Using Music to Teach English – Term Paper

2.3 Previous Research

Studies have shown that learning and thinking visually instead of verbal which is the traditional culture of learning, has improved the rate of understanding and mastering a language. Thus a change in teaching strategy should be required in the Malaysian curriculum. Educators need to concentrate more on teaching visually hence students will learn visually which will create a long term memory. In terms of mathematics, students don’t just watch the teacher, they practically do the mathematics which improves their mathematical prowess (West, 1997). The strategy concentrates on learning through interactive visual music. An ideas is first settled in the mind and then words are absorbed later (West, 1997). This shows that if a teacher just teaches a language through visual music, a student first gets the idea of what English language is all about and then gets the specific words that may be explained. If a teacher just teaches without imagery or audio music a student might also not grasp the words or message the teacher is conveying,

Teaching with Music in the Classroom

Previous research have shown that teaching using music in English lessons improves learning but with different level of success. Ana (2016) shows how music affects students who may have varying level of prior knowledge of the English language as they acquire descriptive and procedural knowledge. When prior knowledge of English is low, use of music whether audio or visual, is better for understanding facts that are descriptive than lessons undertaken by the use of written texts only. However, understanding facts that are procedural does not indicate any difference between the use of music and written texts. Students whose prior knowledge level is high, show a significant improvement in both procedural and descriptive knowledge when music is used compared to written texts only (Ana, 2016). Shen’s et al. (2009) research showed that learners with varying levels of prior knowledge perform differently to different teaching presentations for attaining learning tasks. They argued that there is a meaningful interconnection between the influence of visual design and prior knowledge of students in regard to learning in a situation where visual music is used. If the motions in the visual music are inconsistent, it might distract the learning process of a student and in such a case audio music will be better. Another research indicated that, Giving out visual control of music improves learning, specifically in males (Claudia, 2002).

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Kleinman et al. (1999) assessed the effects of certain visual properties in improving learning. They found out that visual music which is graphically colored created more effect on the learning process of a student than black and white visuals. Although, Myatt et al. (1999) found out that quite a number of participants prefer colored visuals, but there is no compelling comparison between the quantity or quality of learning and understanding not unless color is correlated to the content to be taught. The research goes ahead to indicate that young students prefer visuals which are simple while older students prefer visuals which are complex. Regardless of the age group, simple visuals are always more effective than complex visuals (Myatt et al., 1999). The types of visuals students prefer to view do not necessarily facilitate their learning process.

Mayer et al. (1996) differentiated the application of summarized interactive media consisting of a series of defined demonstrations describing the sequence in a procedure, with a summarized text comprising of 600 words. The knowledge retained and transferred in different quantity of texts and multimedia summary was also analyzed. The conclusion indicates that verbal is less productive than multimedia. The results show that shortened summaries are more effective specifically when words and demonstrations through visuals are used together. The participants in this research had inferior standard of prior knowledge of the lesson. The researchers believed that the results would be different if experienced learners had participated. This research shows that, music is more effective in inexperienced students in a specific subject. It also shows that, incorporating both visual and verbal illustration method simplifies mental intermediaries in learning.

Current Research in English Language Teaching

Alex (2016) acknowledged the cognitive styles applied by learners and their experience in language. The research compared the use of texts and visuals only and use of text only teaching materials. Inexperienced learners with lingual cognitive styles performed best when text and visuals were used simultaneously. The inexperienced learners with imagery cognitive styles performed best with the use of texts only. The outcomes were different with the expected findings. However, generally learners portrayed better performance in test scores when using text and visual simultaneously. Moreover, inexperienced learners from both learning approaches classifications portrayed greater performance in test results than skilled learners. The comparison in results between inexperienced learners and experienced learners correlate with findings form a research carried out by Chanlin (1998).

Difference in the types of visuals used in teaching were studied by Simone (2016) found out that there is no significance difference in accomplishments by learners exposed by various visual mapping methods. Although the duration in which learners were exposed to the respective visual embellished instructional treatments influenced learning results. Learners who were given the opportunity to learn according to their own speed performed better than those who were stipulated the specific time to learn.

