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“The Use of Songs in the Language Classroom in the Language Schools of the Benemérita Universidad Autonóma de Puebla”

A Thesis submitted to the School of Languages

For the Degree of

Licenciatura en la Enseñanza de Lenguas Extranjeras

by Raúl García Báez

Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

December 1999


The Use of Songs in the Language Classroom in the Language Schools of the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla

This thesis has been read by the members of the thesis committee of

Raúl García Báez

and is considered worthy of approval in partial fulfillment of the degree of

LICENCIATURA EN LA ENSEÑANZA DE LENGUAS EXTRANJERAS

________________________ Lic. Marsha Way Thesis Committee Chairperson

_______________________ Lic. Michael Witten

______________________ Roberto Criollo, M. A.


In Memoriam Gabriela Yanes Gómez.

Life is too short Our desire of fighting It’s endless.


I wanna dedicate this thesis to my mother, Argelia Báez, to my father Alfredo García and to my family for believing in me.

Thanx to the teachers: Concepción Báez and Ildefonso Ramírez.

To my unbelievable friends: Teresa Reyes and Roberto Criollo, who always trusted in me. To all my friends; “the gang” that make this world go on !


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

“...that the purpose of life was not the maintenance of well-being, but some intensification and refining of consciousness, some enlargement of knowledge.” Aldous Huxley.

Thanks to all my teachers who taught me the importance of learning and applying the knowledge, and also, to all the educational institutions I’ve been through. In the same way, to the teachers who answered the research’s questionnaire and interview, to Roberto Criollo, Daniel Marcoux, Marsha Way and Michael Witten for their help.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page Preliminary Pages Dedication Acknowledgments

i ii iii

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Problem 1.3 Rationale 1.4 General Objectives 1.5 Research Questions 1.6 Research Strategies

1 2 2 3 3 3

CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review 2.1 Songs 2.2 Comprehension in Foreign Language Learning 2.3 The Importance of Listening Comprehension in Language 2.4 Comprehensible Input in Listening Comprehension 2.5 The Development of Listening Skills 2.6 Reading in a Foreign Language 2.7 Choosing a Song

5 8 9 10 10 11 12

CHAPTER THREE: Methodology 3.1 Subjects 3.1.1. Licenciatura en Lenguas Modernas (LEMO) 3.1.1.1. Teachers 3.1.1.2. Target Population 3.1.1.3. Coordinator 3.1.2. Centro de Lenguas (CELE) 3.1.2.1. Teachers 3.1.2.2. Target Population 3.1.2.3. Coordinator 3.1.3. Tronco ComĂşn Universitario (TCU) 3.1.3.1. Teachers 3.1.3.2. Target Population 3.1.3.3. Coordinator

13 13 13 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 15 15 15

3.2 Instrument 3.2.1. Questionnaire for teachers 3.2.2. Interview of coordinators of language schools 3.3 Procedure 3.3.1. Questionnaires 3.3.2. Interview

15 15 16 16 16 16

CHAPTER FOUR: Analysis of the Results


4.1 Results from the questionnaire

17

CHAPTER FIVE: Conclusions and recommendations 5.1. Conclusions 5.2. Limitations of the Study 5.3. Steps to work with songs 5.4. Possible Problems 5.5. Recommendations 5.6. Suggestions 5.7. Listening 5.8. Speaking 5.9. Reading 5.10. Writing 5.11 Directions for further investigation

24 25 25 26 27 29 29 29 29 29 30

BIBLIOGRAPHY

31

APPENDIX 1 1. Questionnaire APPENDIX 2 1. Interview APPENDIX 3 1. Classification of songs in relation to their grammar application 2. Songs with a topic for discussion 3. Singers who present a wide variety of songs with topics for discussion 4. Other activities suggested 5. Web Sites to find lyrics APPENDIX 4 Songs Examples 4.1. Music genres 4.1.1. Twenty Questions 4.2. Working with Homonyms and Commonly Confused Words 4.2.1.The one 4.3. Music, Comprehension, Grammar and Video Clips 4.3.1.Kiss the Rain 4.4. Singing in Class 4.4.1. Barbie Girl 4.5. Prepositions and Changes 4.5.2. I’ll Be There 4.6. Discussion in Class 4.6.1. Why 4.6.2. Article from the Newspaper 4.7. Love songs

TABLES AND FIGURES


Table 1: Types of songs and their description, proposed by Hubbard Figure 1: Bottom-up approach, adapted from Nunan Figure 2: Top-down approach, adapted from Nunan Figure 3: Level of English taught by participating teachers Figure 4: Frequency of use of songs Figure 5: Kinds of songs used in class Figure 6: Criteria to choose a song Figure 7: Use of songs with a specific goal Figure 8: Skills developed Figures 9a and 9b: Activities developed in class

7 8 9 17 18 19 20 20 21 22


CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION “It’s like ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife”. Alanis Morissette.

1.1 Introduction to the problem Using songs seems to be a common activity in EFL classrooms. Teachers enjoy using songs, as this seems to provide them with a “break” in their every day teaching. Students also enjoy learning with songs for a variety of reasons—it is fun, it improves their language skills, and they can finally know and understand what some of their favorite songs say. Also, songs can be used according to the objectives of an English program. When students are learning English for different reasons, with different objectives, songs will be used differently in the classroom. This is the case with the language schools at the Benemérita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla- the Licenciatura en Lenguas Modernas (LEMO), the Centro de Lenguas (CELE), and the foreign language courses at Tronco Común Universitario (TCU). The students at these schools have different reasons for learning English. In the LEMO, the students must be prepared to work with English in a communicative way while also having extensive knowledge in grammar and vocabulary since they will be teachers. In the CELE, students of all ages receive general English courses to help them reinforce what they are learning in school or to give them a better background in language and culture. The students at TCU are learning English in order to be able to work with textbooks and materials written in English that they will need for their major and also for situations they might encounter in their major where they need to communicate in English. Each one of the language schools at the BUAP has a distinct purpose and song plays a role in each one. This thesis will look at those roles.

1.2 Problem


In most EFL classrooms, songs may not be exploited adequately according to the learning objective in the classroom because for many teachers, a song in the classroom is a synonym of “fun�. They only have their students work with songs that they really want to know the lyrics to, and both teachers and students can take a break from the regular classroom routine. This use of songs may be problematic, and it would be necessary to investigate how the teachers in the BUAP use songs in the classroom. Songs may not be exploited adequately according to the learning objective in the classroom. In other words, there may not be a systematic way to use songs. An optimal use of songs would involve adapting them to specific purposes and working them out to extended activities, and not only to fill a space in the class.

1.3 Rationale A song can be a powerful learning tool in the classroom. Used properly, it can help students learn and practice all language skills and sub-skills. It is important that teachers know how to properly exploit a song according to the objectives of the course and the specific purposes of the students learning English in order to turn wasted time in the classroom into wisely used time, focusing on different aspects of language. The lyrics of the song can focus on parts of speech, grammar tenses, idioms or slang. The students can discuss topics brought up in the song. While singing the song or while listening to it, one can concentrate on pronunciation. Essays or songs can be written so that the writing side of the skills can be focused on. In other words, the use of songs and their exploitation need to be looked at more closely for the teacher to take advantage of all the different activities, which can be used to teach the different skills. This is especially important at the language schools of the BUAP since each school has specific objectives and purposes for students learning English.

These


objectives have been briefly presented in the introduction and will be presented again in detail in Chapter 3 along with the information about the subjects.

1.4 General Objectives: 1) To carry out an investigation looking at the present use of songs in the language classrooms of the LEMO, CELE and TCU. 2) To suggest ways songs can be used more effectively according to the learning objectives and context.

1.5 Research Questions 1) How are songs presently used by teachers in their classrooms in the language schools of the BUAP: LEMO, CELE and TCU? 2) What is the profile of the students who are learning English in these schools? 3) What are the most effective ways to use songs? 4) What are some advantages and disadvantages of using songs to teach English? 5) How can the different skills be taught by the use of songs?

1.6 Research Strategies In Chapter One, the problem and its rationale establish the reasoning behind this investigation. The objectives will be stated so that this work presents a clear purpose. The research questions and strategies will provide the reader with an idea about the focus of the investigation. In Chapter Two, bibliographical material about the use of songs in the language classroom and the teaching of language skills will be analyzed and compiled. This will


set a background for the research and back up the researchers use of different activities to use with songs in the teaching of the language. In Chapter Three, the methodology of the research presents the subjects, the instrument and the procedure used in answering the questionnaires (Using Songs in the Language Classroom) and in the administration of the interview made to coordinators of the BUAP languages schools. These questionnaires are important for the researcher to know how songs are being used currently in the language classroom. The interviews will allow the profile of the students to be built up to a certain point. In Chapter Four, the results of the questionnaire will be analyzed and discussed, looking at the present situation and setting a background for the need for information about more effective ways to use songs in teaching languages according to the different contexts. Finally, in Chapter Five, the conclusions and closing statements concerning this topic will be stated.

Following the Bibliography, the Appendix will include the

questionnaire and the interview questions used in this research. The research will conclude with a classification and suggestions of songs to be applied to specific parts of the speech, a classification of topics for discussion, singers, activities, examples, and Web Sites and a list of tables used.

