Music is a Gateway to the Soul: Exploring Ways of Utilising Music and Song Projects in Promoting Foreign Language Learning
Numerous articles have been written on the role of music in language learning. The contribution of various scholars of different backgrounds in acknowledging the significance of music in promoting language learning is indeed astounding and encouraging. One would then wonder what new contribution in this already swelling body of information that this article seeks to provide. First of all, this study seeks to discuss practical or rather pedagogical strategies by which music can be utilised to
... mote foreign language learning. The approach employed in this study is quite unique in the sense that translation is taken as the gateway through which music can be harnessed to improve foreign language learning. The view that is central in this discussion is that, since music is understood as a universal language that cuts across different age groups, social and cultural structures, channelling translation based activities towards music can be a powerful method of foreign language learning. Rather than simply singing and rehearsing target language songs, learners can be given tasks and projects of translating target language songs into their L1/L2 and performing their work in classroom activities. In such activities, learners are given an opportunity of not only enjoying the process of foreign language learning but most importantly of localising the language experience into their lifestyle, thus domesticating the foreign. For instance, giving them an opportunity to use the target language learning material to compile songs which Music is a Gateway to the Soul... 94 they can translate and perform (both the original and the translated version) in front of other learners and the teacher, may give them the satisfaction of being the producers of their projects. Their chances of having an intimate relationship with their lyrics may be the much needed bond between the learner and the target language. In the context of this study, such projects are referred to as foreign language learning music/song projects. This discussion also encourages the utilisation of digitization in the performance of music/song projects. Hence, utilizing various applications that can be used to edit music (mini studios), music/song projects can be transformed into enjoyable activities, where learners may even forget that they are learning a foreign language and thus paving a way to a process of acquiring the target language rather than merely learning it.