Music and Dance as Part of the Learning Process

Luz Vanegas, 2nd Grade, Charlotte East Language Academy

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


To many people across the globe, music is an important part of everyday life. In addition to its cultural importance, many studies have found that music plays a key role in early language acquisition and can help boost language learning. Neurologists have found that musical and language processing occurs in the same area of the brain, and there appear to be parallels in how musical and linguistic syntax are processed. Hence, music can be used as a promising instructional instrument in educational contexts.

This curriculum unit focuses on understanding the benefits of music and dance while learning a new language across our learner population at Charlotte East Language Academy. The unit will be used over the first semester and students will learn how to interact and connect with others by pronouncing and writing words and patterns throughout Spanish songs and rhymes. In this unit, students will also explore different activities that will help them improve reading and writing skills by using songs as powerful learning instruments.

The implemented strategies will help the students become more aware of him or herself and stimulates most of the senses: hearing, touching, and seeing. Through the process of learning about the culture and learning to sing and dance, students will become more confident in their ability to overcome challenges such as self-consciousness and non-identification with a new culture.. Although I focused on vallenato dance, the insights and suggestions in this paper are intended for any language teacher who would like to combine language and culture in a manner that appeals to many learning styles.