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW “There are words that amuse And the ones that abuse�


François Guy/Francine Raymond

2.1 Songs Songs have been used for educational purposes since the beginning of time. History and traditions have been passed down from generation to generation in illiterate societies through song. In various school subjects and cultures, songs have been invented and used as mneumonic devices for learning and remembering. Here we will look at the use of songs as applied in the language-teaching context. Byrne (1991) states that songs provide good listening practice since the students are concerned with what the song says. The song is combined with tasks that help the learner to improve language skills. Authors such as Celce- Murcia and Hilles (1988), Gasser and Waldman (1979) and Richards (1969) among others, agree that songs have many benefits as they are used in the language classroom. Songs can be adapted to a variety of situations. Hubbard et al. (1983) state as one argument for using songs in the language classroom that “songs can increase motivation to learn the language as students, especially weaker ones, feel a real sense of achievement when they have been able to learn a song” (92). Dubin (1974) points out that, “songs can be utilized as presentation contexts, as reinforcement material, as vehicles through which to teach all language skills, and as a medium through which to present some of the most important cultural themes which pervade modern life.” (Cited in a paper presented at the TESOL Convention, Denver, CO, on March 7, 1974). Using the context is very necessary when working with grammar and vocabulary, as grammar and vocabulary are not used in isolation but rather in a context. Songs provide meaningful practice of the structures, and they are the best resource for contextualization since they are usually based on cultural situations. Context is the key to using language. Authentic language is used in context and songs give context to language. Songs are culturally rich, full of possibilities to give context in a language class as well as giving the students a look at the English-speaking culture. Songs can tell the students about the history of people (“The Legend of Billy


the Kid” or “Davy Crockett), the history of a country (the History Rock series) or the culture of a foreign land (“Cats in the Cradle”, for example). Using songs in the language classroom has many benefits. One of the greatest benefits, besides the obvious and also very important teaching of grammar, vocabulary and listening, is the idea that students can learn about the people and the culture where the songs are from. “Culturally based assumptions regulate communication and determine the underlying meanings of the spoken and written word.” (Abrate 1992, p. 168). Another benefit, as stated by Hubbard et al (1983) is the opportunity the students have for cooperation. This makes the students come together and not be so inhibited, thus helping to make learning more effective. Halquist (cited in Celce-Murcia and Hilles 1988), in an unpublished handbook of activities for adult ESL students, states that songs, along with other grammar activities, can be effective in five different ways by:

1)

adding variety as well as enjoyment to language learning (all skills). Using songs as an alternate technique helps to boost students´ motivation and lets them have fun while learning.

2)

presenting authentic language, as well as introducing students to various dialects. Students have the opportunity to hear and work with language that is actually used and that may be very different from “textbook English”.

3)

allowing students to practice a previously studied, contrasting structure along with a new structure. Combination of practice of structures allows for review and reinforcement.

4)

providing an opportunity to apply language skills to real-life situations by extending the pattern in the song.


5)

helping to develop cultural awareness, both of the present and the past. (p. 117). Hubbard et al (1983, p. 93) give a table listing different types of songs and their

description. Depending on the purpose for which the song will be used, the teacher can choose a song that can be used effectively. Table 1 shows the types of songs and the description proposed by Hubbard et al. (1983). p. 93. Table 1: Songs and Their Descriptions According to Hubbard et al. Type of song Special occasion songs

Description Songs which are sung in English-speaking countries only on certain occasions or at certain times of the year. Teaching this sort of song to students may give them an insight into English culture. Songs, usually children’s songs, which are sung to accompany certain games.

Songs and games Action songs

Songs which require actions or some sort of mime to be performed while singing them. Ordinary songs can be made more meaningful by devising a series of actions to accompany them.

Songs where one Specially written songs for teaching can be included here. structure or a lot of lexis is repeated over and over again. Songs which tell a story.

Looking at the different types of songs available for use in the language classroom, one can see the opportunity the language teacher has to show and teach students through the use of authentic material. In this way, the students learn about the culture of the country as well as the language.


2.2 Comprehension in foreign language learning “Listening comprehension is an act of information processing in which the listener is involved in two-way communication, one-way communication and / or selfdialogue communication” (Morley in Celce-Murcia 1991, p. 90). Listening comprehension is something that we do not even realize that we do until we are in an unfamiliar environment. One listens his whole life- to television, to radio or to other people. However, we take it for granted that we understand until we are in a situation like that of a foreign language where proficiency is limited. Anderson and Lynch (1993) describe some of the processes that one takes for granted when communicating in his or her first language, such as “dividing an unfamiliar speaker’s utterances into words, identifying them, and at the same time interpreting what the speaker meant and then preparing an appropriate replay” (p. 3). These common tasks in the first language become difficult tasks in the foreign language. Looking at the two dominant views of listening, the “bottom-up view” and the “top-down view”, it can be seen that the bottom-up view shows that “listening is a process of decoding the sounds that one hears in a linear fashion, from the smallest meaningful units (or phonemes) to complete texts” (Nunan 1999, p. 200).

This

definition states that these phonemic units need to be decoded and then put together to form phrases. The phrases linked together form utterances. The utterances linked together form whole texts. Figure 1 shows the bottom-up approach (adapted from Nunan 1991, p.64). Figure 1: The Bottom-up Approach According to Nunan Bottom-up approach Recording

Every sound

Meaning discriminated

Phonemes

Blending

Pronunciation


The top-down view of listening states “the listener actively constructs (or, more accurately, reconstructs) the original meaning of the speaker using incoming sounds as clues” (Nunan 1999, p. 201). In this view, the listeners´ knowledge of the context and the situation of which the listening is taking place plays a very important role in the listening process. Figure 2 shows the Top-down approach (adapted from Nunan 1991, p. 65). Figure 2 shows the Top-down approach (adapted from Nunan, 1991 p.65). Top-down approach Past experience, language

Selective aspects

Intuitions and expectations.

of listening (recording).

Meaning

Sound, pronunciation

2.3 The importance of listening comprehension in language Experts have different views about the role played by listening comprehension. Krashen (1981 in Anderson and Lynch 1993) “has claimed that listening plays a centraland possibly predominant part- in the whole process of language learning” (p. 33). “…Comprehension may be at the heart of the language acquisition process: perhaps we acquire by understanding language that is `a little beyond´ our current level of competence. This is done with the aid of extra-linguistic context and our knowledge of the world” (p. 107). Listening is the first skill that we develop as babies. Children usually have a “silent period” where they are not expected to produce language yet since listening precedes speaking. Children can understand more than they can speak. This is also the premise of the Total Physical Response method that was developed by James Asher. In order for the child to acquire the language, he or she must receive comprehensible input. “Listening is used far more than any other single language skill in normal daily life.” (Morley 1991, p. 82).

Listening is quite an important skill and cannot be

overlooked in foreign language teaching. It is possible for one to develop speaking and


be incompetent in listening. It was not until 1969 that the experts began to look more closely at listening. Most teachers call listening a “passive” skill, along with reading. However, these skills are very dynamic and are much more than passive. A person who is listening has a purpose for the listening task, whether inside or outside of the language classroom. The students listen for their purpose and are very actively trying to extract the information that they need while possibly disposing of the rest. Those experts who take such a perspective on listening “fail to account for the interpretation listeners make as they “hear” the spoken text according to their own purposes for listening, their expectations, and their own store of background knowledge” (p. 85).

2.4 Comprehensible input in listening comprehension Input, as defined by Anderson and Lynch (1988), is “all incoming speech and other signals that listeners hear” (34). Comprehensible input is necessary when learning a foreign language. Krashen states that even though the input must be comprehensible, it also must always be a little beyond the levels of the students´ present competence. Krashen´s theory of i+1 (i= input) explains how one acquires language. Imagine going to a foreign country. If one read and heard input that was only within his or her present level of competence, he or she might stay within that level, but not be challenged to move beyond it. Input that is too high above the student’s competence will only frustrate him and cause him to raise his affective filter. Krashen´s input hypothesis states that “acquisition takes place as a result of the learner having understood input that is a little beyond the current level of his competence (i+1 level)” (Ellis 1985, p. 262).


2.5 Development of listening skills As in the development of most knowledge or skills, grading of activities needs to be carefully planned. Anderson and Lynch (1993) agree that learners must progress from less complex tasks to more complex tasks. Their success on the less complex tasks will motivate them to move on to the more complex ones. The listener needs to have simple listening activities at the beginning in order to be successful at these activities and to gain confidence and also to develop adequate listening skills. A listener who has been given very complex tasks and incomprehensible input is likely to be frustrated and “encourage passive and unsuccessful listening habits…” Also, (Welford 1968) states that since listening is a complex psychomotor skill, it is best practiced in clusters and not in small units. With songs, this statement relates to what Celce-Murcia and Hilles (1988) say about contextualization being important for meaningful practice. Language is best learned in context and in larger groups since that is actually how language is used.

2.6 Reading in a foreign language Reading is an important part of one’s daily life that, like other language skills is taken for granted by literate people in the native language. The purpose of reading is to fulfill one’s immediate needs and also to give pleasure. “In today’s ESL / EFL classrooms, academic subject content is frequently the context through which the target language is studied” (Dubin and Bycina in CelceMurcia 1991, p. 195). Again, context is stressed since that is what one must concentrate on – what the context is. What will be studied? Where will the language be studied? Where and how will language be used? What is the context of the situation where this will be used?


Reading activities can be adapted as part of the song. Exercises such as reading for the main idea, reading for specific information, understanding colloquial uses, idioms or unusual syntax are exercises, which can be practiced while working with songs. “…Combine with biographical or current events materials relevant to the singer or content to offer valuable reading practice.” (Celce- Murcia 1991, p. 176). “…The cultural dimension to reading is central in second and foreign language classrooms” (Parry 1987; Steffensen and Joag-Dev. 1984; Dubin and Bycina in CelceMurcia 1991, p. 199). Culture is a main part of language and using that culture can make reading activites richer. When using songs, the music and / or the lyrics should reflect the culture of the native speakers of the language.

