Music and Language

Music and singing songs can help children who are learning English as an additional language

Language and music both have rhythm, tone, melody, pitch, volume and pauses. Most of the words may be unfamiliar to children at first. Copying and repeating the words in a song can help them practice producing sounds in the new language.

  • Repetition: Pick songs that repeat words and sentences over and over again. Once the children start to memorise the repetitive words, they will be more excited to learn the rest of the song. Keep encouraging children to try and join in.
  • Movement: Children love songs that include movement. Being able to move our bodies while practicing words and sentences in another language can have a wonderful impact on their learning. 
  • Rhythm: It is easier for children to learn the words when the rhythm of the song is consistent and follows a regular pattern. You can use instruments for children to play during the song, such as drums and shakers. 
  • Rhyming: Songs that rhyme can help children memorise vocabulary more easily.
  • Languages: Give children and their families the chance to share songs in their home languages.

Find songs and music from different cultures and in different languages at Many can be downloaded for free.