Thursday, April 13, 2017

How to Improve Your English Fluency through Rap Music

Music plays a significant role in one’s life. Listening to it has physiological and psychological benefits. Moreover, did you know that plants also benefit from sound waves? Dr. T. C. N. Singh of Annamalai University conducted a study and revealed that plants grow 20% faster when exposed to music. Hence, if music can increase the growth of plants, imagine what more it can do to people.

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The origin of rap music

Various studies on different music genres, such as classical music, revealed that they have positive effects on individuals. They help lessen the stress that students experience—when preparing for exams or training in a TOEFL review center—improve health and reduce depression. Then again, did you know that even rap music has positive effects on people? Yes, it has, particularly on individuals studying the English language.

Rap music started in the early 1970s at block parties in New York City. It began when masters of ceremonies, popularly known now as emcees, talk in between segments to enliven the crowd and bring life to the party. Soon, emcees talking and rhyming over in sync with music became a common practice. The launch of The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight” in 1979 marked the start of rap music in the U.S.

Ways rap music improve English-speaking skills

Studying can be stressful, especially when you have to brave the heavy traffic on your way to the TOEFL review center in Makati. However, listening to rap music while waiting for a cab or walking to the bus stop can actually help you be more fluent in English, minus the stress that joining training facilities usually entail.

•    The mimic method – Learning English through listening is a difficult task until you master the sounds. The mimic method, developed by Idahosa Ness, allows students to learn the phonetics of a language by listening and repeating the lyrics of rap songs. This way, they become more familiar with the proper pronunciation of words.
•    Sound morphing – This manner of speaking joins words together in a phrase, making them sound like one word. Many native English speakers do this. That is why it may be tough for non-English speakers to follow every word they utter.
Examples:
    o    Let her – letter
        *I letter walk alone. (I let her walk alone.)
   o    Don’t you – dontcha
   o    Want to – wanna
       *Dontcha wanna go home? (Don’t you want to go home?)
   o    Did you – dju
      *Dju take the exam? (Did you take the exam?)

Since rap music is naturally fast, students learn to adjust to the talking speed of native English speakers. This way, engaging in conversations will no longer be a challenge.

•    Correct collocation – A collocation refers to a group of words that usually go together. It may vary depending on several contexts.  Rap songs tell stories that give people an idea of how native English speakers express their thoughts. Moreover, instructors in the TOEFL review center Makati ensure that you can not only construct sentences with correct subject-verb agreement but also come up with accurate collocations.

Rap music in teaching English

Some universities abroad, such as the University of San Francisco, are already exploring the significance of rap music in teaching English; they named the curriculum "Rapping English." Proponents of the course believe that incorporating music in teaching grammar, vocabulary and prosody can make the subject more relatable. Furthermore, it removes the cultural barrier especially among non-native English speakers who feel disconnected to the class.

Who would have thought that rap music, initially perceived as gibberish, could be helpful in learning and teaching the English language? Start listening now to rap music to improve your English-speaking skills. Begin playing rap songs in between classes in a TOEFL review center then repeat words afterward. Soon, speaking English will be as natural as using your native language.



References:
  • "The effects of music on animal physiology, behavior, and welfare." National Center for Biotechnology Information. Accessed January 19, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23340788.
  • Mazlan. "The Effect of Music on Plant Growth." Dengarden. August 29, 2016. Accessed January 19, 2017. https://dengarden.com/gardening/the-effect-of-music-on-plant-growth.
  • Chappel, Michelle Millis. "Scientists Find 15 Amazing Benefits Of Listening To Music." Lifehack. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://www.lifehack.org/317747/scientists-find-15-amazing-benefits-listening-music.
  • "Improve Your Pronunciation With Rap Music." RealLife English. September 07, 2016. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://reallifeglobal.com/improve-pronunciation-rap-music/.
  • Rhodes, Henry A. "The Evolution of Rap Music in the United States." Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://teachersinstitute.yale.edu/curriculum/units/1993/4/93.04.04.x.html.
  • Dye, David. "The Birth of Rap: A Look-Back." NPR. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7550286.
  • "Developing pronunciation through songs." TeachingEnglish. Accessed January 19, 2017. https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/developing-pronunciation-through-songs.
  • Segal, Beth. “Teaching English as a Second Language through Rap Music: A Curriculum for Secondary School Students.” University of San Francisco. September 2014. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://repository.usfca.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1117&context=thes
  • McNeil, Elisha. “English Teacher's Hip-Hop Curriculum Gets Students Writing.” Education Week. June 20, 2016. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2016/06/20/english-teachers-hip-hop-curriculum-gets-students-writing.html


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