a vibe, they expressed what Stansell
[18] more academically stated: The universal
element of music can make the artificial classroom
environment into a ‘real’ experience and make new
information meaningful, bringing interest and order
to a classroom.
Moticoe [13] wrote the newspaper headline:
Music that speaks where language fails. The article
which followed spoke of the musical journey of a
group of musicians called Ntjapedi. They were
attracting much interest with their new style of
music, singing in Sesotho and combining jazz, poetry
and soul to create a sound that transcended language
and cultural barriers. Their listeners came from
various language groups in SA, proving that music
speaks and acts across all boundaries.
As educators, how can one define the
relationship between language learning and music?
Oats and Grayson [15] write of language acquisition
being rooted in phonology, morphology, syntax and
semantics. Connections in the acquisition process
can be seen as follows:
Levels of Language Learning
1. Phonology: consists of symbols that
represent the sounds of language.
2. Morphology: form of words establishes
meaning and grammatical function.
3. Syntax: order of words constitutes sentence
4. Semantics: vocabulary creates meaning and
If music can be seen as a language as well, then
parallels can be drawn between the acquisition
processes applicable in language learning and music
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Copyright © 2013, Infonomics Society
Another study conducted by Horn [6] also
confirms that music is a form of language, using
tones, pitch, timbre and rhythm as a universal
language. Both language and music are
‘communicative modes, aurally and orally
transmitted, containing phonetic, syntactic, and
semantic components, develop early in life and are
socially interactive media.’ Horn [6] adds that music
enriches one’s vocabulary and teaches articulation
and pronunciation. She notes that music plays a vital
role in the teaching of English as a second language,
emphasising that to be ‘able to learn, understand and
experience music and language, the learner should
have well-developed listening skills.’ Developing the
ability to listen enables learners to learn the basic
skills of language: listening, speaking, reading and
writing. Horn [6] suggests that music should be used
to encourage learners to listen in a mentally active
and analytical way, adding that ‘In learning the
language of music, just as in learning any language,
learners need to listen to the language and its sound
patterns before they are able to use it. Clearly,
listening ability is basic to the teaching and learning
of reading and comprehension, being therefore a
central component of language acquisition, education
and social development. In language learning,
studies reveal a correlation between the teaching of
music and reading. “Both use a symbol structure that
can be decoded into sounds that have meaning.
Visual and auditory discrimination are required in
both subjects and are oriented to a left-to-right
framework” Eady and Wilson [4]. The similarities
occurring in the learning process, during the
acquisition of both language and music skills, reveal
remarkable benefits especially to an English Second
Language (ESL) learner. Most of the learners in this
SA case study were ESL learners.
Reading music is another form of literacy. The
teaching methods may be similar, but because more
enjoyment comes from music, the learner is
motivated to progress on to other forms of literacy.
Supporting this argument is Cohen-Taylor [2], who
established that when primary school learners were
given contemporary song lyrics to read, they
thereafter reacted positively to other printed material.
Their lack of motivation was broken by the
introduction of contemporary music that they
recognised. He points out that reading skills can be
more effectively taught through song lyrics.
Note should be taken of a study by Murray [14],
who actively teaches French using song lyrics. Her
point is that most people spend almost 50% of their
time listening, a critical skill in second language
acquisition. Listening formed a vital part of the case
study, and expanded into assessment of
communication and language performance for each
learner. Such evaluation included the meaning of key
words, why the singer chose to use them, their
application in poetic forms and the idiomatic turn of
phrase applied. Like in the case study, Murray [14]
analysed songs as poems, thus expanding the
student’s grammar and vocabulary, developing skills
needed for learning the target language in greater
depth. Pronunciation was also improved, because her
students listened to the beat, rhythm, flow or accent
that was used. Students were also able to study the
differences between the oral and written forms of the
target language.
Learning a language through lyrics in the target
language will motivate students because they define
who they are through their own culture, and through
the music that they enjoy. Through music as a
teaching methodology, students are further exposed
to foreign language and culture, making the learning
experience far more integrated than perceived.
Language acquisition evolves into culture and
communication acquisition.
