Rhythm and pronunciation of American English: Jazzing up EFL teaching through Jazz Chants
Keywords: Jazz Chants, authentic input, L2 exposure, speaking, rhythms, intonation, suprasegmental, pronunciation, musical intelligence
Queen’s University Belfast, UK
Fan-Wei Kung has been teaching ESL/EFL in the US and Taiwan for more than seven years. He is currently a researcher of TESOL & Applied Linguistics at Queen’s University Belfast, UK. His research interests include Second Language Acquisition, Bilingual Education, Applied Linguistics and TESOL & ELT methods.
The aim of this study was to explore EFL learners’ L2 listening and speaking skills using Jazz Chants, which are rhythmic expressions of American English designed for ESL learners to speak and understand with special attention to the sound system (Graham, 1978). However, research empirically documenting the link between the use of Jazz Chants to develop EFL students listening and speaking competence in Taiwan has been scant. In this study, both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analyzed to ascertain the effectiveness of using Jazz Chants-blended instruction. The results revealed that Jazz Chants helped students to become more fluent and willing to speak English with better listening comprehension, and their interests and confidence were also strengthened. Music was also found to complement Jazz Chants well to stimulate students’ learning motivation. The findings provide useful information and pedagogical implications for English language teaching professionals.