Thursday, June 5, 2008

Speak sing sound rhythm...
Music is a powerful tool for language learning. It motivates language learners and develops language skills. As an experienced Mandarin teacher and an amateur Chinese singer, I often record my own mp3 songs in my spare time and share them with my friends. I translated the lyrics of my favorite Chinese songs and teach them to my students. They are very interested in singing these songs since it is not only helpful to their language learning but also helps them learn about Chinese culture and customs, the history and the people. Here are some sound reasons to hum a little Chinese tune when you are learning it:Listening to Song Lyrics Improves Comprehension Skills If you've ever tried to figure out the lyrics to a Chinese song whenever you hear it, you know that careful listening is required.Singing Songs Develops Good PronunciationMusic lends a natural rhythm to words and phrases, helping language learners use good pronunciation. Melodies and rhymes guide learners to speak in a native cadence. Any Chinese learner can follow a Chinese song to model correct pronunciation.Singing Songs Increases Vocabulary and Speech PatternsSongs automatically put language into a context. Chinese learners will begin to pick up vocabulary and complex expressions they might not otherwise come across. Some Chinese songs can be used to teach specific vocabulary.Music Aids MemorySome Chinese songs can help learners memorize grammar and vocabulary.Music Brings Culture AliveTraditional songs and rhymes offer a wealth of cultural heritage. Just think about the history of a Chinese song that goes back generations and generations. There are songs associated with holidays, places, and times gone by.Music is Fun Sing a beautiful Chinese song livens up learning. When you are having fun, you are more motivated to learn. Sing, sing, sing! Motivate yourself to study Chinese as a foreign language with music!

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