ENGLISH TEACHING

Teaching with Lyrics

Posted on: April 7, 2011

Hi everyone! As a music lover teacher, I always believe that students learn better with the help of song lyrics. So, I’d like to share some lyrics websites and teaching ideas about teaching with lyrics.

Lyrics Training: This website offers a game with lyrics. Basically you select a song video and the lyrics are displayed. However, some words in the lyrics are deleted. You need to write those words before the singer comes to that part. If you do NOT write the word before s/he sings it, the video will automatically stop. Once you write the word, it will start again. There is no wind-back unless you write the word. It may be really challenging and enjoying at the same time.

Youtube: Youtube is the biggest video database on the Internet. There are many videos that have been arranged as karaoke, as you can see below. You can do this as an activity in your classroom. It will improve listening skills and reduce learner anxiety.

Karaoke Party: This website is great for those who like to sing. You select a song, the music starts and the lyrics are displayed. You sing while looking at the lyrics. There is also a battle option: at least two people sing at the same time and they are ranked according to their singing quality. The good side of it is that you only hear your singing, and nobody hears yours! So you can let your students challenge together yet alone.

Gap filling activity: If you want to apply a rather old but effective technique, you can use gap filling activity. It’s really easy to prepare. All you need to is copy/paste lyrics of a song on a word processor (Word, OpenOffice etc.) and delete some words off. The students should fill in those blanks as they listen to the song. Remember to have original lyrics with you! Also remember to add some visuals to make it look more attractive and add exercises like:

1. Fill in the blanks with the correct forms of these verbs (This is good for practising tenses).

2. Locate the reported phrases in the song (useful for reported speech).

3. Before listening, match the words with their definitions (this activity broadens the vocabulary knowledge and creates learner autonomy for the future). You can simply add a glossary.

4. Answer the questions. You can always ask questions about the content of the songs like “Why do you think she…?, What does she mean here?, Why doesn’t he accept…. ?”. It is a chance to let students express theirselves in English. If you show your enthusiasm, they will find no excuses to discuss it!

Note: You can also apply word omitting for lyrics activity. You may add an unnecessary word to each line and ask them to find them and delete. Here is an example of it:

Madonna Lyrics Activity

Such lyrics activities will make your lessons more enjoyable.

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