Mora [12] believes that music and language
should be often used in the teaching of English as a
Foreign Language. Song introduces the repetition of
words and phrases, and such repetition enables the
brain to remember learned content. She points out
that repetition in Russian is idiomatically referred to
as mat’ ucheniya, the mother of learning. Mora [12]
found that repetition through song worked: “The
musicality of speech has an effect not only on the
pronunciation skills of EFL students but also on their
entire language acquisition process.” This ensures
that in addition to attending class, completing tasks
and speaking out loud, the song enables rehearsal of
language that has been learned. Studies by Schunk
[16] support this conclusion: children who heard an
intervention text sung had a significantly higher
vocabulary gain over children who only heard it
spoken. They averaged 6.5 words learned, over the
text group's 2.5 words. Clearly, song and music are
effective language teaching methodologies. Medina
[9] further encourages vocabulary development
through oral stories, but found that learning was
enhanced when songs were used as a medium for the
story. ESL educators should consider using song
more often, and more consistently, in the classroom.
Eady and Wilson [4] suggest the following
methods to teach reading and language skills:
activities using word cards featuring favourite
words of songs;
forming new sentences from words in favourite
guessing first lines of songs, with the teacher
giving word configuration clues, and
creating crossword puzzles in which the entries
are words in song titles.
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It is common knowledge that African peoples
have a natural sense of rhythm. For the South
African ESL educator, this strength should be
exploited and developed into a teaching tool that
supports the learning of language. Horn [6]
classroom activities that use music as a
complementary method because it makes full
use of visual, auditory, movement and tactile
songs used should be short, rhythmic, simple
and with a catchy melody;
schools having music-educated teachers, music
venues and suitable instruments and equipment,
well organised music programmes that support
the integration of music into all aspects of the
mother-tongue instruction at pre-school to form
the basis of later learning;
that parents be encouraged to improvise
music/sound related activities with their
children, for example, family singing, listening
to music and doing household chores to music,
that parents be involved in their child’s taste in
radio and television to guide the kind of music
and language that influences their listening and
Monitoring Academic Progress of students
(MAP) was a project where thirty primary school
learners attended workshops on music, poetry and
reading selections with the aim of improving their
self-concept and reading achievement. They worked
together in writing song lyrics. Songs and reading
passages chosen encouraged learners to think of
themselves and others in a positive fashion; they
wrote their own poetry and presented this in readings
and on posters. Speaking and reading skills were
being learned. Concentration and memory were
tested through such exercises. The outcome
confirmed that reading and listening skills taught this
way were very effective, as recorded in Hadley and
Hadley [5].
Murray [14] aptly points out that songs “provide
us with a window into a world that is not our own, a
world that we glimpse and remember thanks to the
power of music.” Music is an integral part of our
lives today it’s in our cars, homes, cell phones,
MP3s, shopping malls, radios, television
programmes. Students walk around campus with
earphones plugged on for the entire day listening to
their personal music selections. This is an ideal
context for the language teacher, who should explore
as many ways as possible to formally integrate music
into the classroom. The teacher can expand on this
by including the understanding of culture through
The literature cited justifies the use of song and
music in ESL teaching. However, the integration
should be on a regular, planned basis for optimum
effect. Assessment of language performance should
also include song and music where applicable.
Exponents of traditional text book methods of
language teaching may consider this revolutionary,
but need to evaluate the hidden curriculum before
writing it off. Stansell [18] sums this up succinctly
when he states that the musical method means
having fun with language and letting words come
easily; this identifies with communicative language
learning methodology, which includes social
interaction, small groups and peer discussion. Music
does bring relief from vocabulary tests and grammar
drills. Today, the use of song and music offers a
more natural and holistic way of learning language.
Horn [6] points out that singing songs, as was
done in the case study, provides practice in language
usage and music. When speech and music are
combined to produce singing, both hemispheres of
the brain have to actively co-operate: left brain for
speech; right brain for music. Language seems thus
to have an underlying rhythmic principle, integrating
and harmonising speaking, listening, music, speech
patterns, pitch, beat and timing. Her conclusion is
that since learners are taught through English as their
medium of instruction, the problems they experience
in language acquisition may be addressed through
the use of music as a teaching tool. Music may be
used to develop the language competence of ESL
learners. Music and singing enables the speaking of
English in a more relaxed and non-threatening
context. The use of song picture books allows the
learner to see, sing and learn the language. Music
allows for the learning of language structures and
words, thus improving conversational and social
communication skills.