Previous research finds out that use of optic components in educating and understanding produce positive outcomes. For learners to benefit from visual enhancements, teachers should have skills that involve imagery language and techniques of visual teaching. Therefore, teachers should be guided on the appropriate ways to use visuals music and audio which will be effective in learning. Outcomes of the effect of optic articulacy in English lessons can be studied further through educators assessing and evaluating their modern use of music and comparing the music content of lessons and academic achievements of the students. More study to establish mechanisms that quantify a person’s level of music articulacy, constituting the ability to create and interpret optic communication and expression which is fundamental in assessing the general effect on student’s education. Moreover, the labeling of probable interconnections among other variables such as demographic traits and educational approach is required for an extensive research of the idea of music optic and audio articulacy.

Using Songs for Teaching English

2.4 Theoretical Framework

The table below shows the theoretical framework of this research. The sequence will be indicated from top to bottom.

Dual Coding Theory

Independent Variables: Music

Dependent Variables: English Language

Krashen’s Monitor Model

Figure 2.4.1: Theoretical Framework

This research has adopted Dual Coding theory. Dual Coding theory indicates that oral and visual information are each prepared adversely undergoing exclusive methods with the brain establishing contrasting models for information prepared in each channel. This theory is a linking framework for both speaking and reading. When learners comprehend the written information, dual coding theory claims that the learners access phonological and orthographic information to identify words in the texts.

In terms of variables, there are two variables which are independent and dependent variables. In this research visual and audio music is the independent variable while using music in teaching and learning English is the dependent variable. Music can portray the culture of a certain language in the recent history (Clara, 2016). Music does not only improve teaching, but it also enhances learning. Aristotle one of the Greek philosophers stated that, thinking is impossible without image (Benson, 1997). This is in the case of visual music. Images with meaning resulted into characters in alphabets (West, 1997).

This research adopts the monitor model of Krashen. The monitor model of Krashen has depicted five hypotheses (Krashen, 1983). The first hypothesis is the Learning or Acquisition hypothesis which claims that there are two absolute processes of development of the second language: the learned order and acquired order. The second one, is the Natural order hypothesis which states that the acquirement of grammatical anatomy follows a natural order which can be predicted. The third one is the Monitor hypothesis which suggests that the correlation between learning and acquisition and explains the influence of learning on acquisition. The fourth is the Input hypothesis which explains how the student obtains a second language. It just defines the process of second language acquisition by a learner. The fifth is the Affective hypothesis which represents Krashen’s opinion that a few affective variables which play a useful but deliberate character in acquisition of second language. These variables comprise of: anxiety, self confidence and motivation.

Modern Method of Teaching English

2.5 Summary

Teaching is not as easy as conveying and imparting knowledge to learners. In the teaching career, teachers encounter many students with contrasting learning styles, academic requirements and characteristics on daily basis. Therefore, in consideration of teachers’ personalization, individualization and localization of their teaching, so that it can harmonize with every student, various abilities and expertise in teaching and a lot of classroom experiences are required.

Students participation and engagement is the main aspect in attaining the teaching itself (Clara, 2016). Due to this, tools and strategies adopted to help in teaching play a key role in creating an interest of students in learning. They will engage actively in teaching and learning process if they are attracted to the English lesson.

Using music in English lessons is one strategy to attract student’s attentiveness. In accordance to dual coding theory, when information is double coded, the chances of being retrieved, memorized and applied are high. Dual coding theory also hypothesizes that that images and words activate the mental processing in various ways. Moreover, some of the research such as the ones undertaken by Kleinman (1999) and Mayer (1996) authenticated the positive impact created by Dual Coding Theory. With all the assertions, it is now certain that the of music whether visual or audio enhance English teaching and learning which the Malaysian curriculum should adopt for better communication and understanding of the language.