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Nicholas Stanford and Sydney Lauricella, EDU 380: IPDS Italy
Faculty Mentor: Professor Kerry Renzoni, Music Department
Finding best practices in literacy instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) is a trending topic within the international education field of research. Many countries are just beginning to incorporate English literacy instruction in their curriculum but lack the educational tools and teacher preparation to do so effectively. Inspired by this need for insight, we based our research around the question “What happens when music is incorporated into English language instruction?” Traveling to Torremaggiore, Italy and teaching for two weeks at Scuola Elementare Emilio Ricci, we were provided the opportunity to incorporate music into literacy instruction organically with students ages 4-10. Working with other SUNY Buffalo State teaching candidates, we created engaging lesson plans combining music and literacy instruction. All teaching observations were recorded in a blog coordinated by the SUNY Buffalo State IPDS program. These blogs provided much of the data on which we based our findings, as well as our personal experiences and interviews we coordinated with teacher candidates who participated in the program to gather what they noticed in their classroom. Through informal assessment, we gathered that combining English literacy with song and movement before diving into direct literacy instruction without music had a positive effect on student motivation, literacy comprehension, and literacy retention. These findings suggest that further research is needed in applying music to literacy instruction, using sound before sight educational methodologies, while working with English Language Learners.
Stanford, Nicholas and Lauricella, Sydney, "Musically Motivated: A Literacy Experience in Torremaggiore" (2020). Education. 22nd Annual Student Research and Creativity Conference. SUNY Buffalo State.