When it comes to language learning, music can
also be used for group work in reading exercises.
The introduction of jazz enables improvisation ideas
that may well impact on other aspects of language
learning. Vande Berg [19] adds that jazz
improvisation permitted every child to actively
participate in a non-threatening context, since verbal
exercises are not seen as right or wrong. Exercises
can be read to a steady beat in the classroom, with
pitch, rhythm and volume being altered in jazz-like
ways. Language learning becomes thus an enjoyable
experience because the activity motivates the
Curnow [3] clarifies that a basic function of the
teacher is to encourage a student to use the skills
he/she has learned in a creative manner. One way
Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), Special Issue, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2013
Copyright © 2013, Infonomics Society
would be through studying song lyric improvisation.
If the teacher had to merge improvisation and
reading, there is every possibility that students can
‘discover new insights when transforming and
rearranging language to syncopated beats and sound
and composition projects. Various writers on
creativity argue that musical improvisation and
composition should be as routine as writing an
English composition…’, as stated in Eady and
Wilson [4]. The goals would be integrated: to
encourage involvement in creative musical
arrangements; to develop self-evaluation skills and to
critically analyse one’s work. Improvisation involves
creative thinking which is a dynamic mental process
that alternates between divergent (imaginative) and
convergent (factual) thinking, Webster [21].
One prominent feature of the case study was
student interest in rap and hip hop formats of music.
Merina [10] confirms that poetry teaching is
stimulated by rap. Learners can recite poetry
traditionally and set the poem to rap beats. Rap
poetry excites learners because it is very similar to
what they have on their iPods, CDs, cell phones and
black berries. They enjoy this because they identify
with rap culture and communication. However
educators may feel about rap and hip hop, they are
here to stay. Since rap music is unifying an entire
generation of various cultures, it should be exploited
in the classroom as part of a multicultural approach
to education. Positive lyrics can be improvised and
composed to a driving beat, to add interest in lessons
to be learned.
Students argue that learning English is vital for
their career success, besides being a status symbol of
their progress. Learners at urban schools prefer to
speak English instead of their mother tongue. This
case study confirmed, to some extent, that despite
music providing motivation in the learning and
understanding of English, other factors also
contributed to general academic success. If early
teaching and learning is not solid and supported, then
this has a detrimental effect on further learning
through high school and university. Experience as a
language teacher confirms that meaningful learning
is established only when new concepts are linked to
relevant anchorage points in one’s cognitive
structure, so understanding English is a prerequisite
if it is to be used as a medium of instruction. The
learner’s cognitive development is thus directly
related to his/her language development.
4. Music and Motivation
Music inspires and soothes, and people who are
musically talented seem to have an enhanced
aptitude in the learning of foreign languages. This is
based on an “advanced ability in perceiving,
processing, and closely reproducing accent” Stansell
[18]. Both music and language are ways through
which humans communicate through sound and
How students are motivated and how they
perform in school has basic impact on their self-
concept. Low self-esteem results from poor academic
results, drug problems, violence, pregnancy, criminal
behaviour, dysfunctional family background, HIV-
AIDS, xenophobia and poverty, among many other
factors. Research done by Viljoen and Mole [20]
confirm that behaviour problems can be further
attributed to the stresses of second language learning.
Learners feel stressed by the increasing demands
being made on them, and feel left out of the “main
stream.” Assessment tasks are challenging and
grades earned depressing.
In the education context, it is critical that the
educator recognises the relationship between music,
motivation and learning. This case study provides
evidence that music actively motivated students to
believe in themselves, to take on seemingly difficult
learning tasks and to gain confidence. It became
clear that being competent in one area and feeling
good about one’s performance in this area, actually
helped learners to cope with weaknesses in other
areas. The premise is that if one is good at music,
this strength makes up for one’s lack of sport,
language, academic or social skills. This case study
provides actual evidence that music gives
academically unsuccessful students a place to
succeed. A positive musical self-concept thus makes
up for poor academic self-concept. Music then, is a
tool for motivation in learning. Music can be
effectively used to achieve non-musical goals. The
Tanglewood Declaration of 1968 calls for music to
be placed at the core of the school curriculum,
arguing that ‘Music and other fine arts, largely
nonverbal in nature, reach close to the social,
psychological and physiological roots of man in his
search for identity and self-realization’ [1].
