English through Music (5 weeks)

Course Code: ETM101
Day: Sat Time: 15:30-17:20 Hours: 10 Sessions: 5 Semester: Summer Instructional Language: English Location: In-Person (Tokyo)

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Course Description

This course aims to showcase music as an effective language learning tool by studying a variety of song lyrics for lexical, colloquial, or idiomatic meaning. Participants will develop a series of self-study skills to help them derive a thorough understanding of new words and phrases they may encounter when engaging the English language. In addition to expanding lexical knowledge and self-study techniques, participants will improve their pronunciation and listening skills through musical activities focused on practicing the rhythms and sounds (prosody) of English. It features discussions on important figures and moments in music history to foster the students' communication skills and demonstrate how music impacts society and culture. Participants should walk away more autonomous in their approach to learning English and with a sense of how to use one of life's most enjoyable activates as a language learning tool.

Learning Objectives

1. Students will be able to develop a greater sense of learner autonomy so that they may take control of their language study habits and routines outside the classroom in a fun and engaging way.
2. Students will learn how to improve their English fluency, accuracy, pronunciation, and listening skills by using music as an effective study tool.
3. Students will be able to gain greater insight into the socio-cultural changes throughout history and around the world today that have been brought about by music.

Who should take this course

English language learners who are passionate about education, music, cultural exchange, and improving their language skills in all 4 areas.
English Level: Intermediate to Advanced


No required textbook


David Phillips

Instructor Biography

David Phillips earned his MAT in Applied Linguistics from the University of Southern California and has been working as an Academic English Instructor at Temple University Japan since 2016 and started working at Seikei University from April 2023. In addition to his university work, he also serves as an examiner for the Eiken Foundation of Japan throughout the year. Prior to living and teaching in Japan, he taught sociocultural anthropology to first-year undergraduates at the University of Washington and Intensive English courses at Seattle Pacific University for 5 years. David is focused on continuing to apply a sociocultural approach to every class lesson as a way to utilize student background knowledge and build co-created classrooms in which every student has opportunities to contribute and actively participate. When he is not teaching or publishing works on adapting materials for cultural responsiveness and autonomous learner development, David is working toward completing a doctorate degree in English Pedagogy at Murray State University and producing episodes for his YouTube channel called, "The Rhythm Circuit," which features a global listening base.