Great video, great song! Perfect for listening practice too, practicing contractions of spoken English.
Use with the listening sheet. Cut into strips and students listen and put in order (play a few times). Then check. But first ask them to guess the product (stop before the end).
Download the video for offline use.
Nice, slow, James Blunt lyric video that would be good for teaching questions, especially, "how long...?" and "how come ...?"
Get more of the best kinetic typography videos for teaching English HERE.
Very creative "literal version" where the audio / lyrics are exactly describing what is happening in the video. Students will love it. Get more of the best literal videos available online, on this page.
I also highly recommend the video documentary: Remix Manifesto. Highly though provoking and it clearly outlines how the concepts of "owning an idea" and copyright are changing and how the remix culture and talent pool is important to our future.
Literal videos don't always have to be about music videos (but commonly are). The Hitler Downfall series is really big - remixing and rewriting a speech of Hitler from that movie. I did one for teaching English.
I'm a big fan of always exciting students with "possibility". By that I mean, designing a lesson so that they can change and interact with the content in creative, personal ways. They can be touched by possibility - much like we are when online and using Web 2.0 tools.
One easy way to do this is to use music/song. A "change the lyrics" activity. Find HERE some recommended songs for this type of activity.
Basically there are 3 steps involved.
1. Teach the song in any way you see fit. It could be the typical listening cloze, Lastonestanding, karaoke or many other ways.
2. Have prepared on the board the chorus or one main part of the song. In front of the students rub out some main content words. Ask students to put in their own words for the song. Have fun!
3. Challenge students to do the same and then share.
Here are two already prepared examples. The first, very simple for the gospel classic, "This little light of mine". The second more lengthy for "What a wonderful World".
Whatever you do, have fun adapting a song - I know your students will! I also highly recommend taking a look at our selection of "Literal Version" videos. Videos where the lyrics are re-written to describe the actual, real actions.
Go here for the What a Wonderful World lesson.
This little light of mine song cards
This post is further to my well visited Top 50 ways to use music and song in the classroom. Find a nice presentation there where I outline the main points here below. This post was recently published in Sproglæreren - a magazine for teachers in Denmark.
THE TOP 10 REASONS TO USE SONGS IN THE CLASSROOM
Teachers all over the world use music and song in their classroom every day. Teachers turn to music for many reasons but mostly as a “break” from regular classroom activity. Music is considered an “extra” and not embedded formally into class curriculum. There is a mindset throughout education and especially after the primary years (K – 3) that music isn’t really a serious method or approach. It is for kids or something to fill in the rest of a class or week and that’s about it.
English language teaching (ELT) must rid itself of this overriding and plainly wrong educational paradigm. Music is a way to build strong language skills and foster learning. It is well researched and a proven way to foster language acquisition in the ELT classroom.
The reasons for using music and song in the ELT classroom generally fall under 6 broad categories: affective, cognitive, social, cultural, linguistic and pedagogic.
Teachers need to have a strong educational belief system that has music and song as a central tenet. The starting place for that is to both face up to the myths surrounding music and education and too, clearly develop a strong rationale and research based instructional approach for using music in the classroom.
Here is an outline of the main reasons teachers should use music and song when teaching English. The myths surrounding its use are dicussed during the description of each.
1. THEY ARE RESEARCH SUPPORTED!
Music is a proven teaching tool which fosters language retention and production in young learners (Medina, 1993, Jalongo and Bromley, 1984, Borchgrevink, 1982, Martin, 1983, Mitchell, 1983, Jolly, 1975). Teachers need to read many of the comprehensive studies that show undoubtably that students of all ages learn more and learn better with music
Using music in your classroom will help your students succeed as English language students. Language itself is musical, speech has flow and form and songs strongly link and teach the underlying patterns of the language itself. If you aren’t using music in your ELT classroom, you aren’t following strong research driven instructional practices.
