Effects of using songs in EFL classes on levels of engagement and anxiety of upper elementary school students
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The aim of the study was to explore, whether using songs in EFL classes influences the engagement and anxiety levels of students in any positive or negative way. For this purpose, three research questions were posed. Firstly, what are the benefits of using songs in the EFL class? Secondly, what are the levels of engagement and anxiety in the research group prior to the use of songs? And lastly, did levels of engagement and anxiety in the group change during the use of songs in lessons? The hypothesis of this study was that songs have a positive effect on student engagement as well as anxiety. The introduction of this thesis gives an overview of the benefits of using songs in foreign language lessons. Possible obstacles that teachers may face in trying to incorporate songs into their classes are also outlined. The introduction is concluded with a thesis review section. The first chapter explains the essence and importance of classroom engagement, as well as anxiety and one of its types – foreign language anxiety. Positive effects of songs on engagement as well as anxiety are also explained. The second chapter details the research that was carried out with a group of 15 sixth grade students. These students had never learned English with the help of songs before. Prior to implementing songs in six out of twelve lessons, the group was observed for over a week. In addition to that, an interview with their regular teacher was carried out and questionnaires were distributed and collected. After the end of the teaching period, four students were interviewed. The results section reports relevant data that was collected during the research period. In the discussion part, literature from the theoretical section of the thesis is tied together with data collected during the research period. This is done, keeping in mind the aforementioned research questions. The second chapter is followed by the conclusion. In the conclusion, the most relevant points concerning the benefits of songs in EFL classes, engagement and anxiety are summarized once more, alongside the results of the research.