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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

I. CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION

1. Statement of the problem and the rationale for the study


Pronunciation is the first thing to be learned about when
learning a language in general and foreign language in particular.
Some reasons for that can be stated as follows. Firstly, it is
pronunciation that creates first impressions between speaker and
listener. We tend to feel like talking to those who have good or at least
acceptable pronunciation. Vice versa, bad pronunciation can cause
communication to break down easily. Secondly, pronunciation helps
speaker to be understood. We can live without advanced grammar, we
can also live without advanced vocabulary, but we can hardly be
understood with incorrect pronunciation. Wong, R. (1987) pointed out
that even when the non-native speakers’ vocabulary and grammar are
excellent, if their pronunciation falls below a certain threshold level,
they are unable to communicate effectively. Therefore, teaching
pronunciation plays a very important role in teaching a language.
The importance of pronunciation work, as a result, is being
increasingly recognized in course books. There are a lot of specific
pronunciation activities and effective teaching methods have been
suggested. One of them is using songs. Songs can bring students great
interest and strong motivation instead of boredom during the lesson.
Besides, songs help teachers design various tasks in a foreign
language classroom.
However, until now, songs if ever used in high schools, just aim
at creating relaxation and change the class atmosphere after a long,
hard practice, not fully exploited to teach pronunciation. Studies

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related to exploiting songs to teach pronunciation are limited and


carried out by foreigner researchers mainly, few by Vietnamese
researchers. Therefore, further studies should be taken into
consideration. To be more specific, the issue should be primarily
investigated in the context of teaching sounds, not all the components
of pronunciation, to 11 th form students because in the curriculum, only
sounds are taught to 11 th form students.
This paper on using songs to teach English sounds, in short,
meets the research demand of the context. It helps offer an overview
of using songs to teach English sounds, then suggestions would also
benefit for improving education quality in the studied context.

2. Aims and objectives of the study


This study is expected to find out the attitudes of both teachers
and students to using songs in teaching and learning pronunciation,
especially English sounds. Secondly, the study aims at answering the
question: whether songs have been exploited to teach English sounds
at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school or not. If already, a closer look
would be taken at the way they are used and the effects of this
applying. In addition, subsequently, some pedagogical techniques
would be detected for further exploitation of songs in the same
context. In brief, these objectives could be summarized into following
research questions.

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Research questions:
1. What are the attitudes of the teachers and the students at
Nguyen Gia Thieu high school to using songs in teaching pronunciation?
2. What is the situation of using songs to teach pronunciation at
Nguyen Gia Thieu high school?
3. What are teachers’ and students’ opinions about advantages and
disadvantages of using songs in teaching pronunciation?
4. What are suggestions of teachers and students at Nguyen Gia
Thieu high school to make full use of songs to teach pronunciation to 11th
form students?

3. Significance of the study


This study is carried out to provide teachers with some effective
techniques to exploit songs in teaching pronunciation. This research is
expected to be helpful to teachers in teaching English pronunciation.

4. Scope of the study


In this study, the researcher does not have ambition to cover all the
aspects of using songs to teach pronunciation in English class, but just focus
on teaching 11th form students to pronounce English sounds.

5. Organization
This research will apply the survey method to find out the attitudes of
teachers and students towards using songs to teach pronunciation. Besides,
experiments will also be utilized to experiment some techniques of using
songs in a period of teaching English sounds to 11th form students so that
conclusion can be drawn out.

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II. CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

1. An overview of English Pronunciation


Simply defined, pronunciation is “the way in which a language is
spoken” (Oxford Advanced learner’s Encyclopedic, 1997, p.1164).
According to Jones, D. (1998), pronunciation involves the production and
perception of segmental (sounds), both alone and in the stream of speech,
where they undergo number of modifications and interact with
suprasegmental (prosodic) features, particularly stress and intonation.
However, the primary emphasis of this paper is teaching English
sounds, the researcher would like to offer only the theoretical framework
about English sounds, into which the problem fits.
1.1. English sounds
There are 44 sounds in English (24 consonant sounds and 20 vowel
sounds).
1.1.1. Vowel sounds
Vowels, according to Gerald (2003, p 29), “are articulated when a
voiced air stream is shaped using the tongue and the lips to modify the
overall shape of the mouth”. There are twelve pure vowels and eight
diphthongs in English.

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Pure vowel sounds:

Diphthongs:
“A diphthong is a glide from one vowel to another, and the whole
glide acts like one of the long, simple vowels”, O’Connor, J.D. (1991).
1.1.2. Consonant sounds
Scarcella and Oxford (1994) explained, “Consonants are, or contain,
noises that are pronounced with a blockage of some sort of the air passage.
Consonants are classified into five categories including:
Friction consonants: /f, v, θ, ð, s, z, ʃ, ʒ, h/
Stop consonants: /p, b/, /t, d/, /k, g/ and /t ʃ, d ʒ/
Nasal consonants: /m, n, ŋ/
Lateral consonants: /l/
Gliding consonants: /j, w, r/
However, consonants do not always stand a lone. Sometimes two,
three or four or even more consonants follow one after the other, called
“consonant sequences”.

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Initial sequences: At the beginning of English words, there may be


either two or three consonants in sequence. These are two main kinds of
initial sequences:
 /s/ followed by one of /p, t, k, f, m, n, l, w, j/, e.g. in spy, stay,
sky, sphere, small, snow, sleep, swear, suit
 One of /p, t, k, b, d, g, f, θ, , v, m, n, h/ followed by one of /l,
r, w, j/
/p/ followed by /l, r, j/ play, pray, pure
/t/ /r, w, j/ try, twice, tune
/k/ /l, r, w, j/ climb, crime, quite, cure
/b/ /l, r, j/ blow, bread, beautiful
/d/ /r, w, j/ dress, dwell, duty
/g/ /l, r/ glass, green
/f/ /l, r, j/ fly, from, few
/θ/ /r, w/ throw, thwart
// /r/ shriek
/v/ /j/ view
/m/ /j/ music
/n/ /j/ news
/h/ /j/ huge
Final sequences: Sequences of consonants at the ends of words are
more varied than at the beginning because /s/ or /z/ have to be added to most
nouns to give their plural forms, as in /kæts/ (cats), /dgz/ (dogs), etc. and
/t/ or /d/ have to be added to most verbs to form their past tense, as in /wit/
(wished), /rezd/ (raised), etc. Also /θ/ is used to form nouns like /streŋθ/
and numerals like /fifθ/ (fifth)

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 Stop + stop: /pt, kt/ e.g. /әdpt/ (adopt), /ækt/ (act)


 Stop + nasal: /tn, dn/ /b:dn/ (burden), /btn/ (button)
 /t/ or /d/ + /l/: /tl, dl/ /btl/ (bottle), /mdl/ (muddle)
 Consonant + /s, z, t, d/: These sequences usually occur in forms of
regular plurals and regular past tenses. E.g. /kps/ (cups), /frendz/
(friends), /l:ft/ (laughed), /ә'ravd/ (arrived)
 Consonant + /θ/ e.g. /tθ/, /dθ/, /nθ/, /lθ/…
/etθ/ (eighth), /'hndrәdθ/ (hundredth), /nanθ/ (nineth), /tenθ/
(tenth), /helθ/ (health)
 /l/ + consonant e.g. /ls/, /ld/, /lt/, /lp/…
/els/ (else), /held/ (held), /felt/ (felt), /help/ (help)
 Nasal + consonant e.g. /nt/, /mp, /ŋk/
/ wnt/ (want), /d mp/ (jump), /θæŋk/ (thank)
Longer consonant sequences: commonly occur in phrases. These
sequences are pronounced by passing smoothly from the last consonant of
the final sequence to the first of the initial sequence, with no vowel or
interval between. E.g. /fks ðs/ (fix this), /btld wain/ (bottled wine),
/bent spriŋ/ (bent sprng), /nekst sprŋ/ (next spring), /ðә teksts stju:pd/
(the text’s stupid)
1.2. Pronunciation teaching strategies.
Kelly (1969) dubs pronunciation the “Cinderella” area of teaching a
language. (Cited in Marianne, C.M., Donna, M.B., Janet, M.G., 2000). In
other words, teaching pronunciation has not been paid as much attention as
other elements of teaching a language such as grammar and vocabulary. This
may be caused by the fact that Western philologists and linguists have

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studied grammar and vocabulary much longer than pronunciation, “which


began to be studied systematically shortly before the beginning of the
twentieth century”. (Marianne, C.M., Donna, M.B., Janet, M.G., 2000, p.2).
Referring to approaches of pronunciation teaching, Kelly (1969), as cited in
Marianne, C.M., Donna, M.B., Janet, M.G., 2000, p.2, says:
The field of modern language teaching has developed two
general approaches to the teaching pronunciation: (1) an intuitive
imitative approach and (2) an analytic-linguistic approach. Before the
late nineteenth century only the first approach was used, occasionally
supplemented by the teacher’s or textbook writer’s impressionistic
(and often phonetically inaccurate) observations about sounds based
on orthography.
An intuitive-amative approach depends on the learner’s
ability to listen to and imitate the rhythms and sounds of the target
language without the intervention of any explicit information; it also
presupposes the availability of good models to listen to, a possibility
that has been enhanced by the availability first of phonograph records,
then of tape recorders and language labs in the mid-twentieth century,
and more recently of audio and videocassettes and compact discs.
An analytic-linguistic approach, on the other hand, utilizes
information and tools such as a phonetic alphabet, articulatory
descriptions, charts of the vocal apparatus, contrastive information,
and other aids to supplement listening, imitation, and production. It
explicitly informs the learner of and focuses attention on the sounds
and rhythms of the target language. This approach was developed to
complement rather than to replace the intuitive-imitative approach,
which was typically retained as the practice phase used in tandem
with the phonetic information.
When we look at the various language teaching methods that
have had some currency throughout the twentieth century, we must
acknowledge that there are methods, such as Grammar Translation
and Reading-based Approaches, in which the teaching of
pronunciation is largely irrelevant. In such methods, grammar or text
comprehension is taught through the medium of the learner’s native
language, and oral communication in the target language is not a
primary instructional objective.

