Music and Songs

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    This chapter provides an overview of recent research relating to the ways in which children and young people find, listen to, and learn songs from another country or culture and how this can lead to informal language learning. It has been argued that music can form a bridge between “formal and informal” language learning; for example, students may encounter a song they enjoy in class and then access it via the Internet to hear it again, watch the music video or even learn the lyrics by heart. Songs and musical resources developed by teachers to use in the classroom (including folk or traditional music and children’s songs, chants and rhymes) may contain “simplified” or “targeted” language, whereas the music found by young people is more likely to contain the “authentic” language found in popular music and rap songs. The linguistic benefits of using foreign language songs and music may include gains in listening comprehension, speaking and pronunciation; vocabulary knowledge, including informal, idiomatic and slang expressions; improved literacy and more automatised use of grammar; and increased intercultural understanding. Suggestions for choosing songs to help learn foreign language material are also provided.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Informal Language Learning
    EditorsMark Dressman, Randall William Sadler
    PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    ISBN (Print)978-1-119-47244-5
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


    • Music
    • Language
    • Song
    • singing


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