Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Meghan Trainor- "All About That Bass"

Teaching ESL often implies selecting material with a social message for teenagers and when it comes to dealing with eating and bad habits, we know how much it is fundamental nowadays to stress upon complex concepts, i.e. awareness, healthy habits and self acceptance, etc. 
In choosing today's song, "All About That Bass", I'm thinking that all these aspects are positively expressed by the US singer Meghan Trainor, a testimonial herself of real beauty. Although some of you may object that the language is pretty colloquial, I believe it can easily become subject matter itself, therefore why don't you make reference to it, if you are planning a lesson on colloquial/plain English and synonyms to enrich your students' poor vocabulary?

Level: pre-intermediate/intermediate students

Grammar focus on: colloquial/plain English and synonyms

Activity: rewrite the words given into plain English and find synonyms for informal expressions



Video: 


Let's talk about:  Photoshop and real beauty. 1) Who do you admire most: VIP celebrities or ordinary people? 2)Do you agree with the message conveyed by the song? 3) Would ever go under plastic surgery (or nip and tuck?)?


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Sheppard- "Geronimo"

Hi everyone and welcome back to a new school year! If you're terribly missing your summer lazy days and you urgently need a boost, say: "Geronimo"! As some of you probably already know, this new hit by the emerging Australian band Sheppard goes back to Geronimo, the Apache leader who used to yell his name before making any war. Quite in the same way, I wish we all can start this new adventure with the same strength of that legendary Native American hero....!

Level: upper intermediate

Grammar focus on: verbs of movement

Activity: reorder the verbs given into scrambled order

Geronimo

Lyrics taken from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/sheppard/geronimo.html

Video:


Friday, 18 April 2014

American Authors- "Best Day of My Life"

As soon as you listen to this song, you will find it extremely familiar and that's why it has been chosen as soundtrack for many important events, as suggested by Metrolyrics  and Wikipedia. You can use "Best Day of My Life" for any class, no matter your students' level or age, because it can be easily fitted to your needs. In this case I'm putting forward a quick lesson plan on idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs, too, but you could think of other possibilities, as well!

Level: pre-intermediate 

Grammar focus on: idioms & phrasal verbs

Activity: circle the right option


Lyrics taken from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/americanauthors/bestdayofmylife.html

Video:



Let's talk about: positive feelings and sensations. 1) Can you remember the best day of your life? 2)How would you imagine the best day of your life? 









Thursday, 10 April 2014

Faul & Wad Ad & Pnau- "Changes"

On the basis of one of the biggest hits at the moment, "Changes", I'd like to speak about the importance of storytelling in dealing with songs. As you already know, oral interaction plays a fundamental role in ESL, but one may wonder: one can you combine ESL songs and speaking activities? This week I'm going to add an extra infographic, that briefly illustrate how you can develop storytelling in your class, by simply working on the video clip of a song. In this case, I would suggest that you show your class first the video clip and only after that you can go on with the listening activity. I'm sure your students will enjoy it, just have a look at the YouTube video (linked below) and you will agree with me!

Level: any 

Grammar focus on: just, maybe

Activity: let's focus on storytelling. First let the video play and decide which aspect you would like to analyse. Secondly, ask your students to listen to the song. Finally get them involved with their personal experiences in the Let's talk about section. 

(Cliparts taken from http://www.clipartgratis.it/)

Lyrics taken from  http://www.lyricsmania.com/changes_lyrics_faul_and_wad_ad_and_pnau.html

Video:

Let's talk about teenagers' lifestyle: 1) Have you ever taken part in a bravado with your friends? 2) Have you ever bullied against someone? How do you feel now? 3) Have you ever been bullied? How do you feel about that?




Friday, 21 March 2014

Coldplay- "Magic"

Coldplay's lyrics usually have a very special touch and their last hit, "Magic", is so enchanting! Unfortunately, teenagers are not always so fond of Coldplay and from my personal experience I've learnt that their songs are more advisable for young adults or adults in general, but who knows, maybe your students make an exception! Anyway let me know...

Level: beginner

Grammar focus on: prepositions

Activity: circle the right option


Lyrics taken from:  http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/coldplay/magic.html

Video:

(No official video available yet,  I'm posting the official audio instead)


Let's talk about:special people in your life. 1) Have you ever met someone with a magic touch? 2)What is magic in a love affair? 3) What is magic in a friendship?

Memorable phrases: 

  • to get over (something) used to say that one feels finally happy or relieved after something bad (i.e. an accident, a troublesome relation, etc.) has happened or ended. 
  • (if you can) call it (magic)....used to emphasize that something is not what it looks like.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Clean Bandit (feat. Jess Glynne)- "Rather Be"

On listening "Rather Be" by the British band Clean Bandit for the first time, we had no doubt: this song is exceptional and it gives you lots of energy, too. What's more, considering just some of its phrases, such as "switch up your batteries" and "stake out", we decided to add an extra section from this week on: it will be entitled "Memorable phrases" and it will collect some of the best idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs that are noteworthy for you and your students, too. Equally important for us is the fact that today we're writing our post #100 and we're thankful to all those who still support and bookmark Sing Along With It! among the handy ESL resources around the web!

Level: pre-intermediate

Grammar focus on: would

Activity: circle the right option


Lyrics taken from: http://www.metrolyrics.com/rather-be-lyrics-clean-bandit.html

Video: 


Let's talk about: the video clip of the song. Watch the girl's daily routine and write down a list of the activities she does. Compare your list with your classmates' one. 

Memorable phrases: 

a) Switch up your batteries! or also Recharge your batteries! means "to get more energy";

b) to stake out means 1) to mark an area with fences; 2) to wait outside a building and keep it under surveillance; 3) to defend or to firmly believe in something. 




Sunday, 9 March 2014

Nick Howard- "Untouchable"

As many ESL learners already know, phrasal verbs and prepositions following verbs can be quite irksome to master and even proficient speakers regularly need to go over them. Today's song "Untouchable" by the British Nick Howard is perfect for this goal!

Level: pre-intermediate

Grammar focus on: phrasal verbs, prepositions

Activity: circle the right option

Untouchable

Lyrics taken from: http://www.lyricsmania.com/untouchable_lyrics_nick_howard.html

Video:


Let's talk about: my friends and I. 1) Find three adjectives to describe your friends. 2) What is special in friendship? 3)How do you feel, when you are with your friends?