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August 15, 2010

Sing-Along English Lessons

To say that learning English is difficult just might be the ultimate understatement. We, as teachers and learners, struggle...

...to make learning productive, worthwhile, and, if possible, enjoyable.

As I've mentioned in previous articles, I've incorporated music in a variety of ways. I think I've found the best way yet!

How about sing-alongs - especially to help with those pesky pronunciations. What are learners of English to make of words spelled essentially the same but with different pronunciations like dose, hose or rose? What about those wacky words with similar sounds but different spellings? Words like; goes, slows, knows, pose or owes?

Of course a great (and fun) way, that is not too embarrassing, is to sing together as a group. Thanks to this website, it is even possible for students to practice at home or in privacy. Who knows, students might even teach their friends or families on their own.

Take a look here http://www.letslets.com/teach_english.php.

For MUCH younger kids, Old MacDonald had a farm is a classic children's song - be prepared for all kinds of animal sounds from your kids. This song common and easy to memorize (or improvise). You can see a Youtube version here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_z6zyAe98M&feature=related.

Many students like karaoke, and this is sort of an educational approach using a fun technique. Let me know how this works for you!

On a related note, I always urge my students to step out and pursue their passions. I have just recently had the opportunity to pursue one of my longtime passions. I'll be hosting an online radio program. You can hear my voice - and some of my stories about music - at tacoma.fm http://www.tacoma.fm/tfmdjssaturday.php. My program is on from 10pm to 2 am (Pacific Standard time) Saturday evening.

I hope you can listen. Please send me a note and let me know what you think.

We are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing, constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foreign foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at August 15, 2010 10:24 PM

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