(This is the outline for my speech in Public Speaking class on March 2014. Since I spent a lot of time on it, I really want to share it and see everyone’s opinion.)
General Purpose: To influence the audience on the way they study foreign language.
Specific Purpose: To propose the benefits of learning languages by singing, and to share personal experience in using that method.
Central Idea/Thesis Statement: Singing is not only an interesting way to learn a language; it is also an effective method.
Estimated Time: 7 minutes.
<Monologue Song – Taylor Swift> (If the embedded video doesn’t play, click link: http://vimeo.com/74631461)
I want to tell you that I love singing. I really want to talk about singing in shower as an extension for my previous speech about morning shower, but – I’m not gonna say about that.
Today, I’ll talk about singing and how it helps us study languages. Did you notice that there were 2 different subtitles in the clip? One was English, and one was Vietnamese. As listening to music and singing are always my favorite things to do, this method helped me improve my English a lot. Beside of English, I also studied Japanese, Italian, and Korean in this way.
Transition: I am not the only person who finds songs are useful. Dr. Karen Ludke at University of Edinburgh has done many researches on integrating music and language learning. She even wrote a workbook, “Teaching foreign languages through songs,” in which she describes how to use songs to help learners improve their memory, their speaking, and their culture knowledge.
– Dr. Katie Overy: “[…] listen and sing learning method can facilitate verbatim memory for spoken language phrases.”
– Songs have short sentences, or long sentences that are cut into short parts with rhythm, so it is easier to remember a sentence in a song than a normal sentence.
– Many Japanese and Korean songs are mixed between their own languages with English. In some songs, English even takes more than 50% of its lyrics.
“Endless Rain… Fall on my heart, kokoro no kizu ni,
Let me forget all of the hate, all of the silence.”
(Endless Rain – X-Japan)
In this example, there are only 4 Japanese words, and the rests are English. It’s a good amount of new words to start with learning Japanese.
Kokoro = Heart
No = Of
Kizu = Wound
Ni = To / On
– With technology these days, it is not difficult for us to find the lyrics, and to roughly translate it so we can get the idea of the song.
– When you like a song and sing it, you will surely sing that song plenty of times. I don’t think it’s normal if I learn by heart and read out loud Harry Potter more than once; but for a song, it is completely fine.
Transition: By repeating the lyrics over and over again with your voice, your brain can recall it easier when you see them again. Also, you can remember very well how those words are pronounced.
- Listening & Pronunciation
– Carmen Fonseca Mora, professor at University of Huelva, Spain, stated, “Singing can facilitate development of auditory capacity and improve word articulation.”
– From my experience, it is not easy to find someone who can help you practicing listening and speaking correctly. Before using this method, there were many times when I pronounced a word, and the listener could not get what I said. Then I realized: I can understand what the singers sing, so it’s reasonable to imitating the way they speak. I listened more, I sang more, and what I learned was not only how to mimic their pronunciation, but I also saw the differences in accent. While letter “R” is read very gently by Koreans, “sa-rang han-da neun ma-eum eu-ro do…” (Can’t Have You – Hi I Ni), the Italians try to make it sounds clear and strong “Con te partiro…” (Con Te Partiro – Andrea Bocelli).
Transition: By exploring the way singers sing and try to mimic them, you can improve both your pronunciation and listening skill.
– “Music does not exist in a vacuum; it exists in and reflects a society and a culture, and thus can refer to a whole world of ideas.” – Music and Language (1992), Christopher Dobrian, professor at University of California, Irvine.
– When I first listened to the song “When you say nothing at all”, I did not understand the sentence: “Old Mr. Webster could never define…” as I could not understand who “Mr. Webster” is.When I realized Webster is the author of a famous dictionary, they all made sense to me. Their love is so beautiful that no word can describe.
Finally, I have an interesting information for you.
This is my name written in English: Tran Thanh Hai
And this is my name written in Vietnamese: Trần Thanh Hải
Do you see the difference? Yes, they look difference. And they sound different too. <Read the words>
Each vowel in Vietnamese has its own rhythm. Therefore, if you want to study Vietnamese, singing method is absolutely the best way to learn quickly. If you are interested in my language, you can come and ask me after this speech.
Because, today, I’m not gonna say about that, in my persuasive speech.
“Saturday Night Live Taylor Swift.” NBC. New York. 07 Nov. 2009. Television.
Gray, Richard. “Singing Can Help When Learning A Foreign Language.” The Telegraph.
18 Jul. 2013. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
Fonseca-Mora, Carmen, et al. “Melodies that help: The Relation between Language
Aptitude and Musical Intelligence.” Anglistik International Journal of English
Studies (2011). Academia. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
Dobrian, Christopher. “Music and Language.” Department of Music, Claire Trevor
School of Arts, University of California, Irvine (1992). Web. 06 Mar. 2014.