2.7 Choosing a song Many songs can be useful in the language classroom; however, there are certain criteria that help to make some songs much richer in content and useful for the objectives of the lesson than others. Some specific aspects to look at when choosing a song are:

1. that it illustrate the use of past tenses. 2. that it review numerous irregular verbs. 3. that it show many instances of adjective agreement. 4. that it give clear examples of pronunciation. 5. that it provide a variety of vocabulary relating to common situations such as: vacation, school, meals, etc.

6. that it contain many idioms and puns. 7. that it discuss family or social interaction. 8. that it refer to natural surroundings or environmental concerns. 9. that it draw clearly defined characters. 10. that it present historical figures or events. 11. that it show a well-defined poetic form. 12. that it be especially moving or entertaining. (Celce-Murcia and Hille 1988, p. 169).


CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY “Don’t worry about things. Every little thing is gonna be alright" Bob Marley

3.1 Subjects 3.1.1 Licenciatura en Lenguas Modernas (LEMO) The teachers from the LEMO are actually teacher trainers; they are training future language teachers. In their context, teaching English to their students is more than just simple comprehension or production. It is a more in depth study of the language so the students can teach it some day.

3.1.1.1 Teachers The teachers from the LEMO were given questionnaires to answer. These are teachers who are teaching or who have taught English. Teachers in all levels (1-8) were taken into consideration for the questionnaire.

Fourteen teachers were given

questionnaires.

3.1.1.2 Target Population The objective of this research is to know how the teachers use songs with their students. In this case, the students of the LEMO are studying their bachelor’s degree in order to become language teachers. The range of the students´ age is from 18 to 25 years old. They have English classes nine hours per week with one hour of laboratory. This is during eight semesters. The objective of the course is for students to use the four skills acquired to work later as an English teacher and to be able to write a thesis in English. More generally, the objective is for the students to get 550 points on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL exam is a standardized


English exam used to measure foreign and second language proficiency. A score of 500 points is a proficiency that is considered passable by most institutions.

3.1.1.3 Coordinator The coordinator of the LEMO was asked the above information about the students´ profile. The list of questions for the interview was used (see Appendix 3). The present coordinator has been in this position for almost 2 years.

3.1.2. Centro de Lenguas (CELE) 3.1.2.1 Teachers A total of 18 teachers from the CELE were asked to answer the questionnaire. The teachers chosen for this investigation were those who teach the regular courses, not the seasonal courses.

3.1.2.2. Target Population The students in the normal courses at the CELE have a range of 18-25 years old. They take nine hours of English per week. There are three levels (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced) with two sub-levels in each (1 and 2). The objective of the program is to develop the four skills to succeed in communication.

The students expect the

acquisition of a foreign language and the abilities necessary for them to function using the different language skills in their future field of work.


3.1.2.3 Secretario Académico The Secretario Académico of the School of Languages was interviewed in order to get the profile of the students. He was asked questions from the interview format, (see Appendix 3).

3.1.3 Tronco Común Universitario (TCU) The students enrolled in Tronco Comun Universitario are students from all the different majors of the BUAP. The language courses in TCU have been included in the curriculum so the BUAP students would be better prepared to work in their profession. This may be through reading comprehension in order to understand professional journals, newspapers, etc.

3.1.3.1 Teachers Thirty-eight teachers from TCU were asked to complete the questionnaire. This school has many more teachers than the other schools.

3.1.3.2. Target Population In the credit system, all BUAP students are required to take 4 semesters of a foreign language. The students who take English classes in TCU are BUAP students from all majors in the university. The students´ ages range between 18 and 21, since the foreign language courses must be taken within the first four semesters (basic level) in order to pass on to the next level (formative level). They have 2 English courses per week for two hours, making up a total of 4 hours a week. The objective of the program is to train the students to develop the 4 skills, acquiring “survival” English. The


students´ expectations of the course are to read and write texts and to communicate in the spoken language.

3.1.3.3 Coordinator The coordinator of the Foreign Languages at TCU was asked the same information as the coordinators from the LEMO and the CELE. Regarding the purposes for which the students need English and their expected proficiency level upon finishing.

3.2 Instrument 3.2.1 Questionnaire for teachers The instrument used in the investigation was a questionnaire, which was applied to find out how songs are being used, and in what situations they are being used. The questionnaire consists of 10 questions. (See Appendix 1) The questions ask how often they use songs, about their criteria for choosing songs, the skills and activities developed when using songs, and the results of the activities in the classroom and their opinions about using songs.

3.2.2 Interview for coordinators of language schools An interview was applied to the heads of each of the schools. This interview was used in order to find out more about the program, the objectives, the purposes, and to obtain a profile of the students. A copy of the interview questions can be found in Appendix 3.

3.3 Procedure Two instruments were used, the questionnaires and the interview. The following are descriptions of procedure.


3.3.1 Questionnaires With the questionnaire having been designed, it was then distributed to teachers in the different schools. The teachers were asked to take about 10 minutes to answer the questionnaire while the researcher either waited or agreed to come back later to collect the questionnaire. The results were then analyzed and compiled so that the researcher could have a clearer view of the actual use of songs in the foreign language classroom.

3.3.2 Interview The researcher made an appointment for an interview with each of the heads of the schools. At the interview, the questions were asked about how the students would have to use language upon completion of their course of studies and the answers were written down.


CHAPTER FOUR: DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS “Sometimes the snow comes down in June. Sometimes the sun goes round the moon.� Waldman/Lind/Galdston.

The results of the questionnaire showed some very useful information to the researcher about the use of songs in the classroom. The questionnaire (See Appendix 1) was designed to allow the researcher to see the different purposes and ways of using songs in the language schools of the BUAP- LEMO, CELE, and TCU. In the first question, it can be seen that more teachers in the LEMO and the CELE who teach higher levels of English were asked to answer the questionnaire as part of this investigation. The teachers who answered the questionnaire in TCU teach more basic levels. Only 25% and 38% of teachers in the LEMO and CELE respectively teach basic while 63% teach basic in TCU.

Among the teachers who answered the

questionnaire, 25% from the LEMO, 20% from the CELE and 0% from TCU teach advanced. This may have an effect on the frequency and the purposes for which songs are used. Figure 3 shows the level of English by questioned teachers. Figure 3: Level of English taught by participating teachers.

LEMO CELE TCU

Basic 25% 38% 63%

Low-interm 7% 6% 32%

Intermediate 14% 6% 5%

High-interm 22% 27% 0%

Advanced 25% 20% 0%

Level of English 70% 60% 50% 40%

LEMO

30%

CELE TCU

20% 10% 0% basic

low -interm

intermed

high-interm advanced


In the second question, it can be seen how often the teachers use songs. It is surprising to see that the teachers have almost the same averages. Songs are not used in extreme (very frequently), but normally between once a week and once a month. In TCU, 21% of the teachers use songs only once a semester while in the CELE, 28% of the teachers almost never use songs. This is mostly because of the time factor the teachers have for presenting the information listed as part of the curriculum in one semester. Other teachers do not think that songs are the greatest didactic instrument and do not use them often. Figure 4 presents the frequency of the use of songs. Figure 4: Frequency of use of songs.

2-3 times/ week Once/ week

LEMO CELE TCU

7% 0% 0%

22% 18% 0%

Once/ two weeks

22% 28% 46%

Once/ month

42% 26% 27%

Once/ semester

0% 0% 21%

Frequency 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% LEMO

25% 20%

CELE

15%

TCU

10% 5% 0% 2-3 times/ once/ w eek once/ tw o w eek w eeks

once/ month

once/ semester

In question 3, the most popular songs are pop, followed by slow songs, then by rock. The teachers who filled out the questionnaire never use children’s songs and only 10% of the teachers in the CELE use traditional songs. In the “other” category, 30% of the teachers in TCU, 5% in the LEMO and 2% in the CELE use whatever songs the students want to use. This suggests that those teachers use songs more for fun rather that for specific purposes. Figure 5 shows the kinds of songs most popular in the EFL class.


Figure 5: Kinds of songs most used in class. Pop 30% 42% 32%

LEMO CELE TCU

Rock 20% 21% 16%

Slow 25% 23% 22%

children’s 0% 0% 0%

Traditional 0% 10% 0%

Kinds of songs 45% 40% 35% 30% 25%

LEMO

20%

CELE

15%

TCU

10% 5% 0% pop

rock

slow

children´s

traditional

What criteria do the teachers use for choosing the songs? There is a lot of variation in the answers. Mostly, teachers base their decisions on the students´ taste, their own taste, the skills to be taught, and the grammar that can be studied through the song. Figure 6 presents the criteria to choose a song.


Figure 6: Criteria to choose a song. Ss level

LEMO CELE TCU

Ss taste T taste

17% 15% 21%

10% 10% 13%

Skills to be taught Lyrics

12% 5% 10%

15% 12% 17%

Grammar

Vocab

30% 15% 27%

15% 12% 2%

10% 12% 7%

Rhythm singability

2% 8% 1%

2% 9% 2%

Criteria 30% 25% 20% LEMO

15%

CELE

10%

TCU

5% 0% Ss level

T taste

lyrics

vocab

singability

Do teachers always use songs with a specific goal in mind? A significant proportion of the teachers say that they usually use songs with a specific goal. 75% of the teachers in the LEMO say they do, 52% of the CELE answered affirmatively while 74% of those in TCU say that they do. Figure 7 shows the use of songs with a specific goal. Figure 7: Use of songs with a specific goal Yes 75% 52% 74%

LEMO CELE TCU

No 13% 11% 1%

Usually 12% 37% 25%

Specific goal? 80% 60%

LEMO

40%

CELE

20%

TCU

0% yes

no

usually

When the teachers were asked what skills they focus on when using songs, the answers were almost the same. There is an average of 25% between the 3 schools, meaning that the teachers claim that they work evenly with all four skills. Figure 8 presents the skills developed in class.