2. THEY ARE AFFECTIVE, IT WORKS!
Songs, when used correctly, are very motivating for students. Students learn language in a fun way and gain confidence through repetition and voicing. Further, music appeals to the affective needs of students, their inner world and feelings. Music is an input (like stories and pictures) which makes its way through the student’s inner filter (see Krashen’s “affective filter hypothesis”) and helps them learn by appealing to their emotive and social experiences. What pleasures us, teaches us!
3. THEY ARE AUTHENTIC!
The value of authentic language input can’t be undervalued, especially in an EFL environment. Songs are “real” English and provide students with input that is not educational or scripted. Songs also promote highly valued “ambiguity tolerance”, allowing them to not get too upset when they don’t understand every word. An important quality we should help our students develop.
4. THEY ARE STUDENT FRIENDLY!
Songs are seen by students as “cool” and “high tech”. With the popularity of programs like “American Idol”, singing is mainstream, especially singing with a microphone. Everyone can be a star! Teens especially learn through music and “pop” culture, teachers shouldn’t ignore this and especially since English language songs are so international and widely popular, the world over.
Further, students like that their favorite songs can be used to help them learn English. Get your students to bring in their own songs to listen to and share in the classroom. This kind of informal needs analysis really works and is as simple as setting up a “request box” where students can anonymously recommend their favorite English songs.
Songs help create a student centered classroom and gives students a feeling of empowerment and control in the classroom.
5. THE ARE PEDAGOGICALLY “DEEP”!
Songs and music are such a versatile material. They can be used for so many purposes and in so many ways other than just as the usual “listening cloze”. Here are just a few of the main ways music and song can be used as a learning material.
1. As a listening cloze
2. As a vocabulary focus
3. As a game and play
4. As background music for self study/reading
5. As an activity (dance and total physical response)
6. As a social and historical document
7. As introduction, engagement
8. As a writing activity (lyric rewrite)
9. As pronunciation practice / focus (especially intonation & stress)
Songs also have several features beyond just the text/words and sound themselves that make them so pedagogically strong. Songs are usually very repetitive and they recycle vocabular and language structures. Songs are short and condensed – they usually don’t take up so much time in class. Songs are thematic. You can find a song for almost any topic or grammar point. All in all, songs offer us teachers pure gold when it comes to choosing a language learning material.
6. THEY OPEN THE READING DOOR!
Songs are the perfect tool to help students begin to see and learn the associations between sound and script – it helps foster phonemic awareness. It is a phonics powerhouse and by using songs with lyrics, teachers are helping young learners to read and recognize the connections of sound, rhythm to text.
Karaoke in particular, has been used in classrooms to help struggling readers and is a mainstay tool of special educators to use with students who have a hard time learning to read. ELT teachers can also use karaoke to do the same and help students to become strong second language readers. Visual lyric videos and kinetic typography have become very widely available and are now at any teacher’s fingertips.
7. THEY WIDEN THE CLASSROOM AND CREATE COMMUNITY!
Students will listen to and learn the songs outside the classroom. It helps students become “self – learners”. Further, your own song lessons and files can be made available to students to play at home, on their computers. It extends your classroom into the world and makes it relevant to the larger learning world.
Further, songs are a way to bring students together and create a strong classroom learning community. Songs are very social. I remember once teaching a very difficult Grade 4 ESL class. I was their homeroom teacher and students were from every continent of the world. I started us just singing songs every day to start the morning and afternoon classes. What a difference this small change made. We held hands, we clapped together, we started looking into each others eyes and relating to each other. Students started helping each other more in class and learning more. And just plain feeling happier (and don’t think this isn’t an important objective!). All through the power of music and song
When a teacher uses up to date songs in the classroom, students feel like the classroom does not consist of 4 walls but is a part of the wider world. Using music and songs can be a way to bring a lot of fresh air into your classroom, your learning community.
8. THEY ARE INTELLIGENT!
Music is one of numerous forms of “intelligences” (Gardner, 1993). It is important for educators to foster the development of all these intelligences and address the needs of the whole child. Even or especially so with EFL / ESL students. We don’t just teach a subject (English), we teach a student.
Music helps nurture musical intelligence and helps create a fully developed, balanced person. It is especially successful in educating those children with emotional difficulties. Further, it isn’t just something for young learners. At any stage of life, people need to be intouch with their musical nature. It uplifts, it fosters intelligence, it helps make a person whole.
