Do you want to be TEFL or TESOL-certified and teach in Qinghu Zhen? Are you interested in teaching English in Lianyungang Shi? Check out ITTT’s online and in-class courses, Become certified to Teach English as a Foreign Language and start teaching English ONLINE or abroad! ITTT offers a wide variety of Online TEFL Courses and a great number of opportunities for English Teachers and for Teachers of English as a Second Language.
Listening to songs in the classroom could be considered one of the most light-hearted, entertaining activities, which can also help expand the vocabulary and improve pronunciation. Listening to songs in the classroom provides plenty of possibilities as long as the students are eager to participate. In case the teacher is keen on trying listening to songs in the classroom, conducting a survey or a questionnaire should be the first step to take before introducing this type of activity to the students. Of course, the teacher can use the song of their preference; however, it is rather hard to tell whether the students will enjoy it or not. Arguably, the teacher knows better what song to use, judging by the current language level of the students, the grammar and the vocabulary they have already covered. Nonetheless, a song that only appeals to the teacher and not the students may prove counterproductive as instead of being engaged in the lesson, the students might experience negative emotions and that can lead to a breakdown of discipline in the classroom, at minimum. Therefore, thanks to the results of the questionnaire, the teacher can choose the song, which might work best with the current language level of the students, but will also be enjoyable for them. It is worth mentioning that no offensive language should be found in the lyrics. If possible, the song without much slang or any slang at all would be most preferable, especially for beginners and intermediate-level students. Once the analysis of the lyrics is over, it is time to come up with engaging activities that can be used throughout different phases of the lesson. Surely, every teacher, depending on how creative they are, can come up with their own activities, suitable for the age group that they are working with. Although the lesson pattern and the activities will depend purely on the teacher’s preference, work experience and their understanding of what will work best for their students, the general rule is: the teacher should come to class prepared and earlier than the students to set up everything. It is important to make sure that the song –brought on the USB-drive or CD; or found on the Internet– works on the computer or any device it will be played on, and that it can be heard well all throughout the classroom. Moreover, the teacher should have enough time to hang drawings/ pictures, etc. on the walls if they believe it will be helpful during the Engage phase. The start of the lesson commences the Engage phase. Before listening to the song, in order to activate thinking in English, the teacher might want to show pictures or objects/ realia and even try to mime actions and ask the students to name everything – all in order to get the students warmed up. That can gradually turn into the Study phase where new words are introduced, which will be later heard in the song. That is a good opportunity to get familiar with the new vocabulary and also work on the pronunciation with the help of some sort of drilling activity. After the new vocabulary has been covered (and grammar, if necessary), it is time to listen to the song for the first time. Once the song is over, the teacher might ask what the song was about, what words the students remembered best. This can be followed by another listen; however, this time, worksheets with gap-filling exercises should be handed out, i.e. the song lyrics with words missing that the students need to fill in individually or in pairs, in case the teacher assumes that it would be more appropriate for the students (supposing the song is rather complicated for the students to work on individually). As they heard the song mere seconds ago, their auditory memory, in addition to learning the vocabulary beforehand, might help them finish the task rather quickly. Next, in order to focus on listening alone, students should be forbidden to look at the lyrics while listening to the song one more time; followed by the teacher handing out the last set of worksheets with barely any lyrics on them. Thus, the Activate phase begins, and the students will have to work in pairs or even small groups (depending on the number of students in class) to finish the lyrics. As everyone will remember different bits of the song, surely, if they work together, they will be able to finish the task. Not only they will have to write down the lyrics, relying on their memory, they will also have to communicate between each other while trying to remember the correct words. Finally, when the students are ready, the teacher can turn on the song one last time so the students can determine whether or not they have the entire lyrics written down accurately. Giving some sort of reward to the pair/group that has done the best job would be logical but that might upset or discourage the rest of the students. Therefore, praising everyone for the hard job that they have done would be ideal to ensure that the desire to learn while having fun remains the prime goal of the students, not competitiveness. Giving little treats –sweets or a cute sticker per person, for example– could also serve as a nice gesture to encourage students, but that might not be necessary if the right words are spoken by the teacher. If done right the first time, the students might become fond of such an activity and look forward to it in the future. Moreover, if that song was something that the students chose themselves then there is a fair chance that they will keep listening to that song outside the classroom as well; therefore, they will be able to memorise all the vocabulary eventually.