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Quaderns Digitals / Quaderns número 39
 DIDACTIC UNIT: IF YOU ARE HAPPY (TRADITIONAL SONG)
Fernando Yarza Gumiel 
 Although the Didactic Unit has been designed for 3rd cycle primary school students, it could also be applied to first and second cycle primary school students depending on the difficulty of the activities we propose. We have chosen particularly this song because it is going to help our children’s language and physical development, it is short enough for the age-group to remember, it requires active participation of the students, it is quite repetitive, it is an authentic material, it provides examples of ‘real’ language and help to bring the ‘real’ world into the classroom. Songs contribute to encourage learners’ interest to study the language, and they are useful to establish a warm and relaxing atmosphere in the classroom. The language in traditional songs is rich and colourful and extends the children’s vocabulary beyond the limited range of their own day-to-day experiences. The use of rhyme encourages children to explore the sounds of words, and the use of imagery enriches their perception of the world and their ability to express what they feel. One of the linguistic advantages of songs is that learners will happily repeat the same structure, even the same words, over and over again without getting bored. Songs are particularly useful in a stressed-timed language such as English because the rhythm forces us to put the stress on the right syllables and to observe the strong and weak forms. At the same time pronunciation is improved as the students are concentrating on sound rather than meaning. Students at this age are excellent mimics. They are particularly good at copying intonation. Songs also help teachers to establish a friendly atmosphere in the classroom in order to create a feeling of respect and cooperation, and to encourage their selfesteem.
 
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