Chants & Chongs
We believe that along with songs, chants and chongs are valuable musical tools for demonstrating and practicing pronunciation and the rhythmical character of English. Chants have long been used in the young learner classroom to practice the pronunciation of sounds, rhythm, word and sentence stress.
What is a chong? "Chong" is a term that we coined to describe a new music form that we developed. A “chong” is a hybrid of a chant and a song. Chongs consist of a repeating, sung chorus interspersed with speaking sections where learners participate by echoing spoken English. As teachers of young learners will discover, there is a predictable age, a point in the development of the students when they suddenly refuse to sing in the classroom. So what happens then? In younger classes teachers have great success with music and songs in the lessons, but now what? Do you give up on the music and all the benefits it brings to the young learner classroom?
We maintain that chongs can be part of the answer to this question. When learners become too shy or self-conscious to sing in class, chongs might help to bridge this awkward gap. In addition to asking the students to 'speak' instead of 'sing', the sung portion of the chong is very progressive and appealing to older students, more like what they might expect to hear on the rock/pop stations. It doesn't sound like typical classroom music from their earlier grades.
Taking it a step further, we have speaking sections in the chongs where the guide echo is not a voice, but an intoned instrument. The instrument copies the rhythm and intonation of the voice, requiring students to pay careful attention in order to match the words to the rhythm and the intonation they hear. The chongs at the end of the medley below will clarify questions you may have about the format.
Listen to this 8 song medley of chants and chongs . The medley starts out with simple word and sentence chants suitable for very young learners. The chants then "age up" to chongs which are faster, more complex and of greater interest to older elementary school learners.