The Singing Experience Preferences of Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners

November 17, 2011 / By: Victoria Lynn Derybowski

The problem of this study was to determine the attitudes of Spanish-speaking English language learners regarding singing in English. The research questions posed included: (1) What are students’ preferences about singing?; (2) Is there a difference between students’ preferences for singing at home and in their music class?; and (3) What instructional techniques used by the music teacher do students prefer when they are learning songs in their music class?

The research took place at Huff Elementary School in Elgin, IL. English language learners in fourth and fifth grades participated in the study. The data were collected using a forced-response anonymous survey administered during the students’ music class time. Subjects were current students of the researcher and volunteered to participate in this study. Ninety English language learners (ELLs) completed a survey.

The results of the study revealed that English language learners participate in singing activities at home, with family and friends, mostly during celebrations and holidays. Students indicated an enjoyment for singing at school especially with friends. In both locations a preference of English singing over Spanish singing was designated. Even though each instructional technique gleaned a positive result from the students, rote singing, cooperative singing, and movement were highly favored.