Rap To Teach English As Second Language English Language Essay


Music is portion of popular civilization. Language instructors have been integrated music and linguistic communication acquisition in the schoolroom for many old ages. For illustration, utilizing the vocal Yesterday from the Beatles to learn past tense. If music and vocals can assist larning English as a 2nd linguistic communication, English instructors in Hong Kong should be encouraged to utilize rap vocals as a tool to learn English as a 2nd linguistic communication in the schoolroom.

Harmonizing to the Oxford English Dictionary, “ blame ” is a manner of popular music developed by New York Blacks in the 1970s in which words are spoken rhythmically and frequently in riming sentences over an instrumental backup.

In the early 1770s, Clive Campbell ( Kool DJ Herc ) , a Jamaican immigrant, introduced the sound system from reggae music ( Njubi, 2001 ) . By uniting the English sound system and other Afro-american lingual characteristics, blame has become a alone voice for the African Americans.

When we talk about blame vocals, we must advert hip-hop civilization. Hip-hop is a cultural motion originated from the Bronx ( a hapless gang-oriented vicinity ) in New York City during the 1970s by African American. Njubi stated that hip-hop is clearly one of the most important young person civilizations as it has influenced what immature people wear, how they talk and even the manner they walk. It has besides received important attending from bookmans and politicians.

Hip-hop has been a major literacy force for over 20 old ages ( Morris, 2002 ) because it has created blame as an of import music genre. English instructors around the universe are seeking to utilize blame as an educational tool to advance English ( Pennycook, 2003 ) because of its “ fast spoken wordss ” . However, many instructors in Hong Kong are loath to utilize rap vocals in the schoolroom because most of them think the wordss either violent or sexual, and some think the stuffs are excessively “ black ” or “ Americanized ” ( Low, 2009 ) .

In the undermentioned, we will discourse how rap vocals can be an effectual linguistic communication larning tool to actuate pupils in larning English every bit good as increase their consciousness of cultural differences.

Why do we utilize rap vocals for linguistic communication instruction and acquisition?

Music is accessible because of the engineering such as iTunes and iPod. Since 1937, utilizing common people, classical and pop music to learn English as a 2nd linguistic communication has been documented by pedagogues in assorted professional diaries ( Sposet, 2008 ) . Through music, pupils can better their speech production accomplishments, larning and understanding grammar, heighten their authorship accomplishments and increase their civilization consciousness ( Peregoy and Boyle 2008 ; Saricoban and Metin 2000 ; Iwasaki, 2009 ) .

Woodall and Zeimbroski ( 2002 ) stated that music plays an of import function in linguistic communication and literacy development because pupils can larn grammatical construction and develop natural responses and address through vocals. Harmonizing to Schoepp ( 2000 ) , the insistent nature of many rap vocals can assist English scholars to acquire familiar with new words and phrases as they can rime and sing along. Many blame vocals, merely like common people vocals, follow a perennial poetry and rime, and that makes them easy to follow ( Saricoban and Metin, 2000 ) . For adolescents, it is of import to better their hearing and speech production accomplishments, every bit good as their attending span and memory ( Hilll-Clarke and Robinson 2003 ) . Mithen ( 2006 ) stated that all persons have a capacity to get linguistic communication and are born with a basic inherent aptitude to appreciate music. Iwasaki ( 2009 ) besides agreed that music is a powerful medium to actuate pupils to larn a 2nd or foreign linguistic communication.

When pupils listen to vocals and sing along, the experience is gratifying and stress-free, it can assist 2nd linguistic communication scholars to get the linguistic communication more of course and efficaciously. Perry ( 2004 ) besides agreed with linguist Geneva Smitherman that blame wordss are normally humourous, dry, wordplay, teachy but non preachy.

If harmonizing to Abbott ‘s ( 2002 ) theory, repeat can assist construct linguistic communication and eloquence, so knap vocals can decidedly assist excite 2nd linguistic communication acquisition because of its insistent format. Besides, by utilizing the chorus in the blame vocals, it can assist pupils to larn sentence structure and lexical points easy and use them in their day-to-day conversations.