Figure 8: Skills developed Listening 27% 31% 25%

LEMO CELE TCU

Speaking 23% 28% 25%

Reading 25% 22% 25%

Writing 25% 19% 25%

Skills 35% 30% 25% 20%

LEMO

15%

CELE

10%

TCU

5% 0% listening

speaking

reading

w riting

It was interesting to see what activities the teachers develop when working with songs. The activities that got the highest answers were cloze activities (the lyrics of the song with spaces where the student has to fill in missing words); grammar exercises and having the students sing the song. This goes against what was previously answered by the teachers about working the four skills with songs. Many of them focus only on grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation, sometimes ignoring the other skills. Figures 9a and 9b, in the next page, illustrate these results.


Figure 9a: Activities developed in class.

LEMO CELE TCU

Cloze 15% 13% 18%

Grammar 22% 12% 17%

Ss sing Vocab 32% 20% 8% 9% 23% 15%

discussion 10% 8% 4%

Distinguish sounds Idioms 5% 0% 7% 9% 3% 0%

Activities 35% 30% 25% 20%

LEMO

15%

CELE

10%

TCU

5% 0% cloze

Ss sing

discussion

idioms

Figure 9b: Activities developed in class. Dictation Writing LEMO 0% 2% CELE 5% 3% TCU 0% 5%

Describing 0% 4% 0%

Listen. sp. info. 15% 10% 2%

Putting in order 2% 6% 0%

Questions & answers 5% 4% 13%

Activities 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0%

LEMO CELE TCU dictation

w riting describing listening: putting in questions spec. order & info. answ ers

All teachers answered that songs are motivating for students and that they provide good language practice. They enjoy using songs since the students really seem to like them and they participate actively.


In conclusion, it seemed that the teachers contradicted themselves at times when answering the questionnaire. As teachers, one is taught the importance of covering all the skills; however, it was seen through this research that grammar and vocabulary are focused on more. Furthermore, even though the teachers in the three language schools have different objectives for their students, they tend to use songs very similarly. Songs have been found to be very motivating tools in the language classroom, and they can be used in a variety of ways.


CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSIONS “In a sky full of people, only some want to fly, isn’t that crazy?” Seal/G. Sigsworth.

5.1 Conclusions This research showed that the teachers in all three language schools of the BUAP use songs in almost the same way, even though their students have different objectives and purposes for the language. Most teachers do have ideas about the exploitation of songs in the language classroom. However, by providing them with clear guidelines, they could improve their teaching practices through the use of songs according to their students’ specific needs. Not only can songs help in the teaching of language skills, but they can also help to teach culture when properly exploited. It is up to the teacher to take the time and initiative to prepare a song for use in his or her classroom. The results obtained showed that more teachers in the LEMO and the CELE teach higher levels of English whereas the teachers who answered the questionnaire in TCU teach more basic levels. Only 25% and 38% of teachers in the LEMO and CELE respectively teach basic while 63% teach basic in TCU. Among the teachers who answered the questionnaire, 25% from the LEMO, 20% from the CELE and 0% from TCU teach advanced. It was also determined how often the teachers use songs, and it was surprising to see that the teachers use songs regularly. Songs are not used very frequently, but normally between once a week and once a month. In the TCU, 21% of the teachers use songs only once a semester while in the CELE, 28% of the teachers almost never use songs. Regarding the kind of music used, the most popular songs were pop, followed by slow songs, and then rock. The teachers who filled out the questionnaire never use children’s songs and only 10% of the teachers in the CELE use traditional songs. In the “other” category, 30% of the teachers in TCU, 5% in the LEMO and 2% in the CELE use whatever songs the students want to use. This suggests that those teachers use songs more for fun rather that for specific purposes. On the other hand, it was seen that teachers base their selection of songs mostly on the students’ taste, their own taste, the skills to be taught, and the grammar that can be studied through the song. The results also showed that teachers use songs with a specific goal, and that they work evenly with all four skills. Finally, the activities developed with songs were cloze activities, grammar exercises, and having the students sing the song.


5.2 Limitations of the study The present study was based on survey research, eliciting information by means of a questionnaire. The data collected, then, was about the perceptions and opinions of teachers about the use of songs in the English classroom. These perceptions, however, may not reflect reality. The limitations of survey research are that sometimes the respondents do not provide true answers to the questions. In this way, the results of the present research may be considered as subject to some level of inaccuracy. However, it is expected that the information and the results discussed here will shed some light on the uses of songs in the different language schools of the BUAP. Some suggestions for using songs, based on the results of this research are provided below. 5.3 Steps to work with songs

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Choose a song, following the criteria suggested in chapter two. Adapt the song to the objectives to be worked in class. Look for visual material to support these objectives and activities. Prepare a warm up before presenting the song. Introduce the song’s topic, by creating a link to establish the context, in clear and specific form. (Boiron 1998). 6. Explain new vocabulary by using key words. 7. Play the song once, to be familiarized with it. 8. Develop the activities designed. 9. Play the song one more time or as many as necessary. 10. Use complementary activities supported by extended exercises.


5.4 Possible Problems:

1. Some pieces of language can change the general idea of the song. For this, it is better to introduce the main point of the song. (Nunan 1991).

2. If the activities designed for the song are not working as planned, it is better to have an alternative activity but keeping the same objective.

3. For the next time that problems appear, the teacher can readapt the activities or change them.

4. The teacher must consider the criteria to choose a song and the steps to use songs.

5. Avoid that the students be distracted in other parts of the song that are not part the objective. Establish the "route" (Boiron 1998).

6. Explaining all the vocabulary is a waste of time, only key words are required. 7. The pupils are not always in the mood for certain songs, but that doesn't mean that the song selected failed.

8. Rap and heavy rock songs are not recommended because of the fast speed of the singer's voice or the loudness sound of musical instruments. All this could confuse the learners. If the level is advanced and the students are able to listen these songs, the teacher can use this music. 9. The selection of songs needs to be conscious. 10.The copies taken from the song have to be clear. 11. Suggestions by the pupils must be considered and discussed. 12. Students are not required to understand the full meaning of the song, just the general idea. 13.It is useful to record the song twice or even three times, in order to avoid wasting time in rewinding. Nowadays, CD players are more effective to


repeat the whole song or just a specific part of it. 14. Songs are complements for the class. They reinforce pronunciation, listening and comprehension, but this doesn’t mean that learning a foreign language will be done only with songs. 15. Wrong application of the internal factors could make listening fail. These factors are: interest, motivation, attentiveness and knowledge of the topic, (Waston and Smeltzer 1984). 16. Likewise, textual factors (organization of the information, familiarity of the topic, explicitness and sufficiency of the information, the type of referring expressions used, and descriptions of static or dynamic relationship) have to be considered, (Anderson and Lynch 1988). 17. When the song is presented out of context, this becomes “deauthenticated”, (Nunan 1999). 5.5 Recommendations: 1. Choose current or timeless songs that reflect true culture and standard spoken English.

2. The songs could be complemented with video clips (when available). The visual material reinforces and supports the lyrics from the song.

3. The introduction of the song must be specific and clear. 4. Create a link (Boiron 1998). This means, engage the students into the song’s topic. This way, they can relate the topic to their reality. This makes the student want to listen to the songs and therefore, they personalize the song.

5. Many resources can be used to find song lyrics. One idea of the teachers from this investigation was to have the students themselves write the lyrics to the song and


make the presentation in the classroom, conducting the activity. Another resource is the internet where one can find lyrics to the most current songs and timeless classics. If the internet is not available, some CDs or tapes include the song lyrics. Moreover, there are magazines specialized in lyrics and singers.

6. If you have the lyrics to a song without music, don’t be afraid to invent music or to ask students to perform. Part of the fun can be having groups come up with the most creative rhythm. 7. A brief biography of the singer is useful to support the song’s background. 8. The students are able to apply what they know (top-down), and relate it to what they listen to in the song (bottom-up), (Nunan 1999).

9. “The context in which language is used and the purposes to which it is put will play a large part in shaping the language”. (Nunan 1991). 10. Very long songs are not recommended, an average of time of the song could be around five minutes. 11. The whole song can be played in order to be familiarized with it. Then, in the second playing, it could be played in parts. 12. Motivation is quite important for this kind of activity. 13. Lyrics are real and living language. So, they present a lot of contractions and several pronunciations. 14. “Appropriate listening materials which are calibrated to the interests and abilities of the students are needed for systematic growth in listening skills”. (Ross 1992, p.192-193). 15. The learners can have a certain degree of control over the content of the song. 16. After finishing with the activities, the new vocabulary could be applied by using it in for the production of sentences.


17. Identifying the song’s mood is useful to encourage sensibility in the pupils. 5.6 Suggestions The most obvious suggestion, but the most forgotten one by the teachers, is to use the songs to practice various skills, not just to look at the subskills. 5.7 Listening: Obviously, listening to the song for any other purpose is good practice. The teacher can have the student listen for specific information or listen for the main idea. Songs can help improve listening by teachers having students distinguish sounds and extract more common, but rarely studied reductions, such as “gonna” and “wanna”, etc. 5.8 Speaking: Besides the obvious reason of having the students sing the song to practice pronunciation, have the students discuss a topic that comes up in the song. If there are various characters in the song, the students can act out the song. The teacher’s imagination is the limit.

The students can make a telephone call to one of the

characters. If there is dialogue, the student can answer the singer, etc. 5.9 Reading: After having read over the song and one understands it, the students can:

• Read historical information about an event that comes up in the song. • Read biographical information about the singer or about historical characters. • Research a historical event and write a song or a dialogue related to it. • Work with writing activities and use them for reading practice. 5.10 Writing: There are so many activities the teacher can use for writing that the teacher may never use them all. Some of them include:

• Write about characters, or write letters to them. • Take dictation of the song. • Brainstorm and write a song of their own or another version of it.


