суббота, 14 июля 2012 г.

Jazz Chants

I've attended the webinar: ELT Webinar 7 Shaping the Way We Teach English 1: Teaching with Jazz Chants
Presenter: Shirley Thompson, ESL program trainer, Washington DC, U.S


What is Jazz Chant?
"Jazz Chants are Carolyn Graham's snappy, upbeat chants and poems that use jazz rhythms to illustrate the natural stress and intonation patterns of conversational American English." (from Oxford University Press)


Jazz Chants are Versatile:

- Chants use natural spoken American English
- Chants can be used in classes of any size
- Chants don’t require any special materials
- Chants can be used with all age groups
- Chants don't require musical ability


In the chants below the beats are written under the stressed (clapped or tapped) word. The stressed words are in bold capital letters.

Example: One, Two, I Like You
ONE TWO I like YOU
   1       2     3          4
ONE TWO I like YOU
   1       2     3          4
ONE two THREE YOU like ME and
   1               2          3            4
I LIKE YOU (clap)
1   2        3       4

Why is this focus on stress, rhytmn, and grouping so useful?
For native English speakers, stress is key to meaning. It's what we listen for to know what's important and what to focus on.
Jazz Chants are fun, practical way to help students begin to notice and produce natural rhytmn.

Many languages are "syllable-timed"- every syllable gets more or less the same stress or emphasis.
ed u ca ti on = 5 staccato beats
pa pa = 2 even, staccato beats, same vowel sound in both
But NOT English ... English is a "stress-timed" language.
The rhytmn is based on stressed words and syllables, not all syllables.
ed u CA ti on = 1 strong beat
PA pa = 1 strong beat

Stress affects meaning at the phrase and sentence level.
A conversation in a bakery:
Customer: I'd like two large muffins, please.
Server: Here you are.
Can you guess what the problem is in each case?
1. Customer: Excuse me, I asked for two large muffins.
2. Customer: Excuse me, I asked for two large muffins.
3. Customer: Excuse me, I asked for two large muffins.
 
Regular focus on stress and rhytmn will train your students to NOTICE stress in English - even if they don't always get it right, at list they'll be learning to listen for it!

Three Points to Remember about a Jazz Chant

- A jazz chant must use real language.
- A jazz chant must have useful language.
- A jazz chant must be appropriate language (relevant to the age group and its level) 


How I teach jazz chants 
1. Introduce the chant orally first. Explain any idioms. Discuss the context.
2. Begin with group (choral) practice. Then move to pair and individual practice.
3. Focus on stress, thought groups and intonation.
4. For longer, more comlex chants, after some oral practice, (group and pairs) show them the written chant. Go through it again several times.
5. Together, mark it to show major stresses, intonation, reduced sounds, linking and blending. (Visual learning will appreciate this!)
6. Review chants regulary! They make great warm-ups.


Writing your own chants
The language should be 
- real
- useful
- appropriate for the level


Let's begin with vocabulary chants.

Why vocabulary chant? Rhytmn is a powerful tool for memory.
To create a vocabulary chant:
Step One: Choose a topic.
Step Two: Write down 10 words that relate to the topic.
Step Three: Separate the words into sounds according to the number of syllables.
Step Four: Choose three of the words with different numbers of syllables. Keep it simple — now you are ready!



Resources:
Jazz Chants Carolyn Graham
Jazz Chants
How to Create a Jazz Chants





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