Using music to heighten our memory and acquisition

Mithen summed up three similarities between music and linguistic communication:







beat and tune

modulation and emphasis clip

Lake ( 2002 ) found out linguistic communication and music are closely tied together in the encephalon by pitch, beat and syntactical phrasing. When pupils understand the connexions, they can get, procedure and bring forth English of course.

Neurologists have found musical and linguistic communication processing in the same country of the encephalon ( Maess & A ; Koelsch, 2001 ) . To exemplify the strong connexion between music and acquisition, Strickland ( 2005 ) conducted a really interesting and valid experiment. He asked a group of pupils if they could retrieve the words in 10 verse forms. Then, he asked how many words they could retrieve in 10 vocals. Without much surprise, there were more custodies go up the 2nd clip. It clearly proved that music has played a really of import and “ memorable ” function in linguistic communication acquisition.

Medina ( 2002 ) agreed that we have good memory with music because all those insistent words and rhythm stay in our caput even after the English lesson. When we add rhythm and tune into linguistic communication, it will assist us to reassign words into long-run memory. Medina concluded that it is impossible to get linguistic communication without memory.

Using blame to learn verse forms and pronunciations

Harmonizing to Renegade ( 2002 ) , the strongest poetic influence on blame is popular verse forms with four bears per line, for illustration, “ Eenie meenie, mynie moe, Catch a tiger by the toe. ” With all those riming, cross-rhyming, metaphor, symbolism and simile, blame can be a preferable literacy learning tool to learn English as a 2nd linguistic communication.

Renegade noticed blame wordss are written harmonizing to extremely structured regulations. There are two signifiers of blame wordss: Rhyme and blame vocal. A rime is a individual long stanza, frequently a narrative and the author can compose every bit many as he / she wants, whereas a blame vocal borrows its construction from a popular vocal with reiterating chorus in between.

Renegade besides observed that rappers have been utilizing blame as a poetic tool because it has a strong accent on vowel rhyme, consonant rhyme, and combinations with terminal rime. Rappers like to utilize simile, metaphor, innovation and reinvention of words to trip off new involvement in poesy. In other words, utilizing low civilization to learn high civilization.

In 2002 and 2004, Low worked with a originative authorship instructor to develop and learn “ spoken word poesy ” course of study. The initial course of study was merely a seven-week plan but in 2004, it became a long-run class. Low concluded the success of the plan as “ a literacy of Life experience ” because pupils were able to utilize blame as a platform to talk inside and outside the schoolroom. Strickland besides agreed that pupils are natural poets, and poesy is meant to be performed.

Lake observed a strong connexion between modulation and music. He noticed pupils ‘ interested in symbols and images, and that means they are more likely to be stimulated by sound or ocular. He compared words, feeling, pitch and emphasis with musical look. He concluded that address without music is similar linguistic communication without bosom because both music and linguistic communication express emotions and convey messages.

Through blame vocals, pupils can larn pronunciation, modulation, emphasis, speech pattern, pitch, tone, tune, rime, beat and eloquence. Students who enjoy singing, intoning, lip syncing or talking along can better their pronunciation accomplishments and pattern linking and decrease when talking English

Using blame to heighten reading and composing accomplishments

To be a good rapper, one must be able to utilize his / her voice to compose, hold good memory and reinvent rimes spontaneously. Rap music encourages adolescents to compose because it reflected the authors ‘ inner address and images in their head. For illustration, in Low ‘s “ spoken word poesy ” school undertaking, pupils in the category were able to compose powerful and thoughtful poesy for the first clip because they were inspired by blame.

A batch of pupils in Hong Kong hatred authorship because showing themselves in a 2nd linguistic communication is already hard, and composing in a 2nd linguistic communication is even more ambitious. Students need to hold a ground to compose, and that ground will go their motive.