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Scarcella and Oxford (1994) made an excellent comparision of


research-based approach and traditional approach for pronunciation
instruction:
Research-based approach Traditional approach
The goal is to gain sufficient pronunciation The goal of instruction is to
skills so that the quality of pronunciation acquire nativelike pronunciation.
will not inhibit communication.
Instead of putting the emphasis on sounds, The primary emphasis is teaching
teachers concentrate on stress and sounds.
intonation.
The emphasis of instruction is on teaching Sounds segments are taught non-
pronunciation communicatively. communicatively through drills of
isolated words.
The teacher provides students with phonetic Phonetic descriptions are a
descriptions only when they are helpful to primary component of traditional
students in tutorials pronunciation classes.
The students’ motivation is seen as central Students do not take responsibility
to successful language instruction. The for improving their own
student plays a primary role in improving pronunciation
pronunciation. Self-monitoring skills and
awareness strategies are taught.
The followings are the techniques that are used in the research-based
approach for pronunciation instruction:
Techniques Contents
Self-monitoring Students can learn to self monitor their
pronunciation to improve their intelligibility.

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Tutorial Sessions and These begin with a diagnostic analysis of each


Self-Study student’s spoken English and an individualized
program is designed for each student.
Modeling and Individual Report the results of analyses of student speech
Correction sample individually.
Communication Design activities for the students to practice
Activities specific sounds.
Written Versions of Oral In the more advanced levels, students can be
Presentations given strategies for analyzing the written
versions of their oral presentations.
Computer-Assisted Teachers can use visual displays of speech
Language Learning patterns to teach intonation, stress, and sounds
to individuals and small groups of students.
Explanations Explanations of how to produce sounds or use
pronunciation patterns appropriately should be
kept to a minimum though directions about
what to do with the vocal organs can help some
students in some circumstances.
Utilization of Known Comparisons with the students’ first language
Sounds may help some students to produce a second
language pattern.
Incorporation of Novel Using novel elements with the use of directions.
Elements
Communication Students can be taught some useful
Strategies communication strategies which will help them
give the impression that their pronunciation is

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better than it really is. The communication


strategies are retrieval strategies, rehearsal
strategies, cover strategies, and
“communication” strategies. (Oxford 2000)
Affective Strategies A number of excellent affective strategies can
be taught to help learners lower their anxieties
and gain confidence.

2. An overview of songs in teaching language


2.1. Definition of songs
According to Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary, song is defined as
“a short piece of music with words that you sing”
Types of songs:
There are many ways to classify songs. According to culture, there are
three types: Art songs (songs created for performance in their own right,
usually with piano accompaniment, the lyrics are often written by a poet or
lyricist and the music separately by a composer), folk songs (songs of often
anonymous origin that are transmitted orally), and popular songs (are
played on the radio, through all other mass media)
With songs used for language teaching, there are five main kinds as
followings:
- List songs: Songs in which structures, lexis are repeated again and
again
E.g. “Twinkle, twinkle, a little star”, “Money, money, money”, “We
wish you a merry Christmas”
- Story songs: Songs telling a story
E.g. “Don’t cry Jony”, “Those were the days”

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- Action songs: Songs requiring listeners to do some actions while


singing
E.g. “If you are happy”
- Special occasion songs: Songs sung only on certain occasions or at
certain time of the year
E.g. “Silent night”, “Last Christmas”
2.2. The role of songs in the foreign language classroom
Songs are part of daily life for most people. The benefits of songs in
ELT have been well-documented by a myriad researchers. Foreign language
teachers can use songs to open and close their lessons, to illustrate themes
and topics, to add variety or a change of pace, present new vocabulary or
recycle known language. Falioni (1993) stated that “practically all grammar
points can be found in music text, and the texts also offer a wide variety of
vocabulary, all of which can be utilized to practice the four communication
skills” (p.98). “With some imagination, songs can be used to teach all
aspects of foreign languages” (Claerr and Gargan, 1984, p.31). This research
is going to review some outstanding benefits of listening to music to foreign
language learners.
Firstly, motivation is one of the things that can be gained by using
songs in foreign language classroom. According to Falioni (1993), “The
addition of songs to the foreign language classroom as a teaching method
may be a way to focus students’ attention, and produce a more committed
learner” (p.104). Nambiar (1993) recommends recent pop songs to enhance
motivation in the younger generation: “Songs deal with the whole realm of
human emotions and students are often willing to sing a song in a foreign
language even if they do not fully understand the meaning of the words” (as
cited in Nguyen, D. N. H, 2007, p.20). Rogers (1999) found that “the use of

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songs creates an atmosphere of interest in the study of English and can lead
from a “teacher centered” to a “student centered” class”. Using music can
lift the atmosphere in class, or develop a non-threatening classroom
atmosphere, bring in a boost of energy and capture the children’s attention.
Besides, English songs can motivate them in their quest to learn English.
Secondly, songs can be catchy and re-usable. In the article “Using
ESL Songs”, the author expressed: Unlike other recording materials, “songs
are catchy and fun and ESL students will feel happy to hear them many
times” till they can sing along. If teacher plays the recording of a dialogue
the second time, students may get bored with it. However, songs can be
reused without making students become fed up with listening.
Thirdly, songs related to cultural aspects could be chosen to present to
students about social situations, historical events, geographical descriptions,
and others. The use of songs, according to Jolly (1975), gives students the
opportunity to acquire a greater understanding of the culture underlying the
target language. The author of the article “Using ELT Songs” also cites
Cultural Literacy as one of “positive contributions to language learning
songs can make”. He said: “Songs used in English classes can shed light on
interesting musical traditions in countries, but can also teach teens, young
adults and adults to appreciate other cultures. For adult learners they can be
“a rich mine of information about human relations, ethics, customs, history,
humor, and regional and cultural differences” (Lems, 2001)”.
Besides, songs can help students remember vocabulary, grammatical
structures and aid in comprehending the general meaning. Music and
rhythm make it much easier to imitate and remember language than words
which are just “spoken” (Cakir). Practically all grammar points and a wide
variety of vocabulary can be found in musical texts. As Falioni (1993) states,

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“The new structures that may seem isolated or out of context in pattern
drills, are seen in a different perspective when they are part of a song” (p.
101). Songs are a useful tool to help learners memorize phrase constructions.
They are more easily learned and tend to “stick” longer than straight-out
grammatical examples.
Pronunciation is also among those can be taught to students by using
songs. Leith (1979) stated that “There is probably not a better nor quicker
way to teach phonetics than with songs” (as cited in Nguyen, D. N. H 2007,
p.21). The melody, along with lyrics, provides an excellent opportunity to
review pronunciation and enjoy music at the same time. The next part of this
research is going to discuss the reasons why songs are useful in teaching
pronunciation.
2.3. The reasons why songs are useful in teaching pronunciation
The benefits of songs in language classroom are undeniable. In
particular, in teaching pronunciation, songs are also valued for its usefulness.
According to Hans (2009), through songs, “learners have the opportunity to
listen to pronunciation in a wide range of varieties of the language. Songs
will help learners become familiar with word stress and intonation, and the
rhythm with which words are spoken or sung also helps memorization”. This
results from the fact that songs usually have words repeated over and over
again in choruses. The repetition of words helps learners get familiar with
the sounds they hear; therefore, they can pronounce them more accurately.
Hannah, H. stated in her study “Teaching Mandarin through Chinese Pop
songs” that repetition “does not only create familiarity but also leads to
understanding, as it gives time for the penny to drop. What at first may be
strange and unfamiliar, after repeated exposure becomes clear and

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understandable. This is especially important for learning a brand new foreign


language”.
While listening to English songs, learners create themselves the need
of imitating the singers so that they can sing along with the singers. In other
words, listening to English songs makes them feel that they need English
and that English is an interesting subject to learn.
Besides, English songs are part of authentic materials, which gives
chances for learners to be exposed to native speakers’ pronunciation. As in
Emi, Y. (2009), “learning English through songs can be effective to assist
pronunciation, since students can directly get the knowledge on how to
pronounce the words from the songs they hear, when students learn in an
enjoyable situation, they can digest the lesson easily”.

3. Related studies
Using songs in language teaching and learning is not a new idea. The
exploitation of songs has been widely researched.
3.1. Related studies abroad
There is some literature on the usefulness of songs in a language class
as reviewed in the previous part. Besides, the use of songs in teaching
pronunciation can be found in some of the books about techniques to teach
pronunciation. Laroy (2001), in his book named “Pronunciation”, published
by Oxford English, cited a lot of activities to teach English sounds including
using music. According to Laroy, teachers can utilize “musical sounds” in
pronunciation lessons. In other words, teachers can “improve the
pronunciation of speech sounds through rhythm, singing and movement”
(p.95). He also thought that correcting words and sounds through singing is
advisable because “learners have an opportunity to try again and again

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without being exposed to the scrutiny of the teacher and the other students
all the time” (p. 1212)
Silvia, C. B., Eva, E. V., Isabel, S. (2005) conducted a research on
“Teaching phonetics through singing and reciting”. This research presented
the results of the investigation into the role of singing and reciting in the
teaching and learning of English phonetics to non-native speakers. They
found that through singing and reciting, learners would be more native-like
(with less of a foreign accent) due to the well-established rhythmic patterns
of the verse and song conditions.
There is also a relating research named “Teaching English using songs
to improve student’s pronunciation in PG and TK Alam Surya Mentary
Kerten” conducted by Emi, Y. (2009) as a Fulfillment for Requirements for
getting Bachelor Degree of Education in English Department. This
research’s participants are limited, only from one kindergarten in a small
city in Indonesia.
In his article “The Use Of Songs To Teach Grammar and
Pronunciation in ESL Classes”, Rogers (1999) said:
The initial success of this approach led me to conclude that I should
base the curriculum almost totally on songs, at least until the majority
of the students had learned how to pronounce English relatively well.
After a few months, not only had the students' pronunciation
improved, but their overall interest in speaking and learning English
increased. I have found that there are a number of advantages to using
songs as an important part of any curriculum.
Besides, Balbina, E. & Marta. J. S., British Council Cameroon
suggested some activities based on songs’ rhymes to focus learners on
particular sounds in their article named “Developing pronunciation through
songs”.

