Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Using songs in the English classroom

An excellent way to make learning enjoyable and motivating is to use music in the classroom. Here are some of the benefits of songs - they:  
  • increase motivation - there's hardly anyone who doesn't like music
  • increase vocabulary and phonemic awareness - they are authentic material
  • improve memory and concentration - students learn through repetition
  • provide meaningful context to encourage fluency
  • relax stress or change the mood
Here is a list of songs I have used and intend to use in class to make learning grammar fun:

Present simple - Celine Dion "I'm alive"
                                          Devotchka "Till the end of time"
Present continuous -  Keane "Everybody's changing"
                                   One Republic "Stop and Stare"
                                   The Arcade fire "My body is a cage"
                                   ABBA "One of us"
Present perfect simple - U2 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
                                         Matchbox 20 "How far we've come" 
                                         Rod Steward "Have I told you lately"
Present perfect continuous  - Anastacia "Left outside alone"
Past Simple - The Beatles "Yellow Submarine"
                      A-ha "Did anyone approach you"
Past continuous - Aerosmith "Crying"
Future Simple - Zucchero "Diamante"
                           A-ha  "Crying in the ran"
Imperative; modal verbs (could) - A-ha "Foot of the mountain"
Subjunctive - Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash "If I Were A Carpenter"
Modals (could), Past Simple, too+adjective+to-infinitive, obligation in the past (should have stopped) - Snow Patrol "You could be happy" 
Modal verbs (must) - Queen "Show must go on"
1st Conditional - Simply Red "If you don't know me by now"
2nd Conditional - ABBA "Money, money, money"
                               Lisa Stansfield "Change"
3rd conditional - Taylor Swift "You're not sorry"
Wishes - Joni Mitchell "I wish I had a river  "
               The Arcade Fire " City with no children" 
               Blackmore's Night "Wish you were here"
Modals for the past - Adam Lambert "Better Than I Know Myself"
Used to - Gotye "Somebody that I used to know"
                The Arcade Fire "Used to wait"
Too+adjective+to-infinitive - OneRepublic "Apologize"
Make/Let+bare infinitive - Madonna "Love makes the world go round"
                                             The Beatles "Let it be"
Comparatives - Kaiser Chiefs "Every day I love you less and less"
Reported speech - The Killers "Somebody told me"
                                Nina Simone "If he changed my name"
                                 Holly Cole  "I Told Him That My Dog Wouldn't Run" 
Phrasal verbs  - James "Getting away with it"
                           Lily Allen "The Fear"
                           Devotchka "The last beat of my heart"

Defining relative clauses - Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta "You're The One That I Want "

There are numerous ideas of how to use songs in the classroom. Here are some:

 If you feel that I should add other songs to this list, feel free to share.


  1. How about John Travolta's You are the one that I want to illustrate Defining relative clauses?

  2. Thanks! That's a very good idea! I will add it to my list of songs. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...