Using Music With ELLs

Music strategies for ELLs across academic areas, this is a short blog post that addresses a few ways that teachers can use music to help with their academic curriculum.  There are specific strategies for reading/spelling, writing, math, social studies, and sciences.  They are fairly focused on one thing, but they can be adapted to any sort of lesson that a teacher may give.  All the teacher has to do is follow the logic of how these strategies were formed and they can make it their own for any lesson that they want to teach.

Uwe Kind uses humor and music to multiple languages, including English.  Things like this and jazz chants are things that any sort of teacher can use with their ELLs.  It is very interactive and is a great way to teach a new language, because it is something that is easily remembered.  Just watching one of the videos will help retain information, because it is so interesting, that when it is encouraging interaction, you are willing to do it.  This is similar to jazz chants in a way, they are both interactive music activities that assist in teaching a language.   These strategies are used all over the world, because they are so effective.

This blog post offers some reasons why using music in a foreign language classroom can be beneficial.  This thinking can be applied to an ESL classroom, because music can be integrated into every subject to enhance learning.  Even if it is just to set the mood of the classroom, just making the effort to include something that students will enjoy and remember will help them have a better learning experience.  It is sort of like Uwe Kind’s strategy, because it is something that they will remember and be able to access easily.  They can use music to connect across content areas and even enhance their own lives, like getting more in touch with their own little worlds and cultures and also the world that they are getting used to and be able to bond with others over a common interest.  Here is another site that offers tips on using music to teach a language.

It is really easy to just search “music strategies for ELLs” “using music to teach a language” and instantly have a plethora of resources to choose from.  Some things are more helpful than others, such as reading a blog post with simple strategies already outlined versus reading a research article and having to sift through everything.  One of the best ways to integrate music into ESL is to search for videos of strategies being used and modifying them as you see fit, like jazz chants.


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