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3.2. Related studies in Vietnam


In Vietnam, although there are a lot of researches have been
conducted to investigate the exploitation of songs in language classrooms,
for example, to teach listening comprehension, few have been conducted to
find out the situation of using songs to teach pronunciation in general and to
teach English sounds to 11th form students in particular.
“Using songs in teaching sounds and words at Nguyen Trai high
school” (2008-2009) is the only related study the researcher of this research
can find in Vietnam. However, this research only pointed out problems in
teaching pronunciation and had no suggestions to solve them.
In conclusion, using songs in teaching pronunciation is familiar with
foreign language teachers abroad, it is quite new to Vietnamese teachers.

III. CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY


The preceding chapter has reviewed the theoretical basis of the whole
study. Turning to the practical side, the researcher, in this chapter, discusses
the methodology used to investigate the using of songs in teaching
pronunciation in Nguyen Gia Thieu high school. The chapter includes four
parts: selection of subjects, data collection instrument, procedures of data
collection and procedures of data analysis.

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1. Selection of subjects
The subjects of the research are four classes in 11th form chosen
randomly and teachers in Nguyen Gia Thieu high school. This helps to
provide reliable results and generalize the findings of the research.
Firstly, the name of each class amongst 15 classes in Nguyen Gia
Thieu high school was written in a piece of paper. Each class had an equal
chance to be selected as the participants of the research.
The similar process was used for the selection of 10 teachers as
subjects of the survey.

2. Data collection instruments


The instrument exploited in the study is questionnaire, interview and
observation.
2.1. Questionnaire:
Questionnaire is one of the most efficient research instruments to
collect information as much as possible in short of time. Moreover,
questionnaire is considered to be more objective and low-cost than other
types of research instrument.
Two sets of questionnaire were utilized, one for students of grade 11
and one for teachers at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school. They were both
combination of close and open-ended questions, which gave the researcher
the chance to take control of the content as well as get in-depth information.
To be specific, the questionnaire for teachers consists of ten questions.
The first question is designed to find out how many years these teachers
have been teaching English to define whether they are experienced or not.
The next question aims at discovering the opinions of teachers about the

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difficulty level of pronunciation among other elements of learning a


language and in comparison with four skills also. The third question helps
to find out the importance of pronunciation in teaching a foreign language
according to teacher’s perception. Then, teachers were asked about the
materials they often choose to teach pronunciation in class and problems
they have when teaching English sounds. The next three questions were
designed on the purpose of investigate the situation of using songs to teach
English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school. The
last two questions aim at finding out the advantages and disadvantages of
using songs in teaching pronunciation from the teachers’ points of view.
The questionnaire designed for students also consists of ten questions
with the aim at finding the attitudes of students towards English songs,
towards using songs in lessons, and how songs are actually exploited in their
class. The three first questions were designed with the same objectives as the
three first ones in teachers’ questionnaire. The next three questions aim at
finding out whether students like English songs or not, how often they listen
English songs and their attitudes towards having songs in lessons. The
frequency of using songs in pronunciation class is studied through the
seventh question. The three last questions aim at finding the usefulness and
problems of listening English songs in learning pronunciation, in students’
opinions.
The two sets of questionnaire were both designed in English.
However, the questions are not difficult for 11th form students to understand.
Moreover, the researcher was willing to answer any questions from students
about what they did not understand.
2.2. Interview

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Interview is “particularly useful for getting the story behind


participants’ experiences. The interviewer can pursue in-depth information
around the topic”. (Nguyen, T. T. M, 2008)
This kind of data collection complemented questionnaire and
classroom observation to offer the researcher an insight into the issue.
Similar to the questionnaires, interviews were designed for both teachers and
students. The questions in each schedule were in Vietnamese in order to
avoid misunderstanding and difficulty in expressing opinions or
communication breakdown. They were both semi-structured to provide
interviewees with flexibility while offering interviewers adequate power and
control over the interview.
Because of the lack of time, only 3 teachers were chosen as the
participants of the interviews for teachers. In which, two interviews were
conducted right after 2 experiments of using songs to teach English sounds
to two 11th form classes at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school. This would help
the researcher find out the weak points as well as strong points of using
songs to teach pronunciation and practical comments as well as further
suggestions to the use of songs in teaching pronunciation in general and
teaching English sounds to 11th form students in particular.
In terms of structure, the interview for teachers consists of five
questions. Firstly, the teachers were asked about the frequency they apply
songs in their lessons. This was followed by comment section, which
required the teachers to evaluate the activities in using songs to teach
pronunciation in terms of advantages and disadvantages. Finally,
suggestions for choosing songs and designing tasks for a period of teaching
pronunciation applying songs were asked.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Likewise, interviews were conducted with a group of 6 students from


2 classes at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school after they took part in two
periods of experiments. The purpose is to invite comments about the use of
songs in teaching pronunciation from those who have directly attended a
pronunciation class using songs as a main material. In addition, the
researcher also had a good chance to take up valuable suggestions from
them.
2.3. Classroom observation
According to Nunan (1991), “there is no substitute for direct
observation as a way of finding out about language classrooms”. To prepare
for observation, a detailed observation checklist was designed before hand.
As for the structure, the observation scheme comprises four parts: class
profile, content, classroom assessment and overall comments on the lesson
using songs to teach English sounds. The first part aims to take notes all the
in formation about class setting (class size, time, level and sounds that were
going to be taught). In the next part, teacher’s and students’ activities are
observed and commented on. Teacher’s exploitation and students’
involvement were assessed in the third part. Finally, overall comments were
drawn.
Although the number of classroom observations was rather limited, it
is hoped that the information from these two observations would be useful to
detect and disqualify any irrational findings from the questionnaires and
interviews
3. Procedures of data collection
The data collection went through four major phases in chronological
order: preparing instruments, delivering questionnaires, observing and
interviewing.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

3.1. Phase 1
The first step was preparing for the data collection process including
designing two sets of questionnaire, two interview schedules and the
observation checklist. They were all checked by the researcher’s supervisor
in this phase. Moreover, necessary preparation for sampling procedure was
made such as the consideration of sample selection, asking for permission
for classroom observations and questionnaires. In this phase, appointments
for interviews with teachers were also made.
3.2. Phase 2
Delivering questionnaires to both teachers and students was done in
this phase. With the allowance of the Head of the English Group at Nguyen
Gia Thieu high school, the researcher took advantage of six-week practicum
to deliver all of the questionnaires. In break time, the researcher came to the
classes chosen as the participants randomly and delivered questionnaires to
students after a brief introduction about the researcher as well as the
research’s topic. An oral explanation for the terms used in the questionnaire
was given to avoid misunderstanding for some students. The same process
was applied to delivering questionnaire to teachers.

3.3. Phase 3
The next phase was conducted in classrooms. Soon after the
permission was granted and the two teachers were willing to directly try out
the techniques of using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students,
observation was carried out. During these two periods at two different
classes, the researcher took observation notes. In order to make the lesson as
natural as usual, there was neither introduction of the research topic nor the
statement of the researcher’s objectives. At the end of the lesson, these notes

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

were revised thanks to the immediate feedback of the training supervisor


teacher and other co-training teachers on the lesson as the whole.
3.4. Phase 4
Interviewing was the last step of data collection process. When the
two experiment lessons had just finished, the researcher conducted
interviews with the teacher and two groups of three students in these classes
during their of-periods. The interviews were given in a friendly and natural
way so that it could create a rapport with participants. During the interview,
questions were asked one at a time and responses were encouraged to
express personal experience, subjective points of view and to give specific
examples so that in-depth information could be achieved. Besides recording
the content of the interview, the researcher took notes on important points
throughout the interviews, which helped with the interview transcription
later on.

4. Procedures of data analysis


Firstly, the data collected were classified into different categories,
such as students’ attitudes towards pronunciation, teachers’ attitudes towards
pronunciation, students’ attitudes towards using English songs and using
songs in teaching and learning pronunciation, teachers’ attitudes towards
using songs in teaching pronunciation, and the actual situation of using
songs to teach English sounds at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school. Based on
categories established, data were then analyzed by using both descriptive
statistics (percentage) and qualitative statistics (answers to open-ended
questions in questionnaires and interviews). Pie charts and graphs were
mainly employed to analyze and compare figures. Moreover, typical
quotations from the interviews, the answers to open-ended questions in the

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

questionnaires, and classroom observations were cited when necessary.


Interpretation and conclusions were drawn after analyzing the data.

5. Summary
To sum up, this chapter has justified the methodology applied in this
research: the selection of subjects, the data collection instruments, four
phases of data collection procedures and lastly, procedures of data analysis.
Such clarification of methodology would help pave the way for the analysis
of the collected data in the next chapter.

