Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Keep Calm. Sing A Song.

Whats the best way of learning a new language?
Practice, practice, practice; or experiential learning; interacting with native speakers? How about listening to a song?

Music knows no boundaries. Often I find myself singing songs I don't know the meaning of, at all, only because when the tune and beats are catchy you don't care about the rest of it. It kinda sticks in your head the very first time you hear it. No wonder the Chinese love KTV. You can listen to it while on the go, instead of having to make a conscious effort to learn a language like in case of Rosetta Stone or Duolingo (although there are drive time versions of most languages available).

In english, one of the songs I still remember by heart from when I was in 8th grade is from 8 mile, Lose Yourself. But if you are aiming at the kids age group of below thirteen, I DO NOT recommend Eminem. :I  But I do recommend the songs below, which will not just help learn the language and increase vocabulary but are also put them in touch with their 'sensitive sides' and make them more socially conscious:

1. Heal the World - Michael Jackson Every time I listen to this song, it reminds me to take a trip to the kabadi wala (Recycle).

2. Hakuna Matata - Lion king  This song always makes me smile. :)

3. Another day in paradise- Phil collins This song talks about much needed compassion, since we have all just become so immune to something as serious as beggary.

4. Hero - Mariah Carey If you are down or feel a loss of conviction, this song is it!

5. Don't worry be happy My go to song when in mood for some reggae.

What a surprise that 2 songs from my top 5 are Disney songs But that's only because Disney is for all age groups! Here is a link to Disney top 10 for kids.

For years now nursery rhymes have been the standard way to make toddlers learn new words. I still remember almost all the nursery rhymes I learnt in kindergarten. In RSK I used to do nursery rhymes and Bollywood songs on my guitar and have the kids sing. The reason I started to take my guitar along to school was that, learning poems was more of a test for marks thing, than to learn a new song or the meaning and also the way it was taught was just pathetic. It made me wanna scream, "You don't say a poem out, you sing it!" Here is a cool site I found with the guitar chords for all kiddy songs.

Photo credit: Jin Tran

Keep calm. Sing a song. 

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