Alvermann, Hagood and Williams ( 2001 ) shared a instance of a 14-year-old Grade 8 / F. 2 ) African American male child who scored the lowest on the territory ‘s standardised reading trial. The school male child loves blame, so Williams asked him to compose to him about his favourite blame creative person. The male child wanted to hold more factual information about his favourite blame creative person. Williams agreed to assist the male child with his “ undertaking ” , and he asked the male child to e-mail him on a regular basis and maintain him informed of his findings. The male child demonstrated that he was a capable reader because he searched for specific information through different web sites, and he was a capable author because he used popular civilization texts in his authorship. Alternatively of merely giving information to the school male child, Williams guided him throughout the undertaking and made him an independent scholar, and heighten both of his reading and composing accomplishments, non to advert giving him a higher self-pride and more assurance.

Iwasaki ( 2009 ) stated that blame vocals have natural linguistic communication and it can assist pupils to treat the significance of words under an reliable environment.

In Weinstein ‘s ( 2008 ) survey, she found many adolescent pupils have demonstrated sophisticated apprehension of literary characteristics through blame, for illustration, nonliteral linguistic communication. Rap can assist pupils, particularly the societal marginalized 1s to compose wordss that can reflect societal, economic and racial jobs. Adolescents enjoy composing wordss for blame because it is a channel for them to turn out and set up their individuality, an mercantile establishment for them to show their choler and defeats about school, community, societal norms, confusion and desire.

Lake suggested that pupils are already to a great extent exposed to popular civilization and music of their first linguistic communication, it is likely that they are traveling to be funny about the popular civilization and music of their 2nd or foreign linguistic communication every bit good. The intent of composing for adolescents should non be merely schoolroom based, it should be included a great assortment and popular civilization related subjects. Despite worrying approximately low trial tonss, adolescents will be more willing and eager to seek because when they see the intent, they can bring forth quality work and put their clip in it.

Through blame vocals, instructors can foster illustrate and explicate grammatical constructions to pupils. Based on Schoepp ‘s observation, vocals can assist pupils to develop a natural ability to utilize the mark linguistic communication in the right state of affairs. When pupils are exposed to repetitive phrases in the right context, they can retrieve the linguistic communication and use it automatically.

Using blame to assist pupil to pass on with the universe

Iwasaki noticed that while pupils are deriving lingual cognition through blame vocals, they are deriving the cultural cognition at the same clip as good. The wordss ever tell us something about the history, civilization, thought and attitude of a society. As Pennycook concluded that blame is a planetary phenomenon affecting linguistic communication usage.

Pennycook noticed blame has ever helped the spread of English globally, particularly to states where English is a foreign linguistic communication, like Japan and Korea.

Mitchell ( 2001:1-2 ) argued that hip-hop and blame merely belong to Afro-american civilization. In fact, it has brought youth from around the universe closer. It is non about where one comes from or which societal category one belongs to, but what one can make with the linguistic communication. Iwasaki believes civilization, like music and linguistic communication, develops and alterations. Therefore, popular civilization is a channel for the mass to show themselves and for those who want to let go of force per unit area from the society. Leting pupils to expose to both mass and popular civilization will assist them to develop cultural consciousness of others and their ain.

Pennycook argues despite the wordss in blame contains extremely controversial subjects and looks, it besides communicates intending on a planetary graduated table. Rap is non merely about the inkinesss in the U.S. but a common linguistic communication shared by a batch of Asiatic states like Japan, Korea and even Hong Kong. s we are all traveling planetary, our ability to pass on and cognizing each other ‘s linguistic communication and music will assist us to understand each other ‘s imposts and traditions much better and faster, therefore, avoid struggles and misinterpretation.

Based on the grounds above, few would hold with Schumann ‘s hypothesis in 1976 that the greater the societal distance between two civilizations, the more trouble the scholar would hold in geting the mark linguistic communication.

Negative feeling towards blame

A batch of English instructors are loath to integrate blame in their category because when they think of blame, they will hold all these negative images — – scoundrels, mobsters, low civilization, low instruction, guns, drugs, blood, force, sex, stuffs and “ bling bling. They do non cognize how and where to happen the GOOD blame vocals with positive significance. Weinstein ( 2006 ) criticized the extremely sexual nature of many popular blame vocals frequently gives detrimental images of black work forces and adult females. The music picture ever emphasizes on force and drugs which besides reinforce stereotypes of Blacks and Black young persons where they are seen as unsafe, immoral and anti-social.

