What are the advantages of using music to work on grammar

What are the advantages of using music to work on grammar

What are the advantages of using music to work on grammar?

1. Enhanced Memory Retention: Research suggests that music can aid in memory retention by creating strong neural connections. When grammar rules are set to music, learners may find it easier to recall and apply them in real-life language situations.

2. Increased Engagement: Music has the power to captivate learners’ attention and create an immersive learning experience. By incorporating music into grammar lessons, educators can boost student engagement and motivation, leading to more effective learning outcomes.

3. Improved Pronunciation: Music often emphasizes rhythm and melody, which can help learners improve their pronunciation and intonation. By singing along to grammatically correct lyrics, students can practice proper pronunciation patterns in a natural and enjoyable way.

4. Enhanced Vocabulary Acquisition: Many songs feature rich and varied vocabulary, providing learners with exposure to new words and expressions. By listening to and analyzing song lyrics, students can expand their vocabulary and deepen their understanding of grammatical structures in context.

5. Cultural Understanding: Music is deeply intertwined with culture, offering learners valuable insights into the customs, traditions, and values of English-speaking communities. By exploring music from different genres and time periods, students can develop a richer appreciation for the cultural nuances of the English language.

6. Positive Emotional Association: Music has the ability to evoke emotions and create positive associations with learning experiences. By incorporating music into grammar lessons, educators can create a supportive and enjoyable learning environment that encourages risk-taking and experimentation.

7. Increased Fluency: Singing along to songs can help improve fluency by promoting natural rhythm and flow in language production. Through repeated exposure to grammatically correct lyrics, learners can develop a greater sense of fluency and confidence in their speaking and writing abilities.

8. Cross-Cultural Connections: Music is a universal language that transcends cultural boundaries. By exploring English-language music from different cultures and regions, learners can develop a deeper understanding of global perspectives and forge connections with speakers of English around the world.

9. Personalized Learning: Music offers learners the opportunity to engage with language in a personalized and self-directed manner. By selecting songs that resonate with their interests and preferences, students can take ownership of their learning and tailor their study materials to suit their individual needs.

10. Long-Term Retention: Studies have shown that information learned through music tends to be retained for longer periods compared to traditional learning methods. By integrating music into grammar instruction, educators can help students build a solid foundation of language skills that will endure over time.

In summary, scientific evidence supports the use of music as a valuable tool for working on grammar for learners of English. By harnessing the power of music, educators can create engaging and effective learning experiences that enhance memory retention, increase engagement, improve pronunciation, and foster cultural understanding and fluency.

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Build  holiday vocabulary?

Build holiday vocabulary?

If you are planning a holiday in an English speaking country you will need some vocabulary, maybe new vocabulary.

The best way to remember what you need is to make a mind map as the visual map is much easier to remember than lists and lists of words.

Take a look at this clip and then make your own Holiday Mind Map.

Holiday Mind Map

Notice the use of the present continuous grammar tense which is used to talk about things that are planned.

Christmas far from the North Pole

Christmas far from the North Pole

Is it possible to get in to the Christmas spirit thousands of miles away from Lapland ???

In this Vblog Chris and Sue take you on a fun trip around Toulouse to soak up the Christmas atmosphere in South West France. There are only blue skies, no snow in sight but a lot of French cheese, cakes, chocolate, Canadian whisky and even a Christmas flamingo !!

You’ll see how Sue tries to get Chris into the Christmas spirit in a city a far, far away from Santa’s grotto. 

What do you think, is Christmas too commercial or just an excuse to have some fun in winter?

Click here to go to Two Frogs Travel YouTube channel and see beautiful Toulouse at Christmas.

Wherever you are in the world, hot or snowy climes we wish you a very Happy Christmas!

 

 

Using a SWOT to enhance personal learning

Using a SWOT to enhance personal learning

Using a SWOT to enhance personal learning

One of the hardest things to do alone is to effectively carry out a skills self-evaluation before setting up clear objectives towards a Personal Learning Plan (PLP).

Knowing where one is at a given time is not an easy task due to a variety of reasons, one being the difficulty in being objective with oneself – the ability to take a step back and see things as they are, without being overshadowed by emotive aspects.

It also depends a lot on how we are as a person:

A confident person and a person with lower self-esteem, will have diametrically opposed difficulties in evaluating themselves both realistically and objectively.

Embarking on this task, alone is quite a challenging undertaking.

Using a SWOT to enhance personal learning – SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis can really help in gaining clarity and setting realistic objectives and is a simple tool that can be used alone, but which can be further exploited with the help of a coach.

The SWOT analysis is a simple matrix as shown below:

EXTERNAL INTERNAL
Strengths Weaknesses
Opportunities Threats

The idea is to start out by looking at where you are now in terms of your goals, aims and objectives and to discover where effort needs to be focued in order to reach your goals.

