Music is a great way to teach ESL. Song lyrics introduce new vocabulary and remind the students that language is expression. Learning English can be fun!
I begin by selecting a song. The lyrics may be for a grammar class (adjectives) or may be for discussion (An Englishman in New York by Sting) is a good entry point to talk about immigration and customs.
I like to use different versions of the same song. This allows the students to listen to different phrasing and interpretations of the same lyrics. Calabash Music offers a nice variety of music.
The steps I use to teach using music are:
- Write specific words from the song on the board and have the students define those words.
- Play the song.
- Ask the students to describe what they heard.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 at least once more to help the student train their ears.
- Give the students a handout of the lyrics. Let them read the lyrics to themselves.
- Play the song at least two times while the students follow the lyrics.
Depending on your lesson, you have different options.
- Have the students read the lyrics out loud to practice their pronunciation and reading skills.
- Have the students discuss the meaning of the song.
- Once the meaning is determined, discuss that topic (great for a conversation class).
- Have the students write about the song or the topic.
Using music to teach ESL is fun. Using music to help learning is a topic that interests me. Whether it be ESL-related or other, please share your thoughts with me.