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STRIKE A CHORD
use authentic songs as a source of comprehensible input!
Is there a language teacher out there that doesn't love music?? I think not! Music awakens our senses; it awakens our emotions. Music makes us feel alive! Choosing songs well for your students will revitalize them. Choosing a song really well will strike a chord with your students: it will create a connection that they will carry through their entire life. Here are some songs that Spanish 1 students connect with! Even more than the actual song composition, a song is well-chosen when students can understand some element of the song well enough to connect to it. It might be a story that is told by the lyrics; it might be the chorus only. It might be nothing more than a single, impactful phrase. Or--it might not be from the song lyrics at all! Perhaps there is a backstory to the creation of the song. Perhaps it is a connection to the music video. Perhaps it is about the artist! Each song offers many opportunities to strike a chord with students, and it falls on--the teachers--to find out how. After you identify a potential connection, you must figure out how to make it understandable to students. You've got to present it in such a way that they understand it!
HOW TO STRIKE A CHORD:
- For a song that tells a story: Re-write the story in student-friendly language.
- For a song that mentions a cultural product, practice, or perspective (PPP): Write a short description of the PPP and have students read about it before or after listening to the song and following along with lyrics
- For a song with a sing-a-long chorus: Break down the chorus and describe what each line means in language that your students understand
- For a song with an interesting music video: Use MovieTalk to show the music video to students. Forget about the song lyrics altogether, or interact with the separately!
- For a song with a history: Tell students the story that led up to the creation of the song, and at the critical point in the story when the singer writes the song, have students listen! Students love to know what was in an artist's head when they were writing their music!
What are your favorite ways to make authentic songs accessible to your students? And which songs struck a chord with your students last year?
SONGS THAT STRIKE A CHORD
If you are looking for great ideas, inspiration, and the work done for you, here are some great places to look for resources that turn authentic songs into comprehensible input! My store is The Comprehensible Classroom. Be sure to also like her on facebook and follow this blog! I am “striking a chord” with the song Simples corazones by Fonseca WHICH I AM OBSESSED WITH. The song activities pack takes students on a tour of the city of Bogotá, Colombia through the landmarks shown in the music video. Carrie Toth’s store is Somewhere to Share. Stop by and see her on facebook as well! Carrie is featuring the song Sirena by Cali y el Dandee. In this unit, Carrie goes beyond the cloze, providing acquisition through narrative with Movie Talk, and a class story. Students make connections to real-world issues AND enjoy this amazing song! Carrie blogs at Somewhere to Share. Carrie also shares resources through her facebook page! Nelly Hughes shares resources at Comprendes Méndez SpanishShop as well as on Facebook. Nelly is proud to share the song Cuando nadie me ve by Morat. In this resource, she shares not only the song but also how she teaches Ollantay’s Peruvian love story as well as information about Ollantaytambo, Perú. Her resource features Picture Talk and a couple of CI games. Students form lasting connections between content and music! Kristy Placido, of Placido Language Resources, shares her ideas on exploiting the culture in a song as a “hook” in this blog post. She demonstrates the power of connecting students’ own interests via music and culture in a music video through the Song of the Week resource Yo voy ganao by Sistema Solar. Kristy also shares ideas and resources through her facebook page! Arianne Dowd shares her resources at her store CCC Spanish Store and is also an active blogger at Discovering CI. One of her favorite ways to connect students to music is through stories. She created this resource for the song Robarte un beso by Carlos Vives and Sebastián Yatra which features an embedded reading to help make the story comprehensible for students at all levels! Kara Jacobs’ store is Comprehensifying and Extending Authentic Resources and she also blogs actively at CEAuthres. Her featured song is La cintura by Álvaro Soler. Kara’s specialty is creating great class stories leading up to a main story that is based on the song or music video.