Using Music to Teach English as a Foreign Language

Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

March 13, 2003


What a wonderful treat for Dr. Lust to work with the English teachers in Bahir Dar in Ethiopia. The group of 26 participants consisted of teachers from the private schools, from the public schools and from the university. The group met at 9:00 a.m. and worked past noon -- so much material, so little time. We were delighted to hear later in the day that some of the teachers were able to use the new materials, yet that afternoon, in their classes.

In the first four photos the participants are developing a visual to go with "Ten Red Apples" (sometimes known as "Ten Little Indians"). In the first photo they began by singing "Ten little Fingers." After some consideration of colors, items and prepositions, the activity begins.  One group constructs the mural that you see in the third and fourth photos (a countryside with a large tree, a lake and clouds in the sky). The other groups set about making ten of each item, for example, ten red apples, which you see them placing "on" the tree in the second photograph, ten blue birds, which you can see "in" the sky on the fourth photo. Also in the fourth photo, you can see the brown apples "under" the tree, the yellow flowers "beside" the lake, etc.




Because physical movement is so important in a child's learning process, this workshop included several action songs. In the following photos, the participants are enjoying a favorite American children's song, "Looby Loo." In the second photo you see them following the words of the song, "put your left hand in."





This set of photographs shows an activity, based on a story, which creates a large book.  As a result, all students can read the same text from the same book at the same time.

In the first and second photos participants are planning and creating the art (illustrations of the text) that goes with the words of each verse.  In the last photograph they are showing each verse (each created by a different group) and other participants are singing along as one participant points to the text.





 "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" gives us the opportunity to focus on verbs and to engage in some good conversation in English. Participants consider different animals and how they move. In the photograph to the right, participants are singing about "the rabbit hopped into the garden" Then the question, to prompt conversation in English, is "...and when she got there, what did she see?"  


At the close of the workshop, Father Abebe, our host (standing), asked groups from different schools to get together to plan how they would take materials and ideas from the workshop to their classes in their schools.


Here we are!!   The whole group.  Thanks to Angela (center, on the ground, with the white scarf) who collaborated with Father Abebe to plan the logistics of this workshop.  



And one last word from me..

Thank you!

Thank you so much for having me in your city and for considering the ideas which are so important to me. Thank you for the beautiful orange scarf. It's my favorite color, and I will enjoy wearing it.

Best wishes to you always.


Patricia Lust
Chair and Professor of Music
Longwood University
Farmville, VA 23901   USA


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