IV. CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


In this chapter, data collected from the three collection instruments is
analyzed and interpreted to reveal answers to each research question of the
study:
 The attitudes of the teachers and the students at Nguyen Gia Thieu
high school to using songs in teaching pronunciation
 The situation of using songs to teach pronunciation at Nguyen Gia
Thieu high school

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

 Teachers’ and students’ opinions about advantages and disadvantages


of using songs in teaching pronunciation
 Suggestions to make full use of songs to teach pronunciation to 11th
form students.

1. Results
1.1. Teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards using songs to
teach pronunciation
1.1.1. Opinions of teachers and students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high
school about the importance of pronunciation
1.1.1.1. Opinions of teachers at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school
about the importance of pronunciation
Table 1: Teachers’ rating of the difficulty of pronunciation:
Aspects of learning English No of T find it
difficult
Pronunciation 64%
Grammar 27%
Four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) 9%

As shown in the table, the number of teachers who consider


pronunciation as the most difficult aspects in learning English accounts for
64%, while 27% think it is grammar that is the most difficult and only 9% of
them think four skills, reading, speaking, listening and writing, are difficult.
When asked about their opinions on the importance of pronunciation,
91 % of teachers at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school said that pronunciation is
very important while only 9 % consider it as an important skill. None of

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

them think that pronunciation is not important at all in language teaching


and learning.
Chart 1: The importance of pronunciation from teachers’ point of view

The importance of pronunciation from teachers' point of view

9% 0%

91% very important

important

not important at all

1.1.1.2. Opinions of students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school


about the importance of pronunciation
According to the survey questionnaire, the largest number of students
said that pronunciation is the most difficult in aspects of learning English
cited in the list, accounts for 46%. 23% think grammar is the most difficult
in all. The rest of students, 31% find mastering four skills are more difficult
than learning grammar and pronunciation separately. As can be seen from
the table below:
Table 2: Students’ rating of the difficulty of pronunciation
Aspects of learning English No of Ss find it
difficult
Pronunciation 46%

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Grammar 23%
Four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) 31%

Following is the chart about the importance of pronunciation from


students’ point of view.
Chart 2: The importance of pronunciation from students’ point of view

The importance of pronunciation from students' point of view

1%

35%

64%

very important

important

not important at all

Clearly from the pie chart above, we can see 64% of the surveyed
students think that pronunciation plays a very important role in learning a
language, 35% of them have lower attitude towards pronunciation. However,
1% of students do not attach any importance to pronunciation. It is perhaps
because they think pronunciation does not influence their language learning
much. They may treasure grammar, or other skills such as reading, listening,
writing and fluently speaking more than pronunciation.
In short, the attitudes towards pronunciation of teachers and students
at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school do not differ much. The majority of both

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

students and teachers consider pronunciation as a difficult but important skill


of learning English.
1.1.2. Teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards using songs to
teach pronunciation
1.1.2.1. Teachers’ attitudes towards using songs to teach
pronunciation
Firstly, the researcher explored the attitudes of teachers towards
English songs, whether they like or dislike. Surprisingly, all surveyed
teachers, 100%, like English songs.
However, when being asked whether songs can be exploited as a
useful tool to teach pronunciation or not, not all of them said yes.
Table 3: Exploitation of songs as a useful tool to teach pronunciation
Exploitation of songs as an useful No. of teachers
tool to teach pronunciation
Agree 82%
Disagree 18%

The majority of teachers, 82%, agree that using songs can be an


effective way to teach pronunciation. It can be drawn from this result that
most teachers have positive attitudes towards influence of songs in teaching
and learning a language in general and teaching and pronunciation in
particular. The rest of teachers, 18%, think that it is not an effective way to
teach pronunciation by using songs. They stated in the survey: “songs
usually contain spoken language and sometimes there are indistinct sounds,
sound omission, etc., which cause students difficulties in listening and
mimicking the sounds”.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

1.1.2.2. Students’ attitudes towards using songs to teach


pronunciation
Following is some information about the attitudes of students towards
English songs and the use of them in pronunciation teaching and learning.
There are 93% of surveyed students expressing that they really like
listening to English songs whereas only 7% say English songs is not their
liking.
Table 4: Students’ attitudes towards English songs
Students’ attitudes towards English songs No. of Students
Like 93%
Dislike 7%

Therefore, it is understandable that most of students like to have songs


in pronunciation lessons. The number accounts for up to 90%. The rest,
10%, reject the use of English songs in lessons. The chart below can help to
see more clearly:

Chart 3: Students’ attitudes towards using songs in lessons

Students' attitudes towards using songs in lessons

90%
100%

80%
29 Lại Thanh Tình - 061E11
like
60%
dislike
40%
Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

From open-ended question, most students stated their reasons why


they like to have songs in lessons as followings: “It’s interesting and help me
concentrate on the lesson”, “we feel excited and feel the lesson more
interesting when we have songs in lessons”, “I think it is easier to learn with
songs”, “with songs in lessons, the relationship between teachers and
students will be closer”, “songs can relieve tension during the lesson”, etc.
Whereas students against using songs in lessons reasoned that they don’t like
English songs, some said that it is waste of time and it is not necessary to use
songs in lessons.

1.2. The situation of using songs to teach pronunciation at Nguyen Gia


Thieu high school
1.2.1. According to teachers’ answers
Chart 4: Frequency of using songs to teach pronunciation at Nguyen Gia Thieu
high school according to teachers’ answers

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Frequency of using songs to teach pronunciation at


Nguyen Gia Thieu high school

0%
27%
always
usually
sometimes
rarely
64% 9%
never

As can be clearly seen from chart 3 and chart 4, there is a contrast


between teachers’ attitudes towards English songs and their frequency of
exploiting songs in their pronunciation lessons. None of them use songs in
every period of teaching pronunciation. The number of teachers who report
“sometimes” takes up only 9% of the total. Nearly one-third of them rarely
use songs in their pronunciation period. A large number of teachers never
exploit songs; the number makes up for up to 64%.
The reason for this contrast can be revealed by the problems they have
when using songs to design tasks for students, which can be clarified later in
the next research questions.

1.2.2. According to students’ answers:


Chart 5: Frequency of using songs to teach pronunciation at Nguyen Gia
Thieu high school according to students’ answers

Frequency of using songs to teach pronunciation at Nguyen Gia Thieu high


school

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0% 14%
always

usually
Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

To answer to the question “How often does your teacher of English


use songs to teach pronunciation?” more than one-third of the surveyed
students answered “never”, 14% revealed that their teachers sometimes use
songs to teach pronunciation, and nearly haft of the students, 49%, revealed
that their teachers.
The number is not much different between teachers’ answers and
students’ answers about the frequency of using songs to teach pronunciation
at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school. It can be drawn that songs have not been
taken advantage of as a means in teaching pronunciation in general and
teaching English sounds as particular. The number of teachers who never
use songs to teach pronunciation is not little, especially according to
teachers’ admission.
In terms of the result from interviews, the first question for both
teachers and students was about the frequency of using songs to teach
pronunciation. In reply to this question, two of three teachers said: “I do not
use songs very often, just rarely or sometimes, I think I’d put it rarely”, “I
rarely design pronunciation task basing on songs”. The other teacher said
that she sometimes use this type of teaching aid.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

The answer to this question from two groups of students after


attending an experiment lesson using songs was not much different: “If only
my teacher use songs more often. She rarely uses songs in lesson let alone in
teaching pronunciation”. “I can count for three or four times in two last
semesters that my teacher used songs to teach pronunciation, but only when
my teacher’s lessons were observed by other teachers”.
From this result, it could be concluded that songs have been used to
teach pronunciation at Nguyen Gia Thieu already, but with a quite low
frequency.
1.3. Teachers’ and students’ opinions about advantages and
disadvantages of using songs in teaching pronunciation
1.3.1. Teachers’ opinions about advantages and disadvantages of
using songs in teaching pronunciation
From questionnaire
Chart 6 below shows the teachers’ opinion about the advantages of
using songs in teaching pronunciation, especially teaching English sounds.
There is an absolute number of teachers (100%) agreeing that songs can
reduce boredom in class. Also, the number of teachers approving the point
that songs encourage students to pay attention to the pronunciation of words
is quite large, 64%. Around one-third of teachers think that songs help
students relax during the lesson (27%) and provide them with repetition of
sounds (36%). None of them consider songs as a tool to help students to
access examples of spoken language.

Chart 6: Teachers’ opinion about advantages of using songs

The advantages of using songs to teach pronunciation from


teachers' point of view

33 Lại Thanh Tình - 061E11


100%
100%
reduce Ss' boredom in class
Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

From interviews and class observation


From the information from the three interviewed teachers, the same
opinions were obtained. One teacher said: “In spite of not using it very often,
I have to say that thanks to songs, I can draw my students’ attention to do the
tasks I design for them. In other words, students concentrate more on words in
the songs”. “Songs can help create a relaxing atmosphere during the lessons
as well as reduce students’ boredom in class”, said another teacher. Added to
the advantages of using songs to teach pronunciation, one interviewed
teacher shared:
I recognize that songs usually have choruses with a lot of repetition of
sounds. Students; therefore, can memorize both vocabulary and the way
words pronounced better. Moreover, songs can attract students with their
tune, their melody, and then create students’ desire to mimic singer’s
pronunciation in order to sing along. (Appendix 5)
From observation checklist #1 and #2, all students are motivated and
eager to do the tasks during the lesson which makes use of songs in teaching.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Teachers’ opinion about disadvantages of using songs


Chart 7: The disadvantages of using songs to teach pronunciation

The problems when using songs to teach pronunciation

90% 82%

80% The class becomes noisy and out of


control
70%
Class time is limited
60%
Ss are distracted by the music
50%
36% Sounds are not clear because
40%
27% 27% singers usually link sounds together
30% Teachers cannot sing
18%
20%
Teachers cannot find songs suitable
10% for the lesson in the curriculum
0%
0%
1