• Write about a historical event related to the song or that could be related to the song. 5.11 Directions for further investigation The previous suggestions are part of a very small list of ideas from the researcher of this project. Ideas for using songs in the language classroom are endless and the teacher can use them for much more than just fun. This investigation just focuses on the present use of songs by the Language schools of the BUAP. In the same way, it can be continued with another research like using specific songs, singers or video clips in the EFL classroom.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Abrate, J. (1992). “The Popular Song: An Authentic Tool for Enriching the EFL Classroom. Creative Approaches in FL Teaching. William N. Hatfield (ed.). Illinois: NTC. Anderson, A. and T. Lynch (1993). Listening. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Anderson, A. and T. Lynch. (1993). Listening. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Boiron, M. (1998) “Approches Pédagogiques de la Chanson Contemporaine”: Presented in XI Encuentro de formación continua y de centros de autoaprendizaje. Puebla: BUAP. Bygate, M. (1993). Speaking. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Celce-Murcia, M. (1991). Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language. Boston: Heinle 1& Heinle. Celce-Murcia, M and S. Hilles. (1988). Techniques and Resources in Teaching Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Collie, J. and S. Slater. (1987). Literature in the Language Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dubin, F. (1974). Paper presented at the TESOL Convention, Denver, CO. On March 7, 1974. Cited in Halquist in Celce-Murcia.

Dubin and Bycina, cited in Celce-Murcia. (1991). Teaching English as a Second or Foreign. Language. Boston: Heinle & Heinle. Ellis, R. (1985). Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gasser, M. and E. Waldman. (1979). “Using Songs and Games in the ESL Classroom.” Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language , edited by M.Celce- Murcia and L. McIntosh. Rowley, MA: Newbury House. Hamilton, D. (1999, May 26). NATO Approves ‘Big Stick’ Peace Force. The News, p.7. Hubbard, P. et al. (1983). A Training Course for TEFL. Oxford University Press. Kniveton, J. and M. Monterrubio. (1997). Singing in English. Mexico City: Delta. McCarthy, M. (1995). Vocabulary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Morley, J. (1991). “Listening Comprehension in Second or Foreign Language Instruction. Cited in CelceMurcia. 1991. Boston: Heinle & Heinle. Murphey, T. (1992). Music and Song. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Nunan, D. (1991). Language Teaching Methodology (A text book for Teachers). Hertfordshire: Prentice Hall. Nunan, D (1999). Second Language Teaching and Learning. Boston: Heinle & Heinle. Parry. (1987). Cited in Celce-Murcia 1991. Teaching English as a Second Foreign Language. Boston: Heinle & Heinle. Pomeroy, C.A. (1974). Songs for Intermediate ESL. Master’s Thesis; University of California, Los Angeles. Richards, J. (1969). “Songs in Language Learning.” TESOL Quarterly 3(2): 161-174. Richards, J. (1990). Interchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rost, M. (1996). Listening in Language Learning. London: Longman. Shaw, A.M. (1970). “How to Make Songs for Language Drill.” English Language Teaching 24(2): 125-132. Steffenson, M. and Joas-Vev. (1984). Cited in Celce–Murcia. 1991.Teaching English as a Second Foreign Language. Boston: Heinle & Heinle. Troyca, L. et al.. (1996). Handbook for Writers. Scarborough: Prentice Hall. Wallace C. (1992). Reading. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Welford, A. (1968). Fundamentals of Skill. London: Methuen.


Appendix 1 Questionnaire Using Songs in the Language Classroom

You may check as many answers as apply on this questionnaire. Name: (optional)__________________________________________________ Name of school: ___________________________________________________

1. Level of English presently teaching: __basic __low-intermediate __intermediate __high-intermediate __advanced

2. How often do you use songs in teaching your English class? __2-3 times a week __once a week __once every two weeks __once a month __once a semester __almost never

3. What kinds of songs do you usually use? __pop __rock


__slow __children’s __traditional __other (specify) ____________________

4. What criteria do you use when choosing a song? __students´ level

__grammar

__students´ taste

__vocabulary

__your taste

__rhythm

__skills to be taught

__sing ability

__clearness of lyrics

__other _______________________

5. Do you use songs according to a specific purpose or goal? __yes __no __usually

6. What skills do you develop? __listening

__reading

__speaking

__writing

7. Within those skills, what activities do you develop? __cloze exercises

__students sing

__grammar exercises

__vocabulary

__discussions about topic

__writing about song

__listening for specific information

__describing

__distinguishing sounds

__putting in correct order

__idioms

__question and answer


__dictation

__other

8. What are students´ reactions when using songs? 9. What results do you get from using songs? ____________________________ ________________________________________________________________ 10. In general, what is your opinion about using songs in the language classroom?


APPENDIX 2 Interview with coordinators of the language schools 1. Learners Profile a. What is the average age of the students? b. What is the students´ major? 1. Are they studying at university level yet or are they high school level or below? 2. Are they adult learners who are working besides taking classes? c. Are the groups homogeneous heterogeneous (according to age, major, etc.) 2. Frequency a. How many hours a week do the learners attend English classes? 3. Objective a. What is the goal for them to learn English? b. What are the objectives of the program or course? c. What results are obtained? (Do the results match the objectives?)


Appendix 3 1. Classification of songs in relation to their grammar application.

Nowadays, some EFL materials offer a variety of songs recommended for academicals purposes. On the other hand, commercial music is an option that is renewed everyday and offers a lot of possibilities to exploit songs. Therefore the teacher must select an adequate song, in relation to an objective and level. Suggestions by the students also should to be considered. The following list of options and songs was carefully selected from many lyrics and different times, and by checking their topics and by classifying them into categories. In the case of grammar, the selection considers the most basic grammar tenses and other elements of language. For this, the songs that only include one grammar tense that is repeated several times were not considered. Instead of this, the research focused on the same tense but with several verbs, e.g.: (“we were walking, we were talking, we were laughing…the moon was rising…the night was falling,” etc). Songs like the previous mentioned present more forms and examples. And also, some songs designed for teaching EFL/ESL were included to complete this list. Finally, a list of singers and songs that offer several themes to be discussed in class is provided. Timeless songs were not considered, however, they can be adapted to the following classification suggested. Songs are rich in grammatical structures; they also are real language. Thus, because of repetition they engage students easily. The following list gives a classification of songs, which can be applied to specific grammatical points. Simple present 1. “Alright”, Supergrass. 2. “Across the lines”, Tracy Chapman. 3. “June afternoon”, Roxette. 4. “Hand in my pocket”, Alanis Morissette. 5. “You learn”, Alanis Morissette. 6. “Love hurts”, Nazareth. 7. “That’s what love is”, Amy Grant. Present continuous 1. “Don't dream, it's over”, Crowded House. 2. “Lemon tree”, Fool’s Garden. 3. “June afternoon”, Roxette. 4. “Shopping at the K-mart”, (Finch) * 5. “Missing you”, John Waite. Simple past 1. “Stars”, Simply Red. 2. “Norwegian Wood” (This bird has flown), The Beatles. 3. “Anything can happen”, Was (Not Was). 4. “La isla bonita”, Madonna.


5. “Hazard”, Richard Marx. Past continuous 1. “La luna”, Belinda Carlisle. Present perfect 1. “What have they done to the world? (Bryam Abbs & Nola York). * 2. “Nothing compares to you”, Sinèad O’Connor. 3. “True blue”, Madonna. Present perfect continuous 1. “Waiting for a girl like you”, Foreigner. Future 1. “Love will lead you back”, Taylor Dayne. 2. “Runaway”, Janet Jackson. 3. “Crying in the rain”, AHA. 4. “Rush, rush”, Paula Abdul. 5. “I’ll be there”, The Escape Club. Question structures 1. “Where does my hear beat now?” Céline Dion. 2. “Why is it so hard?” Madonna. 3. “Kiss the rain”, Billie Myers. 4. “Eternal flame”, Bangles. 5. “Drive”, The Cars. Imperatives. 1. “I'll stand by you”, Pretenders. 2. “Don't speak”, No Doubt. 3. “The hokey pokey”. * Conditionals and modals 1. “Blame it on the rain”, Milli Vanilli. 2. “Could have been”, Tiffany. 3. “Lend a hand”. * 4. “More than words”, Extreme. 5. “One of us”, Joan Osborne 6. “You scratch my back”, I’ll scratch yours. * 7. “Change”, Lisa Stansfield. 8. “Hat full of stars”, Cyndi Lauper. Tenses review 1. “You don't understand me”, Roxette. 2. “All by myself”, Céline Dion. 3. “True blue”, Madonna. 4. “Where do broken hearts go?” Whitney Houston. 5. “Alone”, Heart. 6. “Hat full of stars”, Cyndi Lauper.


