Joyful, Joyful, We Love Singing: Teaching Foreign Language and Culture with Musical Mnemonics


  • Erin Noelliste
  • Joseph Noelliste



Mnemonics have long been considered a useful tool for enhancing short- and long-term recall. For example, most American children learn the alphabet by singing the letters to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and many elementary school students memorize states and capitals by utilizing songs written specifically for this purpose. The present paper discusses how musical mnemonics can enhance teaching of foreign language and culture through the writing of new lyrics to well-known tunes. The paper presents popular mnemonic devices used in German L2 classrooms and provides a step-by-step compositional framework using syllabic structure for the creation of original mnemonic songs for new topics in any language.


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