As can be seen from chart 7, the problem teachers worry to confront


with most is that they cannot find songs suitable for the lesson in the
curriculum (82%). At the second rank is the problem of students being
distracted by music, 36%. Next, the same number of teachers agreed that the
class becomes noisy, out of control and that class time is limited. 18% think
that sounds in songs usually are not clear for students to hear and imitate
because singers often link sounds together, so teachers find it difficult to
teach sounds separately by songs. Especially, no teachers worry about their
ability to sing. Perhaps whether they can sing or not is not important to
them.
When being asked about disadvantages of using songs to teach
pronunciation, the interviewed teachers shared the same ideas and especially
similar to the result from questionnaire. One teacher, like two other surveyed

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

teachers, said: “The most difficult thing is that I can hardly find songs
suitable to teach sounds as cited in each unit in 11th form text book”. They
all found that their students are usually distracted by music as well as sounds
in songs are not clear enough to teach sounds separately to students and
added “words in songs do not usually sound as normal and it is difficult for
students to produce sounds exactly like singers performing those songs”
Information from observation checklists reveals that class is
sometimes noisy and some students may sing along and forget about the
tasks they have to fulfill. This problem is hard to avoid.
1.3.2. Students’ opinions about advantages and disadvantages of
using songs in teaching pronunciation
From questionnaire:
On the on hand, students all agree that songs bring many benefits
From the chart below, it can be seen that there is few differences
between students’ rating of advantages of listening to songs in learning
pronunciation. At the top is both the number of students who agree that
songs help them relax and encourage them to pay attention to pronunciation
of words in songs, making up 62%. Around haft of students find that songs
help to reduce their boredom in the class (55%) and help them to access
examples of spoken language (50%). Nearly haft of them think the repetition
in songs is an advantage.
Chart 8: Students’ opinion about advantages of using songs in learning
pronunciation:

Advantages of listening to English songs in learning pronunciation

70%
62% 62% reduce the boredom in the class

60% 55%
36
50% Lại Thanh Tình - 061E11
help ss relax
50%
40%
Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

On the other hand, students also fear that the use of songs may cause
them some problems. Chart 9 demonstrates students’ opinions about
problems of listening to songs in learning pronunciation.

Chart 9: Students’ opinions about problems of listening to songs in


learning pronunciation

Problems of listening to English songs in learning pronunciation

80% 72%

70%

60% Ss are distracted by the music


47%
50%
37 Lại Thanh Tình - 061E11
Ss cannot follow the song's
38% speed
40% The accents of singers are not
Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

As clearly shown in the chart, the idea that songs usually contain
sounds that are unclear because singers link sounds together is agreed by the
largest number of students. Nearly haft of surveyed students (47%) find it
difficult for them to follow the speed of almost songs. The number of
students agreeing that accents of singers are not always Standard English
makes up 38%.The remaining 23% of the students stated that they are
distracted by music.
From interviews and class observation:
Students from two groups interviewed almost had the same ideas
about both advantages and disadvantages of listening to English songs in
learning pronunciation. Students from group A commented: “I think lessons
with songs like this (the experiment lesson) are very effective because we
can learn without any tensions and pressure. Songs help us to pay attention
to words so that we can sing along”. One student from group B stated:
“Songs have many words repeated, so we cam memorize them more easily”.
When being asked about the problems they encountered when
listening songs to learn pronunciation, one student from group A said: “I
only listen to the song’s melody, the sweet voice of the singer, I almost

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

cannot catch any sounds in the song”. “The use of songs in pronunciation
lessons has to become frequent so that it can bring effectiveness in the long
run”, one student from group B claimed.

2. Discussion
Through the investigations of the use of songs in teaching
pronunciation to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school, it can
be drawn. Hence, a number of questions have been posed for teachers to
consider when teaching pronunciation, especially sounds separately.
Firstly, it is necessary to make pronunciation lessons more enjoyable
and easier for students to memorize. Because a large number of teachers and
students find pronunciation difficult, it is recommended that teachers should
design more interesting tasks and create pleasant atmosphere in order to
avoid frustration and tensions for students. To arouse passion for learning is
essential but difficult. So, what is an effective way to reduce boredom and
encourage students to learn pronunciation?
Secondly, using songs may be an effective way to teach
pronunciation, but some problems still exist as follows:
One is a need to equip teachers with specific kind of background in
phonetics and its application in communicative approaches. Another is how
to design tasks and activities basing on authentic materials. This depends on
the ability of the teachers and their enthusiasms in teaching career because
looking for suitable materials and designing tasks both interesting and
effective may take a lot of time and is quite difficult. Moreover, in a 45-
minute class of language focus, it is hard to have enough time to teach both
pronunciation and grammar as regulated in the curriculum. To find a helpful
song is really a problem to some teachers who cannot apply information

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

technology or do not have facilities for it. Finally, to teachers who do not
have a good voice and sense of music. Although songs can be played by
tapes or discs, etc. it is better for teachers to motivate students by singing as
a model or simply by singing together with them. If teachers sing with
wrong rhythm, they may lose confidence or be laughed at by their students.

3. Suggestions
Some suggestions of applying songs in pronunciation lessons,
especially lessons of teaching English sounds separately to 11th form
students, are going to be generated in this part.
Firstly, it is necessary to choose suitable songs. Teachers should note
down the sounds they are going to teach in the first place. Then, they go
through the lyrics of some songs to see which one can help. Besides, the
tune, the speed and especially, the clarity of sounds in the song must be
taken into consideration. A list of songs suggested to teach English sounds
can be found in Appendix 7.
After choosing a suitable song, teachers have to think of how to
design appropriate tasks and activities to students’ level and their interest as
well. Some following activities of teaching English sounds can be taken as
examples:
Activity 1:
Get tapes and discs of English song containing sounds that are going
to be taught.
Introduce how to pronounce those sounds.
Play the song and have students pick a few sentences containing
sounds they have just learned.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Ask them to practice these sentences by trying to sing them as similar


as the singer as possible
(See appendix 8)
Activity 2:
Replace some of the sounds in the song with a gap.
Let students listen to the song and fill in the gaps.
Activity 3:
Choose a number of words in the song from which minimal pairs can
be created.
Write the pairs in a parenthesis then ask students to choose the one
they hear while listening to the song.
(See appendix 8)

4. Limitation of the study


In this paper, the scope of study is limited only in one school, Nguyen
Gia Thieu high school. The research is restricted to only a small number of
objects and the researcher can only look at the situation of using songs to
teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.
Hence, the results cannot be generalized to all high schools in Vietnam.
Hopefully, this research brings some insight into one of strategies to teach
pronunciation, though.
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singing and reciting. Financed by the Madrid regional Government
(ref. no. 06/HSE/0123/2004)
Song. Retrieved March 25, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song

43 Lại Thanh Tình - 061E11


Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Using ESL songs. Retrieved March 30, 2010, from


http://www.teachingenglishgames.com/Articles/Using_ESL_Songs.html
Wong, R. (1987). Teaching pronunciation: focus on English rhythm and
intonation. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents

APPENDICES
Appendix 1

QUESTIONNAIRE FOR TEACHERS

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

I am Lại Thanh Tình, last year student from Vietnam National University, Hanoi
University of Languages and International Studies, English Department. I am conducting
a research on “using songs to teach English sounds to eleventh form students at
Nguyễn Gia Thiều highschool”, which aims at investigating the reality of exploiting
songs to teach English sounds to eleventh form students at Nguyễn Gia Thiều highschool
and suggesting different techniques to use songs in teaching pronunciation. I would be
grateful if you could spend some of your precious time completing this questionnaire.
Please read the questions carefully and tick the answer you agree most for each question.
You are encouraged to ask me if you find something you do not understand. It is assured
that your personal opinions will be kept secret under all circumstances.
Thank you for your cooperation.

SURVEY QUESTIONS
1. How long have you been teaching English?
a. less than 2 years
b. 3-5 years
c. 6-10 years
d. more than 10 years
2. In your opinion, what aspect of learning English is the most difficult?
a. Pronunciation
b. Grammar
c. Four skills: reading, speaking, listening, writing
3. In your opinion, how important is pronunciation in learning a language?
a. very important
b. important
c. not important at all
4. Which material do you often choose to teach English sounds in particular?
a. live speech (teacher reads the sounds aloud and students repeat)
b. videos or tape recordings
c. other, please specify………………………………………………………

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

5. What are your problems when teaching English sounds? You can choose
more than one answer.
a. The English sounds are different from Vietnamese sounds
b. Students feel discouraged when they cannot produce the sounds correctly
c. You cannot find suitable materials to teach pronunciation
d. Other, please specify………………………………………………………
6. Do you like English songs?
a. yes b. no c. don’t care
7. How often do you use songs to teach pronunciation?
a. very often b. often c. sometimes d. rarely e. never
8. Do you think that using songs can be an effective tool for teaching
pronunciation?
a. yes. In what way?........................................................................................
……………………………………………………………………………….
b. no. Why?......................................................................................................
…………………………………………………………………………….....
9. What do you think are the advantages of listening to English songs in
teaching pronunciation? You can choose more than one answer.
a. Songs can reduce the students’ boredom in the class.
b. Songs can help students relax during the lesson.
c. Songs can encourage students to pay attention to the pronunciation of the
words in the songs.
d. The rhymes in songs provide listeners with repetition of similar sounds.
e. Songs are easily accessible examples of spoken English.
f. Other, please specify………………………...…………………………...