However, Iwasaki argued that any music-based lesson could go a catastrophe without any thoughtful choice and readying.

Lapp for Koloze ‘s statement, people wrote vocals about drugs, life in the ghetto, rebellion and sex in popular vocals since the 1950s.

Iwasaki urged instructors to really do usage of those treatments to heighten pupils ‘ critical thought while geting a 2nd linguistic communication. Harmonizing to her theory, without general civilization cognition and some societal and political consciousness, one would happen it hard to take part in common and meaningful subjects that a 2nd or foreign linguistic communication can offer.

Some instructors may believe some blame vocals are inappropriate for schoolroom usage, but the monolithic influence of blame and hip-hop music around the universe has to be considered and noticed. Just like all other popular civilization and media, it has its positive and negative influence. Lake besides agreed that it would be a foolish if instructors do non utilize music to take advantage of the positive influence of music as a instruction tool.

Choosing a blame with a positive message and the right attitude can heighten English acquisition every bit good as societal consciousness. English instructors need to recognize that each blame has a message to distribute out. As Music in a cosmopolitan linguistic communication, most blames are seeking to work out race, category and faith jobs that face by the young person ( Njubi, 2001 ) . For illustration, Where is the Love? by Black Eyed Peas. The blame is about the U.S. after the 911 calamity and naming for U.S. ground forces backdown from Iraq. The blame vocal was the longest-serving British No. 1 in five old ages and the best merchandising record of 2003 in the U.K. The group performed the vocal at the 2004 Grammy Awards, where it was nominated for The Record Of The Year ( Wikipedia ) . This blame was so popular and moved so many people around the universe because it is a social-conscious blame. It focused on unsloped and political consciousness.

Despite societal and political deductions, blames do give a voice to immature people and animate them. Teachers should affect their pupils in the choice procedure because when they hear something they can associate to, it will actuate them to larn.


The statements for integrating popular civilization into traditional course of study are rather compelling and have generated a batch of noises and contentions. A batch of instructors and pedagogues are filled with confusions and anxiousness. Morrell ( 2002 ) understands instructors experiencing dashing about utilizing popular civilization because of a deficiency of understanding. Rap has ever been controversial because it is the rappers are showing opposing positions to the dominant civilization.

By assisting pupils to understand the content can assist them to do a meaningful connexion between linguistic communication and civilization. Leting pupils to be exposed to both mass and popular civilization will let them to believe about their ain cultural beliefs. School instruction should integrate elements and stuffs from popular civilization. Just like what Itoi and Inose ( 2008 ) mentioned that instructors should promote pupils to believe critically around their milieus and go an independent minds. Students can derive penetrations about the vocals by understanding or connoting what they hear. Situations in vocals are normally unfastened to reading, so pupils can exert their imaginativeness and show their sentiments freely.


It is the instructors ‘ ultimate end to animate pupils to develop their Sillss and involvement in English DURING and AFTER category. Music is one manner to make memorable lessons and flicker wonder beyond formal linguistic communication lessons. Music is a extremely relevant beginning of linguistic communication outside the schoolroom.

Integrating music into adolescents ‘ mundane activities promotes literacy development, peculiarly for English scholars. It is a manner for pupils to see rich and complex linguistic communication in a relaxing and entertaining manner. A learning environment filled with music will bring forth involvement, promote creativeness and positive learning attitude. Plato one time said, “ Music is a moral jurisprudence. It gives psyche to the existence, wings to the head, flight to the imaginativeness, and appeal and merriment to life and to everything. ”

Activity 1 – “ Where is the love? ” by Black Eyed Peas

Entire category clip: 60 proceedingss

Warm up

( 12 mins )

– Use the blame vocal “ Where is the Love? ” ( non the whole vocal, merely the

first portion — – from “ What ‘s incorrect with the universe, mamma? ” to “ Where

is the love, the love, the love? ”

– Teacher will pre-teach and arouse some of the cardinal words in the vocal.

