I remember my beginning days as an English teacher now 20+ years on. Dusty, cold, dirty rag, bucket and chalkboard in a cavernous top floor classroom in E. Europe. Cambridge books we had to "get through". I could only survive due to 2 things: English pub night Friday evenings and adding songs to the monotonous routine of teaching (and of course, lovely students - Vera, Petr, Karl, Zuzanna - remember them all).
Yes, songs just brought us all together in the classroom. And since that time, developing into a teacher trainer - I've literally become a "song pusher". First it was "Karaoke" and getting teachers to make their own. The it was innovative games to play with song - like Lastonestanding. Finally, it was just endlessly posting about how teachers can use songs in their teaching.
I've been off that bandwagon for awhile but with this post, would like to climb back on. Here's a look at a few of my resources for teaching English with song and a list of activities you can do - teaching recipes.
To begin, find here my presentation on Using Song In The EFL Classroom. Click the images to go to a resource that compliments each idea. The presentation covers all the reason you should use songs extensively in your teaching (if you can get away with it). Click here for an audio lecture version.
Get and download the "50 ways to use music and song in the English language classroom".
Secondly, here are a few links to great resources right here on this community - free to all. My own collecting and hoarding to benefit other teachers.
- Karaoke in the classroom. Download the player and player the karaoke files.
- Best Kinetic typography on the web - a great example of using song.
- Literal version collection of great contextual music videos
- Try our Music Wall. Great for just relaxing too.
Teaching Recipes For Using Songs In Your Teaching
1. Students listen and order the lines of the song that have been mixed up.
2. Students listen and decide what kind of song it is – romantic? song with a message?
3. Students listen and select the best of 3 possible titles for the song.
4. Students listen and complete a copy of the lyrics with gaps.
5. Students find and underline examples of a particular grammar point in a song.
6. Students study two or three unfamiliar idioms from a song and try to work out what they mean.
7. Students listen and decide which one of three pictures best represents the song.
8. Students listen and answer True/ False or multi-choice questions.
9. Students rewrite the lyrics of a song, trying to fit their words to the melody.
10. Students listen and select the best of 3 one-sentence summaries of the song.
11. Students listen to confirm their predictions about the content of a song based on having looked at 5 key
vocabulary items listed by the teacher.
12. Students listen and answer comprehension questions about the song.
13. Students do a role play based on characters or a situation from the song.
14. Students sing the song together as the CD plays.
15. Students listen in order to identify and correct a wrong word in each line of the song.
16. Students are given a list of words from the song. They match together the words that rhyme, then listen
and complete a gap-fill of the lyrics using those words.
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