bingo

Here’s a minimal preparation activity that focuses on identifying language chunks in songs. The only thing that is required from you is to choose a song that you want to play in class and select a few key words from the song (about 15 is a good number) that you will be writing on the board or dictating to the students. Here’s an example from a song that works really well with this type of exploitation, Bruno Mars’ Count on Me. I created a poster containing most words from the song (but if you want to spare yourself from the trouble of creating a word poster on the Internet, you may as well write the words on the board or dictate them).

count on me 1

In class, ask students to pick any five words from the poster (except the words in the title) and list them on a piece of paper with dotted lines right before and after. For instance:

– …………………….. know ……………………..

– …………………….. friends ……………………..

– …………………….. find ……………………..

– …………………….. never ……………………..

– …………………….. world ……………………..

Now they listen to the song. When they hear any of the words they have chosen, they must write at least the word before or the word after in the gaps. The first student to do so for all the words can claim Bingo. If you feel this is too challenging, then the first student who can manage three of the listed words can be a Bingo winner.

A possible variation to ease things up another notch for the students could be just choosing a portion of the song. For the poster below I focused on the first verse and the refrain of the song (roughly the first minute of the song).

count on me 2

It is quite a challenging -but fun- exercise and the payoff is huge. It pushes the students to go beyond the world level and try to look for strings of words and notice how they bump into each other in connected speech.

And here’s the videoclip. Enjoy!

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