Source : Janet Beal , ehow.com
Music is the universal language, and children respond very strongly to song. Singing together with other children, a teacher or another adult is a joy for kids. It is a fun way for children learning English to increase their vocabulary and pronunciation skills in English. Following the steps below will enable you to choose and teach songs to children that they will love and learn from.
- Choose a song or songs that will let children use skills they already have, to build their confidence while singing. "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," for example, lets children imitate rowing with their bodies. "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" lets children follow the hand-motions that help reinforce new words for body-parts. "Old McDonald Had a Farm" enables children to volunteer the names and noises of familiar farm-animals, either in their original language or in English. Songs like these help children be part of a group before they have learned all the words.
- Locate pictures, books or toys that can help reinforce words in the song and support new language before and after singing. A picture-book of farm animals lets a child practice saying English animal names; so do animal-figures they can play with. A full-body photo or drawing enables children to correlate body-part names on a body other than their own. You can also help a child learn body parts with puppets or dolls. Toy boats add to "Row, Row, Row" and provide an opportunity to expand English words for other things boats can do, like float or sink.
- Practice singing your song. This may sound a little silly, but more than one adult has realized, mid-teaching, that he or she has forgotten some of the words. When that happens, you interrupt your child's attention and lose the teaching-opportunity. You don't need a great singing voice, but you really do need to know the words to your song.
- Conduct your activity before you sing. Look at the book with your child/children, or set out toy animals for the child/children to play with.
- Give children some time to look at the book or play with the toys on their own--there's no point in trying to get their attention to sing if they want to play first.
- Ask a child if he wants to learn a song. Take an animal or picture to a chair you can share.
- Teach the song as-is. Don't interrupt for lengthy explanations of what all the words mean. Sing it several times, using gestures or props. If attention wavers, do this again later when child/children show willingness to pay attention again.
- Praise the child's participation in the project. Compliment all he does right in the song.
- Add more words when you can: "Let's sing louder/softer/faster/very slowly."
- Follow up with the same activity or a different one--if you looked at pictures, it's time to get out the boats or play a game about touching other body-parts.