Language and Song
Singing – part of the language learning
Do you like to sing? Do you sing to your children often? Does your boy come home and sing songs in Mandarin?
Please rest assured that I do not sing to your boy! The last thing I want to do is to corrupt your boy’s musical potential with my singing voice! However, I do enjoy finding all the catchy songs for boys to learn. Learning a foreign language through songs can reduce the anxiety of learning – which is known as Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA) or Xenoglossophobia. Some students would get very tense and anxious if I asked them to read something for me in Mandarin, they would get very tense and not be able to make a sound. But when I played the songs we have sung since Term 1, they would be able to sing along.
Apart from the obvious enjoyment of singing, teaching language through songs can also develops vital communication and social skills. For example, through our greeting songs, the students learn the vocabulary and how to greet others in Mandarin. For sensory learners, once they recognise the repeating patterns of sounds, it helps to retain the knowledge in long term memory.
These are some of the songs we have learnt in this term.
Hopefully during the school holidays, the boys can keep listening to the songs to refresh their memory.
My humble wish as a language teacher is that even if the boys choose not to take Mandarin in the future, there will always be a song to remind them that once they learned Mandarin…
Eva Angel – LOTE Teacher