Language in Diversity

Using a Song to Study English



In this era of globalization, every country should prepare its people to communicate, such as language proficiency in Foreign Language. Holmes (1990 ; 87) defined that “The language as a tool used to communicate between people whose first language is not a foreign language.” Such as an Indonesian people, Indonesian government has prepared an expert in the field of education by providing learning a foreign language such as Mandarin and English in schools. Even now most Indonesia society has used Foreign Languange as their main languange.

To further support learners’ knowledge, the government made a formal education. Formal education is education in school which teaching and learning process begins among teachers in providing the knowledge to students who are studying. According to Government Regulation Number 20 Year 2003 Article 37 paragraph 1 item 3 Bahasa asing terutama bahasa Inggris merupakan bahasa international yang sangat penting kegunaannya dalam pergaulan global. This means that English Languange now has become the one of important lessons to be learned by students.

To communicate in English we must know the English word correctly. This is because the statue of English Language in our country as the first foreign language. This is one of the most important things that must be learned by students to communicate with people from another country. Moreover, these decisions are followed up by the Directorate General of Education to the Ministry of National Education in 2001 to include English lessons and other foreign languages into the education curriculum at the schools.

Learn English as foreign language for students at the school, especially in Indonesia. Because the first language that children use are Indonesian or can be called also as mother tongue. When students are studying English, there are some problems that they face in the learning process. Such as English sound system is different from the way the writing system.


Based on the above background, learning English through song was usefull in learning English as foreign language. So, the research questions in this study are:

  1. How can songs be used to learning and teaching English?
  2. Do the learning outcomes increase while learners use song in learning English process?

Definition of songs

A song has a close relationship with human life because it has an influence on our feelings. There are so many definitions of the song that have been developed, one of them said song is none other than of voice into melody. Through the sound produced to form a song will be able to express a sense of joy, happiness even sadness in a person’s own, especially for students/learners. According Roehler (2006) suggested what students can do in the learning process will run smoothly and make them feel comfortable is part of learning activities are very important.

The songs, itself as a door to students imagination that lifted the students mind and memory to a higher level. According to the Dictionary of Music, Penguin (1979: 385) said the definition of a song that “Every short vocal composition, accompanied or not – usually for one player. The word no has no precise meaning but effectively defined in various contexts contrast with other terms.” This means that through the songs students can express something that they can not express with words, therefore, students felt happy when they’re sing together in classroom.

Moreover explanation by Nambiar (1987 : 79-84) said that :

“Lagu dapat memberikan suasana yang bagus dan nyaman di kelas dalam belajar bahasa lebih baik daripada belajar suasana tegang di mana siswa hanya memfokuskan perhatian mereka pada aturan tata bahasa di dalam kelas.”

So, based on the above definition, the song is a compositions’ that have rhythm and melody. Also the song can provide a pleasant situation for students in the classroom. The song has a few categories are divided into several sub-genres that can distinguish between a good music and other music. Music like this sometimes becomes a subjective thing.

This is highly beneficial for Students/children in the use of songs in learning so that students can understand easily. Suratno (2005 : 149 – 150) the authors of Pengembangan Kreativitas Anak states that “Anak-anak suka menyanyikan lagu yang sederhana, lirik berulang-ulang, melodi sederhana dan singkat.” It means that teachers can use song in teaching and learning process. Choosing the song better known by students in order to facilitate students in understanding the lessons.

Because of a song, students can understand the lesson easily from lyric and melody of the song. In choosing the songs, the teacher must consider the factor of age of student ability and progress of students because it is very important. Factors to consider in choosing a song that is: (a) Rhythm is regulated movement strong and weak elements, or the opposite or different conditions. The study of rhythms including stress and pitch is a topic in linguistics. (b) Area of student voice, students have differents voice based on the students age. The differences that occur in students that must be considered by teachers in teaching activity. (c) The song is easily understood, learners can not memorize the words in large sentences. Therefore, they should choose a song that is easily understood by their selves. (d) Short, selected the song should be short not too long so students can understand the lesson easily. (e) The words of the song repeated, students will be easier to memorize the words repeatedly. Thus, students will more easily understand the lesson using the song. Learn English in particular is believed to be scary lesson for children.

Using songs in learning English is a good way for English learners to feel happy in a class. According Mier (1998: 176) said that “The performance of the brain that is too heavy will culminate in a state of mind and emotions are not stabile”. That means the brain of students must enough or appropriate to them age. In this situation song can provide the stimulus to students to relieve and refresh the brain students in learning. Basically the songs are grouped into two groups: the lyrics and melody of the song. Lyrics consists of words that students must sing it. Melody consists of rythm that students must follow it while their sing the songs. Utilizing the song as a tool in helping to learn in the classroom will create a conducive in teaching and learning process. It also can be applied to support teaching and learning processes in schools.

In this study the writers want to find out the use of songs in learning English. Moreover, Griffie (1992: 8) stated that “The song can make students become sensitive to the sound so that they can be aware and try to produce sound correctly”. Learning experience through song is appreciating a song in the form of active learning activities such as singing, reading the text of the song can make a student to have some idea for the lesson.

The use of songs to learn or teach English

Many educators in the United States believe that learners need to learn to know the words before they can read or pronounce it and instruction generally begins in beginning level of English learning. According to Domoney and Harris (1993: 234) said that “Advisable for teachers to choose correctly which songs will be used in the classroom.” This also happens in Indonesia, English lessons already started kindergarten. It is recognized by practitioners of the English language, which says “The use of songs in English language teaching can motivate students to learn English.” It means, teaching and learning activities packaged in an interesting and not make students bored.

Moreover Konstantinovic (1973; 27) says that :

“Songs in English language learning for children not only enhance their English skills and enrich their vocabulary, but also know how to say the words and make them happy and help them learn more quickly come to understand a language learning is to use it.”

It means song can help learners easily and effectively in learning some teachers had found the way to teach English to young students. Children first learn to talk at home and gradually take part in everyday conversations of family members. Albenberger (1999) said that “Song will be more affective to be used it in class, teacher first selects the song based on the students’ interest, age, level and the purpose of the lesson and apply the song in teaching to students.”

From the standpoint of understanding the word in English language is ability to identify and guessing about the contents of the message of this lesson is the absolute obligation of the student. At the time the students had trouble understanding the teacher would sing or repeat the lesson using the song so that students can remember the words they want to say. At the age of 5-6 years old child can be taught how to speak because at this time that children have a strong memory.

This period is called the “GOLDEN AGE” by Dinar (2008: 56) said that

Masa-masa tersebut merupakan masa kritis yaitu masa dimana anak membutuhkan rangsangan-rangsangan yang tepat untuk mencapai kematangan yang sempurna. Masa kritis ini akan mempengaruhi keberhasilan pada masa berikutnya.”

Stimulation provided in relation to the physical aspect, intellectual, emotional up on the child’s own language. In developing language skills, teacher can use song. Children can learn to develop language skills to enrich vocabulary through songs that were sing together.

Learning Outcomes

According to Briggs (1979: 179) stated that

“Learning outcomes represent all of the skills learned and results achieved through the process of teaching and learning in schools which are stated with numbers, or values as measured by achievement tests.”

Moreover, Winke (1989: 36) said that “The results of learning are mental activities that take place in active interaction with the environment produce changes in knowledge and language skills to learn to value themselves.” The two quotations above indicate that the learning outcomes of students who happen to be in the form of new or results could also improve the results already obtained. Factors affecting the learning outcomes of students at a times active in student learning. Learning outcomes is also a result of the teaching process of learning and teaching is the teacher.

Hamalik (2006: 98) said that “Learning outcomes are behavioral changes that occur in people who have learned, for example a change from not knowing to knowing, and from not understanding to understanding.” Learning outcomes will appear in every process of learning, changes in aspects such as: knowledge, emotional, understanding, social relationships, habits, physical, skill, character, respect and common attitudes experienced by students. Learning outcomes for students show increased of development in learning better than before. Overall, this study wants to find out the learning outcomes from use songs in learning.

The result of lessons learned related to the material. Teachers play an important role in student learning outcomes is that when choosing a good lesson for students. From some sense, the writer can conclude that the results of the final assessment of learning is a process that has been done repeatedly to be stored for long periods of time or even not be lost forever because the process of learning will form an even better individual.


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