MFL teachers are never off-duty. My ears pricked up and my brain started making connections.
I can still remember, word for word, songs that I learned at school when I was seven, I can sing along with every word of Oklahoma after performing in a school production of it when I was fourteen. Nearly thirty years later, I could give many more examples. Rhythm, music and song touch a part of us that mere words do not, and much has been written about the value of teaching language through song to make it memorable and enjoyable.
On 11th June, the Telegraph printed information about the new primary curriculum. As well as the long-awaited news that MFL in KS2 will be compulsory, there was some detail about what children will be expected to do:
They will ... be expected to understand basic grammar and be acquainted with songs and poems in the language studied.
oems provide a model of correct language, as well as being examples of extended texts, something which primary linguists tend not to have as much access to as they should. Coupled with actions they can be memorable learning experiences in the same way that stories such as Le Navet Enorme are now. Students will hear the music of the language, can focus on pronunciation and rhyme, and poems can enhance intercultural learning.
As language teachers we are somewhat spoiled for choice for poems and songs in French. My favourite source is Momes.net's library of Comptines. I also like the PetitesTetes selection as they have audio files attached.
It's harder to find examples in Spanish. El huevo de chocolate has a selection but I haven't found many others.
The following are songs that I have used in the primary classroom:
La chanson de l'alphabet:
Quel âge as-tu?
La canción de las frutas:
Con mi dedito digo sí
El Arca de Noé
Soy una taza
Uno, dos, tres
And others that I don't have links for!
Which poems and songs have you used that you could recommend? It would be good to get a collection together.