Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)


This project provides a sample of the curriculum, Rapping English, which uses rap/hip-hop style music to teach ELLs vocabulary, grammar, discourse and prosody. The rationale for using musical instruction is based on Gardner’s (2006) multiple intelligence theory and Bloom’s (1978) learning domains. This curriculum instructs students through musical intelligence and the affective domain which are often neglected in traditional instruction. Furthermore, this project explores how musical curriculum can be used to lower the affective filter (Krashen, 1981) and provide emotionally appealing and memory stimulating instruction in line with the findings of current neuropsychology, specifically the work of R. Caine and Caine (2011), Sylwester (2006) and Wolfe (2006) The curriculum uses rap/hip-hop style music to demonstrate prosody and an informal register while teaching vocabulary, grammar and discourse explicitly through song. Rapping English is relevant to youth of all cultures while the songs can be used to unconsciously take down cultural barriers of students who may feel disconnected to the American society.

The curriculum partially fulfills the Common Core State Standards’ objectives for ELLs to have instruction in English foundational skills in order to create access to grade-level course work.

The project concludes with recommendations on how to use the curriculum to supplement other ESL materials. It demonstrates how ESL teachers who are not musically inclined can easily use these materials and methods.