Saitama JALT:

Reading and Young Learners: Song Lyrics for Reading Content with Young Learners

Date: Sunday, January 14th, 2007 Time: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: Richard Barber, Toyo Gakuen University

Using song lyrics for reading content words with young learners by Richard Barber. This activity uses song lyrics as reading material for young learners. After getting to grips with the meaning of the song, the learners do various activities to read the form. Step-by-step, they work together to build up to reading the content words in the lyrics. Specifically, the learners focus on reading the onset letters (the letters representing the initial consonant sound of a word) as an essential sub-skill of phonics.

This activity encourages peer interaction and collaborative dialogue as the learners help each other in putting the mixed-up lyrics in order. It?fs kind of like solving a puzzle. The teacher is always present to answer questions and act as a guide as the learners work out, for themselves, the order of the lyrics.

Each learner can quickly find their own ability level and degree to which they can contribute to completing the task. Arguably, this enables them to quickly get into their zone of proximal development. The interaction which is created in this activity also provides an example of how participation, as well as acquisition, is a strong metaphor for understanding the way in which young Japanese learners develop their EFL ability (Pavelenko & Lantolf, Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning, 2001, p.156). Helping young learners learn to read is very satisfying and gives them a great sense of accomplishment. It?fs great fun, as well!

Organization: Saitama Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Saitama JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1000 yen

Venue: Sakuragi Kominkan (near Omiya Station, west exit, see map).

Location: Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan


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