New Languages Through Song

A great thing about homeschool is that you can sing, chant, have conversations non stop all day.  Unlike school where silence is cherished, homeschool provides an environment where we can be free.  We use this opportunity to learn and sing songs in new languages until we know them backwards and forwards.

New Languages Through Song

Though its meant to be fun and it is, there is an ulterior motive: to learn words and phrases in other languages.  Mostly we use nursery rhymes, traditional folk music and children’s songs and lullabies.

I pick music cds, mp3 online or just songs from my own culture that are compatible with the kid’s comprehension level. My oldest recently started downloading pop music from other countries. These songs have many unfamiliar words so its hard to understand but he still perseveres.

I play this music throughout the day, even as background music, to expose ourselves as much as possible. We select one language and keep playing the same songs at home, yard, in the car, at a picnic, etc.

As we listen, we practice pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. Sometimes we discuss it.  We mostly sing along with the music. This practice time really doesn’t feel like it.

When we first listen, its just to learn it by repeating it.  Once we know the song we start talking about the meaning of the words. The idea is that after a while the words will come easier and since traditional music incorporates the natural rhythm of the language in the songs, practicing will transfer easily to native conversation.

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Article by Nuria Almeida

Photo By keepps

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