Song: an Effective Technique and Material in Learning English

Song: An Effective Technique and Material in Learning English English has an important role in many aspects of life. This statement leads us to the reason of why this language should be taught in schools. In Indonesia, English is used as the first foreign language that should be learned by the students even from elementary school until university. In using the language, there are many elements that have to be mastered, covering reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Song refer to a piece of music that have words and can be used in language teaching.
It is suggested to include songs in language learning as well. The possibility of using songs in English as a foreign language class has been actively considered for the last two decades. It is considered because songs have many values in language teaching. Orlova (2003), states that it is possible to suggest that among the methodological purposes that songs are used in class, it is possible to rank the following: 1. Practicing the rhythm, stress and the intonation patterns of the English language. 2. Teaching vocabulary, especially in the vocabulary reinforcement stage 3.
Teaching grammar. In this respect songs are especially favored by teachers while investigating the use of the tenses. 4. Teaching speaking. For this purpose, songs and mainly their lyrics are employed as a stimulus for class discussion 5. Teaching listening comprehension 6. Developing writing skills. For this purpose a song can be used in a variety of ways. From the songs, we can learn many things such as vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, writing, and of course reading. Benefit of Song Griffe (1992: 4) points out some advantages in using songs and music in the language classroom.

There are some categories mentioned by Griffe, namely in classroom atmosphere, cultural input, text and student interest. They are as follows; 1. Songs create enjoyable classroom atmosphere Dealing with classroom atmosphere, songs and music can be used to make students relaxed and provide enjoyable classroom conditions. 2. They can introduce the culture of the songs. Either songs or music is reflection of the time and place that produce them. When the teacher brings songs into classroom, he will also bring the culture of the songs in the classroom. 3. Songs can be used as texts
Songs also can be used as texts in the same way that a poem, short story or novel provided in the language classroom. From explanation above, songs have many benefits. Some of them are songs can motivate the students and make them more confident in their ability to listen the materials. The Criteria of Song Selection The important thing about choosing a song to do with a class is to make sure that the lyrics are clear. It can be very frustrating for the students not to understand a word. The recording should also be a good one. Lynch (2008), provides three principal song selection criteria, as follows: 1.
Use songs that are popular with the students whenever possible. Unfortunately, students frequently select songs for classroom use which are objectionable in some way making the song unusable. 2. Songs must have clear and understandable lyrics. Nothing is worse than a song almost nobody can understand. If you have trouble understanding the lyrics by listening, then another song needs to be selected. 3. Songs should have an appropriate theme. There’s enough bad news, negativity and violence in the world already. Songs with any type of negative theme should be avoided. There are plenty of positive, upbeat, even humorous songs available.
It is realized when teaching the students; we should choose the songs with suitable level of difficulty. The suitability of the song is a particularly important issue. It should be known whether or not the students like the song. The use of Singing Procedure There are various ways of using songs in the classroom. The level of the students, the interests and the age of the learners, the grammar point to be studied, and the song itself have determinant roles on the procedure. Apart from them, it mainly depends on the creativity of the teacher. Some examples of these techniques are: 1. Gap fills or close texts . Focus questions 3. True-false statements 4. Put the lines into the correct sequence 5. Dictation 6. Add a final verse 7. Circle the antonyms/synonyms of the given words 8. Discuss Many experienced textbook and methodology manual writers argue that songs have a great educational value. It can’t be denied that children, teenagers, and adults like music. While they are singing it, they are also doing other activities like learning, remembering new vocabulary, studying to pronounce words, etc. So, let’s try to learn English by using song and get the result! BIBLIOGRAPHY: Griffe, Dale T. 1992. Songs in Action.
UK: Prentice Hall International Ltd. Lynch, Larry M. (2008). Using Popular Songs to Improve Language Listening Comprehension Skills. http://esl4free. blogspot. com/2008/02/can-music-improve-your-students. htm…. Orlova, Natalia F. (March 2003). Helping Prospective EFL Teachers Learn How to Use Songs in Teaching Conversation Classes. The Internet TESL Journal. http://iteslj. org/Technoques/Orlova-Songs. html Ditulis oleh: Kristin Rahayu, S,Pd Guru Bahasa Inggris di SMK TKM Teknik Purworejo Jalan Ahmad Yani No 8 Purworejo 54111 No HP: 085725038093 email: rahayu. [email protected] com

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