The process is reflective and involves a certain degree of metacognition (thinking about your own thinking) in order to be able to effectively accomplish the task.

In order to demonstrate the concept, let’s take Claire, a working mum, who wants to progress in her job – this is just to illustrate an example – it could be any subject and a SWOT can also be used in other contexts.

Using a SWOT to enhance personal learning is great for strategic planning and project feasibility studies as the focus is largely a 360° approach and very analytical, but one which entails action steps and change as a consequence.

Claire has a strong desire to progress in her job, but she has never really been able to succeed due to many barriers which systematically get in the way, and which she cannot seem to surmount, at least on her own.

She has never really been obsessively nor aggressively ambitious and has always put her family before herself, but now wants to move to a more interesting job with more responsibility.

When embarking on a SWOT, it is easy to fall into the trap of being able to fill the Weaknesses section easily and then be short of Strengths – it is sometimes dialectic, in as much as a Weakness can also be an Opportunity as a Threat can also become a Strength.

She has decided to start work with a coach to be able to get things moving as she has never quite got there alone and feels that this is a good opportunity for her, both in her life and in her career.

Her coach has asked her to fill in the SWOT matrix, which she does before they meet again.

STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES are known as Internal elements that either create or reduce value, whilst OPPORTUNITIES and THREATS are known as External elements that can form barriers to learning but that are often not fully controlled by the learner.

The questions to ask are: What am I good at / what qualities or skills do I possess?

STRENGTHS

What are the qualities / skills that I need to develop that I am aware of ?

WEAKNESSES

How can I use my STRENGTHS to overcome my weaknesses, to move into new areas of learning?

OPPORTUNITIES

What hinders or prevents me from reaching my goals?

THREATS

STRENGTHS

Communication, Punctual, Telephone manner, Organised, Conscientious, Experience in the company, Motivated

WEAKNESSES

IT Skills, Foreign Language skills, Time Management, Management skills, Lack of experience of team management Gets easily stressed, Lack of self-confidence

OPPORTUNITIES

More responsibilities, Variety in new job, Learn new skills, Higher salary, Company car, be part of the decision making process

THREATS

Lives far from work, Difficulty to travel, Family commitments, Age, etc.

Coaching a person through a SWOT analysis is both a negotiated and an awareness process, predominately made up of questioning, but essentially, it must be free of judgement or preconceived ideas.

The coach decides to use another tool to complement the SWOT process, a Confrontation Matrix, which is used to offset the Strengths with Opportunities and Threat, and the Weaknesses with the same, as shown below:

EXTERNAL /INTERNAL OPPORTUNITIES THREATS
STRENGTHS ATTACK STRATEGY ADJUSTMENT STRATEGY
WEAKNESSES DEFENCE STRATEGY SURVIVAL STRATEGY

In the SWOT matrix, the coach helps the learner to offset STRENGTHS with OPPORTUNITIES / STRENGTHS with THREATS and consequently, WEAKNESSES with OPPORTUNITIES / WEAKNESSES with THREATS in order to produce a set of action steps or a PLP to help the learner progress to the next step, which, in this case, will be a set of decisions and plans to move into the new job.

The value of a SWOT is that it is a way of seeing where a learner is at a given point in time and where they need to be in the future.

It can help build a clear Learning Action Plan with specific goals, timescales and measurement variables built in.

If you intend using a SWOT analysis there are some do’s and don’ts to be aware of in order to guarantee the success of the process:

  1. Don’t expect people to be able to fill in the matrix without a clear briefing of how it will be used and the type of elements that it should include.
  2. Ensure that there is adequate thought and process time to be able to complete the matrix.
  3. Understand that the SWOT is ephemeral. That it could be filled-in today and change tomorrow. People, contexts and situations are constantly in a state of flux.
  4. Ensure that there are clear guidelines and boundaries on confidentiality. The only sharing is done by the learner – who can invite the coach/mentor to be present if they want to debrief their managers on the process and outcomes.
  5. Be aware that people with low self-esteem will naturally include more weaknesses than strengths – they will need help evoking their qualities, skills and qualities more than confident people.
  6. The process should be viewed as a positive and fun process, with benefits clearly set-out for the learner.
  7. Remember that the coach will learn a great deal from the process, which can be used as another building-block in the coach’s development.
  8. There needs to be a bond of trust between learner and coach/mentor, built before embarking on a SWOT
#Name yourself Day

#Name yourself Day

9th April is Name Yourself Day. That’s a lot of fun !

But seriously, names are very important, they are part of our culture and our identity. Take a listen to this TED talk to see how important names are and how adapting our names to new cultures is not always so straight forward. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58tDCaEWfHI

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