This case study involved students singing their
chosen songs, creating in a sense a choral music
experience. Hylton’s [7] investigation exposes the
relationship between choral singing and self-concept,
with students rating the experience highly on the
following statements:
1. to help me get to know myself better;
2. to feel more at ease, and
3. to help me to be at peace with myself.
Students were able to mix more on a social level,
thus influencing their social self-concepts as well.
The case study emphasised that music and singing as
integral parts of learning English as a second
language cannot be ignored. Not only were students
Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), Special Issue, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2013
Copyright © 2013, Infonomics Society
motivated, but they actually enjoyed learning in a
relaxed, non-competitive learning situation. The
singing enabled learners to discover language
structures and new words incidentally. They were
then able to use them in communicative contexts.
In conclusion, a positive attitude and
motivation are essential when learning a second
language. Experience of success is vital to the
learner’s progress, providing the motivation for the
next step. The educator’s planning and vision has to
determine this, ensuring that the learner, as an
individual and as a member of a group, is set a task
that is realistic, challenging and keeps him/her
involved to completion. Using song and music as an
innovative teaching tool meets such requirements.
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[8] McTeer, H. J. and Bailey, R. T. 1980. The effect of the
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Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), Special Issue, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2013
Copyright © 2013, Infonomics Society
... Because when we talk and combine it with music, a song will be created that makes the two brains have to work together actively, where the left brain is for talking and the right brain is for music. Language also has a rhythmic principle that integrates and harmonizes music in the form of speech patterns, tones, beats, and timing (Israel, 2013). ...
... Because language and music are the same as communication tools. According to (Israel, 2013) there are 4 important points in obtaining the level of language learning, namely phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. The four things are as follows: ...
... We can also get these four things in music, but the difference is that there are tones and strains of music that make it more pleasant to hear (Israel, 2013) Music can also do a person's vocabulary and also teach us about articulation and pronunciation making it easier for us to communicate and improvise and speak. understanding or reading the lyrics of the song we are singing can make our reading skills more developed. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Many people say that learning English is difficult, and listening tests often overwhelm participants because they cannot balance the rhythm of the dialogues and the time it takes to understand the meaning of each dialogue. In fact, the key is only one, namely learning to get used to the English language. There are many ways to try to understand English better, one of which is through music. Many people think that music is just an entertainment art, but in fact not only that, we can also get many other things through music, including learning English. This article will explain why music can be an alternative medium for learning English.
... Therefore, based on the IQ theory from Peter Lauster mentioned in Marsuki(2014), it includes three indicators, namely figure ability, verbal ability, and numerical ability. It is clear that through music and its forms, it can certainly lead to training on IQ indicators such as visual abilities described by Widyati & Mubarak (2016) about "Transformasi Musik dalam Bentuk Arsitektur" (The Transformation of Music in Architectural Forms) as well as training the verbal skills as presented in a research by Israel(2013) about "Language Learning Enhanced by Music and Song" and training the mathematical or numerical abilities as described in the book written by Wright(2009) entitled "Mathematics and Music". This means that conceptually music learning (cognitive and psychomotor) has a relationship with intelligence quotient. ...
... Speaking and singing embedded in the music, and they can greatly facilitate the verbal expression (Sağlam & Kayaoglu, 2010) Researchers assume that the verbal skills can be formed through music learning. This assumption is supported by a research by Murray in Israel (2013) regarding to the efforts of improving verbal skills which stated that analyzing songs as poetry expands the students' grammar and vocabulary, developing the skills needed to learn the target language deeper. The students' pronunciation is also improved as they listen to the beat, rhythm, flow, and accent. ...