10. What do you think are the disadvantages of using songs to teach English
sounds? You can choose more than one answer.
a. The class becomes noisy and out of control.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

b. Class time is limited.


c. Students are distracted by the music.
d. The sounds are not clear because singers usually link sounds together.
e. You cannot sing.
f. You cannot find songs suitable for the lesson in the curriculum.
e. Other, please specify:……………………………………………………

Thank you for your cooperation

Appendix 2

QUESTIONNAIRE FOR STUDENTS

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

I am Lại Thanh Tình, last year student from Vietnam National University, Hanoi
University of Languages and International Studies, English Department. I am conducting
a research on “using songs to teach English sounds to eleventh form students at
Nguyễn Gia Thiều highschool”, which aims at investigating the reality of exploiting
songs to teach English sounds to eleventh form students at Nguyễn Gia Thiều highschool
and suggesting different techniques to use songs in teaching pronunciation. I would be
grateful if you could spend some of your precious time completing this questionnaire.
Please read the questions carefully and tick the answer you agree most for each question.
You are encouraged to ask me if you find something you do not understand. It is assured
that your personal opinions will be kept secret under all circumstances.
Thank you for your cooperation.

SURVEY QUESTIONS
1. How long have you been learning English?
…….. years
2. In your opinion, what aspect of learning English is the most difficult?
a. Pronunciation
b. Grammar
c. Four skills: reading, speaking, listening, writing
3. In your opinion, how important is pronunciation in learning a language?
a. very important
b. important
c. not important at all
4. Do you like English songs?
a. yes b. no c. don’t care
5. How often do you listen to English songs?
a. Always b. usually c. sometimes d. rarely e. never
6. Do you like to have songs in lessons?
a. yes b. no
Why yes/no:………………………………………………………………

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

7. How often does your teacher of English use songs to teach pronunciation?
a. very often b. often c. sometimes d. rarely e. never
8. Do you think that using songs can help you better your pronunciation?
a. yes. In what way?.....................................................................................
…………………………………………………………………………….
b. no. Why?..................................................................................................
9. What do you think are the advantages of listening to English songs in
learning pronunciation? You can choose more than one answer.
a. Songs can reduce the boredom in the class
b. Songs can help you to relax during the lesson
c. Songs can encourage you to pay attention to the pronunciation of the
words in the songs
d. The rhymes in songs provide listeners with repetition of similar sounds
e. Songs are easily accessible examples of spoken English
f. Others, please specify………………………………………………….
………………………………………………………………………….
10. What are your problems when listening to songs? You can choose more
than one answer.
a. I am distracted by the music.
b. I cannot follow the speed of almost songs
c. The accents of singers are not always of Standard English
d. The sounds are not clear because singers usually link sounds together
e. Others:…………………………………………………………………..
Thank you for your cooperation

Appendix 3

Interview questions for teachers

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Full name:
Time of teaching English:

1. How often do you use English songs to teach pronunciation?


2. In your opinion, what are the advantages of using songs to teach
pronunciation?
3. What are your problems when using songs to teach pronunciation?
4. What are your suggestions to choose suitable songs to teach
pronunciation, especially to teach English sounds?
5. What are your suggestions to design tasks for a period of teaching
pronunciation applying songs?

Appendix 4
Interview questions for students
Full name:
Time of learning English:

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

1. How often does your teacher teach pronunciation through songs?


2. In your opinion, what are the advantages of listening to songs in
learning pronunciation, especially learning English sounds?
3. What are your problems when you learn English sounds by
listening to songs?
4. What do you think of this experiment lesson? Are the tasks
appropriate to you?
5. Can you suggest some ways to choose songs more suitable for
teaching English sounds?

Appendix 5

Transcription of interviewing teachers

I. Teacher A (11 years of teaching)

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

1. How often do you use English songs to teach pronunciation?


I do not use songs very often, just rarely or sometimes, I think I’d put it
rarely.
2. In your opinion, what are the advantages of using songs to teach
pronunciation?
In spite of not using it very often, I have to say that thanks to songs, I can
draw my students’ attention to do the tasks I design for them. In other words,
students concentrate more on words in the songs.
3. What are your problems when using songs to teach pronunciation?
The most difficult thing is that I can hardly find songs suitable to teach
sounds as cited in each unit in 11th form text book. Moreover, words in songs do
not usually sound as normal and it is difficult for students to produce sounds exactly
like singers performing those songs.
4. What are your suggestions to choose suitable songs to teach
pronunciation, especially to teach English sounds?
I like English songs but I just spend some time to enjoy music. It is because I
don’t have much free time. I think to choose a song that suits to teach a period of
pronunciation separately is very difficult. In the textbook, sounds are fixed in each
lesson. So, we can only use sounds to help students revise sounds they already
learned.
5. What are your suggestions to design tasks for a period of teaching
pronunciation applying songs?
Minimal pairs can be applied to design activities for students. We can create
more than one word with different minimal pairs in the lyrics and ask students to
choose the words containing the correct sounds.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

II. Teacher B (8 years of teaching)

1. How often do you use English songs to teach pronunciation?


I rarely design pronunciation task basing on songs. I find it a waste of time to
use songs to teach pronunciation although it can be helpful in some ways.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

2. In your opinion, what are the advantages of using songs to teach


pronunciation?
Songs can help create a relaxing atmosphere during the lessons as well as
reduce students’ boredom in class
3. What are your problems when using songs to teach pronunciation?
When I let my students listen to a song in a pronunciation lesson, they
seemed not to concentrate on the tasks I asked them to do, they just enjoyed the
song and sang along some times. Moreover, to find songs suitable for teaching
sounds in curriculum is quite difficult.
4. What are your suggestions to choose suitable songs to teach
pronunciation, especially to teach English sounds?
To teach English sounds separately in an effective way, I think that we
should choose songs that have clear sounds, because as I can see, English songs
usually contain linking sounds and unclear sounds when singers want to follow the
speed of the songs’ tune.
5. What are your suggestions to design tasks for a period of teaching
pronunciation applying songs?
Firstly, we should choose songs containing sounds we intend to teach
students. After that, basing on the lyrics, we design tasks that can help them to
realize and practice the sounds. For examples, we play the song, then pick out a few
phrases or sentences out for students to repeat. Have them try repeating the phrases
or sentences. It is fun and it gets everyone laughing besides help students know how
to pronounce the sounds as well as the words in the song.

III. Teacher C (5 years of teaching)

1. How often do you use English songs to teach pronunciation?


I often use songs in my lessons because I like English songs very much.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

2. In your opinion, what are the advantages of using songs to teach


pronunciation?
I recognize that songs usually have choruses with a lot of repetition of
sounds. Students, therefore, can memorize both vocabulary and the way words
pronounced better. Moreover, songs can attract students with their tune, their
melody, and then create students’ desire to mimic singer’s pronunciation in order to
sing along.
3. What are your problems when using songs to teach pronunciation?
One problem I have when teaching pronunciation is that my students seem to
be distracted by the music. Most of them pay little attention to do the tasks, they just
listen to the song because they like the tune of the song or the singer. Finding
suitable songs is another problem of mine. It takes me a lot of time to choose songs
to apply in a lesson.
4. What are your suggestions to choose suitable songs to teach
pronunciation, especially to teach English sounds?
Uhm, it’s quite difficult to choose songs that fit the curriculum of teaching
pronunciation although songs are various and available on the Internet. I think it will
be easier to use songs to revise sounds students have learned already, not to teach
new sounds. We can use other materials like videos, recordings to teach new
sounds, instead.
5. What are your suggestions to design tasks for a period of teaching
pronunciation applying songs?
We can replace some of the rhymes in the song with a gap and ask students
to fill in the gaps while listening to the song or ask them to listen and repeat the
words that contain the sounds you have cited in the first place, so on.
Appendix 6

Transcription of interviewing students

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

I. Group A:

1. How often does your teacher teach pronunciation through songs?


If only my teacher use songs more often. She rarely uses songs in lesson let
alone in teaching pronunciation.
2. In your opinion, what are the advantages of listening to songs in
learning pronunciation, especially learning English sounds?
I think lessons with songs like this (the experiment lesson) are very effective
because we can learn without any tensions and pressure. Songs help us to pay
attention to words so that we can sing along.
3. What are your problems when you learn English sounds by listening
to songs?
Student 1:
I only listen to the song’s melody, the sweet voice of the singer, I almost
cannot catch any sounds in the song.
Student 2:
I cannot hear the sounds clearly. The singer usually sings so fast and omits
sounds some times.
4. What do you think of this experiment lesson? Are the tasks
appropriate to you?
This lesson is very fun and interesting. The tasks are appropriate to our level,
not too difficult. We find it a useful lesson.
5. Can you suggest some ways to choose songs more suitable for
teaching English sounds?
Any songs, as long as they have clear sounds and slow speed.
II. Group B:

1. How often does your teacher teach pronunciation through songs?

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

I can count for three or four times in two last semesters that my teacher used
songs to teach pronunciation, but only when my teacher’s lessons were observed by
other teachers
2. In your opinion, what are the advantages of listening to songs in
learning pronunciation, especially learning English sounds?
Student 1:
Songs have many words repeated, so we can memorize them more easily.
Student 2:
Songs help us learn more eagerly. Songs make lessons more interesting and
we can relax during the lesson.
3. What are your problems when you learn English sounds by listening
to songs?
The use of songs in pronunciation lessons has to become frequent so that it
can bring effectiveness in the long run.
4. What do you think of this experiment lesson? Are the tasks
appropriate to you?
This lesson is very interesting. However, songs should be applied more and
more, just one or two lessons like this, in my opinion, cannot bring full
effectiveness.
5. Can you suggest some ways to choose songs more suitable for teaching
English sounds?
I think songs with slow speed and clear voice will be the most suitable to us.
We cannot follow the songs that the singer sings too fast and omits sounds as well
as links sounds together.

