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Re: "Joy to the World" - Music as a Medium for EFL Instruction

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  • John Ball
    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
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 2, 2005
      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 !

      John Ball
    • davekees
      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
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 3, 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.

        Dave Kees

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        davekees@... - www.davekees.com - skype: davekees
        Teach English in China - www.asiateacher.com
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