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Music and MEXT: How songs can help primary school English teachers teach and their students learn

Page No.: 
62
Writer(s): 
James York, Tokyo Denki University

 

Abstract

In this paper, I address Japanese primary school teachers who may find themselves having to teach English for the first time as a result of MEXT’s plan to introduce compulsory English education in primary schools nationwide. I propose that using music and singing in such contexts is beneficial for both students and teachers. For students, I argue that music has positive effects on lowering the affective filter, provides the opportunity to practice pronunciation, can help improve acquisition of the target language, and can assist in the development of automaticity. For teachers, the paper provides practical lesson ideas separated into speaking and listening language skills. I also provide an overview of how specific songs may be incorporated into the fifth-grade English syllabus proposed by MEXT.

文部科学省による学習指導要領改訂で、公立小学校における外国語活動が新設され、初めて英語を教えるという小学校教師が多いと思われる。本論では、そんな小学校教師への提言を行う。そのような場面では、音楽や合唱が児童にも教師にも有益である。音楽は学習者の情意フィルターを下げ、発音練習の機会を与え、目標言語の習得に好影響があり、automaticityの養成にも役立つ。教師にとって実用的な授業のアイディアを、スピーキングとリスニングのスキル別に提案する。また、特定の曲を題材に、文科省の第5学年のシラバスへの取り入れ方も提案する。

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