Saturday, November 21, 2009

Practical suggestions

Any song can be used for a given group taking into account their level and specific characteristics:
Warm up activities

  • Guess the title: Let students say words until they find the correct ones. Pictures can be useful.
  • Brainstorming: Write the title of the song on the board and ask the students to say what comes to their minds. Remember that there are no wrong or right answers.

While listening activities

  • Put the stanzas in order: Mix up the order of the stanzas in a song and ask the students to put them in the correct order as they listen to it.
  • Circle the word you hear: Let students listen to a stanza and circle the word they hear. Remember to provide grammatically correct words so that students have a purpose for listening.

Follow up activities

  • Draw a comic strip: Students make a comic strip (four or five squares) of the content of the song. They may include bubbles if they consider it necessary.
  • True or false: Prepare five or six sentences based on the content of the song and ask the students to say whether those statements are true or false.

Why should we use songs?

Authentic songs are one of the best ways of teaching a foreign language. Students are generally highly motivated and their attitude is usually positive. As a consequence, they will get involved more easily.
Authentic songs can help the students develop the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and they are a good example of the language in use, which is fundamental for the development of the learning process.
In short, authentic songs are a useful resource for the EFL teacher. Make use of this powerful tool; it is not so hard to put into practice and it turns out to be really effective as students learn while having fun.

Key Question...

Is there a person in the whole world that doesn't respond mentally, physically or emotionally to a song?