Jazz chants are a form of oral tradition that have been utilized in language teaching for several decades. These chants are brief, rhythmical phrases that are performed with a specific melody and are often used to teach students new vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation.
According to "Jazz Chants: The Classroom Approach to Jazz" by Carolyn Graham, jazz chants have their roots in the African American tradition of call-and-response, in which a leader sings a phrase and the audience responds with a repeated phrase. This call-and-response tradition can be seen in various forms of African American music, including gospel, blues, and jazz.
Jazz chants have been found to be an effective tool in language teaching as they can help students to acquire new language in a fun and engaging way. By combining language with rhythm, melody, and movement, students are able to internalize new language more easily and retain it for a longer period of time.
In the classroom, jazz chants can be used for a variety of purposes, including vocabulary acquisition, grammar practice, pronunciation improvement, and overall language development. For example, a teacher may use a jazz chant to teach students the names of different animals or to practice the present tense.
In addition to their educational benefits, jazz chants have also been found to be highly enjoyable for students. They provide a break from traditional, lecture-style teaching and offer students the opportunity to use their bodies and voices to engage with the language.
Jazz chants can be performed in a variety of styles, including swing, blues, and Latin. The choice of style will depend on the teacher's preference and the level of the students. It is important to note that jazz chants should be used in a culturally sensitive manner, taking into account the cultural background of the students and avoiding any stereotypes or cultural appropriation.
In conclusion, jazz chants are a valuable tool in language teaching and have been utilized by language teachers for several decades. By combining language with rhythm, melody, and movement, jazz chants help students to acquire new language in a fun and engaging way, and have been found to be highly effective and enjoyable for students.