For Learning English, A Song Of Freedom

Mar 16, 2017

Learning English is not easy.

That can be true even for immigrants to the United States who have had the benefit of the best education available in the countries where they grew up.

Now imagine you're a kid from a country torn apart by war or political unrest. You may be lucky to be literate in your first language. Taking a child like that from speaking no English to speaking the language well enough to go to high school is no mean feat. 

Yet that is just what the Global Village Project has done in Decatur, Ga. for the last eight years. There they teach about 40 middle school age girls, all political refugees, speaking something like 17 different languages. Among the tools the school uses to teach English is music, in particular singing. In this short video, hear how singer/songwriter Elise Witt uses Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" in the curriculum. Witt says the power is in the verses you may not have learned in school.