If youre happy and you know it: The song that we have chosen to develop the visual and kinaesthetic intelligence is If youre happy and you know it McQuinn, 2009. It is a song in which children have to interpret the actions while they are singing it and watching the video. They will develop interpersonal and linguistic intelligence
since they will work in groups and order song lyrics as they like. In order to develop intrapersonal intelligence they can search on the internet the places corresponding to the song greetings, and even look up new ways to say hello/goodbye. Thanks to that, they will also improve their learning to learn competence.
b. There was an old lady song: The nursery rhyme There was an old lady who swallowed a fly (Mills & Bonne, 1953) is good to tell a story, to learn vocabulary related to animals and to introduce past simple to children (linguistic intelligence). We will see the video which will be showing the animals at the same time that the song is being played (visual intelligence). Then, we will sing the song together and dramatize the animals making the corresponding movements and sounds (kinaesthetic intelligence). We will hand out the song lyrics and explain that a very good way to remember vocabulary is matching it with the picture (intrapersonal intelligence). Then, each group will sing the song, which they have created, with the same intonation as the original one (musical intelligence).
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c. The elephant's song: Our children can develop several intelligences with this song The elephant's song (Herman, 2006). Children will have to pay attention to the drawings seen on the video since Herman describes the abilities of the animals but in a wrong way (visual intelligence). They will sing again performing actions of the song (kinaesthetic intelligence). They will learn vocabulary on animal abilities and features. (linguistic intelligence).
d. Rainstorm: This activity consists of "organizing sounds to represent ideas and compose and perform a musical picture" (Paterson & Willis, 2008, p. 82). They will be told a story at the same time a picture will be drawn on the board (linguistic and visual intelligence). Afterwards, they will have to represent each action with sounds and body's movements (musical and kinaesthetic intelligence). Finally, they will talk about weather from other countries or other cities (interpersonal intelligence).
e. Adventure chant: Adventure chant is an activity "to ask questions and respond in a chant using the past simple; to improve pronunciation skills; to memorize the past simple form; to create and write a similar adventure chant" (Read, 2007, p.199). This activity develops visual intelligence because children will watch character's pictures. They will also improve their linguistic intelligences as they will answer questions according to the pictures. And, in the end, musical and intrapersonal intelligences will be enhanced as children will create a chant and sing it to the rest of the class.
4.3. Follow-up Activities
a. God save the Queen: The British anthem God save the Queen is aimed for our learners to develop their interpersonal, musical and linguistic intelligences. Students will learn the sociocultural background of the song and will review vocabulary. They will be arranged in pairs, then they will be handed out the lyrics of the song from the video (2007) jumbled up and they will have to rearrange the verses in the correct order and sing it.
b. Who's got the chocolate? Who's got the chocolate is a chanting game adapted from a West Indian game: Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar (Read, 2007, p. 195-196). They will improve musical and linguistic competence as they will chant and perform the song slapping their knees to make the rhythm and consolidate language items.
c. Three Crows: The song Three Crows refers to the crows which lived in the Tower of London (Madrid & McLaren, 1995, p. 245-246). Students will practice musical and linguistic intelligence as they will have to order jumbled words of lyrics and concentrate on rhythm and intonation. In addition, they will know a little more about English culture developing interpersonal intelligence. Finally, they will create a picture dictionary with the new words improving their intrapersonal intelligence.
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d. She sells seashells: This song She sells seashells (Sullivan, 1908) is a tongue twister. It consolidates vocabulary of the beach and helps to distinguish /s/ and /Êƒ/ phonemes developing linguistic intelligence. First of all, learners will watch the video improving their visual intelligence. In circle, they will jump and sing the song following its rhythm growing musical and kinaesthetic intelligence. Finally, students will search more tongue twisters on the internet, make a song for them and sing them to the rest of the class developing, consequently, intrapersonal intelligence.
e. Beauty and the Beast: The popular Disney song, Beauty and the Beast (Ashman, 1991) helps students develop linguistic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. They will have to guess missing words from song lyrics. Furthermore, our learners will have to pay attention to rhythm, pronunciation and intonation. They will work on the words that rhyme and they will learn vocabulary of the lyrics making sentences about their personal life using each word they do not know about.
4.4. Pedagogical implications
Using songs, rhymes, chants and anthems in classroom encourages unconscious learning boosting, thus, the acquisition of a second language. These ones foster receptive and productive skill, and above all pronunciation. Music helps to motivate our learners and create a pleasant atmosphere, key factors in a classroom. Moreover, songs teach learners about English culture.
5. Concluding Remarks
English is a fundamental language in this multicultural society. English is considered to be a lingua franca, a common language which helps us communicate with foreign people. Teaching English should start from the beginnings of education because the sooner you learn a language the better due to the plasticity of brain which is more flexible the younger you are (Lenneberg, 1967).
Music is and has always been present in our life. Linguistics and music has been integrated in our culture. Music is also crucial in the physiological development of human beings: children show special abilities in the development of musical skills; they recognise pitch patterns and rhythm very easily (Campbell, 2001). Songs, chants, nursery rhymes and anthems can show students English speaking countries' features and feel more tolerant towards them.
As an English teacher for Primary school, I have the experience that it is very important to motivate students to learn. If children feel bored in class they will not have the intention to learn. Consequently, they will distract themselves and their classmates. It is a must of the teacher to plan classes and activities which are suitable to learners' needs.
For that reason, as we have seen, music is relevant in Primary English teaching. We have designed creative enjoyable musical activities to learn this second language. These activities are divided in three main groups: warming up activities to present new vocabulary and structure, development activities to encourage the four skills and follow up activities to consolidate the main language issues.
We have taken into account the Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner in 1983 to evidence our hypothesis: teaching English through music is more enjoyable and it results in better language acquisition; using a qualitative methodology. We have proposed several activities trying to cover the following intelligences: linguistic and musical intelligence, visual/spatial and kinaesthetic intelligences and interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence.
Every learner has his own learning style (Pinter, 2006). Songs, nursery rhymes, chants and anthems are musical elements very appropriate to the compilation of activities since each learner possesses distinctive educative needs owing to manifold individual and social factors. As warming up activities, we have chosen both traditional and modern songs which are adequate to present the new vocabulary, to practice intonation, rhythm and pronunciation and to develop kinaesthetic and interpersonal competences.
As development activities, we have selected If you're happy and you know it to interpret the lyrics with their body; There was an old lady to practice new structures and vocabulary; The elephant's song to develop the visual competence; Rainstorm to display a musical representation; and Adventure chant to develop their intrapersonal intelligence. Finally, as follow-up activities, we have decided to do the anthem God save the Queen, the chanting game Who's got the chocolate?, the song Three Crows, the tongue twister She sells seashells and the popular Disney song Beauty and the Beast. These songs are suitable to develop interpersonal, linguistic, musical, intrapersonal, visual and kinaesthetic competences.
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Using music for the teaching of a second language is not only a useful pedagogical idea, but also a necessary tool because it creates a calmed and motivating environment, it develops receptive and productive skills, and it develops memory productively.