The Importance of music and movement in the development of the young child. Sesame Street: Outdoors with Jason Mraz.

Sesame Street: Outdoors with Jason Mraz


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Text extracted from: Temario de oposiciones-Inglés-Primaria Road to your Post. Self-learning method. 



Topic: 17.
The song as a poetic vehicle and as literary creation in the english class. Typology of songs. Techniques to use songs for phonetic, lexical and cultural aspects.

1. Introduction
Main aim in FLT: Communicative competence. This requires appropriate materials and resources. Songs and music are ideal strategies to motivate students, present language or create a context. There are plenty of benefits in the use of songs for FLT, as we shall see along this paper.

2. The song as a poetic vehicle and as literary creation in the English Class.
Songs are ideal resources to present authentic and fun input. Its use is in line with the Theory of Multiple Intelligences.
Benefits in using songs: Linguistic (present or recycle lexis, enjoyable repetition, work on pronunciation); psychological (motivating power, non-threatening environment); cognitive (improve concentration, predict what comes next, reinforce meaning); socio-cultural (develop knowledge of English-speaking countries).
– Poetic function of the language (meaning in a song…example).
– Selection criteria: age, linguistic difficulty (ZPD).
– Staging: Pre-while and post (explanation and example).
– Examples of strategies (predicting, inferring meaning from the context).

3. Typology of songs
• Action songs and rhymes. Effective for Infant and Primary. Normally associate language and action (TPR). Rhymes are usually performed with fingers or hands, especially useful to work on sounds and prosodic features.
• Nursery Rhymes. Poetry for children, not specifically for teaching purposes.
• Limericks and Riddles. Popular poetry, usually with a humorous element that may include archaic language. Riddles include solving a problem.
• Traditional and Pop songs. Use of pop songs can be highly motivating, although they have not been designed for FLT and thus, language level may be too high.

4. Techniques to use songs for phonetic, lexical and cultural learning
• Phonetic aspects of rhythm, stress and intonation in the four content blocks. Goal of teaching pronunciation (Goodwing: understand and be understood, build their confidence, to monitor their speech based on input from the environment); intelligibility (Harmer).
• Lexical competence: Nation, knowing a word implies knowing the form, meaning and how to use it). Steps (convey meaning, check for comprehension, consolidation. Examples)
• Cultural learning. Socio-cultural aspects in legal framework (content blocks). Songs are ideal resources to present and practise cultural learning. Practical examples depicting cultural content or treatment.
5. Conclusion
Songs as valuable resources to provide real input. Motivating power. Need to integrate them in the curriculum to develop the learners´ communicative competence.


Topic: 17.
The song as a poetic vehicle and as literary creation in the english class. Typology of songs. Techniques to use songs for phonetic, lexical and cultural aspects.

1. Introduction
2. The song as a poetic vehicle and as literacy creation in tne English class 
3. Typology of songs
4. Techniques to use songs for phonetic, lexical learning and cultural aspects 
5. Conclusion
6. Bibliography


1. Introduction
The main goal to be attained in the teaching of a foreign language in Primary Education is the development of a certain degree of communicative competence (reference to regional Decree). This term refers to enabling the learner to communicate through oral and written means, using the foreign language in real and meaningful contexts. Considering the language as an instrument of communication implies using it to express and exchange meanings in contextualized situations, getting the students to apply different strategies to get their meaning across; instead of learning an abstract set of grammatical rules.
The development of our learners´ communicative competence entails the use of appropriate materials and resources to provide them with varied learning contexts in which the FL is used meaningfully and with a purpose. Besides, if we want that FL learners take the risk to engage in active receptive skills (i.e. making guesses, inferring the meaning of words, etc) and productive ones (i.e. making questions, writing a song, etc); it is essential to create a non-threatening learning environment, so that students do not feel deterred towards active participation in the FL class, nor even towards committing errors, as they also give evidence of learning.
In this sense, the use of songs and music in the FL area is one of the best ways to motivate learners and develop a taste for English. As we shall see in this topic, songs provide authentic and contextualized input and can be used to cover all language skills. Moreover, it is commonly acknowledged that songs have an intrinsic engaging power that facilitates catching out learners´ attention.
There are many benefits in the use of songs to present new language, review and create meaningful contexts for FLL. In this topic, we shall reflect on the role of songs in the FL class and the advantages that music can bring to it. We shall also analyze the different types of songs and some techniques that can be used to develop phonological, lexical and cultural aspects. The reasons to use songs in FL teaching are varied, but perhaps the most determining one is the fact that songs are a part of every culture and human beings enjoy music along their lives. Therefore, through the use of songs in FLT we may take advantage of their engaging and motivating power.

