My all time favorite language LEARNING activity
February 12, 2014
I remember how cool I felt living in Colombia and being able to sing along to Shakira’s song, “Suerte” (In English it’s “Wherever, Whenever” if you want to put the tune in your head). Picture me in a cab, quietly singing along to the radio as the taxi swerved through the traffic heavy city – or better yet belting out the lyrics in the shower. “Contigo, mi vida, quiero vivir la vida…”
I felt cool – or probably confident – is a better word because I had fluency. I knew the words, and I knew what they meant, and I fit in when that song would be played at a disco or on TV. And then I think back to when I used to teach ESL to adults in the United States - the most nervous, up-tight student; the ones so terrified of making mistakes would relax when they heard a familiar song, even though it was in English. Music is fun –it catchy, and we all love to know the words to sing along.
So, since we here at the D’Angon Academy are all about learning English through fun – I encourage you to put this activity into your very next ESL lesson. Pick a popular song right now: Lorde’s “Royal” or Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive.” Type out the lyrics, but then remove some of the words throughout the page. Find the song on Spotify or YouTube, and play it in class. As a class, or in small groups, have the students write in the words that are missing as you play the song. You can discuss unknown vocabulary as you go along.
This activity is great because it involves reading, writing, listening, and speaking (or singing!). When you complete filling out the lyrics sheet, let the students sing the song a few times. Now, they’ll know all the words, and what they mean – and their fluency in singing that song will make them feel so confident – and cool- in their new language abilities.