Saturday, 20 January 2018

Ed Sheeran- "Perfect"

Valentine's day is coming soon and today I'm working on a perfect love song, which I'm sure some of my students will enjoy greatly. "Perfect" is a ballad sung by the British pop artist Ed Sheeran duetting with the American pop star BeyoncĂ©. I know that in this hit there are love idioms, but  I preferred focusing on the past simple form of irregular verbs, which is usually a sore point for English learners.

Level: pre- and intermediate

Grammar focus on:  past simple

Activity: fill in the blanks


Saturday, 9 December 2017

U2- "You're the best thing about me"

In 2014 the Irish band U2 released an album, "Songs of Innocence", which was a devoted tribute to William Blake's masterpiece. After 3 years, Bono and company worked on a new album,  "Songs of Experience", named after the second collection of poems written by the same English visionary poet. The hit we're going to listen today, "You're the best thing about me", is a gem, that recollects all the most important themes you can read in Blake's poems, i.e. an inner look into our personal emotional sphere. What I love about this song is that it is a love message sent by Bono to his children and a clear sign of jubilation. If you're working in a school where you teach English literature and you're interested in a flipped educational activity, you may as well appeal your students to search for similarities between the contents of the U2's lyrics and William Blake's poems, too.

Level: intermediate and upper-intermediate

Grammar focus on: prepositions and adverbs

Activity: fill in the song


Saturday, 18 November 2017

Mika- "It's My House"

Mika is one of my favourite artists: he's a great singer but also a talented one-man anchor and his TV program, "Stasera CasaMika", currently on Rai2  on Tuesdays, is unmissable for me. Thus today's song, "It's My House", theme song of the show, is proper to revise the study of auxiliaries, but also to practice phrasal verbs, too. What's more, I guess your students will love it and will also enjoy singing the refrain of the song.

Level: intermediate

Grammar focus on: auxiliaries (might/would/ can/ will/ are)

Activity: fill in the gaps (items provided)

It's My House

Lyrics taken from:


(live from the first night of "Stasera CasaMika)

Monday, 6 November 2017

Justin Bieber & BloodPop- "Friends"

The lyrics I have gone for today needs no presentation: I bet that your students already sing it and girls are simply crazy about Justin Bieber, i.e. the singer. The type of language is also basic and some lines are repeated more than two or three times, too. Therefore I thought to use it to reinforce students'skills about grammar as well as pronunciation.

Level: beginner

Grammar focus on: present simple vs. simple past 

Activity: circle the right option


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Pink- "What About Us"

Sometimes some of my students are taken over by a sudden and unpredictable mood swing: maybe the day after they were peaceful and heedful, whereas the next day they look like somber, inattentive and careless, if not rude, to others' concern. I don't know if the same has happened to you, but in many cases this is due to love woes, which can have a "dramatic" impact not only on my student but  on all the other friends he/she has in the class! At times they want to talk about their sufferings and disappointment, but usually they don't and they don't want even join my lesson. What will I do then? Here's my suggestion to create a more relaxing atmosphere in the class, not being too intrusive or regardless their emotional state: "What about us", a song written and sung by the US pop star Pink, which is perfect to understand the sensations one may prove after breaking up, as here you can find lots of words related to feelings. Furthermore this song is also suitable to learn and practice phrasal verbs and colloquial expressions and that's the focus of my activity today. 

Level: intermediate

Focus on: phrasal verbs and idioms

Activity: fill in the gap

Lyrics taken from: Google Play Music 


Friday, 13 October 2017

Coldplay ft. Big Sean- "Miracles (someone Special)"

As many of you already know, immigration is one of the most controversial issues we're currently more concerned about. Taking into account that many of us have ancestors, friends or sons who, for some reason, have moved from their homeland to a new country for a better chance, I just settled on the idea of working on Coldplay's hit "Miracles". In actual fact, I believe this song is excellent for two reasons: a) students can look at the immigrants' experience and feelings with different eyes and therefore increase awareness in other people's emotions and b) they can also be more motivated to follow their dreams. In the song, in fact, there's a list of great people who succeeded, notwithstanding the obstacles they had to go through. What's more the videoclip of the song can be taken to mean both a family photo album and a gallery of pictures; the words that appear on it are quite emotional and catchy, too.

Level: pre-intermediate

Grammar focus on: simple past

Activity: complete the song with the correct form of the verbs given between brackets


Thursday, 12 October 2017

One Republic feat. Tiziano Ferro- "No Vacancy"

Hi everyone!I'm back again after a long while with my bizarre posts on how to use contemporary hits to teach and learn English as a second language, i.e. a hard task for any Italian teacher! I'm glad to start over with an easy listening, "No Vacancy", by the US group One Republic, that many students already know thanks to the collaboration of the band with the Italian music singer and songwriter  Tiziano Ferro. I thought this is may help you to review past simple in a very relaxing way. Enjoy it!

Level: beginner

Grammar focus on: past simple

Activity: complete the song with the given verbs in the correct form

Lyrics taken from: Google Play