Read the paper here for an introduction to the theory and practice of using music for language learning.
Please note, many of these videos are high quality. For best performance, pause the video at the beginning and allow the video to progressively download onto your computer. This will ensure smooth playback; especially for use in a classrooom.
Click the 'i' on each video to find lyrics and worksheets. Click the heart shape to add to favourites.
Basic ideas: could start 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 listen to the song and check the words they hear. Understanding song lyrics can require a lot of cultural knowledge as well as understanding the form of the language; pay attention to this.
Use different tasks for the different stanzas which include:
- audio gapfill, remove key words and listen
- word choice, provide two options and students have to listen and identify; e.g. 'everywhere I walk/talk'
- 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"
- complete abbreviations, cos = because
- 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. Give learners a purpose to listen to the song and capitalize on their previous knowledge, their predictions and guesses. As a follow up, give learners time to read the lyrics in detail, do some reading comprehension exercises and maybe include roleplay or creative writing so as to integrate as much language expression as possible.
Adapted from Gabriel D'az Maggioli
Stephen Woulds, Nov 2009; Leeds City College and School of Education, University of Leeds.