USING MUSIC IN THE ADULT EFL SPEAKING CLASSROOM
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Abstract: Music can play an important role in adult EFL classrooms and help adult learners improve their learning process. Adult learners are generally found to be slower learners than regular tertiary EFL learners, especially in a speaking class. Adults have already gathered lots of experience from life which helps them to maintain a "dignity" in the classroom. In speaking classrooms, they are sometimes afraid of losing that "dignity" in public and remain confined within themselves which results in a lack of participation. Even though adult learners are mature, experienced, and have a specific goal for language learning (i.e., better job opportunity, salary, increment, promotion, obtaining better communication skills, etc.), they could be better benefited and learn more effectively if teachers use music in their language lessons. Adult learners possess some characteristics which differentiate them from young generation EFL learners and these factors affect their process of learning a new language. A large number of adult learners are engaged in professions where obtaining fluency in their second language plays an important role. In addition, they have financial and personal responsibilities. So when they come to the class, they are stressed by professional deadlines, work-pressure, financial burdens, family responsibilities, personal problems, tension, and anxiety. By allowing fun and music in class, a teacher can have an excellent opportunity to teach with authentic English materials which help to create a strong footing. Moreover, it helps adult learners to relax by forgetting outside stresses, entertaining them, and motivating them to participate freely. Those who are usually introverted in nature become social and open when they hear songs. Music can be used as a useful tool of learning because most people can remember the words of the songs regardless of the language. Songs also provide the opportunity to improve learners' listening comprehension and colloquial vocabulary. Besides, adult ears may be challenged by pronunciation, rhythms, and intonations in the music. So the selection of music should be done accordingly. Above all, songs provide a congenial atmosphere for adults so they would less inhibited and more willing to participate. But at the same time there are some negative sides to using music. Teachers may fear that their musical work may create a disturbance for neighboring classes or it may not help the regular syllabus. But we cannot deny that a large number of adult learners who had a * Senior Lecturer, Department of English, Stamford University Bangladesh Using Music in the Adult EFL 122 Speaking Classroom depressing experience in speaking foreign languages in their academic life may gain an entertaining, encouraging, and enthusiastic learning experience which will result in successful learning outcomes. In order to do so, teachers can introduce music in their classrooms to get a successful learning outcome and motivate adult EFL learners to attain their goals.