Why Folk Songs?
Singlish is a simple yet effective way to help you, the teacher, develop language skills in children through the singing of classic and contemporary folk songs. Singlish Volumes are great for any Pre-K through 6th grade classroom. Volumes 1 and 2 are especially helpful for students with limited English proficiency.
Human Beings learn to listen and to speak before they learn to read and write. There is a natural order of language learning - listening, speaking, reading, writing. Singlish brings an often forgotten but most important key to this order - singing and dancing (music and movement). Another element that every teacher needs: it must make learning fun!
The music lesson is an excellent means to achieve success because children naturally love music. Singing in class creates a happy bond between the students and the teacher. Children may also feel more comfortable practicing their language skills in the safety of a group. Music offers the element of repetition, but not in a tiresome, rote manner. Music also communicates feelings that can be expressed by spontanious chants, songs and body movements. Because of its natural appeal to children, music can be used to further other kinds of learning: vocabulary building, concept reinforcement, the development of motor and social skills, and memorizing.
Folk songs expose children to the unique history and rich traditions of our American culture. Folk songs have that ring of truth; they are songs of the people, by the people, and for the people. Some are centuries old, giving us insights into past generations and other places. Some folk songs include the nonsense, humor or silliness that children have always loved. Many songs on Singlish owe their longevity to the musical artistry of their anonymous composers. "Dem Bones," "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain," "John the Rabbit," and others were originally sung as African-American spirituals. "Linen Clothes" and "Old Joe Clark" have pioneer roots. "Frog Went A-Courtin'" traveled from 16th century Elizabethan England to the Appalachian Mountains of America. Other more modern songs borrow a familiar tune from the past: "The Ants Go Marching" was derived from the Civil War classic "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." "Head and Shoulders" uses the tune from an old English coal miners' song, "There's a Tavern in the Town."
Movement is as natural to children as breathing itself. Singlish uses TPR or "Total Physical Response," likely the world's most thoroughly researched approach to second language acquisition. James J. Asher, PH.D. pioneered TPR with over 30 years of research. Language teachers have long relied on TPR as an enjoyable, high-speed, stress-free, method for the long-term retention of vocabulary. TPR is a communicative language/body approach to language learning. It is based on the concept that information and skill assimilation can often be significantly accelerated through the use of the kinesthetic sensory system. In addition, recent studies confirm increased brain development when instruction focused on various key areas of multiple intelligence. These areas most developmentally appropriate for early childhood are musical/rhythmic and body/kinesthetic (movement).
Singlish is a resource available to any teacher, regardless of musical ability, to feel comfortable singing in the classroom. Singlish is an easy and affordable way to outfit your early primary class with a valuable English language development and music tool. Singlish is also an excellent program for children who speak English as a second language.