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Using Songs - Alternative Ideas

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I've seen lots of colleagues interested in using songs in the classroom. I've been doing so for many years and think I have a few ideas to share as an alternative to the "good-old fill-in-the-blanks" type of exercise.

We always start songs by doing some global listening activity which includes giving learners a few words from the lyrics and asking them to make a sentence, or fill in a bingo board and then we listen to the song and check the words we hear. Once students are in the mood, I use different tasks for the different stanzas which include:

- put words in order, then listen and check
- put the lines of the stanza in order, then listen and check
- spot words which are "spelled wrong"
- spot missing words in a line
- spot extra words in a line
- break up each line in two, jumble the sentences and do a matching exercise
- Write questions for each line and ask learners to suggest an answer (in full) then listen and check
- predict rhyming words

The emphasis is always on task-based learning. I give learners a purpose to listen to the song and capitalize on their previos knowledge, their predictions and guesses. As a follow up I give learners time to read the
lyrics in detail, do some reading comp rehension exercises and may include roleplay, or response or creative writing so as to integrate as much language expression as possible.

Hope these ideas are useful. Would love to hear from anyone offering feedback on them!

Name: Gabriel Daz Maggioli
Email: [email protected]

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