Appendix 7
Songs for phonology

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

FOLK SONGS WITH HIGH FREQUENCY OF PHONEMES BY LEVEL


(01-20 are VOWEL SOUNDS and 21-44 are CONSONANT SOUNDS)
SONG LEVEL PHONEMES AUTHOR
It's a long way to 1 01;04;13;17;19
Tipperary
My bonnie 1 04;08;14;19;22
Hello Goodbye 1 14;19;26;39;40 Beatles
Sailing 1 08;13;31;35 Rod Stewart
Kum Ba Yah 1 09;10
Michael row 1 10;14;19;33;37
This old man 1 01;03;13;19;30;33;34
Animals went in 1 02;03;09;10;39
two by two
One man went to 1 02;03;19;33
mow
Ten green 1 04;08;22
bottles
Ten in a bed 1 02;19;22;27
One man's hands 2 01;03;08;13;20;33;34;38
What did you 2 03;04;11;12;14;16;24;30;31;33;36;38 Tom Paxton
learn in school?
Where have all 2 02;04;10;11;17;19;20;27;28;35;38 Pete Seeger
the flowers
gone?
Ebony & Ivory 2 02;04;08;22;28;30 Beatles
Red river valley 2 01;02;03;28;37
Little Boxes 2 01;03;04;13;22;23;25;32;33;36 Malvina
Reynolds
When I first 2 01;03;04;05;06;11;13;14;20;25;30;33;34;36;38;41
came to this land
Leaving on a jet 2 08;13;35;36;44 John Denver
plane
Where are you 2 02;11;13;17;19;27;33;38
going my pretty
maid?
And I love her 2 05;10;11;14;36;39 Beatles
All my loving 2 01;05;10;12;13;14;19;36 Beatles
Yesterday 2 04;05;08;13;14;19;40 Beatles
Santy Anno 2 03;08;10;13;19;20
Yellow 2 01;02;03;05;08;31;36;38;40 Beatles
submarine
All my trials 2 07;08;10;13;14;31;32;33;34;36
John Brown's 2 03;04;09;14;19;22;26;33;35;36;44

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

FOLK SONGS WITH HIGH FREQUENCY OF PHONEMES BY LEVEL


(01-20 are VOWEL SOUNDS and 21-44 are CONSONANT SOUNDS)
SONG LEVEL PHONEMES AUTHOR
body
Nobody knows 2 03;05;13;19;26;31;36
the trouble I see
Swing low sweet 2 01;03;04;06;08;31;36;37;38;43
chariot
Worried man 2 01;03;04;05;13;20;31;37;38
blues
We shall 2 01;03;05;08;09;14;19;25;28;36;38;39;40
overcome
When all the 2 01;02;09;10;13;14;31;33;34;35;38;43
saints
Down by the 2 01;10;13;14;20;24;31;36
riverside
Turn turn turn 2 08;11;14;23;33;34;35 Pete Seeger
Hey Jude 2 01;02;03;09;11;12;13;19;20;22;33;34;39;44 Beatles
Let it be 2 01;08;09;14;17;20;31;32;33;38 Beatles
Oh, Susanna 2 03;08;12;14;19;31;32
Going to the zoo 2 03;12;19;24;30;32;35 Tom Paxton
She'll be coming 2 05;08;20;25;35;36;37;38;40;41
round the
mountain
Drunken sailor 2 04;05;10;11;13;14;24;30;31;32;37;38
What have they 3 13;17;38;40;44 Malvina
done to the rain? Reynolds
If I had a 3 03;10;30;31;32;39 Pete Seeger
hammer
Show me the 3 15;19;30;33;40;41 Joan Baez
prison
Marvellous toy 3 01;04;15;38;44 Tom Paxton
Blowin in the 3 01;14;19;27;33;38;39 Bob Dylan
wind
H-bomb's 3 02;05;10;22;33
thunder
Universal soldier 3 10;12;14;27;29;40 Buffet Saint
Marie
Last night I had 3 03;08;10
the strangest
dream
March with us 3 01;04;13;30;38;43;44 Ewan
today MacColl
Johnny, I hardly 3 04;05;12;24;26;39

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

FOLK SONGS WITH HIGH FREQUENCY OF PHONEMES BY LEVEL


(01-20 are VOWEL SOUNDS and 21-44 are CONSONANT SOUNDS)
SONG LEVEL PHONEMES AUTHOR
knew you
Gypsy rover 3 01;03;08;13;19;44
She's leaving 3 08;19;41 Beatles
home
This land is your 3 01;03;10;14;30;34;35;40 Woodie
land Guthrie
Down the lane 3 01;10;19;31;33;35;40 Ewan
MacColl
Streets of 3 13;14;19;31;36;41 Ralph
London McTell
Old mother earth 3 03;19;29;30;31;32 Harvey
Andrews
Banks of Ohio 3 05;10;14;19;36;38;39
I'll never find 3 12;14;19;36 Tom
another you Springfield
First time ever 3 11;14;27;28 Ewan
MacColl
Oh, no John 3 04;10;12;19;34;44
Shenandoah 3 07;10;13;19;37;41
Sweet 3 08;13;14;28;31;32;34
nightingale
My lady's a wild 3 08;11;13;14;33;38 Tom Paxton
flying dove
I've just seen a 3 10;13;14;27;28;31;35;41 Beatles
face
Annie's song 3 01;02;04;07;14;27;36 John Denver
I give you the 3 01;02;05;10;12;19;27;29;36 Tom Paxton
morning
Colours 3 02;07;14;23;25;30;32;37 Donovan
Leaving London 3 04;19;20;22;35;36 Tom Paxton
Water is wide 3 12;14;19;27;38
Girl 3 11;26 Beatles
I should have 3 06;07;12;41 Beatles
known better
I don't know 3 05;06;12;13;19;24;41 Andrew
how to love him Lloyd
Webber
Morning has 3 10;11;19;21;22;33
broken
Cockles & 3 04;05;07;31;32;33
mussels

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

FOLK SONGS WITH HIGH FREQUENCY OF PHONEMES BY LEVEL


(01-20 are VOWEL SOUNDS and 21-44 are CONSONANT SOUNDS)
SONG LEVEL PHONEMES AUTHOR
Freight train 3 04;13;27;37 Elisabeth
Cotton
Sloop John B 3 08;19;31
Beans, bacon & 3 08;10;;13;22;35
gravy
Nowhere man 3 03;19;33;34 Beatles
Deep blue sea 3 01;08;12;22;24
I can't help but 3 05;09;14;20;38 Tom Paxton
wonder
All night long 3 04;10;13;19;27;36 Tom Paxton
Now I'm easy 3 05;08;20 Eric Bogle
Wild rover 3 02;13;19;38
Clementine 3 01;09;14;25;35;36
We can work it 3 10;11;14;20;38 Beatles
out
Moonshadow 3 03;12;33;41 Cat Stevens
Hippies & the 3 01;08;19;38;39 Miles
beatniks Wootton
Lag's song 4 03;05;09;13;14 Ewan
MacColl
Times they are 4 13;14;23;30 Bob Dylan
a-changing
Rider pass by 4 14;21;22;37 Joan Baez
No man's land 4 01;13;14;19;20;24;27;36;40 Eric Bogle
Hard rain's a 4 08;10;11;13;14;17;28;38;39 Bob Dylan
gonna fall
Imagine 4 01;03;05;30;44 John Lennon
Free born man 4 08;33;34 Ewan
MacColl
Country roads 4 05;08;13;19;20 John Denver
Dirty old town 4 11;19;20;23;24 Ewan
MacColl
Fiddler's green 4 01;02;08;13;15;26;27
Skye boat song 4 01;03;08;14;19
When the ship 4 01;07;14;41 Bob Dylan
comes in
Going to the 4 01;08;13;19;26;38
west
Last thing on my 4 11;13;14;19;36 Tom Paxton
mind

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

FOLK SONGS WITH HIGH FREQUENCY OF PHONEMES BY LEVEL


(01-20 are VOWEL SOUNDS and 21-44 are CONSONANT SOUNDS)
SONG LEVEL PHONEMES AUTHOR
Darlin Annie 4 01;02;03;04;05;36 Ewan
MacColl
What the poet 4 Ewan
called her MacColl
Maids when 4 02;03;05;13;33;38;40
you're young
I'm a rover & 4 08;19;37
seldom sober
Rosalie 4 08;19;31;32;37 Ewan
MacColl
Wild mountain 4 02;19;26;30;38
thyme
Early one 4 08;19;24
morning
Down by the 4 03;08;16 W.B. Yeats
Sally Gardens
Foggy dew 4 12;26;33;38
Ramblin' boy 4 15;37;39 Tom Paxton
Housewife's 4 02;13;17;25 Peggy
alphabet Seeger
Banks of marble 4 03;10;33 Pete Seeger
Net hauling song 4 01;06;08;10;12;13;34;39;40;41 Ewan
MacColl
Miner's wife 4 02;23;24;34 Ewan
MacColl
My old man 4 03;19;33 Ewan
MacColl
Come my little 4 03;13;24;35 Ewan
son MacColl
Gilgarra 5 01;03;09;19;26;33;38
mountain
Thirty foot 5 02;03;06;13;14;19;23 Ewan
trailer MacColl
Sunday 5 05;11;31 Miles
supplement Wootton
world
Little girl child 5 01;04;11;14;26;36;38;43 Peggy
Seeger
Swansea town 5 01;04;08;10;31;32;33;38
Leaving of 5 01;08;27;36
Liverpool

