Beatriz Oseira
works in ESC Gavà Mar in Gavà, Barcelona, as a Pre-primary English teacher. She left Saragosse, her home town, to complete her degree in History of Music in Barcelona. It’s her fifth year as the bilingual project PELE coordinator. Beatriz teaches English through her own songs, some of them are published in “MENDALERENDA. English Songs for Children” – www.mendalerenda.net  

In this interview, Beatriz talks to us about her experience using music in the classroom and the songs she writes and uses.

How did you get into teaching?
I was finishing my Music degree at university when the possibility arose to teach music to children aged 3-5 years old. It was an unforgettable experience! The first class was unusual as I thought that my pupils hadn’t learnt anything. However, the following class was incredible. The pupils sang all the songs and did all the actions exactly how I had taught them. I had just realised that teaching children is amazing.

How do songs help students learn a language?

As a student, it is easier to learn lyrics at the same time as memorizing actions. Songs develop audio-visual memory and, for this reason, the students can use the words learnt from the songs fluently in real-life situations. The rhythm of a song facilitates reproduction and repetition of it, helping students remember the lyrics, and therefore, learn the language.

How do your students respond to learning Music in English?

The students use the music and sing during the class to demonstrate their confidence in speaking another language. I teach English to children starting from 3 years old and usually, during the first few months, most of them are only able to listen to me and repeat short words. When they have gained more confidence, they try to show what they have learnt and even correct each other.

I work with them to develop routines so they know exactly what they have to say at all times. They only have to see me, and they will begin to sing in English! It’s very funny.

Do you write your own lyrics?

Yes, I do. I love music and I like to improvise depending on the situation. I teach English by singing during the class and use specific songs for different parts of my classes. My pupils sing a lot and know when they should sing each song.
Apart from that, I have a music group called “Mendalerenda”. My partner is Ana Quílez and she is a musician too. We have a trilingual-project where we have written our own songs for children and recorded them in 3 languages: Spanish, Catalan and English. You can find more information at www.mendalerenda.net

I love to teach English through songs and singing. I think music is like another language and that helps me share my knowledge for my pupils’ enjoyment.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us Beatriz!

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