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TEACHING ENGLISH FOR YOUNG LEARNERS THROUGH SONGS

Anggita Sarah Sembiring


Yuliana Putri
Muetya Permata Dara
Faculty of Language and Art
State University of Medan
ABSTRACT
This paper explores theoretical knowledge which aims to provide insight into teaching
English to children as an interesting thing, this is very important because English is one of the
international languages and is very widely used in every country. Teaching English to children or
young learners must be full of fun so that they are interested in learning. So as an educator, the teacher
must make the learning process of English become as interesting, exciting and challenging as
possible. Young students have good memories and quick responses. They are active and easy to
imitate because they are in childhood. They like to learn by playing and doing activities actively and
naturally. In the country of Indonesia, globalization has become a term that has often been echoed
lately given the excesses that have been generated in all aspects of national life. The era of
globalization is characterized by one of them with the swift exchange of information across nations
through various media. Foreign languages have become one of the vital communication media in this
era. Mastery of foreign languages is one of the important conditions so that the young generation of
Indonesia is not only able to survive but also be able to compete with other nations in this era. One
foreign language that gets serious attention from the government as well as the community at large is
English. Therefore, teachers must have a way of teaching English to young students using interesting
techniques. There are many techniques that can be applied, but for this research we used the song as
the method. Teaching English to young students is to make them master English as well as possible
for example they can master some vocabulary, tenses, grammar, and so on. So that they have no
difficulty in learning English in the future.

INTRODUCTION
In the current era of globalization, we are not only demanded technology literacy but
also must have other skills that support. One of them is active communication skills with
English. As we know English is an international language used as a communication tool
between countries. So important is the role English in the international world, English is
included in one of the subjects taught in each institution formal education ranging from
elementary school to college level in Indonesia. In its implementation, there were several
obstacles encountered such as students have difficulty understanding these foreign language
subjects. This matter reasonable considering that the position of English in Indonesia is as
foreign language.
To overcome these obstacles, a technique is needed effective, appropriate and
interesting learning so that the students motivated to learn this foreign language. Effective
learning is a learning that allows students to be able to learn with easy, fun, and achievable
learning objectives established (HR, 2015: 6). For this reason, teachers are required to be able
to create unusual learning atmosphere. In other words, the learning process not only
interpreted as a teacher teaching a material to the participants students while students listen to
explanations from the teacher but instead a teacher must create a living teaching and learning
atmosphere (students actively participate in teaching and learning activities with fun
situations). To create an English class atmosphere fun, one of which is the use of songs for
the media learning. In order to use songs for learning media, one the teacher must be
observant in choosing the type of song, the level of ease of the song, meaning songs, and
level targets and character of students. This is necessary because the use of songs that are not
suitable and without seeing the target (level students), it will feel less useful. This is because
no achieving the desired learning goals. In this case the target students who will be taught
English are level student primary school or young learners.
Based on the explanation above, the purpose of the research is entitled "Teaching
English for Young Learners through Song". This study discusses examples of children's
songs, the benefits of using children's songs, and effective steps in use children's songs for
learning English for students. This type of research is library research, namely a series of
studies relating to the collection method library data, or research whose research objects are
explored through a variety of library information (books, encyclopedias, scientific journals,
newspapers, magazines, and document).

LITERATURE REVIEW

DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATION


To make students more interesting in learning English, we can do several things so
that students are interested in learning English. We can use the listening method, which we
can do or play a song to be used as teaching material for students and we can see how
students can listen, write and read through music or songs.
So, the things that teachers can do in the classroom as a teaching technique or method
are.
1. Guess the lost vocabulary in song lyrics. This method is usually done when studying in class
when we want to practice listening and writing skills of students. How, we share a piece of
paper containing song lyrics with parts that are intentionally left blank. Then, we will play the
song several times and ask students to listen carefully to the song. After that, students will be
asked to fill in the blank verses according to the vocabulary they heard. This method is good
enough to be applied because indirectly, students will learn to analyze sentences when
guessing what words are empty in the stanza.