Full-text available
Abstrack This study aims to determine, describe and analyze the impact of intelligence quotient on learning outcomes in the musical art. This research was conducted on student representatives with a total sample of 324 students. The method used in this study was a quantitative method with an ex post de facto approach and correlational design. The data collection techniques used a psychological scale in the form of intelligence quotient tests, documents on the results of learning musical art and interviews with student representatives. The data analysis technique used was a simple linear regression test with the Best Linear Unbiased Estimated standard. The results showed that there is a significant and positive impact of intelligence quotient on the learning outcomes of musical art with the contribution percentage of 16.1% and 83.9% influenced by other factors that are not part of the research variables. Based on the results of the analysis and discussion, the researchers hope that this research can (1) facilitate students in getting new insight and experience related to intelligence quotient tests, (2) be a guide for teachers in understanding the conditions related to students' intellectual abilities, (3) be material considerations of art education teachers in designing intellectual-based learning and (4) be the basis for developing intelligence quotient tests. The suggestions from the researchers are certainly addressed to many parties, education implementers for the government, schools, teachers, further researchers and students.
... Además de mejorar el aprendizaje del idioma en sí, el uso de canciones facilita la docencia de los conceptos más abstractos (Israel, 2013). Igualmente, las canciones pueden resultar efectivas para el trabajo del inglés en edades escolares debido a la activación de un aprendizaje multimodal a través del canto. ...
Full-text available
How to cite: Syroyid Syroyid, B. (2022). ¿Ayuda el canto a mejorar la pronunciación del inglés como lengua extranjera? Una revisión de estudios experimentales. En S. Gala Pellicer (Ed.) Innovación Educativa Aplicada a la Enseñanza de la Lengua (pp. 63-69). Dykinson. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ RESUMEN: El inglés es un idioma muy rico en fonemas y contiene múltiples palabras en las que un cambio de sonido puede alterar radicalmente el significado de una frase. Esto puede agravarse en el canto, donde es muy importante esclarecer la pronunciación de las vocales, que son las que más se tienden a deformar y distorsionar en el inglés cantado. Estas diferencias son suficientemente complejas incluso para los hablantes nativos (Palmer, 1882). Las canciones en inglés se han utilizado, por ejemplo, para atraer la atención de los alumnos de niveles avanzados, particularmente cuando se tratan aspectos complejos del idioma que requieren de grandes habilidades analíticas, como el caso de la poesía. En este capítulo, se revisará el impacto real de las canciones para la mejora de la pronunciación en alumnos de inglés como lengua extranjera. Se priorizaron los estudios experimentales, y aleatorizados cuando fuera posible, incluyéndose 7 estudios de estas características. Tres de ellos fueron descriptivos y cualitativos y cuatro de ellos fueron cuantitativos y analíticos. Todos los estudios mostraron la satisfacción de los estudiantes con el uso de canciones en inglés como una herramienta para mejorar la pronunciación. Todos excepto uno, muestran beneficios en la pronunciación comparando el uso de canciones con la simple repetición o entonación de palabras con ritmo. A continuación, se analizarán los hallazgos más relevantes de cada uno de ellos.
... Además de mejorar el aprendizaje del idioma en sí, el uso de canciones facilita la docencia de los conceptos más abstractos (Israel, 2013). Igualmente, las canciones pueden resultar efectivas para el trabajo del inglés en edades escolares debido a la activación de un aprendizaje multimodal a través del canto. ...
... The learner benefits by enhancing key developmental goals such as self-esteem and creativity. Music inspires and soothes, and people who are musically talented seem to have an enhanced aptitude in the learning of foreign languages in addition, ( Hilda F Israel, 2013) clearly claims that music inspires and soothes, and people who are musically talented seem to have an enhanced aptitude in the learning of foreign languages. However, a student who have music competence, ones he listen to music, and then, he will repeatedly easier. ...
Full-text available
Inspiring phenomenal English songs have a great contribution to develop, improve, and increase listening skills. This study aims to analyze the effect of inspiring phenomenal songs to develop students' listening skill. In doing it, this study used the descriptive qualitative as approach to get and process the data. Implementing research, it is done in three stages, pre-listening, whilst-listening, and post-listening. The participants were students native Papua who study in boarding school. Totaling were 40 students. The result showed that inspiring phenomenal English songs can raise students' motivation, vocabulary, cognitive, linguistics, affective, and makes classroom's atmosphere more comfortable free of boredom. It is implied to be a reference media in developing students' interest in listening skills which are stating in boarding schools, in particularly.
... Students who learn English as a second language are inspired by the use of song in learning literature (Israel, 2013). Apart from songs, there are also various other types of edutainment activities which can stimulate student interest to learn a foreign language. ...
