Using music in the English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom

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Using music in the English Second Language (ESL) classroom Music is saidTo be history, its an indication of the time and environment in which it was created.To be a foreign language, it has its own language and uses symbols to represent ideasTo be the universal language that everyone understands To be a tie that binds all cultures and languagesTo be one of the best ways to make learning English fun, interesting and enjoyableThe significance of music in educationMusic is international which could be shared, and enjoyed by people of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Music enables learners to relax in a learning atmosphere, helps to create an enjoyable environment for learning. It reduces pressure and tension in the class. Music bridges the gap between teachers and students, helps to bring teachers and students closer togetherMusic makes language learning interesting, it's a way to make learning more interesting and memorable for students of all levelsWhy use songs and music with teenagers?Music can help promote a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere in the classroomSongs often contain authentic, natural language -not stilted language found in many student texts new vocabulary can be introduced through songs -contain contemporary vocabulary, idioms , expressions and useful phrasesSongs are usually easily available - usually the internet which can connect you with song downloads in all Songs can be selected to suit the needs and interests of the students Students can experience a wide range of accents - such as British English, American English, Australian English Teaching is an art use new methods to create enjoyable atmosphere SOME INSTRUCTIONS Select songs for teaching materialsSongs should have an appropriate themeLanguage has to be suitable level of difficulty Songs have to be clear, make sense and do not contain a lot of unknown vocabularyFocus on the skill or skills you wish to work on in the lessonPre-teach some key vocabulary as necesseryLet students listen to the songs at least once, it "wakes up" the class and ensure everyones attentionRelated activities for using of the songs Gap fills Write out the song lyrics but leave gaps instead of some words. For example, gap all the verbs or adjectives. Students listen and fill in the missing words. They may need to listen two or three times. If you feel the students will find it difficult, the missing words can be written in phonetics or give some letters JUMBLED LINES OR MIXED SENTENCES Write out the song lyrics, but this time jumble the lines and students have to put them into the correct order while listening to the song. Write the middle words of the sentence on the board then give the other words The students' task is to decide which words go in front and which ones go behind SPOT THE MISTAKES Write out the lyrics of the song, but make mistakes e.g. change the tense, write an opposite or synonym instead of the correct word The first time the students have to underline the words that are different The second (or third) time actually write the correct form what they hear above the word or phrase that is wrong.TRANSLATION ACTIVITY In pairs or small groups, students choose a popular song in their Mother Tongue and translate it into English They could also do it the other way round choosing a (pop) song in English and translate it into their own language Translation in groups can encourage learners to discuss the meaning and use of language, to compare similarities and differences in another languageREADING COMPREHENSIONThe Killers are an American post-punk revival band from Las Vegas, Nevada, formed in 2002. The band consists of Brandon Flowers (vocals, keyboards), Dave Keuning (guitar, vocals), Mark Stoermer (bass guitar, vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (percussion, drums).Part of the post-punk revival movement, The Killers draw their influences from music styles of the 1980s. The group's debut album, Hot Fuss (2004) brought the band mainstream success. The Killers' second album, Sam's Town, was released in 2006, and the compilation album Sawdust containing B-sides, rarities, and new material, was released in 2007. Their third studio album, Day & Age, produced by Stuart Price, was released in November 2008. Answer the questions1. Where does the band "The Killers" come from?2. What is the name of the lead singer?3. Who plays the drums?4. How many musicians play in the band?5. Which decade were they influenced by?6. How many albums does the band have?7. What is the name of their first album?8. Can you explain what B-sides are?9. What is the name of their last album?10. Who produced it? LISTENING COMPREHENSION Get your students thinking about the subject Do any pre-teaching of vocabulary as necessary There are a variety of exercises that you can do with songs: true or false, matching exercises, open comprehension questions, etc.DISCUSSION OF THEMESChoose a song that deals with a topic of interest to your students (e.g. Imagine by John Lennon which is about peace and brotherhood)Do a listening activity like a gap fillFollow up with a careful reading of the song and a discussion on its theme(s)PRESENTATIONS Students can work individually, in pairs or small groups They choose a favorite singer, group, musician, composer They can research and collect information (internet, magazines etc) They produce presentation about biography/style/careeretc. It can be a talk, a role play, interview or sketch They can do it in written form producing poster, booklet, magazine articleSMILE1. Listen to the first part of the song and fill in the gaps with the words in the box:Smile, though your _______is achingSmile, even though it's breakingWhen there are ______in the skyYou'll get by...If you smileWith your ________and ________Smile and maybe ___________You'll find that _________is still ____________If you just...clouds, face, fear, heart, life, sorrow, tomorrow, worthwhile,2. Listen to the 2nd part and choose the right word.Light up your face/trace with sadness/gladness Hide every face/trace of sadness/gladnessAlthough a near/tear may be ever so near/tearThat's the time you must keep on crying/tryingSmile, what's the use of crying/tryingYou'll find that life is still worthwhileIf you just...3. Find all the words you can relate to good or bad feelings. Write them in separate columns. Use the dictionary when necessary.4. Listen to the song again and underline the "-ing" forms. Do you know why these verbs are in this "-ing" form?5. Watch Chaplin Video-Smile, Modern Time, 1936 (2:06) reading comprehensionYou can know more curiosities about Michael Jackson Go to this page and find the answers to the questions e.g. How old was Michael Jackson when he started singing?Whats his most famous album?When and why did he get 8 Grammy awards? LINKS