Music & Teaching

Nothing spectacular or incredibly new but worth mentioning in order to not forget it: Music helps to learn and understand foreign languages! (As other media does as well).

The other day I had class with my ‘fundamental English’ students and decided to loosen up everything by adding some music to the learning schedule. I decided to go with one of my favorite cover artists on youtube (Cherry, The Bathroom Girl) and her version of ‘What are words’ (by Chris Medina). Next time we’ll take on something more modern though. I chose this song because it’s not to fast and her pronunciation is clear and great to understand. Whilst Pitbull or other HipHop artists might find their way more often onto iTunes playlists of my students it would have been quite hard for them to understand the lyrics (even hard for me once in a while: ‘blahblahblah Mr. Worldwide blahblahblah’). Our aim however will be to understand a current top hit later that term.

Having that said I also have to make clear that this is not the main focus of our class! Just to be clear. That’s just a nice side thing, something to get students engaged and started and something to show them that it’s cool to understand what those people on MTV (is MTV still on?) or youtube are singing.

It took a while until we had all the lyrics down but finally it worked out and when taking on the second song everything went a little faster already and we understood that the metaphor ‘did you ever feel like a plastic bag’ might not be the best part of modern poetry.

In short: Use music for language classes. It’s cool, fun, awesome and makes students interact. Do it.

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