Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Potential thesis topic?

After two and a half years of being a master's student, I finally came up with a potential topic that could potentially become my thesis topic.

I was watching Ghostbusters (the movie) the other day and was surprised to find that I still remember parts of the song. That led me to reflect on how I learn and use English. I usually refer back to lyrics that I have in my head instead of regurgitating grammar rules when I get stuck constructing sentences.

So I thought, could memorizing songs be the best way to learn a language? I hypothesize that through this method, one can not only learn vocabulary words, grammar constructions, and pronunciation, but also retain it for a longer period of time!

So, now I'm ready to test this hypothesis and I want to do a pilot study on this. I will do it with Japanese and if anyone else wants to do this with me with any language, do tell me. My plan is to memorize one song per week, learn vocabulary words by looking up their meanings on the dictionary, learning grammatical constructions through the forms presented in the lyrics, and practice pronunciation by repeatedly singing along with the song. At the same time, I will be keeping a journal to write down any thoughts and ideas (about the learning process, frustrations, small victories, etc.) during the process.

Any feedback and suggestions are most welcome.


Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog awhile ago and have been following it since then. I think your idea is fascinating. Just the simple idea of remembering songs from your childhood is amazing compared to what you can remember as an adult. I've heard of people memorizing verses from the Bible by putting them to music and remembering them at moments notice years later. Good Luck!

Jessica from Indiana, PA, USA

Booyah! said...

it's great to know that someone would like my blog enough to continue following it

thanks! that really means a lot :)

i agree with what you said, and what you said reminded me of how some students compose chants to help them remember facts they have to memorize

first i have to do a lot of reading, then i'll organize what i learn and hopefully squeeze out a decent thesis :P

hope to see more of your comments!

Thunderthud said...

Interesting idea. I don't know if I would say that it is the "best" way to learn a language, but it could certainly be an effective way up to a point. Rote memorization of poems, biblical passages, speeches, lines from plays, etc. used to be a common teaching practice in our grandparents days. Memorizing and recalling song lyrics could be a logical extension of that method. Songs may have the added advantage of cementing the words into one's memory with the music as an overlay. Sounds like it is worth serious consideration.

Booyah! said...

hmm, you brought up the important (and usually seen as negative) aspect of rote memorization

nevertheless, thanks for the input! it'll be very helpful for my pilot research which i am putting together right now