Too often msuic and the arts are given short attention by educators and we are realizing how wrong this approach has been. As Ken Robinson has described in his well known TED Talk, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”, we have been wrong in considering education as something that happens only from “the neck up”. The whole body should be taught and learn.
9. THEY TEACH CULTURE!
Without traveling and directly visiting a country, it is terribly hard to learn the cultural aspects to language and the culture of the wider English language community. Culture is something transmitted and not directly taught. All English language teachers need to teach culture, it is a cornerstone of what language is.
Songs have been described colloquially as a “repository of culture”, the place where the spirit of a people are described, preserved and shared. Think of our national anthems, our folksongs, our nursery rhymes. They all contain the core of what we were, are and believe.. Songs are a way to enter into the culture of a community and they transmit the values, ideals, history and nature of the culture. Students benefit and understand the target culture through the deductive, implicit learning that occurs through song.
10. THEY ARE FREE!
Who doesn’t like a bargain? Songs are widely available free online and can be found on many video sharing sites and resource sharing communities. Most countries have some level of “fair use” for education when it comes to using songs in our classrooms. Songs are also low tech – all you really need is a device to play them. Could be a CD player, a cell phone or your own voice, yes, this too is a “device”!
If songs are anything, they are freedom. They can be sung and enjoyed for the most part, freely. It shouldn’t cost you or your school a penny!
If you aren’t using music or song as a teaching tool – YOU SHOULD BE!
RECOMMENDED READINGS / RESOURCES
50 Ways To Use Music And Song In The Classroom. EFL Classroom 2.0, http://bit.ly/157K6aM
Borchgrevink, H. (1982). Prosody and musical rhythm are controlled by the speech hemisphere. In M. Clynes (Ed.), Music, Mind,and Brain. New York: Plenum Press, pp. 151-157.
Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory in practice. New York: Basic Books.
Jalongo, M. & Bromley, K. (1984). Developing linguistic competence through song. Reading Teacher, 37(9), 840-845.
Jolly, Y. (1975). The use of songs in teaching foreign languages. Modern Language Journal, 59(1), 11-14.
Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Martin, M. (1983). Success! Teaching spelling with music. Academic Therapy, 18(4), 505-506.
Medina, S. (1993). The effect of music on second language vocabulary acquisition. FEES News (National Network for Early Language Learning, 6 (3), 1-8.
Milman, C. (1979). The metronome and rote learning. Academic Therapy, 14 (3), 321-325.
Mitchell, M. (1983). Aerobic ESL: Variations on a total physical response theme. TESL Reporter, 16, 23-27.
** Not your ordinary, endless list - just what's number 1.
I spent part of the day with my Second language singer playlist playing in the background as I walked along and worked at my treadmill desk. My favorite group and by far the best representation of a multinational group singing in English is Outlandish. So inspiring to our students!
The group consist of a Moroccan, a Pakistani, a Honduran, all singing in English while based out of Denmark. A plus is that their songs are about global issues, issues people around the world face. They get my vote by far! The greatest Second Language Singing Group (SLSG) ever. Here's a short interview with them.
Checkout the others I recommend and the songbook for teaching on the Second Language Singer page. Enjoy this fine example from Outlandish!
Yesterday, the genius and voice behind "The Count" died. A Sesame Street great, the count is just a wonderful character for teaching English. Even better to use his iconic song to get students doing a lyric rewrite.
We have many lyric rewrite activities on EFL Classroom and they are simple to prepare.
1. Find a song with a catchy chorus.
2. Pull out the chorus and write it on the board
3. Erase some of the main, repeated words and have students write their own versions
4. Monitor and correct.
5. Get students to perform their own creations - loads of fun!
Here's the rewrite sheet for "The Song Of The Count". Enjoy using it with your students.
While learning English, songs can help you a lot. But unknown vocabularies and some idiomatic usages can make it difficult to understand.