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

FOLK SONGS WITH HIGH FREQUENCY OF PHONEMES BY LEVEL


(01-20 are VOWEL SOUNDS and 21-44 are CONSONANT SOUNDS)
SONG LEVEL PHONEMES AUTHOR
Don't think 5 01;13;14;19;29 Bob Dylan
twice
Four strong 5 01;06;10;13;19;27;29;30;31;32 Ian Tyson
winds
Talking want-ad 5 06;33;36 Peggy
blues Seeger
Squire of 5
Tanworth
Wish I had a 5 01;14;38 Tom Paxton
troubador
Nine month 5 12;14;33;34 Peggy
blues Seeger
She moved 5 08;12;13;14;17;27;28;30;33
through the fair
Sweet Thames 5 01;02;04;08;19 Ewan
flow softly MacColl
Auld lang syne 5 13;14;19;31;36
I'd rather be a 5 06;08;09;25;38 Paul Simon
sparrow than a
snail
Blow the man 5 08;13;14;19;20;22;36;38;39
down
Work of the 5 04;08;11;38
weavers
Shoals of 5 02;17;19;35;36;41 Ewan
herring MacColl
Come fill up 5 01;02;08;09;38;39 Peggy
your glasses Seeger
I'm gonna to be 5 07;12;13;15;16;41;44 Peggy
an engineer Seeger
Diggers' song 5 30;38;40 Leon
Rosselson
Poor Paddy 5 03;11;13;21;37;38 Ewan
works on the MacColl
railway
Legal illegal 6 07;08;26;36 Ewan
MacColl
Alan Tyne of 6 03;19;39;40 Ewan
Harrow MacColl
Joy of living 6 01;14;15;28;31;32;35;44 Ewan
MacColl

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

FOLK SONGS WITH HIGH FREQUENCY OF PHONEMES BY LEVEL


(01-20 are VOWEL SOUNDS and 21-44 are CONSONANT SOUNDS)
SONG LEVEL PHONEMES AUTHOR
Angela Davis 6 01;05;17;27;28;36 Ewan
(Love for love) MacColl
Ramblin man 6 03;08;24;33;37 Tom Paxton
Both sides now 6 10;19;20;22;36 Joni
Mitchell
Nuclear energy 6 04;12;31;32;34;40;44 Ewan
means jobs MacColl
Manchester 6 03;13;14;33;42 Ewan
rambler MacColl
Ballad of 6 01;08;24;38;40 Ewan
accounting MacColl
Daddy what did 6 12;14;24 Ewan
you do in the MacColl
strike?

Retrieved March, 21st, 2010 from the website:


http://www.btinternet.com/~ted.power/folkphono.html

Appendix 8
I. Tasks to teach sounds: /s/, z, st, sp, zd, sm, nd, nt/

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

When there was me and you


Task 1: Listen to the song and choose the sounds you hear:

(/ts-tz/) (1)……….. funny when you (/fan- fand/) (2)……….. yourself


Looking from the outside
I'm /'stændŋ/ - //'stændŋ/ (3)……….. here but all I /wnt/ - /wnd/ (4)
…………….
Is to be over there
Why did I let myself believe
/'mrәklz/- 'mrәkls/ (5)…………… could happen
/k:z/ - /k:s /(6)……………… now I have to pretend
That I don't really care I thought you were my fairytale
A /dri:m/ - /tri:m/ (7)…………… when I'm not /sli:pŋ/- /sni:pŋ/ (8)……....
A wish upon a /st:/- /sp:/ (9)……………
That’s coming /dru:/- /tru:/ (10)………….
But everybody else could tell
That I /kәn'fju:zd/- /kәn'fju:st/…(11)…………. my feelings with the truth
When there was me and you
I swore I knew the melody
That I heard you singing
And when you /smalt/ -/smald/(12)…………
You made me feel
Like I could sing along
But then you /wend - /went/ …(13)………. and changed the words
Now my heart is empty
I'm only left with used-to-be's
And /wnts/ - /wns/…(14)………….. upon a song
Now I know you’re not a fairytale
And /dri:ms/ - /dri:mz/…(15)………… were meant for sleeping
And /wz/ - /ws/ (16)………………..on a star
Just don't come true
Cause now even I can tell
That I confused my feelings with the truth
Because I /lat/ - /lakt/ (17)……………… the view
When there was me and you
I can't believe that
I could be so blind
It's like you were floating
While I was falling
And I didn't /mand/ - /ma/…(18)………..
Because I liked the view
I thought you felt it too
When there /wәz/ - /wәs/ (19)……………… me and you

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Task 2: Listen again and write the words corresponding to the sounds you
hear

II. Tasks to teach /s/ - /z/ and /θ, ns, nz, nt, nd/

Love story
Task : Put the words in bold into correct columns:
We were both young when I first saw you
I close my eyes and the flashback starts
I'm standing there
On a balcony in summer air
See the lights, see the party, the ball gowns
I see you make your way through the crowd

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

You say hello. Little did I know


That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
And I was crying on the staircase
Begging you please don't go, and I said
Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I'll be waiting all there's left to do is run
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess
It's a love story baby just say yes

So I sneak out to the garden to see you


We keep quiet cause we're dead if they knew. So close your eyes
Escape this town for a little while
Cause you were Romeo I was a scarlet letter
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
But you were everything to me
I was begging you please don't go and I said
Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I'll be waiting all there's left to do is run
You'll be the prince I'll be the princess
It's a love story baby just say yes
Romeo save me, they try to tell me how to feel
This love is difficult, but it's real,
Don't be afraid
We'll make it out of this mess
It's a love story baby just say yes
Oh oh,
I got tired of waiting
Wondering if you were ever coming around
My faith in you was fading
When I met you on the outskirts of town. and I said

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Romeo save me I've been feeling so alone


I keep waiting for you but you never come
Is this in my head, I don't know what to think
He kneels to the ground and pulled out a ring
And said
Marry me Juliet you'll never have to be alone
I love you and that's all I really know
I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress
It's a love story baby just say yes
Oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh
Cause we were both young when I first saw you

Words containing /s/ sound Words containing /z/ sound

Shining Friend
Task 1: Listen to the song and choose the sounds you hear:

A little /fes/-/feθ/…………………
/'bratnz- /bratns/ ……………a rainy day
Life is difficult you can go away
Don't hide yourself in a corner
You have my /ples/- /plez/………………. to stay

Sorrow is gonna say goodbye


/'әupәns/ - /әupәnz/…………………up
You'll see the happy sunshine

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Keep going on with your dream


/tesŋ/ - /tezŋ/…………… tomorrow /'snrz/ - /'snrs/……………

The spirit can never die


Sun will shine, my friend
/wәunt/ - /wәun/ ………………..let you cry, my dear
Seeing you shed a tear ,make my world disappear
You'll never be alone in darkness

See my smile, my friend


We are with you, holding /hænds/ - /hændz/………………..
you have got to believe ,you are my destiny
We're /ment/ - /mend/…………… to be your /frend/ - /frendz/………………….
That's what a friend should be

Task 2: Listen again and write the words corresponding to the sounds you hear


Appendix 9
Classroom observation checklists

A. Classroom observation checklist No.1


I. Class profile:
 Location of class: Class 11D3, Nguyễn Gia Thiều high school
 Class size: 30 students
 Time: 4th period –(April 2nd, 2010)
 Time for teaching pronunciation: 45 minutes
 Level: grade 11 (pre-intermediate)
 Type of English sounds: /s, z, st, sp, zd, sm, nd, nt/
II. Content:

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Elements Comments
Input Sounds that have been taught
Teacher’s - Teacher (T) lets students listen to the song and do the
activities tasks followed
- T helps students revise the way to pronounce and
distinguish the sounds and when to pronounce /s/ and /z/
in ending sounds of nouns in plural form.
- T asks students to practice pronouncing the sounds after
finishing the tasks
=>T can check Students’ pronunciation and their
background knowledge about English sounds quite
effectively
Students’ - Students are eager to do the tasks
activities - All of students are motivated

III. Observation & assessment of using songs to teach pronunciation

Criteria Comments
Teacher’s - Song: “When there was me and you”
exploitation => a popular song among teenagers, interesting to
students and suitable to teach /s, z, st, sp, zd, sm, nd, nt/
sounds
- The tasks designed are suitable with students’ level
Students’ - Relaxing and motivating atmosphere which can involve
involvement almost all students in class.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

IV. Overall comments:


 Strong points:
- T can draw students’ attention
- Students are eager and motivated to complete the task given by the T
- Song in the task is popular and interesting to students
- The tasks designed are suitable with students’ level
 Weak points:
- Class is sometimes noisy.
- Students may sing along the song and forget to complete the tasks.

B. Classroom observation checklist No. 2


I. Class profile:
 Location of class: 11D2, Nguyễn Gia Thiều high school
 Class size: 40 students
 Time: 2nd period – ( April 2nd, 2010)
 Time for teaching pronunciation: 45 minutes
 Level: grade 11 (pre-intermediate)
 Type of English sounds: /s/ - /z/ and /θ, ns, nz, nt, nd/
II. Content:
Elements Comments
Input Sounds that Students have learned already

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

Teacher’s - Teacher should let Students practice pronouncing the


activities sounds after they do the tasks
- Teacher can control the class well
Students’ - Students listen quite attentively and do the tasks with
activities interest

III. Observation & assessment of using songs to teach pronunciation


Criteria Comments
- Songs: “Shining friend”, “Love story”
Teacher’s => interesting songs to students, suitable to teach /s/ - /z/
exploitation and /θ, ns, nz, nt, nd/ sounds
- tasks are designed in multiform
=> avoid the boredom in students
Students’ Most students involve in the lesson eagerly and
involvement concentrate on completing the tasks
IV. Overall comments:
 Strong points:
- T can motivate students during the lesson
- The songs chosen are interesting and suitable for teaching the sounds
- The tasks are suitable with students’ level.
 Weak points:
- The form of the task for the song “Love story” (handout) is not designed
properly for students to do while listening.
- The speed of the song “Love story” is too fast and some sounds are not
clearly pronounced by the singer.

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Using songs to teach English sounds to 11th form students at Nguyen Gia Thieu high school.

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