For illustration, addicted, injury, terrorist act, race, meditate, agony,

etc. through images and images

– Teacher play the vocal for the First TIME, ask pupils to stand up

every clip when they hear a NEGATIVE WORD ( either it is a verb,

noun or adjective ) . For illustration, injury, terrorist act, discriminate,

hatred, killing, deceasing, injury, sufferingaˆ¦

Undertaking 1

( 3 mins. )

– Play the vocal one time ( the selected portion ) , ask pupils to place the

knap portion and the chorus portion

Undertaking 2

( 5 mins. )

– Put option pupils into 2 groups

– Ask both groups to come out to the whiteboard ( 2 whiteboards in the

schoolroom ) and when they listen to the words that rhyme, they have to

write down on the whiteboard. For illustration, “ mamma ” , “ play ” and

“ injury ” / ” discriminate, hatred, demonstrate, yeah ” / ” dying/crying ” aˆ¦

Undertaking 3

( 5 mins. )

– Ask pupils to travel to their computing machine

– Ask pupils to travel the cyberspace and hunt for the wordss

– Ask pupils to copy and glue that file to a word papers

– Ask pupils to underscore all the rime words as they listen to it once more

Undertaking 4

( 5 mins. )

– Put option pupils into 4 groups

– Play the vocal 2 times to the whole category

– Ask pupils to Rap along every bit much as possible ( turn down the volume )

– Give each group 5 proceedingss to practise

Undertaking 5

( 15 mins. )

– Tell pupils they can look at the wordss from the computing machine screen and

make a group knaping in forepart of the category

– The audience ( other groups ) have to watch and keep up their hip-hop

cap afterwards if they like it.

– Teacher will number the figure of hip-hop caps and compose the consequence on

the whiteboard and see which group is the audience ‘s favourite

– No formal appraisal is needed at this phase as this pattern is to assist

the slower and quiet / shy pupils to construct up their assurance.

– However, teacher will inquire pupils indiscriminately and see what and

why they like or do non wish about certain group ‘s public presentation.

Post category activity:

A group undertaking

Time given: 10 yearss

– Teacher will pass 10 to 15 proceedingss explicating this group undertaking

– Students need to work in a group of 4

– Students need to happen a controversial societal or political subject in Hong

Kong through the South China Morning Post or other English intelligence

media on the cyberspace

– Students need to show their sentiments about that subject by composing

new wordss that will suit into the blame vocal of their pick

– The blame vocal must be either from the U.S. or Hong Kong

– Students need to execute and enter their NEW RAP and post it on


– Students must supply a YouTube nexus of the original blame vocal with

their ain YouTube picture

– A Very utile Mention for pupils:

hypertext transfer protocol: //blog.mtviggy.com/2010/03/24/top-10-canto-hip-hop-and-rap-songs/

– Students need to vote for their favourite GROUP, favourite

LYRICS, favourite RAP public presentation through the school intranet

Activity 2 – An Interview with your favourite rapper

Lead in / Warm up

– Ask pupils if they know any local rapper

– Ask pupils who is ( are ) their favourite ( s )

Phase 1

– Ask pupils to work in braces ( provided they like the same rapper ) or

separately to outline an e-mail to rappers like MC Jin, Famers, LMF,

24 Herbs, and ask for them for an interview which will be conducted by

the pupils

– Ask pupils to travel on-line and look for more information about

their favourite rapper

– Ask pupils to bring forth the first bill of exchange

Phase 2

– Ask pupils to bring forth the 2nd bill of exchange based on the instructor ‘s advice

and remarks through electronic mail

– Ask pupils to work in a group of 3s and fix a list of inquiries

as an fond regard with their electronic mail to Affect the rappers so they

WILL Be MORE Eager to state yes to the interview

Phase 3

– Ask pupils to bring forth the FINAL bill of exchange

– Ask pupils to seek from the cyberspace and happen out the direction

company or the record company of the creative person that they would wish to


– Ask pupils to direct their petition to those rappers ‘ Facebook

histories and web logs every bit good

– Students must direct their electronic mail through the instructor ‘s school electronic mail

