Why it’s easier to learn when there’s a rhythm

Why is it easier for children to learn a song than a set of sentences?  And how does this help with teaching French? 

It is rather curious, but nonetheless absolutely true, that children generally find learning a song easier than learning a set of sentences. 

And it is perhaps worth asking why this is, because if we can understand what is going on when children learn songs, then that knowledge can perhaps help us find ways of developing and speeding up their learning in a variety of subjects.

The fact is that all human societies have music – it seems to be a fundamental of our brains’ workings that we can relate closely to rhythm, melody, and lyrics.  There seems to be something within the elements within the music that speaks directly to people, and thus enhances almost everyone’s ability to remember the song.

The general feeling is that this ability evolved as part of the process of unifying small communities of primitive humans.  The music, in fact, expresses our solidarity with our tribe: an expression of social unity.  Outsiders, obviously, would not know and appreciate our music.

Of course we have other ways of expressing our sense of belonging today, but that ability to remember simple songs is still inherent within almost every child, which is why, when the French language is taught in part through songs, the learning is greatly speeded up.

And this is why “Learn French through Raps” is such a success in helping children at Key Stages 1 and 2 to learn the basics of the language.

“Learn French through Raps” contains 20 catchy raps which introduce pupils to such topics as animals, family, food, weather, numbers, and classroom items. The resource comprises a book, vocal and instrumental audio files of the songs and PowerPoints to introduce the vocabulary of the rap and learn the rap itself.

The key point, of course, is that our natural affinity with music means that the learning which takes place is faster, and more readily secured in the memory – not least through the multi-sensory approach adopted using the supporting audio files and PowerPoints of this resource.

You can listen to an excerpt from each rap on our website.

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