May 22

Using Translation in Songs

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a great fan of using music in the classroom and my students often request songs they would like to work with.

The other day, I had a request for Broken Strings by James Morrison and Nelly Furtado. I already had the song, so I found the lyrics on elyrics and then sat down to decide what activity to do with it…

Order the verses?
Find the extra word?
Correct the mistakes?

I felt that I’d done each of these activities to the death and wanted to try something new. But what?

Well, my little brain was fortunately not feeling so frazzled that morning and inspiration came to me! I decided to do a gap-fill, but one which students had to complete before they listened to the song. Rather than putting the words they needed to complete at the bottom of the page, I chose to put the translation of the word after the gap.

When my students first saw the dictionaries, there was a groan but they actually got quite into the activity and enjoyed being able to fill in some gaps without needing to look the word up. We also looked at synonyms of some words and a couple of oh-so-fun false friends which I’d thrown in as well!

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Posted May 22, 2009 by Teresa Bestwick in category Listening

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