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Effect of teaching with songs on vocabulary acquisition in first grade of elementary school

Jure Aljaž (2018) Effect of teaching with songs on vocabulary acquisition in first grade of elementary school. MSc thesis.

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    Our thesis discusses the approach of teaching English through music in the first grade of primary school. We present the role of music in learning and its effect on foreign language learning, more specifically vocabulary learning. Furthermore, we establish the anthropological and biological link between music and language development. In the following chapters, we also present the established models and approaches to teaching English as a foreign language, the possible cross-curricular integration of Music and English, and introduction of foreign language teaching in early childhood on the systemic level in Slovenia. The introduction of musical activities into teaching in the first grade of primary school was conducted in April and May 2018. The study involved 104 pupils, of whom 52 were assigned to experimental group (where we introduced musical activities) and 52 assigned to the control group. The purpose of the experiment was to determine whether all the participant pupils, who had no prior school learning experience, had any prior relevant knowledge of foreign language vocabulary (measured through testing of recall and active use). Another question of the study was whether there is any difference in progress in vocabulary learning between pupils, who were subjected to English learning through musical activities and those that were not. The progress in vocabulary recall and active use was measured through 4 stages (the prior knowledge, knowledge after 1 lesson – immediate recall, knowledge after 1 week and knowledge after 4 weeks – delayed recalls). We also checked how the ability to recall and actively use the vocabulary changes after one week of break from structured learning (May holidays). At the end of the experiment, we also checked how popular the lessons with music are, and whether or not pupils like them better than the lessons without music. The results showed that the majority of the pupils does not have prior relevant knowledge of foreign language, as they achieved 33 % of all points in the prior knowledge test. The immediate recall test showed no statistically relevant differences, so we can conclude that music is not the only positive factor in achieving immediate recall of foreign language vocabulary. The later tests all showed statistically relevant differences in the delayed vocabulary recall and active use. Those results show that use of music has positive influence on long-term vocabulary recall and passive and active use. Music also positively affects pupils, who struggle with standing out and public presenting, as it affects the body in ways that are calming and provide feelings of security and group belonging, since we can form music activities in ways that pupils work in groups. Our results also show it lifts levels of engagement and motivation in pupils as 90 % of them claimed that they rather learn English through and accompanied by musical activities.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: vocabulary, English, music, musical activities, early learning of foreign language, immediate recall, delayed recall, use of language, cross-curricular integration
    Number of Pages: 61
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Mateja Dagarin FojkarMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=12069961)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5190
    Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 12:07
    Last Modified: 20 Jul 2018 12:07
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5190

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