A Nursery Rhymes as a Vehicle for Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Najat Ismael Sayakhan, Darcy H Bradley
2019 Journal of Raparin University  
In this paper, the authors present a rationale and offer suggestions for how nursery rhymes could be used in the EFL classroom as well as how teachers and/or teachers in training might use nursery rhymes to enhance engagement in learning English. First, the authors define nursery rhymes, give a brief history of the origins, discuss the characteristics, make a case for using nursery rhymes with EFL learners, and last, offer practical suggestions for how nursery rhymes might be used in English as
more » ... a Foreign (EFL) instruction. A list of accessible nursery rhyme resources is shared at the end. There are many categories in folklore, but the ones children often like the most and adults may remember well are nursery rhymes, fairy tales, fables, myths, legends, and folksongs. Each of these genres contributes in some way to the language development of children. Nursery rhymes in particular form one of the foundations of children's as well as adults' literary heritage. The simple rhythm and rhyme of the language, the often predictable structure of the narratives, and the appealing characters combine to produce memorable language models for young children (Cullinan & Galda, 1998; Temple, Martinez, & Yakota, 2011). Children delight in the opportunities to chant the catchy phrases, mimic the nonsense words, and recite the lines endlessly. This pleasure in nursery rhymes translates into developing many reading, writing and oral language skills such as naturally segmenting sounds in spoken words and playing with real and nonsense words. Additionally, young children appreciate the stories and verses for their rhythm, repetition, and rhyme. Their attention is focused on the fanciful language and imaginative nonsense. They learn basic story patterns, encounter vivid plots, develop a sense of theme, and meet intriguing characters that in turn become the stepping stones for subsequent literary education (Cullinan & Galda, 1998; Bodden, 2010).
doi:10.26750/vol(6).no(1).paper4 fatcat:wzckjr3urzfhld7m7kbdjsljwy