I was actually at Language World with work this year, but I was able to sneak off and take advantage of a fun and highly useful session given by Greg Horton.
Firstly, it was a delight to be in a session dominated by German for once 🙂 – although most of these ideas would also work with other languages.
Greg made some excellent suggestions as to how music can play a part in language learning, so here are a few of his ideas:
Obviously, some artists have already recorded songs in German, and can be used for scene-setting, a classroom treat, or a means of showing that not all popular music has to be in English. Examples which Greg gave were: Peter Gabriel, Kraftwerk, and Nena. And of course, David Bowie.
But here are some other ideas which Greg suggested:
- Pupils choose any tune they currently like, and sing a question in TL. Their partner answers, also using the same tune.
- Ich bin dein Gummibär – use to practise masculine adjective endings “Ich bin dein kleiner, grüner, süsser …. Gummibär”
- Da Da Da – give simple opinions in four syllables: “Ich liebe grün, ich hasse gelb, aha” and sing their own version. Can also look at how “liebe” becomes shortened to “lieb'”, and so can gain an extra syllable.
- Sing personal pronouns to karaoke version of “We Will Rock You” – (Ich, du, er ,sie, wir, ihr, Sie, sie).
- In a similar vein, sing the verb “sein” to the theme of Mission Impossible (actions and movement around the classroom make this very lively and memorable!)
- Use the song Jeden Tag bin ich bei Facebook drin to reinforce the phrase “gefällt mir”.
- Pupils can make their own lyrics to express what their mobile phone means to them using the chorus from Mein neues Handy.
- Timeline Dancing: pupils work in pairs and must ‘waltz’. One partner says a sentence – if it’s in present tense, step sideways; past tense, step back; future tense, step forward. If it also includes an opinion, twirl! This can be scaffolded by having some phrases visible on the board if necessary.
*Gratuitous David Bowie video*