What phrases are most readily remembered by children?
It is of course self-evident that some things are easier to remember than others. For example, children can often learn the lyrics of a popular song much more quickly than they can learn the text from a book, for example.
Indeed, a poem that rhymes is invariably much easier to recall than the same number of words taken from the start of a novel. Song lyrics are even easier to remember since they not only incorporate rhyme, but also the rhythm of the song.
The reason we find such things particularly easy to remember is undoubtedly because for primitive humans, rhythm and rhyme became part of the self-identification of the group. One was in the tribe, and so one knew the rhythms and rhymes and ultimately the songs of the group, as part of one’s identity.
Which explains why raps appeal to children: they are easy to remember and give the person joining in a sense of unity within the group. No matter how lowly the position the individual held in the clan, if one knew the songs and chants, one was a member.
Which explains why the use of raps in teaching has expanded greatly in recent years. In fact, raps are now available as an aid to teaching French with the publication of Learn French through Raps in Key Stage 2. It appeals to children, who quickly learn the raps and simple music.
There is also a second benefit with this approach, and that is that the raps are modelled on the accompanying CD so there is no need to worry about one’s own pronunciation. This combined with the need for minimal preparation time makes this an ideal way to approach language teaching, even if there is no specialist teacher available.
As a result of this approach children quickly gain confidence in speaking and reading French and will recall the vocabulary and grammatical structures simply because they have heard it in a form that makes it easy to remember.
What’s more, once the rap has been learned children will be able to perform it themselves as the accompanying CD not only has full performances of the songs to music, but also contains performances without the lyrics, leaving the children free to perform against the backing track.
You can read more about Learn French through Raps in Key Stage 2 on our website and you can order the full pack of materials.
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