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Songs for English Teaching

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Songs Are The Art Of Speaking
I have been using songs to teach English and Polish for a long time. Personally I firmly believe in the power of good music as well as in the power of well-written lyrics. Songs may help with learning pronunciation and can be the inspiration for extraordinarily interesting, challenging discussions. Different topics often inspire students to talk about various issues and problems, often sharing extremely different perspectives. That is why songs are also materials for practicing conversational skills.

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Songs for English Teaching

  1. 1. Songs for Teaching English MICRO TEACHING HALINA NOVEMBER 2014
  2. 2. Singing at school
  3. 3. Supertramp – The Logical Song ∙ Activity types: vocabulary, word formation, listening for specific words, discussion. ∙ Level: Intermediate ∙ Time: 30 mins. ∙ Note: Taken from Supertramps’s 1979 album Breakfast In America, this is one of their best known hits. Wikipedia explains that the song is about a man who is taken away from the unspoilt immediacy of childhood, undergoes education and sees a future prepared for him lacking any spontaneity of reaction. He feels constricted in his freedom of speech, is put under pressure to conform and ends up confused, without a coherent self-image. ∙ Keyword: True self Worksheet written by Prof. Mena Bianco, Giugliano (NA)
  4. 4. The lyrics are about how the innocence and wonder of childhood can quickly give way to worry and cynicism as children are taught to be responsible adults. It makes the point that logic can restrict creativity and passion. Supertramp keyboard player Roger Hodgson, who wrote this song and sang the lead vocals, said in our 2012 interview: "I think it was very relevant when I wrote it, and actually I think it's even more relevant today. It's very basically saying that what they teach us in schools is all very fine, but what about what they don't teach us in schools that creates so much confusion in our being.
  5. 5. They teach us how to function on the outside and to be very intellectual, but they don't tell us how to act with our intuition or our heart or really give us a real plausible explanation of what life's about. There's a huge hole in the education. I remember leaving school at 19, I was totally confused. That song really came out of my confusion, which came down to a basic question: please tell me who I am. I felt very lost. I had to educate myself in that way, and that's why California was very good for me to kind of re-educate myself, if you like.
  6. 6. A) WARM-UP ACTIVITIES • Write the word music (or any another suitable word) on the board. Explain that this noun is a stem word from which you can form other words. Elicit the possible answers and write them on the board: musician (noun), musical (adjective), musically (adverb),musicality (noun), etc. • Ask the students to make some more examples. B) LISTENING ACTIVITIES • Tell the students that in the song they are about to listen to there are 20 missing words (one from the chorus is repeated twice: asleep). The stems of the missing words are given in capitals and must be changed to form the appropriate missing words. • Give each student a copy of the worksheet and ask them to fill in the gaps according to the context.
  7. 7. C) GRAMMAR FOCUS ON WORD FORMATION • Ask the students to use some stem words in the song (like simple, deep, etc.) to form as many words as possible. In a weak class or at a lower level you can use this as a dictionary training activity. • Make the students aware of how they can form words in English by adding prefixes (un-, a-, mis-, etc.), suffixes (-ly, -al, -ful, etc.) or by making internal changes (long/length). Point out some words may not change (love can be a noun or a verb, hard can be an adjective or an adverb), some may change pronunciation (present n. /'preznt/ - /presentv. /pri'zent/), others may change spelling (practice n. /practise v.). D) SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION • Elicit the meaning of the song (see Wikipedia explanation above). Media, friends, families, teachers, religious leaders and wider society can all pressurize you to conform to their many different expectations. But who are you? What are you really like? Are you afraid of disapproval? Do “the questions run too deep” for you?
  8. 8. Complete the song using the correct form of the words given. When I was young, it seemed that life was so ______ WONDER, a miracle, oh, it was ______ BEAUTY, ______ MAGIC. And all the birds in the trees, they'd be singing so ______ HAPPY, oh, ______ JOY, oh, ______ PLAY, watching me. But then they sent me away to teach me how to be _____ SENSE, ______ LOGIC, oh, ______ RESPONSE, ______ PRACTICE. And then they showed me a world where I could be so ______ DEPEND, oh, ______ CLINIC, oh, ______ INTELLECT, ______ CYNIC. There are times when all the world's ______ SLEEP, the questions run too deep for such a simple man. Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned I know it sounds absurd, please tell me who I am. I said watch what you say, they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, oh, ______ FANATIC, ______ CRIME. Oh, won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're ______ ACCEPT, ______ RESPECT, oh, _______ PRESENT, a vegetable! Oh, take, take, take it, yeah! But at night, when all the world's ______SLEEP, the questions run so deep for such a simple man. Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned I know it sounds absurd please tell me who I am,
  9. 9. When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle, oh, it was beautiful, magical. And all the birds in the trees, they'd be singing so happily, oh, joyfully, oh, playfully, watching me. But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible, logical, oh, responsible, practical. And then they showed me a world where I could be so dependable, oh, clinical, oh, intellectual, cynical. There are times when all the world's asleep, the questions run too deep for such a simple man. Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned I know it sounds absurd, please tell me who I am.
  10. 10. I said watch what you say, they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, oh, fanatical, criminal. Oh, won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're acceptable, respectable, oh, presentable, a vegetable! Oh, take, take, take it, yeah! But at night, when all the world's asleep, the questions run so deep for such a simple man. Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned I know it sounds absurd please tell me who I am who I am who I am who I am who I am
  11. 11. Thank you. Let’s Talk. ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION?????

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