2. The song as a poetic vehicle and as literacy creation in tne English class 
Everyone would admit that music and rhythm are forms of cultural expression in all cultures and in all ages. As Read (2007) notes, children love rhythm, music and movement; and the use of songs contributes to learners´ overall social, linguistic, cognitive and emotional development. In this sense, when children start learning a FL, songs, rhymes and chants play a special role in providing them with authentic and enjoyable input.
The main cognitive reason for using songs in the classroom is automaticity. Songs present opportunities for developing automaticity. Gatbonton and Segalowitz (1988) define automaticity as “a component of language fluency which involves both knowing what to say and producing language rapidly without pauses”. Songs are a method that can help automatise the language development process. Traditionally, it was thought that automatization would be produced through repetitive exercises in a noncommunicative environment. Gatbonton and Segalowitz also note that that we must “place students in an environment in which it is appropriate to use utterances in a genuinely communicative fashion”.
The role of songs in FLT: According to Gardner´s theory of multiple intelligences (1983), the use of songs in the classroom stimulates several intelligences: verbal, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and kinesthetic; since a song involves lyrics, music, sharing with other (interaction), reflection on the meaning and even physical reaction (i.e. physical response to meaning).
Another relevant theory on the grounds of the use of songs in the FL class is Krashen´s affective filter. In Krashen´s view, the students´ positive attitude is essential for effective learning; therefore, teachers should strive for the creation of a positive, pleasant and anxious-free environment in which learners feel relaxed. In this light, the use of songs has stood the test of time in FLT because of their potential to motivate and create willingness to understand and use the FL. In this light, the Affective Filter Hypothesis is one of five proposed hypotheses developed by Steven Krashen. Basically, it is an explanation of how the affective factors relate to language learning. Teachers have long recognized the need for students to have a positive attitude in regard to learning. The practical application of the Affective Filter Hypothesis is that teachers must provide a positive atmosphere conducive to language learning. In this sense, songs are one method for achieving a weak affective filter and promoting language learning. Obvious as it may seem, the range of possibilities in using songs in the FL class is massive:
– To present a topic, a language point, lexis, etc.
– To practise a language point, lexis, etc.
– To focus on common learner errors in a more direct way.
– To encourage extensive and intensive listening.
– To stimulate discussion of attitudes and feelings.
– To encourage creativity and use of imagination.
– To provide a relaxed classroom atmosphere.
– To bring variety and fun to learning.


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(from «Sesame Street» soundtrack)

All day I’ve been inside
And I’ve got the feeling
I’m trapped between the walls
And underneath the ceiling

I feel a bit off track
And I’m trying to get back

Back in the cool, cool air where the sun is shining
Nothing’s going to stop me
It’s all in the timing
It’s finally again my turn
It’s time to return
‘Cause I won’t stay inside no more
No more
I can not wait to go

Well open up your door and be like me
Open up your door and then breathe free
And look at all the beauty you’ll feel
Loved, loved, loved, loved

Listen to the music of the wind and the birdies sing
We’re just one big family
And all of nature deserves to be
Loved, loved, loved, loved,

So, I won’t stay inside no more
No more
It can not wait, I’m sure
There’s need to run and hide
Let’s go explore
It feels so great let’s go outdoors

(Don’t cha do)

Everyone come on
come on out here
Where the air is fresh and clear

So, I won’t stay inside no more
No more
It can not wait
Let’s go outdoors

Well, open up your door and be like me
Open up your door and then breathe free
And look at all the beauty and you’ll find
the earth and the sky is yours

So please go, there’s no need,
there’s no need to hide inside
Let’s go explore
This will, this will feel so great
Let’s go outdoors


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