7. “Piano man”, Billie Joel. Pronouns and possessives 1. “My heart will go on”, Céline Dion. 2. “Mystical experience”, Boys Zone. 3. “Paradise”, Sade. 4. “And I love her”, The Beatles. Nouns, adjectives and adverbs 1. “I don't wanna talk about it”, Rod Stewart. 2. “Creep”, Radiohead. 3. “I'll be there”, The Escape Club. 4. “True colors”, Cyndi Lauper. 5. “The one”, Elton John. 6. “Alone”, Heart. 7. “Forever young”, Rod Stewart. 8. “Hand in my pocket”, Alanis Morissette. Prepositions 1. “I'll be there”, The Escape Club. 2. “Against all odds” (Take a look at me now), Phil Collins. 3. “Two steps behind”, Def Leppard. 4. “Tom’s dinner”, Suzanne Vega. 5. “Kiss of life”, Sade. 6. “Hotel California”, The Eagles. Idioms, opposites and vocabulary 1. “Fast car”, Tracy Chapman. 2. “Sing a song of opposites”. * 3. “Opposites attract”, Paula Abdul. 4. “Clothes line”. * 5. “Give me the alphabet”. * 6. “Magical colors”. * 7. “Playful Saturday”. * 8. “Splish, splash” (parts of the body). * 9. “The leader” (parts of the body). * 10.“The haunted house” (there is/are/was/were). * 11. “The twelve months of the year”. * 12. “Eat you broccoli” (food). * 13. “The hokey pokey”. *


2. Songs with a topic for discussion Contemporary themes 1. “Everybody wants to rule the world”, Tears for Fears. 2. “Man in the mirror”, Michael Jackson. 3. “We are the world”, USA for Africa. 4. “Wind of change”, Scorpions. 5. “Subcity”, Tracy Chapman. 6. “Dirty cash”, Adventures of Steve V. 7. “Forever young”, Alpha Ville. 8. “Money for nothing”, Dire Straits. Nature 1. “Chorus”, Erasure. 2. “Don't kill the world”, Boney M. 3. “Heal the world”, Michael Jackson. 4. “Promise of a new day”, Paula Abdul. Drugs 1. “Toy soldier”, Martika. 2. “Hotel California”, The Eagles. 3. “Street soldiers”, Hammer. 4. “Games”, New Kids On The Block. 5. “Black Balloon”, Go Go Dolls. Saying good bye (death and leaving). 1. “Praying for the dying”, Seal. 2. “Father and son”, Cat Stevens. 3. “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Queen. 4. “Wild world”, Cat Stevens. 5. “The power of goodbye”, Madonna. 6. “Tears in heaven”, Erick Clapton. Family relations 1. “Cats in the cradle”, Cat Stevens. 2. “Keep it together”, Madonna. 3. “Ode to my family”, The Cranberries. 4. “Oh father”, Madonna. 5. “Papa don't preach”, Madonna. 6. “You’re no son of mine”, Genesis. Education and cultural awareness 1. “Another brick in the wall”, Pink Floyd. 2. “Fast car”, Tracy Chapman. 3. “Material world”, Tracy Chapman. 4. “Get up, stand up”, Bob Marley. 5. “11mph”, Was (Not Was).


6. “What up dog?” Was (Not Was). 7. “I love rock ‘n roll”, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Racism 1. “Somewhere in America”, Was (Not Was). 2. “Across the lines”, Tracy Chapman. 3. “Born to fight”, Tracy Chapman. 4. “Get up stand up”, Bob Marley. 5. “Working for the fat man”, The Escape Club. 6. “Hazard”, Richard Marx. 7. “Rhythm nation”, Janet Jackson. War and peace 1. “Imagine”, John Lennon. 2. “Happy Xmas” (War is over), John Lennon. 3. “War is stupid”, Culture Club. 4. “Zombie”, The Cranberries. 5. “Goodbye Joey Rae”, The Escape Club. Food for thought and reflection 1. “Crazy”, Seal. 2. “Ironic”, Alanis Morissette. 3. “One of us”, Joan Osborne. 4. “Return to yourself”, Enigma. 5. “Sweet dreams”, Eurhythmics. 6. “What's up”, 4 Non Blondes. 7. “Piano man”, Billie Joel. 8. “Why?” Tracy Chapman. 9. “Dust in the wind”, Kansas. Motivating songs 1. “Alright”, Supergrass. 2. “Let your soul be your pilot”, Sting. 3. “Life is a flower”, Ace of Base. 4. “Here comes the sun”, The Beatles. 5. “Ray of light”, Madonna. 6. “Heaven is a place on Earth”, Belinda Carlisle. 7. “Three little birds”, Bob Marley. 8. “Don’t worry be happy”, Bobby McFerrin. Love 1. “All I wanna do it’s make love to you”, Heart. 2. “For my lover”, Tracy Chapman. 3. “Sacrifice”, Elton John. 4. “Seasons change”, Exposé. 5. “Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree”, Tony Orlando & Dawn.


Loneliness 1. “Lemon tree”, Fool’s Garden. 2. “Somebody to love”, Queen. 3. “True blue”, Madonna. 4. “I still got the blues”, Gary Moore. 5. “I remember you”, Skid Row. 6. “Time after time”, Cyndi Lauper. Friendship 1. “Hmm bop”, Hanson. 2. “Say you, say me”, Lionel Richie. 3. “When I’m 64”, The Beatles. 4. “With a little help from my friends”, The Beatles. 5. “You got a friend”, Carole Kim. 6. “We are the champions”, Queen. Escapade 1. “All I wanna do”, Sheryl Crow. 2. “Hotel California”, The Eagles. 3. “Land of dreaming”, Masterboy. 4. “Over the rainbow”. (Arlen-Harburg). * 5. “Escapade”, Janet Jackson. 6. “Octopus garden”, The Beatles. Poverty 1. “Another day in paradise”, Phil Collins. 2. “Gypsy woman”, Crystal Waters. 3. “Talkin’ bout a revolution”, Tracy Chapman. 4. “Working for the fat man”, The Escape Club. 5. “Why?” Tracy Chapman. 6. “Dirty cash”, Adventures of Steve V. Religion 1. “One of us”, Joan Osborne. 2. “Love thy will be done”, Martika. 3. “Like a prayer”, Madonna. 4. “From a distance”, Bettle Midler. 5. “My sweet lord”, George Harrison. 6. “Losing my religion”, R.E.M. Being a woman 1. “You oughta know”, Alanis Morissette. 2. “All that you have is your soul”, Tracy Chapman. 3. “She works hard for the money”, Donna Summer. 4. “Gloria”, Laura Branigan. 5. “Uninvited”, Alanis Morissette. 6. “Torn”, Natalie Imbruglia. 7. “Pearls”, Sade.


8. “That don’t impress me much”, Shania Twain. * These songs are available in EFL/ESL materials. 3. Singers who present a wide variety of songs with topics for discussion.

1. Alanis Morissette. 2. Billie Joel. 3. Bob Marley. 4. Cat Stevens. 5. John Lennon. 6. Madonna. 7. Sting. 8. The Beatles. 9. Tracy Chapman. 10. Was (Not Was). More classifications and options could be added, in the same way these songs could be substituted by the new songs, which are related to the same topic. The activities developed from songs emphasize prediction, reflection and learning. In the same way, songs offer a variety of expressions and idioms, which show the language in context as it is spoken in real life. “Authentic spoken language presents a challenge for the learner to attempt to understand language as native speakers actually use it”, Rost (1994: 141-142). Similar like this, to exposing pupils to authentic texts it is benefical because “nonauthentic listening texts differ in certain ways from authentic texts”, Nunan (1999: 212). The first ones used to include linguistic functions that are more applied in writing rather than in spoken language. For this reason, songs like any other sources of authentic material facilitate learning, listening and comprehension.


4. Other activities suggested As it has been seen, the possibilities for exploiting songs are unlimited. However, here is a list of possible activities for EFL classes. 1. Cloze exercises. 2. Mixed up song. (A puzzle song). 3. As a quizz. 4. Just for singing and having fun. (To review pronunciation). 5. For discussion. 6. Background music. 7. For translation. 8. Discrimination of sounds. 9. Find out vocabulary. 10.“Recreating a song� (Rewriting a song). 11.To review a grammar element. 12.Comprehension and writing exercises. 13.For dictation. 14.A combination of these activities. 5. Web sites to find lyrics. www.summer.com.br www.seas.upenn.edu www.lyrics.ch -http://barstop.com/wwwboard/Musicians/messages/6.html --http://www.komando.com/other/kool_sites/music/19980807_17... --http://207.200.73.135/Arts/Music/Bands_and_Artists/M/Mood... --http://www.interagora.gr/candbot/lyrics.htm --http://netsurf.citylink.de/users/gpavicic/music/lyrics_e.... --http://www.home.sk/www/search/lyrics.htm --http://ambrosia-net.virtualave.net/lyrics.html --http://whiplash.net/letras.html --http://mud.ncte.org/lists/ncte-talk/nov98/msg00382.html --http://ww.mp3now.com/html/lyrics.html --http://www.top3.net/fleetwood_mac/ --http://www.deadinv.com/resource/RNETmusic.htm --http://www.swissonline.ch/de/alpha/i.shtml


Appendix 4 Examples In the English class the songs could be used in several forms with different objectives. Here are just some possibilities. 1. Music genres. Teaching grammar can be easily while the learners have fun. The following activities are designed to complement some grammar exercises Level: Basic. Time: 15-16 Min. Age: 18-24 years. School: Universidad RealĂ­stica. Background information In this university the students have been working with the well-known book "Interchange". The following activity was applied to introduce the unit 4 of the book mentioned. This part of the book shows some common rhythms: pop, rock, country, gospel, jazz, classical music and blues, as the most sold in the USA. General objective To introduce different musical genres the learners should identify that by listening to some popular songs. Specific objective Students will be able to make questions, to express agreement and disagreement and use object pronouns. Warm up To ask questions like: Do you like music? -Yes, I do. Do you love rock? -No, I don't. Material A tape recorder and a tape with some samples of well-known songs. Each one of 10 seconds in average. Activities: The tape is played, this one includes these genres:

Genre 1. New Age

2. Rock & Roll

3. Pop


4.Opera 5. Classical. 6. Jazz. 7. Rap 8.Techno 9. Ranchera 10.Tango 11.Banda 12.Norte単a 13. Heavy metal 14. Hard Rock 15. Romantic/Ballad 16. Dance/Disco 17. Reggae 18. Waltz 19. Hip Hop 20. Country 21. Can Can


Then, as the samples are played, the teacher asks: What kind of music is it? The pupil’s answer: it's pop; it's classical, etc. Later, the activity continues with a conversation from the textbook: Conversation: Like and dislikes Listen and practice. Liz: Tom: Liz: Tom: Liz: Tom: Liz:

Do you like jazz Tom? No, I don't like it very much. Do you? It’s OK. What kind of music do you like? Well, I like rock a lot. What's your favorite group? U2. How about you? Do you like them? No, I don't. I can't stand them!