2. Ask students to sing the song in front of the class. Songs, it turns out, can also be used as a
means to train students' speaking skills. We can assess the extent of the ability to recite
students' English vocabulary while at the same time exercising their confidence in speaking in
front of the class. This activity is quite fun because each student will get the opportunity to
sing a song they like in front of the class. Later, other students will act as juries ’by checking
the words in the lyrics to determine the points students are singing in front of. So, besides
reciting the lyrics correctly, students are also required to memorize them.

3. Write down the overall song lyrics from the results of listening. This activity is a little more
difficult than the two methods above. In this activity, students will be asked to write the lyrics
they heard without help at all. This activity is effective to see the extent of students' ability in
listening and also to check the spelling of students when writing the lyrics they hear.

In order for effective use of songs for learning process in English, there are several
things that must be considered, for example; (1) level of student ability, (2) type of song,
some songs are not suitable to be used as learning media, for example the pronunciation is
not good or even wrong, (3) level of difficulty (language complexity) contained in the song.

We can use various types of songs according to our needs in class. Song can be
categorized into activity song, animal song, counting song, food song, learning song, lullaby,
patriotic song, parody, sport song, traditional song, and etc. Please note that not all songs in
English can be used as learning resources. Songs whose music is too dominant for example,
or songs that contain too many metaphorical languages, slank language, are not good for
children. Choose songs that are simple and in accordance with learning needs (curriculum,
for example). Also choose songs whose lyrics can be heard clearly also pronunciation
(pronunciation) is correct. Because students will use the song as a model, of course they have
to find the best model. If the teacher is going to sing it must be ensured that the teacher will
give a good model for the students.

There are some of the advantages of teaching English using singing are as follows:

1. Through songs will motivate children to love learning English.


2. By singing children become happy and easier to understand the teaching material
delivered. The ability of teachers to choose songs and create movements that are
appropriate to the age of child development will also have an impact on the success of
the process of learning English in early childhood.
3. Through varied singing and learning activities, educators can foster children's interest
to be more happy and active in learning, and even make it easier for children to
understand the teaching material presented.
4. Children are made happy, not bored, and interested in participating in the learning
process. Thus singing is an activity that is very liked by children. (Miranti, Engliana
and Hapsari, 2015: 169)

Considering the above, song media is considered to have many positive sides that can be used
for learning English in general and for elementary school level in particular.

CONCLUSION
In fact, many teachers complain that they have difficulty in arranging classes, for example
because students are too active in playing and playing in the classroom, difficult to organize, easily
bored and lose motivation and concentration, quarrel with friends, and so on. On the other hand,
students often feel less happy and enthusiastic in learning English because of the way that the
teacher's explanation is too structuralist.
So, songs can be a good learning resource for language classes
English. It would be nice if this was realized by English teachers to be used as well as possible so that
the quality of language learning would be even better. Using text books alone is not enough. Teachers
are required to be creative in creating class activities that can foster a child's sense of pleasure in
English. Because this pleasure is a basic ingredient that is very important so that the achievement of
English language skills can be more satisfying.
REFERENCES

Brown, D. 2000. Teaching by Principles.


Brewster, J., Ellis, G., Girard, D. 2002. The Primary English Teacher’s Guide. England:
Penguin English.
Cameron, L. 2001. Teaching Languages to Young Learner. Cambridge: CUP.
Scott, W., and L, Ytreberg. 1990. Teaching English to Children. London: Longman.
HB, Zulfahmi. 2013. Indikator Pembelajaran Aktif Dalam Konteks Pengimplementasian
Pendekatan Pembelajaran Aktif, Kreatif, Efektif, Dan Menyenangkan (Pakem). Jurnal Al-
Ta’lim, Vol. 1, No 4: 278-284.