Full-text available
The study was conducted to identify the effects of using song as a teaching aid for students studying foreign language at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Global language or foreign language is a compulsory course for students in Universiti Putra Malaysia. Students are required to learn this foreign language for two semesters, which is up to level two. Should they progress to level three, they will be awarded a certificate. As such, students will definitely need to have high motivation for learning the foreign language. Hence this study is undertaken to learn whether the approach is suitable to guide and enhance student’s learning capabilities. This research was conducted on 105 students who were selected at random as respondents and were given online questionnaires to complete. The questionnaire was developed based on Dörnyei's (1994) theory, which is course specific motivational components involving four constructs (interest; relevance; expectancy; satisfaction). The findings showed that students strongly agree that learning foreign language using song has the following effect: (i) it does not make them bored, (ii) the lyrics trigger their interest to learn the foreign language, (iii) the use of songs in learning helps to reinforce vocabulary, and (iv) the students feel proud when they pronounce the words correctly.
... English songs are very common these days all over the world, especially among teenagers (Tarrant, 2002) as teenagers seem to have a natural tendency to listen to music, enjoy it and interact with it in a variety of ways. In fact, such songs can be looked at as a universal aspect of the English language which can assist learners of English as a foreign language in improving a range of English language skills (Alherbi, 2015;Fras et al., 2015;Ilham, 2009;Israel, 2013;Keskin, 2011;Komur et al., 2005;Murray, 2005;Siskova, 2008). Almost everywhere one goes, he/she hears contemporary English songs. ...
Full-text available
The current study examines archetypal patterns and themes underlying contemporary Native American initiation fiction. Moccasins Don’t Have High Heels and The Red Wars, both written by Le Anne Howe, are informed by the conventions of initiation fiction. The portrayal of characters with uncertain identities and feelings of alienation and solitude is a recurring theme in both works which are approached from the viewpoint of archetypal criticism. The research claims, questions and aims are stated in the introduction, which also offers an overview of Native American literature, initiation fiction, and archetypal criticism. An archetypal reading of Howe’s stories is presented in the Discussion. Research findings and analysis outcomes are stated in the Conclusion.
... English songs are very common these days all over the world, especially among teenagers (Tarrant, 2002) as teenagers seem to have a natural tendency to listen to music, enjoy it and interact with it in a variety of ways. In fact, such songs can be looked at as a universal aspect of the English language which can assist learners of English as a foreign language in improving a range of English language skills (Alherbi, 2015;Fras et al., 2015;Ilham, 2009;Israel, 2013;Keskin, 2011;Komur et al., 2005;Murray, 2005;Siskova, 2008). Almost everywhere one goes, he/she hears contemporary English songs. ...
Full-text available
The present study aimed to explore the role of English songs in Saudi students' self-learning of English as a foreign language. The study employed one data collection tool which was an online questionnaire. The questionnaire was completed by 38 Saudi students at the Community College of King Saud University in the second semester of the academic year 2020. The examination and analysis of the data showed that listening to English songs motivated the Saudi students to learn English in a self-study mode, augmented their English vocabulary, improved their speaking skill and developed their spelling or writing skill to a considerable extent. It is, therefore, recommended that more large-scale quantitative or qualitative studies on the role of English songs in Saudi students' self-learning of English as a foreign language be conducted to confirm the findings of the present study, challenge them or yield new ones.
... Learners readily accept language instruction when songs become an integral part of second or foreign language learning. They motivate learners to learn a language (Israel, 2013). Good, Russo & Sullivan (2015) compared vocabulary development among students taught through songs and speech-based methods. ...
Full-text available
This report on using songs for grammar instruction is a small part of my ongoing doctoral dissertation on teacher beliefs on language learning and teaching. The study was conducted on four urban English high school teachers in Bangalore. The teachers used songs as an authentic resource to teach grammar. The teachers reported that songs provided an ideal context for language learning because the students learned language structures without explicit instruction, while also being able to use them in contexts outside the classroom. This paper describes in detail the procedure I used to teach phrasal verbs. Sharoon Sunny has an M.A. in Humanities with a "Studies in Literature" major from the University of Texas at Dallas, where she was a Robert Plant Armstrong Endowed Fellow. She is currently working towards a PhD in ESL from the School of English Language Education at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. Sharoon has been an English teacher for more than fifteen years and has a keen interest in integrating creativity, writing and special needs. Her current research interest explores innovative practices in ELT. She also writes songs for children.
