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Music is an authentic, natural way to get to know a country’s language and culture especially the music related to national holidays and special celebrations that occur throughout the year.
Music is the easiest way language learners can make a connection or association with a country’s language and culture. This is why in our bilingual homeschool, we make the study of music such an essential element to discover new cultures and languages. Becoming aware of the world around us, helps broaden our perspectives and see there is a whole world out there created by God.
Today, I am sharing about a brand new course released by Gena Mayo that we will be using in our bilingual homeschool that will benefit English Language Learners (ELL), as well as Americans who live outside the US, and even Americans who live in the US. This course is for anyone who wants to learn about American Holidays and Special Dates.
Music to learn about Holidays and Special Dates in the United States
Who is this course for?
English Language Learners – This course provides authentic materials, already laid out for the teacher or homeschooling parent. It teaches the special dates that are celebrated in the United States, along with music and culture that is associated to it. As an ESL teacher, this course will save me hours of research!!!
American Students – There are brief descriptions, biographies, and information presented along with videos and activities to further enhanced the study of American holidays.
Bilingual Homeschool – The bilingual homeschool is constantly looking for ways to learn about the culture related to the languages we are learning to speak.
Music is a unifying component in the study of language, culture, and tradition. Language Learners and those who already speak the language as a first or second language will benefit greatly from this course. What I love about teaching music is natural way to pass-on tradition and teach culture.
What about extension activities?
The course comes with quizzes that we can do together, it also encourages learners to do more research if desired. Learners can also make observations on the differences of style and instrument used to approach a holiday or special occassion. Using short videos and reading the biographies could be used in an ESL classroom or a bilingual homeschool where English is the second language to teach relevant and authentic aspects of the culture.
Why study music about another country while learning a language?
Basically, it broadens one’s worldview and helps you appreciate culture and traditions from your own home country and others around the world.
Babies and toddlers begin learning language or many languages through music long before learning to talk or read. Preschoolers and school age kids begin associating music to holidays from a very young age. For example, Christmas music is played from November or December as Christmas comes closer. Or Irish music is played in March as we near St. Patrick’s Day.
Understanding the culture, the music, the language used in the country’s target language helps deepen the level of proficiency in that second language.
What is included in the course?
The course includes videos, activities, quizzes, and everything I need to pull a music lesson that is relevant to teach my kids about America through music. The course is self-paced, online, all at the ease of a click!
How to learn the culture of another country while learning the language?
- Learn the names of the holidays of the year
- Learn the dates of the holidays or approximate times (i.e. just the month or semester)
- Read picture books or living books about the holidays
- Study history related to the holidays or special dates
- Dress in colors/clothes related to the holiday. For example: red and green for Christmas, green for St. Patrick’s Day, red for Valentine’s Day, yellow for New Year’s, blue and red for 4th of July.
- Practice activities or traditions per the holiday: cookout (hamburgers and hot dogs) for Labor Day, Memorial Day, and Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Dinner with turkey for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas.
Right now the course is 40% off through March 28th, 2018. After that the price will be going up. Today we are going to start the section on Easter since we are getting so close to it, coming up on April 1st this year.
What kind of special dates does it include?
In the United States, May 4th is a big day because it is Star Wars Day. It comes from May the Force be with you. It is just a fun day, but honestly language learners would appreciate knowing about this day when coming to live in the United States. Same thing with April Fool’s Day.
Will this course help English Language Learners?
Yes!!!! I personally didn’t know about April Fool’s Day, it wasn’t taught in textbooks or language school. I learned about it from living here. So as you can see culture is an aspect of language learning that is best taught and learned from authentic materials.
Hope you find the course as helpful as I have! Let me know in the comments how you are using it with your homeschool or ESL classroom.
Get the course when you click on the picture below:
Hasta la próxima!
For older students: