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Similar to the well-known Super Simple Songs, Dancing English was originally conceived to teach English as a Foreign Language—but to primary students, not pre-schoolers. In fact, our lyrics were written in accordance with the standards of major EFL/ESL publishers. That´s why we have such a strong focus on English language skills, something traditional children´s music doesn´t always offer.
In EFL/ESL, beginning or intermediate learners will usually sing a song much less “perfectly” than an advanced student. But music is an ideal, fun way to “pull” children through a text even when they haven´t fully understood or mastered it. If we asked kids to do this with a spoken text, they wouldn't find it fun at all—they´d experience frustration as they stumble through it. Like small children making mistakes as they “practice” their way to speaking properly, music allows older EFL/ESL learners to produce speech in English without a sense of fear or failure. They simply sing! And eventually, over time and with guidance, they should comprehend 100% of the words.
The multi-level way in which all children experience music is even more true for EFL/ESL learners. When we learn our native language as children, ourexperience of language is not tightly controlled, like in a language textbook. We hear, and experiment with, many levels of vocabulary and registers of speech. Dancing English songs are multi-level precisely because children learn on multiple levels.
A well-written melody is one of the most powerful memory aids there is. That´s why we work so hard to put our lyrics to music that kids love. And because children learn by doing, we create a meaningful movement for every line, so the lyrics will linger in children´s heads for a long, long time. And with foreign-language learners, the use of such movements is effective not just for younger children, but all the way up to 12 years old.
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