Singing English

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"After attending Singing English training, I feel confident that I could use these strategies easily with a group children adapting the words and difficulty level to meet their needs"

Callie Cooper, Early Childhood Development Officer, Early Childhood Development Services

 

Learning Outcomes

The following are necessary for literacy and language success:

  • Create a link between literacy and thinking;
  • Connect oral language, reading, and writing;
  • Provide oral language activities to support learning;
  • Create classroom diversity and differentiated instruction;

Phonological Awareness/Literacy Skills
 
Phonological Awareness is an important factor in a student’s success with reading and spelling. The phonological awareness skills of segmenting and blending are the most highly correlated with beginning reading acquisition. Students have to be able to segment, blend, and manipulate syllables, onset and rhyme, and sounds if they are going to be successful in using letter-sound knowledge effectively for reading and writing. Singing English gives students the opportunity to:
 

  • Explore the idea that language is made up of words, and words consist of syllables, rhymes, and sound
  • Gain a strong foundation in pre-alphabet literacy
  • Think and retain in memory whole units of the sound of oral English
  • Compare, contrast, and sort through mental images of the sound of a unit of language
  • Improve visual focus and visual motor tracking
  • Identify, describe and confirm patterns using spoken terms
  • Demonstrate an understanding that writing conveys meaning
     
    Social Skills
     
    A child with a strong sense of self can navigate social settings more easily. Singing English creates a safe learning environment in which children practice:
     
  • Interacting with others; treating others with fairness and respect
  • Speaking in turn
  • Verbal and non-verbal responses appropriate to their stages of development and to their cultures
  • Agreeing and disagreeing appropriately
  • Exploring each other’s names, voices and ideas
  • Problem solving and respecting the silence needed by others when thinking through problems
  • Using appropriate gestures and eye contact when in conversation
  • Following another’s leadership
  • Respect for the contributions of others
     
    Language Skills
     
    English folk song-games are used to learn the acoustic patterns, phrases, and rhythms of spoken English. The games provide opportunities for enjoyable social interactions in which the meaning of the words arise through the context of the actions. The same song can be used to develop many layers of language learning:
     
  • Following simple oral instructions
  • Understanding that language changes in different contexts
  • Expressing verbally what they notice using simple sentence structure: name, verb, adjective, noun
     
    Mathematics Skills
  • Use directional terms such as over, under, beside, near, far, left, and right to describe the relative position of objects and shapes
  • Construct a pictograph using one-to-one correspondence (Song dotting)
  • Recognize patterns in the environment
  • Read number words up to 10
  • Identify, reproduce, extend, create, and compare patterns using actions and spoken terms
  • Identify and describe specific two-dimensional shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, or rectangles
  • Pose oral questions in relation to the data gathered
  • Predict the chance of an event happening using the terms never, sometimes, and always
     
    Listening/Communication Skills
     
  • Listen actively and respond appropriately both verbally and non-verbally
  • Auditory memory: develop and retain an auditory image
  • Auditory perceptual skills: determine the direction of a sound
  • Auditory-motor coordination: match movements to the sound of cue words
  • Eye-verbal coordination
  • Awareness of classmates’ names
  • Pronunciation of classmates’ names
  • Observation skills: search out visual clues from leader
  • Develop an ability to think ahead
  • Demonstrate a willingness to express their feelings and ideas
     
    Motor Skills
     
    Singing English explores the movement and actions of folk song-games.
     
  • Sensory-motor coordination
  • Performing movement sequences using elements of body and space awareness and relationships, along and with others
  • Recognize and respond to the music itself for cues as to when and what movements to perform
  • Sensory-motor coordination between the tongue and ear (must be developed in order to reproduce the sounds they hear)
  • Create shapes and transfer weight using a variety of body parts
  • Perform loco motor skills individually and with a partner (walk, jog, run, skip, hop, slide, crawl)
  • Perform non-loco motor skills individually and with a partner (pull, bend, twist, push)
  • Use directional terms and ideas such as over, under, beside, near, far, left, right to describe the relative position of objects and shapes
  • Move in a variety of levels, pathways, and directions (when children understand space around them they are more confident understanding space on a written page)
  • Move safely and sensitively through all environments
  • Use movement to respond to a variety of stimuli
  • Move safely in both personal and general space
     
    Music Skills
     
    Although literacy and language development is the primary focus of Singing English, many music skills are explored.
     
  • Move expressively to a variety of sounds and music
  • Create movements that represent patterns, characters, and other aspects of their world
  • Perform rhythmic patterns from classroom repertoire
  • Maintain a repeated rhythmic pattern in a simple texture
  • Demonstrate an awareness of rhythmic phrases in classroom music
  • Identify form in terms of repetition and unity of rhythmic patterns
  • Use symbols to represent simple rhythmic patterns
  • Identify changes in pitch and melodic direction
  • Use singing skills to reproduce melodies
  • Distinguish one melody from another
  • Demonstrate a willingness to participate in oral singing experiences