We have prepared a songbook to overcome this problem. In this book, you will find 12 different songs with Turkish meanings of possible unknown vocabularies and phrases. You can see a sample page in here.
I just spent an hour or two tagging all the songs on EFL Classroom that have lyric sheets. Wow! Didn't know we had so many. Find them here. Look below the video for links, many with ppts too. Plus, see our International Second Language Singers collection for many more. Also, many in our lyric sheet resources.
To celebrate this "new" or rather, "renewed" resource, I've made a nice lyric sheet and worksheet to go with one of the most popular songs for teaching - Mr. Morton is the subject of the Sentence. Get more Schoolhouse Rock songs HERE.
Find more videos like this on EFL CLASSROOM 2.0
Poem Hunter is a site I chanced upon. It offers a really deep array/list of songs based on a "subject" or "theme". Here's the one for "FUTURE". Click the topics on the left for others.
It gives a great list for each topic. A perfect teacher helper - in finding a song to compliment a lesson. I know how difficult this can be! Music is vital when teaching Young Learners, especially teens. So Poem Hunter can't but helped. HERE is also a nice list for teachers with some teaching suggestions. I hope to start a discussion and collecting songs for teaching EFL subjects/themes soon! Stay tuned. See our SONG BOOKMARKED SITES for other music options....
Arirang is the most famous Korean traditional song. It has countless variations across the nation, north and south. It also has countless translations. Here is one I made for use in class.
See the video below for a full explanation as to the meaning of the song. It basically is a song of "longing" and sadness. Not only of love but on many levels.
One great idea for your students would be to get them to make their own "Arirang" lyrics. Use this cool modern version of the song to get them inspired. They just fit the lines to the music! I've included some audio files of the song for your use in any lesson about "Arirang".
아리랑, 아리랑, 아라리요...
아리랑 고개로 넘어간다.
나를 버리고 가시는 님은
십리도 못가서 발병난다.
아리랑, 아리랑, 아라리요...
아리랑 고개로 넘어간다.
청청하늘엔 청 별도 많고
We have a lot of music here for language learning and teaching. Too much to even begin to list! (actually I have listed it HERE!)
However, here is one other hidden resource - our Mixtube list of Lyrics. A vast collection of great videos with only lyrics.
I find when teaching, a video with lots of imagery can really distract from language learning - so these along with our karaoke and karaoke videos are excellent for language learning. HERE - you can also find a nice mixtube of Michael Jackson's best! Both videos and lyrics.
What's really neat about mixtube is that you can just use it as a jukebox. Press play and it will only play the music, no video! So you even could use it for a listening exercise or background music. Play around with it and even create your own list at Mixtube!
I've traveled and taught English around the world. Wherever I was, I could count on one thing -- being able to talk about the music of Michael Jackson. He truly was an idol, an icon everywhere and everyone, no matter their language knew a smattering of Michael's songs. He brought us together and was truly an international "teacher" of English.
In his honor and to maybe get your students to "taste his music", I've created a few nice Mix Tube playlists. If you missed it on "Websites of the Day" - here they are again.
Michael Jackson's Music with Lyrics
Michael Jackson's BEST Videos
This one is also a pretty awesome selection!
Sean Banville at BreakingNewsEnglish has an excellent set of materials for teaching the story of Michael Jackson and his early death. Check it out!
Further, don't forget our HUGE Mix Tube collection of all the best songs with lyrics on youtube. Get them all and select in one place.
Test your student's knowledge with this .......
The world of Michael Jackson... from A to Z
A is for ANOREXIA: There was fervent speculation in the early 80s that Jackson was suffering from the condition. He was apparently determined to shed weight in his quest to have a svelte dancer’s body.
B is for BLANKET: That’s Jacko’s nickname for his third son Prince Michael II, who he dangled from a hotel window, because the child was always wrapped in a sheet.
C IS FOR CONCERTS: He had booked a whopping 50 concerts at London’s 02 arena, beginning in July this year and finishing in March 2010. In total, he made more than £300million from his days on the road.
D is for dangerous: In 1991, Jackson produced his fourth solo album, Dangerous. It reached number one after just three days.
