Teaching Young Learners: the challenge

What is in a song?

It is undeniable that music dramatically influences people. It affects us deeply within our emotions.  We also know that the development of language is musical. We as babies start to learn the melodic patterns of our own language through the songs mommy sings to us, through the way people around talk to us and to each other. Each language has its own musical signature.  Moreover, there is the urge to communicate that lies within ourselves and pushes us towards developing our ability to talk, trying to imitate the sounds we hear.

If we combine these elements, alongside the knowledge acquired from neuron scientific research, that emotion is one of the keys to human brain development, we can start to create a mental picture about the importance of using songs to teach almost anything, but particularly a foreign language.

When we sing, not only do we speak, but also put to use a vast array of tools that help us learn. We activate our emotions through the rhythm and message of the song, which triggers the mechanism of memory; we automatically move our bodies according to the beat, which leads our brain to the creation of synapses linking what we say to what we feel and do. The interface of all these factors fosters the learning process.

And so one asks: why singing? And then we answer: to teach and to learn. There is much more in a song than the simple pleasure of singing, there is a multitask complex mechanism that helps us human beings be more human, in terms of emotion, and more competent, developing our brains, expanding our ability to effectively communicate our thoughts and feelings.

Nevertheless, the question remains. Can it be fully answered? I have already given it a try. Up to you now!

What is in a song? 

(Text written by: Sheila Moreira - Teacher at Cultura Inglesa Botafogo Branch & Educational Solutions Consultant)