There is currently little information about the kinds of foreign language pop music, songs and activities used by language learners in informal learning contexts. This systematic analysis provides an overview of research from 2010–2020 in an attempt to describe how foreign language learners find, listen to, and engage with pop songs from another country or culture and how this can lead to increased informal language learning, using qualitative observations and interview responses found in published articles to conduct thematic analysis using grounded theory. Thematic analysis resulted in six themes within the peer-reviewed qualitative journal articles, and we argue that more research is needed into learner perspectives and about how learners engage autonomously with L2 pop music in informal language learning.
Full-text available
This article considers the value of relating music and language in the EFL classroom. From an ontological point of view, sounds are the roots of both music and speech. Our ‘melodic approach’ is based on the evidence that musicality of speech has an effect not only on the pronunciation skills of EFL students but also on their entire language acquisition process. A number of suggestions are made to provide the teacher with a range of teaching devices.
Creativity—its definition, evaluation, and place in the curriculum—is often misunderstood. Peter R. Webster clarifies the issue with a model for musical creativity that holds exciting implications for music educators.
The use of technology in an art form such as music has always been with us, says this writer, who notes that the use of computers and electronic tech nology is simply the next logical step in developing the art of music.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate high school participants' views of the meaning of high school choral singing experience. For the purposes of this study, meaning is defined as a psychological construct with cognitive and affective aspects, manifested overtly through behavior, reflecting an individual's evaluation and valuation of an experience. A further purpose was to determine the efficacy of a multidimensional conceptualization of the meaning construct. A Likert-type scale was developed and administered to 673 high school choral students in 14 ensembles. Principal components factor analysis with oblique rotation yielded six interpretable factors in the meaning of high school choral singing experience. These dimensions were labeled achievement, spiritualistic, musical-artistic, communicative, psychological, and integrative. The results of the present study appear to confirm the validity of a multidimensional conceptualization of the meaning construct.
A study investigated the effectiveness of music and use of story illustrations on the English vocabulary acquisition of children. Subjects were 48 second-graders of limited English proficiency, divided into four groups. One group heard a story in its sung version, and another heard the oral version only. A third group heard the music and simultaneously viewed pictures of target vocabulary words. The fourth group heard the oral version and viewed the pictures. Results of pre- and posttests indicate no statistically significant differences between groups having music and not having music, between having illustrations and not having them, or for the interaction of the two variables. However, descriptive differences were found. Vocabulary gain scores were consistently higher for the groups in which either music or illustrations were used, and highest for the group in which both were used. Implications for the use of music in the second language classroom are discussed, and further research is recommended. A 40-item bibliography is included. (MSE)
Cites ERIC materials describing how music in the classroom can help improve reading readiness, recall, and creative writing. (HTH)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Connecticut, 1981. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 97-104). Microfilm of typescript.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of singing paired with signing on receptive vocabulary skills of elementary English as a Second Language (ESL) students. Eighty children attended language sessions in one of the following rehearsal conditions: sung text paired with signs, spoken text paired with signs, sung text, and a control group of spoken text only. Pretest and posttest data were analyzed to determine gains in receptive vocabulary identification. Results from this study indicate that all four groups made significant pretest to posttest gains. Children in the sung text paired with sign and the spoken text paired with sign conditions, however, made significantly greater gains in vocabulary recognition than those in the control condition of spoken text only. These findings suggest the benefits of integrating signs into second language rehearsal to provide visual cues and to engage students in meaningful physical participation. The condition yielding the highest mean gain score was that in which signing was paired with singing, indicating there may be advantages to using a combination of the two for language acquisition.
English second language learners: using music to enhance the listening abilities of grade ones. Masters thesis. Unisa
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Horn, C.A. 2007. English second language learners: using music to enhance the listening abilities of grade ones. Masters thesis. Unisa. db/theses/available/etd09212007.133117/unrestricted/disse rtation.pdf.(accessed February 5, 2010).