E IS FOR ELIZABETH TAYLOR: The movie star is possibly Michael’s best friend and stood by him throughout his court case in 2005. F IS FOR FIRE: In 1984, Jacko suffered terrible burns to his head after a freak accident set his hair ablaze. The performer was filming a Pepsi Cola advert when sparks from a firework landed in his hair. G IS FOR GARY: The small town in Indiana where Michael was born and raised with his brothers.
H IS FOR HOLLYWOOD: The Hollywood Palace was the venue of The Jackson 5’s first television performance. The brothers had been on the Motown circuit for quite some time and this was their first big break.
I IS FOR INJURY: Jacko broke his nose in a dancing accident and required rhinoplasty surgery to correct the damage. The nose job was the first surgery Michael had on his face.
J IS FOR JANET: Michael’s sister was relatively unheard of until they released a duet single together. Since then, she has released albums of her own and has starred in movies.
K IS FOR KINDNESS: Jackson has donated to, and set up, many charities but rarely spoke of his generosity.
L IS FOR LABELS: Michael signed record contracts with many different companies over the years, including Motown, Epic and CBS.
M is for MONEY: Jacko had some very serious problems with his finances. He took out a £23million loan on his Neverland ranch and failed to ever pay it back completely. Advertisement - article continues below » Click Here!
N is for NEVERLAND: The huge theme park in his back garden. Jackson regularly invited children to come and enjoy it with him.
O is for OFF THE WORLD Michael’s big album was the first that managed to turn out four US top 10 singles.
P is for PARENT: Jacko has three kids – Michael Jr, Paris Katherine Michael and Prince Michael Jackson II.
Q IS FOR QUALITY: The music video for his number one single Thriller is famed for its attention to detail both in the make-up of the dancers and their choreography.
R is for RHINOPLASTY: Jackson had two cosmetic surgeons to perform all kinds of operations on his face, including having an artificial cleft put in his chin.
S is for SUPPORT: Hundreds of fans turned up on the day of his court case to cheer him on. There was even one woman who released a white dove every time a jury member announced “not guilty”.
T is for TOP 10: Only one of his solo albums has failed to produce a single that made it to No1 in the US charts. Thriller managed to stay in the American top 10 for a record-breaking 80 weeks.
U is for UNBREAKABLE: He’s always had a very strong personality and was very forward thinking. He managed to keep smiling for his fans even when he was being prosecuted.
V is for VITILIGO: This disease affects the pigmentation of the skin and Michael was supposedly diagnosed with it in 1986 and blamed it for his severe discolouration.
W is for WORLD: He started his first global tour in 1987 after the release of his third solo album Bad. The tour consisted of 123 shows.
X is for X-WIVES: Jacko’s been divorced twice – first from Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie and then from nurse Debbie Rowe.
Y is for YOUTH: Michael started his career at the tender age of five, performing in a school talent show.
Z is for ZOMBIES: The undead featured in the music video for Thriller.
I think one of the great ways to get our young to learn English is through music. For many reasons. as I outline in this article. It is even better, more inspiring, more engaging when they see their fellow country men/women singing in English! So in this spirit, let's share some of our favorite international artists singing in their second language! Get the full player and lyric book HERE.
Here's a brave singer from Korea, to start off this directory!
I'm putting together a video karaoke selection of the Top 20 most popular karaoke songs (based on downloads off our server). See the short list below but also our full recommends.
But, I'd like to know what your list of the top 10 would be?
We have 1,000s of songs, many with lyric sheets. Alsoa great ebook full of lyric sheets! Also got to recommend anything by the Beatles- works whatever the generation!
So let me know! Also worth a look is the 50 Ways To Use Music And Song In The Classroom - our most popular blog post of all time!
Here's my quick list (Disclaimer ***** no way does this indicate I "personally" like the songs)
2. Don't Worry - Be Happy
3. We are the Champions
4. We are family
5.Mr. Morton is the subject of the sentence
6. Hello - Goodbye
7. It's Friday, I'm in Love.
8. If I had a million dollars
10. Sugar , Sugar