(Richards 1990: 23).

And finally, a cloze exercise is answered to practice yes/no questions with “do” and the adequate use of object pronouns: Complete these conversations. Then practice them. A: Do you............... disco music? B: Yes, I really like..…..How about you? A: I......….... like it very much. A: Who's your favorite actress? B: Jane Fonda. I really like.. ….... A: Jane Fonda! I can't stand! A: …... you.....…... Anne Murray? B: No, I ….…. like …....... very much. But I like Whitney Houston. Do you? A: Yes, I …...… She's terrific! (Richards 1990:23).


Option 1 The songs presented can be changed in accordance with the students’ age and time. Pictures that show singers or musical genres can support this activity. Option 2 Icebreaker It can be developed as an "icebreaker�. Option 3 Countries and nationalities This exercise can present nationalities and countries, for example, to play the samples of the songs, and ask about the country where the song is from. Observations It really works in class to motivate and engage the pupils. In the last example, the activity was planned in accordance with the course test. The students paid attention, and were involved in the topic and exercises. They could recognize many of the songs and almost all the classifications. Grammar exercises were answered with few or no mistakes. Music genres is a topic that can be exploited in several ways. Not only does it present rhythms, but also, it is culture and fun.


Option 4 Complementary activity

Twenty questions

Group work. Now you play the game. Take turns. One student thinks of a famous person. Then group can ask up to twenty questions like these. The answers are "Yes" or "No.�

Is it a man? (Or) Is it woman? Does he live in the United States? Is she American? Is he a singer? Does she wear glasses? Is he in his 30s? When you think you know the person's name, say: Is he.... (name)? (or) Is she .... (name)? (Richards 1990, p. 31).


2. Working with homonyms and commonly confused words. Homophone and homonym sounds can be worked out in two forms. Many times, sounds confuse students. Because of this; the following activity combines a reading and comprehension exercise with a song. Level: Intermediate or advanced. Age: Young learners or adults. Time: 40-60 min. Warm up To provide the students a list of homonyms and commonly confused words. advice advise are buy by fair fare hour our to too two

recommendation to recommend plural form of to be to purchase next to light-skinned; just, honest money for transportation; food sixty minutes plural form of my toward also; indicates degree (too much) number following one

Exercise Select the appropriate homonym from each group in parentheses: According to (Council, Counsel) on Aging, the North American population over 85 is growing faster (than, then) any other segment of society. The (council, counsel) (cites, sites) statistics indicating that elderly people who have access (to, too, two) good health care (are, our) likely to outlive (their, there, they’re) parents. If elderly parents grow (to, too two) (weak, week) to care for themselves, responsibility for them (maybe, may be) (passed, past) to children (know, no) longer young themselves. (Formally, Formerly) (use to, used to) (their, there) parents making independent decisions, adult children must now learn to (accept, except) that parents may need (assistance, assistants) with some decisions. Aging parents must be treated with courtesy and handled with (patience, patients). Frequent (personal, personnel) visits help to keep parents’ (moral, morale) high or to (raise, raze) low spirits. In (principal, principle), adult children (all ready, already) (know, no) how to behave with aging parents; they must sometimes be prepared to reverse their (respectful, respective) roles.

(Troyca et al. 1996, p. 424-429).

Main objective Learners will be able to discriminate homophone and homonym sounds, by making sense of the context provided. Second objective To adequate the nouns, adjectives or verbs that better fit to the content of the song.


Warm up to the song The song “The One� will be introduced. The song is about the moment when a couple finds out love. Before listening to the song, the teacher will ask the pupils about their opinions and personal experiences. Then, if there are strange words, they will be explained, however the vocabulary is not difficult. Activities for the song The pupils listen to the song and select the best option. The song can be played as many times as required. Later, they compare their answers in pairs. Then, each one reads a line from the lyrics and the whole group compares results. Afterwards, they discuss with the teacher, why some words are not possible. To conclude, the students give opinions about the song, what they liked or not, and why. Observation A brief biography of the singer could attach the song. Option 2 It can be used as a test/quiz. Option 3 It can be adapted for a phonetics exercise. Option 4 The use of the video clip shows the scene.


The One By Elton John. Select the adequate word:

I so/saw you dancing out the ocean/notion Running fast/last along the land/sand A spirit born of ear/earth and murder/water/wallet Fire flying from your hands/heads. In the instant that love someone In the record/second that the hammer hits/beats/kicks Reality runs up your spine/pine/smile And the pieces finally be/bit/fit. And all I ever needed was the one Like freedom feels/fields where wild/wire horses run The stars/starts collide like you and I No shadows block/lock the son/sun You’re all I’ve ever needed Baby you’re the one. There are carebands/caravans we follow Drunken/broken nights in far/dark hotels When changes/chances breathe between the aliens/silence Where sex/six and love no longer gel/yell. For each man/men in his time is cane/Cain Until he walks along the dish/beach And sees his future in the wallet/water A long host/lost heart within his rich/reach.


3. Music, comprehension, grammar and video clips. Reading and comprehension exercises used to be based on articles, short stories, etc. This activity suggests listening to a song and checking comprehension. And also, to review some grammar structures to make questions and conversations. On the other hand, by using a video clip, culture can be presented and compared. Song: Kiss the rain, by Billie Myers. Level: Low-intermediate or high intermediate. Age: Young learners or adults. Time: Variable (Depending on extended exercises). General objective To check listening and comprehension, review some adjectives and nouns and to talk about the content. Specific objective Students will be able to make questions in simple present and be able to make a phone conversation. Warm up To ask the students how do they talk in the phone and what questions they make. Activities Firstly, to introduce the context, so the pupils can make more sense of the lyrics, (Nunan 1999). The song is about a couple that broke up; one day she calls her old boyfriend. Then, the learners follow the sequence/situation till find the end. Some words will be explained (dawn, fall over, tempted, and so on.) The activity continues with a writing, reading and comprehension exercise: I.

Choose the best sentence that answers the following question: What is the intention of the girl? 1. To hurt herself. 2. To get back her boy. 3. To say goodbye.

Write true or false: 1. She is on the street _____


2. The boy is alone 3. It’s a sunny day 4. He lives far away

_____ _____ _____

In your own words, explain what do you understand by: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Am I getting through to you?: Keep in mind, we’re under the same sky: What I’m left imagining: Whenever I’m gone too long:

Explain with your own words, the story of the song:

How does the rain play a role in the song, what is its meaning? ____________________________________________________________ If you really love somebody, what would you do to comeback?

The learners will continue with the second option, to extend the activities: Option 2 Making questions The students will look for the questions asked in the song; in pairs they will answer them. Then, they will discuss which questions are really important and what other questions they would do to the person from the song, and they will add more questions with answers. Option 3 Phone conversation As homework, the pupils can elaborate an informal conversation, like talking to a friend. Option 4 Watching a video clip Using the clip from the song lets to predict or anticipate, what is going to occur in the video clip. After watching it, they will compare it to the song; saying if it was what they expected, what changes they noticed, and what they liked more or not and why? Also, what other elements they would add or take out? Option 5 Cultural elements To look for cultural elements and the differences and similarities in relation to students’ culture.


Option 6 Filming a clip If there were time and equipment available, this would be an interesting follow-up alternative.

Option 7 Vocabulary game From the song are taken the new words or expressions and written in a piece of paper, and in slips of paper the definitions of this vocabulary. So the learners relate both papers to find out the meanings.


Kiss The Rain, By Billie Myers. Hello Can you hear me? Am I gettin’ through to you? Well hello Is it late there? There’s a laughter on the line Are you sure you’re there alone? Cause I’m I’m trying to explain Something’s wrong You just don’t sound the same Why don’t you Why don’t you Go outside Go outside. Kiss the rain Whenever you need me Kiss the rain Whenever I’m gone too long If your lips Feel lonely and thirsty Kiss the rain And wait for the dawn. Keep in mind We’re under the same sky And the nights As empty for me, as for you If you feel You can’t wait the till mornin’ Kiss the rain (x 5). Well hello Do you miss me? I hear ya say you do But not the way I’m missin’ you So what’s new? How’s the weather? Is it stormy where you are? You sound so close but it feels like you’re so far Oh would it mean anythin’ If you knew What I’m left imaginin’


In my mind In my mind Would you go Would you go Kiss the rain Kiss the rain. As you fall over me Think of me (x 3) Only me Kiss the rain Whenever you need me Kiss the rain Whenever I’m gone too long If your lips Feel hungry and tempted Kiss the rain And wait for the dawn. Keep in mind We’re under the same sky And the nights As empty for me, as for you If ya feel You can’t wait till mornin’ Kiss the rain (x 5) Go outside Go outside Why don’t you kiss the rain Kiss the rain. Hello Can you hear me? Can ya hear me? Do you miss me? Do ya The way I miss you Goodbye. 4. Singing in class. The purpose of this song it is to have a good pronunciation, just by singing a happy and simple song. Song: Level: Age: Time:

Barbie girl, by Aqua. Any. Any (Children and adolescents enjoy more this song). 15-20 minutes.


