Using songs to teach English

      I believe one of the best tools to teach a foreign language is using songs. These real songs can be very effective. I know many friends and students who improved their English listening to songs.For example, My husband never had a formal English lesson. He studied French at school but he loves music very much and he can speak English better than he can speak French. He is not good at grammar yet he can communicate. Whenever I use songs in my lessons I know that barriers become smaller . I usually use the songs the students don't know but they must be known. Once with a really problem class, we had a Beatles Day. I prepared some materials, asked them to research and in class I divided them into groups and played Beatles songs while they were preparing their Beatles displays. They enjoyed the activity very much and said the music they were listening to couldn2t be compared with it.
      Five reasons why I use songs in class

      1. They are authentic materials

      2. You can also teach culture and history

      3. Songs contain repetitions and repetitions enhance learning

      4. Good way to teach vocabulary and pronunciation

      5. They are fun and they can easily energize the unmotivated

      Some useful sites to help you.
       Using Songs in the English Classroom
      Songs that can be used in the classroom
      Music for Teaching Social Studies
      Write a Blues song
      Using Music in the ESL Classroom
      using songs in the esl classroom
      Teaching with songs
      Musical English Lessons International
      EFL Classroom.ning
      Using Songs in the Classroom
      Tune into English
      Learn English with songs from Esolcourses
      http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/blogs/nik-peachey/6-activities-you-can-do-online-songs-music via Nik Peachey
      http://ddeubel.edublogs.org/2010/12/31/tesol-teacher-training-presentations/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_nPUuPryCs via David Deubelbeiss
      http://www.facebook.com/pages/Folk-DC-Digital-Childrens-Folksongs-for-Language-and-Cultural-Learning/181031155249040 via Joel Josephson
      from Arjana Blazic listening quizzes  made on the ESL Video website http://traveloteacher.blogspot.com/p/quizzes-for-eflesl-students.html
      Learn English With Christmas Songs page: http://traveloteacher.blogspot.com/p/learn-english-with-christmas-songs.html
      Teaching English through songs in the digital age (part 1 of 4): Background readings and resources
      Teaching English through songs in the digital age (part 2 of 4): Ideas for using songs
      Teaching English through songs in the digital age (part 3 of 4): Specific songs and their uses
      Teaching English through songs in the digital age (part 4 of 4): Music-related web 2.0 tools

      Average: 3.3 (4 votes)


      CoffeeAddict's picture
      Submitted on 4 February, 2011 - 13:49

      Do you think it is important that the teacher sings with the students? What if the teacher has a terrible voice????
      :-) CoffeeAddict

      ozgeemre's picture
      Submitted on 4 February, 2011 - 14:16

      Hi Evab2001,
      This was such a useful blog, thank you!:)

      Özge Karaoğlu's picture
      Özge Karaoğlu
      Submitted on 4 February, 2011 - 16:06

      Hi Eva,Fantastic list of resources, thanks for sharing. Here is a karaoke tool that you can use in your classes, my kids enjoy this: http://www.karaokeparty.com/Özge

      esenmetin's picture
      Submitted on 4 February, 2011 - 21:16

      Another source:http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Saricoban-Songs.html

      hayriye's picture
      Submitted on 4 February, 2011 - 23:40

      I certainly agree with you. I often take advantage of songs with children, especially when I teach things they have difficulty in memorizing, namely months of the year, ordinal numbers, or etc.  There are great songs on the website learnenglishkids supported by British Council. Here's the link to the song 'Time for another year', which I used for teaching months.

      Ayşe Reyya's picture
      Ayşe Reyya
      Submitted on 5 February, 2011 - 13:57

      Beatles Day is a wonderful idea, I'll try to do it this year. And songs make school days brighter and fun for them. Thank you for this post and really useful links. 

      evab2001's picture
      Submitted on 5 February, 2011 - 21:13

      Thanks for adding the links. and if I had a better voice I'd definitely sing but I just ask them to sing like karaoke.

      purplehyacinth's picture
      Submitted on 7 February, 2011 - 19:18

      thank you for useful sharing

      mrzonkow's picture
      Submitted on 14 March, 2011 - 22:13

      Dear collagues
      What if there are some unknown words in the song?
      Do you give their meanings in L1?
      Do you ask to find them in their dictionaries ?
      or what?

      evab2001's picture
      Submitted on 21 March, 2011 - 16:39

      Dear @mrzonkow,
      You can preteach vocab if you like.