The power of music: Example of how music can help to motivate language awareness

Author(s): European Schoolnet
Institution/Organisation: Brentfield Primary School (UK)


The school is a mixed, state primary school in one of the most deprived wards of the London Borough of Brent. There are some 450 pupils on roll, 75% from ethnic minorities, including the children of refugees and asylum seekers, many of them not speaking English. The challenge for the school is to create cohesion within a school community which speaks 26 different languages at home and which covers most of  the world's great religions. Cultural activities, particularly music, associated with the countries where these language are spoken, is used by the school to create cohesion and an awareness in the pupils of otherness through the use of different languages. French is taught in the school in collaboration with a local secondary school which is a specialist language college. Some pupils attend a one week's programme in a residential centre in France. The children do not have to break down the usual inhibitions to make progress in the language learning process which has been demystified through song and contact with classmates from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

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