history — – the instructor needs to hold direct control of what goes out

and comes in

Phase 4

– Peer appraisal

– Teacher will inquire pupils to vote and pick the 10 BEST interviewing

inquiries through the school intranet

Appraisal for activity 1 ( station category activity ) – The group undertaking

Peer appraisal

Direction: Just put a ‘i?? ‘ in the box for the remark that you agree


What do you believe, ( name of the “ audience ” ) ?

Did you like our subject?

Yes, it ‘s a hot subject and I can associate to it!

It ‘s a typical one!

Sorryaˆ¦it does n’t involvement me at all!

Did our new wordss get your attending? Did we bring out a clear message?

Yes, really interesting and I wanted to cognize more!

Not truly!

Sorry but I do n’t understand what you guys were seeking to state! What ‘s the message?

Did we compose our new wordss with the right grammar?

Yes! I think so!

May be a few errors!

Full of grammatical errors!

Did we have the right pronunciation?


Most of them!


Was our blame clear and easy to follow?


Most of them!


Did our new wordss rhyme with the melody?

Yes! Absolutely!

Most of them!

No! Not at all! ! !

Did we knap with the right round?

Yes, I wanted to knap along with you guys excessively!

You cats were off a small but it was still alright!

Sorry! You cats could n’t catch the round at all!

Did we knap loud and clear plenty?


I could n’t hear some of them.

Sorry, you guys were merely muttering!

Teacher appraisal

Group members: ______________________________________________

5=Totally agree 4=Agree 3=Average 2=Disagree 1=Totally disagree

1. An interesting subject which everybody in Hong Kong can associate to.

2. The contents of the blame showed your group had a good

apprehension of the subject.

3. The organisation of the blame was clear and easy to follow.

4. The wordss were expressive and originative.

5. The wordss were good written.

6. The wordss and melody went good together.

7. Your group had good pronunciation when rapping.

8. Your group used right grammar when composing the wordss.

9. All of you were really fluid and smooth with your blame.

10. It was a really gratifying public presentation.


Appraisal for activity 2 – Writing an e-mail to your favourite rapper

Teacher appraisal

Name of pupil: ______________________________________________

5=Totally agree 4=Agree 3=Average 2=Disagree 1=Totally disagree

1. Your electronic mail had an appropriate and easy to understand topic.

2. Your e-mail had salutation, debut, organic structure and closing.

3. The organisation of your electronic mail was clear and easy to follow.

4. You made your petition clear and precise.

5. Your e-mail showed the importance of this affair.

6. Your e-mail supported with good grounds and it can carry the

reader to move harmonizing to your petition

7. The spelling, punctuation and grammar of your electronic mail were accurate.

8. Your electronic mail was polite and sincere.

9. Your e-mail content fulfilled all the demands stated.


Lyrics – “ Where is the love? ” by Black Eyed Peas

What ‘s incorrect with the universe, mamma

Peoples livin ‘ like they ai n’t got no mamma

I think the whole universe addicted to the play

Merely attracted to things that ‘ll convey you trauma

Oversea, yeah, we try to halt terrorist act

But we still got terrorists here livin ‘

In the USA, the large CIA

The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK

But if you merely have love for your ain race

Then you merely leave infinite to know apart

And to know apart merely generates hatred

And when you hate so you ‘re bound to acquire ireful, yeah

Lunacy is what you demonstrate

And that ‘s precisely how anger plants and operates

Man, you got Tas have love merely to put it consecutive

Take control of your head and meditate

Let your psyche gravitate to the love, y’all, y’all

Peoples killin ‘ , people dyin ‘

Children injury and you hear them cryin ‘

Can you pattern what you preach

And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us

Send some counsel from above

‘Cause people got me, got me questionin ‘

Where is the love ( Love )

Where is the love ( The love )

Where is the love ( The love )

Where is the love

The love, the love