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a) To enhance autonomous learning by giving students strategies and resources so that they can continue learning out of the classroom. Learning languages is a task that takes much time even out of school. It is essential that children become autonomous learners so that they know how to learn outside school. Teachers should show "strategies related to raising awareness about what language learning is", the reasons to learn it, etc., "metacognitive strategies" to be able to plan, check and evaluate their learning and "direct or cognitive strategies" so that learners are efficient when learning vocabulary and structures of a language (Pinter, 2006, p.100).
Autonomous learning is closely related to the development of intrapersonal intelligence. Through the use of songs, children will discover if they learn better by singing and they will be able to identify helpful strategies faster, what produces a more fruitful learning.
b) To create a pleasant and motivating classroom atmosphere where children feel safe and happy to communicate and learn.
Krashen (1985) developed five hypotheses in relation to learning motivation: the Acquisition-Learning hypothesis, the Monitor hypothesis, the Natural Order hypothesis, the Input hypothesis, and the Affective Filter hypothesis. The affective filter hypothesis plays a decisive role in language teaching. This filter is a brain system which controls the quantity of input that becomes actual intake. If the filter gets activated, learners turn stressed, lowering their self-confidence and being afraid of making mistakes. On the contrary, if the filter is low or null, students will feel very motivated, relaxed and enthusiastic for learning.
Using music in class helps us to create a pleasant environment. Songs, rhymes, chants and anthems are relaxing, motivating and fun. We will use songs according to learners' interests and will create activities where children will work in harmony with their classmates. If children feel happy in the classroom, they will adopt a positive attitude towards the learning of English.
c) To improve attention and students' concentration and to develop their working memory.
Conneticut's Education Department (2007) whose current commissioner is Pryor, carried out a study which proved that learning foreign languages improves comprehension, spatial intelligence, memory, ability to search solutions and the knowledge about the own language. According to Paquette and Rieg (2008), music enhances attention and long-term memory. Furthermore, it improves theoretical thinking, helping to develop learners' creativity.
With the support of pictures, children will develop their attention and concentration because a visual support is helpful to catch students' attention. Visuals and music is a great combination to develop learners' memory.
d) To use English for meaningful purposes.
The intelligence which will help us focus on meaning rather than form is the kinaesthetic one. This intelligence is related to the Total Physical Response's theory developed by the psychologist Asher in 1977. Children focus their attention on listening comprehension if they move according to the song lyrics. This is good to develop memory and to acquire language.
As mentioned above, Krashen (1985) makes a distinction between learning and acquiring the language. It is believed that we acquire our mother through a subconscious process which comes from engaging in natural communication where individuals focus on meaning. On the contrary, learning a second language is a conscious process where learners focus on form. According to this theory, learners should pay attention to meaning in order to fully acquire it.
e) To create musical activities so that our learners improve the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), English vocabulary, structures and pronunciation.
Children can establish connections among grammatical rules and by listening to the repetition of words and structures (Paquette & Rieg, 2008). Hill-Clarke and Robinson (2003) assumed that music is good to increase vocabulary and comprehension skills, making lexical repetition more dynamic.
Linguistic intelligence and music one are similarly developed. Songs are music and speech, so both hemispheres (left and right sides of brain) work together (Storr, 1992, p. 35). We will work on pitch, melody, rhythm, timbre and language features, so we will develop both intelligences simultaneously.
f) To propose creative teaching alternatives so that our learners get to know how and when to use language appropriately.
Sociolinguistics is the science that studies the relationship that exists between language and society. We have to know how to use language in different cultural contexts. This has to do with pragmatics. Pragmatics is "the study of language use in general, (â€¦) study of communication, (â€¦) an approach to the study of language via language's communicative function" (Allott, 2010, p.1). Children will see that the vocabulary and expressions from an anthem or a pop song or a traditional nursery rhyme change according to the different situations.
e) To provide exercises in which children learn to show interest and respect towards Anglo - Saxon culture.
To have interpersonal intelligence is to become aware that there exist people with similar or different feelings to us, with different costumes and traditions, with different lifestylesâ€¦ Songs, chants, rhymes and anthems can show children English speaking countries' features. Singing together and working in groups will help learners to develop the interpersonal competence because pupils will have to communicate to agree at some point.