Written by Herri Mulyono
Submitted as a requirement of final assignment of Seminar lectured by Miss. Dr. Ilza Wahyuni M.A.
The Role of Music in Second Language Learning:
A Vietnamese Perspective
By Mark Huy Le
University of Tasmania
Music has been playing a significant role in language teaching and learning process. Thus, it does not receive enough attention in educational research. The accepted conclusion is, then, that music enhances a learning atmosphere because its affective power. The study was qualitatively conducted in Vietnam to examine how music was accepted by both Vietnamese second language educators and students. It mainly focused on the role of music in second language learning. The study appears interesting insight that music is widely used in various extracurricular activities and learning experience. Pedagogically, both teachers and students gave high value to English Music in the process of teaching learning of language skills such reading, listening, speaking and writing as well. However, the English music must be viewed critically in which they might carry out cultural values or even political interest.
The eagerness of Vietnamese has been echoing since 1986 when the government started to implement the policy of Doi Moi (new change) which promoted interaction with the outside world especially the west. Hence, English becomes one of the popular subjects in secondary education. Private English Classes has been spreading out to cover the eagerness of the society to learn English as the response of government’s request. English music becomes very popular to Vietnamese. Despite of traditional performance, English music involves in every musical show held. Here, scholars start to put English music including song as an educational discourse in which they might give much improvement in language teaching and learning.
Vietnamese students are well-known as music lovers. It is because music has become part of their life since their traditional customs include music in their rituals. English music have widely spread along the country-side and many Vietnamese sings English songs as sequence. Often, they sing the songs perfectly as if they were the native of English. Of course, this might give significant evidence that students might learn English better with the help of music. In order to support this view, a study was conducted in Vietnam to examine the relationship between music and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).
II. Aims and Objectives
The study aims to investigate the view of both EFL teachers and students about the role of music in second language teaching and learning process. The study rouses the following research question;
1. What are the views held by Vietnamese EFL university students about the significance of music in education?
2. What are their views about the significance of music in an EFL curriculum?
3. What are their views about the significance of music in extracurricular activities?
4. What are their views about the negative aspect of the use of western music in education?
The study devises a qualitative research in which it might gain some insights from both EFL teachers and students about their views on the importance of music in teaching and learning English in Vietnam.
Furthermore, the study includes interview, observing, participating in social and musical activities. The researcher conducted informal and unstructured interviews with three EFL teachers and six students in various situational contexts as well. Each interview lasted approximately an hour. The interviews were conducted in English as they were fluent in English. Electronic equipment was used to record the interviews.