TAMIU Professor Combines Music and Language Skills in New Book
Texas A&M International University's Dr. Gilberto D. Soto, chair
of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and associate professor
of music, has created a musical way for elementary students to improve
their English. (photo)
Dr. Soto and Marilyn C. Davidson, a renowned music educator, created
Multilevel Strategies for English Language Learners which outlines a method
of teaching English language skills through the study of music.
Dr. Soto explained the idea was to combine culture and language in an
"This book will assist teachers in using comprehensible language
for instruction so all students can participate in the classroom learning
experience," said Soto, "One of the most popular ways to help
children acquire language skills is to integrate learning and multicultural
context. Since music and culture have a direct connection, this book offers
a tremendous opportunity to bolster children's language skills."
Soto said the book grew out of his research as a cohort member of the
Regents Initiative, a program designed and funded by The Texas A&M
University System, to impact the quality and productivity of educator
"My research, as part of the Regents Initiative, lead me to start
arranging bilingual songs. After learning from the 2000 U.S. Census that
nearly one in five American children enter school knowing a language other
than English, I focused on a way to help those children and improve the
quality of education nationwide," said Soto.
He said the book is intended for children in grades kindergarten through
sixth in school districts across the country, and that interest in this
method is intense.
"The importance of bilingual music education has made school districts
welcome this kind of literature. Because of this book and my previous
publications, I am constantly invited to lecture or present papers on
this subject. In the next few weeks I will be a guest speaker for the
Osseo school district in Minnesota and for the Association for Bilingual
Education Annual Conference in El Paso, Texas," said Soto.
Soto said he was grateful for the support of the A&M System's Board
of Regents, and the TAMIU administration for providing him with the opportunity
to make an impact on national education.
For more information, please contact Dr. Soto at 326.2654, visit offices
in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, room 217C, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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