working with song lyrics: true or false

I am not a great fan of gap-filling tasks to go with songs. If what we are intending is to test understanding or train students’ ears, songs do not make the best listening material, as syllables are sometimes oddly lengthened to best suit the phrases. In addition, one has to deal with the actual “backgroundContinue reading “working with song lyrics: true or false”

summer series: three reading activities

Wrapping up the summer, this is the last post for the summer series before I start blogging again with new content. This time the focus is on reading activities. Once again, click on the links for the full posts. In from reading passage to interview, students turn a reading passage into an interview. They readContinue reading “summer series: three reading activities”

syntactic priming

Syntactic priming is the process that takes place when we make predictions upon hearing certain grammatical patterns which guide us to guess the string of words that are more likely to be uttered next based on our previous encounters with those patterns. Basically we are constantly building sentences based on what we hear, which areContinue reading “syntactic priming”

from reading passage to interview

Here is a highly productive and engaging way of getting the most out of a reading passage. The idea is for the students to first read and understand the passage as whole individually and in silence. This can take place in the classroom or you may decide to assign a reading passage as out ofContinue reading “from reading passage to interview”

connotation in songs

I have been listening to Sting’s last album 44/876 quite a lot recently and there are two songs that have particularly called my attention as an English teacher/teacher trainer/materials writer. The first one is Crooked Tree, for which I wrote a blog post last week dealing with co-hyponyms and how that song presents itself wellContinue reading “connotation in songs”

taking sides

This speaking activity gets students to make choices, take sides and use arguments and counter arguments to support their ideas. This is how it goes: Think of controvesial issues for debate in the classroom. For instance, “eating meat is wrong”. Do not  disclose this topic but write “eating meat is …” on the board instead.Continue reading “taking sides”