Re: "Joy to the World" - Music as a Medium for EFL Instruction
- I use songs as a way of filling in time when you finish say ten
minutes early. No matter how well you plan things it is inevitable
that this will happen. The old show business maxim of "finishing
with a song" to "send them home happy" also applies to the more
serious profession of language teaching. I have also been using
songs in my first classes with the new students.
I illustrate some of the lyrics on the board using coloured chalk.
The huge hit "Take Me to Your Heart" is great for this as you can
illustrate "Hiding from the rain and snow" and "Looking at the moon
in a clear blue sky" easily. The problem is that the students just
want you to sing the song. The solution is to leave it on the
blackboard so that the students can look at it before the next
teacher arrives or when they come back from their lunch break.
I'm not sure of the educational value of songs in the classroom but
knowing the meaning of a popular song can only enhance credibility
with students studying other subjects. Hopefully it helps maintain
interest them enjoy the subject and looking back on your own college
years I'm sure you will agree with me in saying this is difficult.
The problem is that if you are good you may be asked to perform in
one of their showpiece concerts something that will be difficult to
turn down !
- --- west mike <orderedliberty@...> wrote:
<<<<<<<<I am hoping eventually to exploit the "lyric-glue"
> effect that drives many folks raving mad and turn itReply:
> around to make EFL a little easier and more
> Alas, I'm also hoping to make the rent this month.
> Time will tell if either goal is ultimately
> Mike West>>>>>
Thanks but do remember using music with ESL is
basically what the old pros call "dog & pony shows"
They are entertaining and another tool to give some
variety to the toils of day in-out teaching. Btw, when
I selected a song for detailed class use, I would
select one of the students with good handwriting
(usually a gal )to write a verse on the BB. If the
song had 4 verses I used 4 Ss. The refrain I would
write at the side. Every student had to copy the
entire song for his/her permanent reference/read
along. Next we would orally repeat the words and
discuss the meaning. We would then move on to a trial
sing along as a whole class. This was usually a
disaster with much laughter. After much practice , I
would then break the class up into male/female parts.
Next into sound effects like clapping or desk
knocking, foot stomping. You don't do this all in one
or two class periods but come back to it over a course
of time. I might arbitrarily call on a student to
stand and recite the third stanza of the song. I was
constantly surprised at how good the Ss became with
recall and pronunciation. When a S got it right, the
rest of the class would applaud. All this is even more
effective if you can record the before and afters for
playback. One day three of the class clowns (every
class has these) requested that I allow them to do
'Deep in the Heart of Texas' as a trio. They were
great. I had them do an encore with the whole class
signing along. I was told later that students in the
rest of the building were crowding outside our door to
Other good songs....Red Sails in the Sunset, Some
Enchanted Evening, She'll be Com min Round the
Mountain..... the list is endless. My next stint in
China I might try the Ss doing the National anthems
(in English) of various countries around the world.
China will, of course, be first. Other good ideas is
to pole the class on musical talent. Again I was
surprised at what I would learn and then exploit that
talent to the benefit of the whole class.
G'luck on the rent.
Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
- The "Spiderman" English lesson may be too dated now. I suspect the song
may have been cool because the movie was cool but by our students'
standards "Spiderman" is an old movie already. I was just using it as an
example of selection and approach to teaching.
Ask your students what they like today and then find the lyrics of what
they like. The things they like today are probably being played on the
radio constantly so the radio will assist you in helping the students to
review the words.
In fact, it might be worthwhile for teachers to make all of their
students familiar with the English words to all of the currently popular
songs as a way of producing a constantly reviewed vocabulary effect.
davekees@... - www.davekees.com - skype: davekees
Teach English in China - www.asiateacher.com