Objective The students will be able to sing and have and fun. Warm up To talk about the childhood, the pupils’ favorite games, cartoons, toys, dreams, places, etc. Activities The teacher introduces the context: It is about a very famous doll and her fantasy world. Then, he asks, have you ever listened to the song “Barbie girl?” So, do you like it and why? The song is played once just to listen to it. Then, it is played again and the teacher divides the class in two groups: the girls will sing the part by Barbie (in Times New Roman) and the boys the part by Ken (in Comic Sans MF). The group can sing as many times as they want. Option 1 Another song, which could be divided in two different parts is “The land of dreaming”, by Masterboy. Or any other with these characteristics. Option 2 As a complement the students could write about their childhood, including their favorite games, cartoons, movies, toys, dreams, etc. Observation The song is quite successful with children and adolescents. But it could also be applied to adults. It depends of the characteristics of the group.


“Barbie Girl” By Aqua.

Hi Barbie! Hi Ken! Do you want to go for a ride? Sure Kent! Jump in! I’M A BARBIE GIRL IN A BARBIE WORLD LIFE IN PLASTIC IT’S FANTASTIC YOU CAN BRUSH MY HAIR UNDRESS ME EVERYWHERE IMAGINATION THAT’S YOUR CREATION. Come on Barbie, let’s go party. I’m a blond Single girl In a fantasy world Dress me up Make shine I’m your dolly. You’re my dolly Rock and roll Feel the glamour and pain Kiss me here Touch me there Hanky panky. You can touch You can play You could say I’m always yours, ooh


Make me walk Make me talk Do wherever you please I can act like a star I can beg in my knees. Come jump in! Be my friend Let us do it again Hit the town Fool around Let’s Go party. You can touch You can play You could say I’m always yours, ooh. (Repeat chorus).


5. Prepositions and changes. The activities for this song are focused on the right use of prepositions. The song includes a lot of prepositions with different examples and combinations. Song: I’ll be there, by The Escape Club. Level: Intermediate. Age: Young/adults Time: 20 min. General objective To practice speaking and listening through discussion of the song. To talk and write about favorite places using prepositions. Specific objective The learners will be able to fill in the blanks with the correct prepositions. Activities Before giving the song, ask about places where people can go to look for someone. The students will give examples. The song is given. They will identify all the places that they can. Here the teacher, could mention the movie “Ghost” and explain that the situation of this song is similar to the movie content. With this they can have a link and be engaged in listening to the song. Next, they look for some nouns like, rain, trees, whisper, miles, etc. Pupils look for unknown words and the teacher guides the learners to guess the meanings of these words. Then, they will be asked to place the prepositions that in the blanks. Later, they will compare responses and discuss why they used those prepositions. The song will be played once, pausing to check their answers. Then, the whole song will be played. Students explain/describe the song. The teacher asks, “Would you do that for somebody?” The pupils discuss why or why not. Option 1 Homework Have the learners write a description of their favorite place, describing it using prepositions. For example: “My favorite place is my bedroom. When I walk in my bedroom, I feel comfortable. I lay on my bed and imagine that I go to many places. I look at my posters on the wall,” and so on. Option 2 Several prepositions could be written in the blanks. For example: In/under/round the mountains, over/in/under trees. The students and teacher can discuss all these possibilities and what prepositions are not possible, in


accordance with the lyric’s topic. The same exercise can be done with adjectives, nouns or verbs.

Option 3 Recreating a song To make a new written version of the song. This activity emphasizes creativity. The following example includes the possible changes and the original lyrics. Observations “Fill in the blanks”, it is the most frequent application of songs, however, by adding some variations it could be more useful in EFL class.


I’LL BE THERE By Escape Club. Over/behind mountains/volcanoes, over/under trees/pines Over/under oceans/lakes, over/round seas/pools, Across/inside the desert/forest, I’ll be there. In/behind a whisper/noise on the wind/ring On/in front of the smile/laughing of/with a new/old friend/girl Just think of/about me, and I’ll be there.

Don’t be afraid/hungry/angry, oh, my love I’ll be watching you from above/below And I’d give/run all the world tonight/right now To be with/by you ’Cause I’m on/by your side/life, And I still care, I may have died/married But I’ve gone nowhere/somewhere, Just think of/about me, and I’ll be there. On/up the edge/end of/in a walking/sailing/funny dream/joke/ship Over/across rivers, over/under streams Through/in/by wind/car and rain/train, I’ll be here. Across/around the wide/short and open/close sky/skin/time, Thousands/hundred of miles/times/snacks I’d fly/buy To be/eat with/for/by you. I’ll be there

Don’t be afraid… (repeat) In the breath of a wind/bear that sighs/fights Oh, there’s no need/more to cry/hide/buy, Just think of/by me, and I’ll be there.


6. Discussion in class. “Why”, it is a song which presents many topics to debate in class. In the same way emphasizes the four skills. The English teacher can adapt the activities and options to the class interests. Song: Why? By, Tracy Chapman. Level: High intermediate or advanced. Age: Young/adults Time: Variable. General objective To talk about contemporary themes, to emphasize discussion in class. To reinforce the four skills. Specific objectives Learners will be able to identify and discuss different topics. Then, be able to identify general and specific information. Warm up What are some contemporary problems for human beings? Do you have one of these problems? Teacher asks. Activities Divide the class into groups, have the learners listen to the song. Then, students identify the situations presented in the song (poverty, war, loneliness, safety of women, and so forth). They will discuss the topics and express what they agree with and what they don’t. So, each group will defend their point of view. Option 1 Newspaper As homework, they will look for articles about the themes from the song. The following day, they show what they found, exchanging the articles and sharing opinions in relation to the topics. One of the articles is selected; this one is about the conflict in Kozovo. Then, it is related to the lines of the song: “Why are the missiles called peace keepers? When they’re aimed to kill”. With this, the point to debate will be focused on this part of the song. Teacher and learners will discuss, who is right/wrong. What would you do if you were the USA or Yugoslavia president? This activity emphasizes speaking in class, reading, comprehension, writing reflection and personal points of view.


Option 2 Reading and comprehension exercise By considering this article, an exercise of reading and comprehension will be answered in class. They can read aloud the article, and then, they will work with the following questionnaire: General information 1. What can you infer by the title? (NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization). 2. What is the general idea of the whole text? Specific information 3. Who are Javier Solana and Jamie Shea? 4. What is Aznar’s opinion, in relation to the conflict? Talking and writing about points of view 5. If you had the opportunity to solve the conflict what would you do? Give your opinion: Option 3 The chart called “Latest Developments” can be discussed in class, point by point. Option 4 Another article can be chosen to work in class and related to the song content. Option 5 As a final assignment, the students can develop an essay about one of the themes offered in the song and presented it in class.


Why? By Tracy Chapman. Why do the babies starve When there’s enough food to feed the world Why when there’re so many of us Are there people still alone? Why are the missiles called peace keepers? When they’re aimed to kill Why is a woman still not safe When she’s in her home Love is hate War is peace No is yes And we’re all free But somebody’s gonna have to answer The time is coming soon Amidst all these questions and contradictions There’s some who seek the truth But somebody’s gonna have to answer The time is coming soon When the blind remove their blinders And the speechless speak the truth. 7. Love songs. Love songs are without doubt, the most popular kind of songs. The students can analyze their content and express opinions about love. Level: Any. Age: Young/adults. Time: 15 minutes. General objective To analyze a love song, through a simple questionnaire. Specific objective Learners will be able to express and talk their feelings.


Warm up To ask the students, what do they think about love, their expectations and opinions. Activities The learners will bring to class their favorites love songs. Then in groups, they will choose a song and answer the following questionnaire related to the song. Write notes on the lyrics of the song you have chosen, answering the following questions. 1. What is “love” like, according to this song? Choose a spot on the continuum. Is it … supremely important

relatively unimportant

marvelous, full of joy

terrible, painful

lasting

ephemeral

what else? _______________________________________________________________ 2. Words that describe love (does the song have any images or comparisons?) _____________________________________________________________________ 3. Words that describe the loved one (images? Comparisons?) _____________________________________________________________________ 4. If you’re in love, according to the song: How do you behave? ______________________________________________________________________ How do you feel? ______________________________________________________________________ How does the person who is loved behave / feel? ______________________________________________________________________ Answer the following questions about the nature of love. 1. Which of the following statements comes closest to your idea of what love is? (Check one or more) ___ Love is a paradise. ___ Love is hell. ___ Love is a disease. ___ Love is a state of madness. ___ Love is a religion. ___ Love is an all-consuming fire. ___ Love is a kind of warfare. ___ Love is an ephemeral nonsense. ___ Love is ________________.


2. How important, how valuable is it for you? Which of the following sentences comes closest to your opinion? ___ The most important thing, the only valuable thing in the world. ___ A good thing, but not the only good thing in the world. ___ A mixed blessing. ___ A disaster; it always ends in tragedy. ___ A pleasant illusion, cloaking the reality of sex. ___ An unpleasant illusion, distorting our idea of relations between the sexes. 3. If you love someone, what would you be most likely to compare him or her to? ___ a flower: __________ ___ a bird: _________ ___ an animal: ___________ ___ a celestial body: __________ ___ a part of nature: __________ ___ something else: ___________ 4. If a man loves a woman, this is how he behaves: ___ Writes poems to her. ___ Sends her flowers and gifts. ___ Weeps and sighs if she doesn’t respond. ___ Acts in a mainly, masterful way. ___ Conceals his love. ___ _______________________________ 5. If a woman loves a man, this is how she behaves: ___ Gives him gifts. ___ Pretends to love someone else. ___ Conceals her love. ___ Tells him about it. ___ Sighs and weeps if he doesn’t pay attention to her. ___ _____________________________ (Collie, J and S. Slater 1987, p. 174-175).

Option 1 Exchanging answers and points of view


The use of songs in the language classroom