For many ESL students, achieving an advanced English proficiency has not resulted in equally advanced communication skills. These students are able to speak in complex sentences, but with low intelligibility; this can be attributed to a lack of familiarity with the prosody of English (i.e. the patterns of stress and intonation of a language.)
Numerous studies have explored the effects of teaching English word and sentence stress patterns through rap music. The results have been astounding – ELLs exposed to a rap curriculum showed improvement in stress placement and overall speaking confidence in just four weeks.
The brain instinctively knows that music in general -- including rap music – helps make learning more novel and fun. Why not add more fun into the language learning process and help students improve their speech at the same time?
The Water Cycle rap uses seven stanzas and a catchy refrain to help ELLs remember the different stages of the water cycle. Five academic vocabulary words – precipitation, absorption, conduction, proliferation, and evaporation – are easily acquired as students enjoy practicing and performing this rap.