Teaching English as a Second Language through Rap Music

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For Students

Did you know that rock, rap and pop music could be used as a teaching & learning tool? This doesn’t mean you have to stand in front of your class belting out the rules of reading, writing and arithmetic either. 

Educators, teachers, and school administrators can all use music as a way to reach students and make learning more fun, interactive, and memorable. Music can even be used very effectively as a tool in whole brain learning and multicultural learning.

Perhaps the most exciting part about music in the classroom is that it can be used as both a teaching & learning tool. Both uses are effective for teachers and students alike.

Read more at: http://www.teachhub.com/using-rap-rock-pop-music-teach

A great example of using rap in the classroom is from colloandspark.com. For a complete list of irregular verbs, visit English Club.

If you like this, you should visit eslhiphop.com for lots of lessons based on HipHop songs.

For Teachers

Teaching methodology for English language learners has changed radically. Just as general teaching practice has moved from teacher centered activities to student centered activities, ESL teaching practice has moved from memorizing lists of decontextualized vocabulary (Audio Linguistic Method) to learning vocabulary that is embedded in context. Also grammar that was once explained with extended definitions of structures and forms (Direct Method) is now often taught inductively and communicatively. Methods that traditionally emphasized correcting usage and pronunciation of words have been replaced with communicatively focused methods. All of these developments have created better language teaching strategies, but there is still need for language learning approaches that teach grammar, vocabulary, prosody and other language skills without contrived and artificial content exercises. Instead, content should be introduced in authentic and natural ways. Although emphasis has shifted to communicative approaches, many of the methods of teaching speaking and listening are unappealing to students and should be taught in ways which are relevant and interesting.

Since Gardner (2006) first introduced the multiple intelligence (MI) theory, many educators have tried to apply his theory to improve teaching practice. Teaching to musical intelligence has proven to be effective in helping students learn English, yet there is little curriculum to help teachers incorporate using music in teaching English as an additional language. Therefore, students are often deprived of opportunities to use their musical intelligence for learning. Moreover, though the emphasis on communicative approaches of learning a second language have brought a plethora of new strategies, teachers and students alike still need interesting curriculum that is based on educationally sound theories. They need curriculum that is relevant to students and that creates an environment which is conducive to learning. The Rapping English curriculum fills the gap of materials needed to incorporate music in curriculum without requiring teachers to have musical knowledge or preparation. It is a curriculum that is high interest and that is based on sound educational theory.

Gardner (2006) completed his multiple intelligence (MI) theory in 1980 which had a significant impact on educational practice. He claimed education traditionally favored teaching to linguistic or logical mathematic intelligences, but that teaching to more intelligences improves student learning. He recommended using a multiple intelligence approach to teaching a topic. In this way, more students could learn because there would be more of a chance of approaching a topic in accordance with students’ dominant intelligences. Additionally, students develop a better and fuller understanding of a topic when it is explored using multimodalities. Finally, neural networks which produce long-term memory are activated when several areas of the brain are stimulated by targeting different intelligences.

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