The Use of Popular Songs and Films in Overcoming the Typical Mistakes of Georgian Learners of English
Keywords:language interference, typical error, lyrics, film fragment, foreign language teaching.
The paper focuses on the typical mistakes of Georgian learners of English. The students’ errors are usually caused by native language interference. The theoretical framework embraces the works of Lado, 1957; Corder, 1981; Spicher & Sweeney, 2007; Salcedo, 2002; Ludke, 2009 etc. The empirical material is obtained from personal experience of teaching as well as popular media patfroms. As English and Georgian are structurally extremely different, the errors of Georgian students are most frequently related to grammar. Based on the longstanding experience of teaching English as a foreign language, the author argues that students easily overcome the problem of native language interference and related frequent errors if they are given examples from the texts of popular songs and films.
Taking into account that songs and films represent authentic, natural language, they serve as an ideal medium for improving pronunciation, learning morphological and syntactic patterns, enriching the vocabulary, improving the students’ listening skills and so on. Besides, the lyrics of songs are usually very easily obtainable from Youtube or other media platforms. It is widely discussed that songs facilitate foreign language acquisition. Listening to songs and watching interesting fragments of films is not as time-consuming as reading grammar textbooks, learning the rules and doing exercises. The process is very efficient and enjoyable both for the teacher and the students. Thanks to the refrains of songs, which are repeated several times, certain words and syntactical patterns are firmly fixed in the learner’s mind. This is especially important when the teacher tries to help students overcome the typical errors caused by the so-called “negative transfer” i.e. native language interference. The paper analyzes cases when the texts of songs and films have helped overcome issues like: complex object vs direct object, the use of relative pronouns and conjunctions, various types of subordinate clauses, the rules of using so/such, conditional sentences of different types and so on. The paper gives recommendations as to which particular song or film is the most efficient in overcoming each of the above-mentioned problems. The author also notes that, in some cases, the lyrics of songs have the opposite effect on the learner, i.e. the grammar and spelling rules are completely ignored in some songs. The paper argues that in such cases teachers should be extremely careful and offer special explanation to students in order to prevent them from making such errors.
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