Think of all the tasks you set up this week. Which one was the most engaging?

The one my students enjoyed the most  was this song-based activity. It was a warmer, to recycle previously taught language and draw attention to the /ɜː/ sound. Feel free to download and use it.

Here’s what they did, step be step:

• They listened and decoded the anagrams.
• Then, they were asked if the words rhyme- they noticed that they all have the /ɜː/ sound, although spelled differently.
• They were exposed to two examples of find someone who+verb . Then, they were asked to write their own Find someone who___ sentence.

The result

Not only did the song relax students and set a nice tone, but it was also very motivating . They really wanted to get the answers right (in their defence, Khalid kind of mumbles..)! I also heard them humming the song later when doing a different activity!

My teenagers are starting to embrace micro-listening activities. They can see that this is a teaching and not a testing moment, so they’re noticeably more comfortable and less stressed. They surely benefit from ear-training practice as well.

What I’ve realized is that they should be able to play the mini-recordings as many times as they want in order to decode a sentence. So, when I create song activities in the future, I will use google docs and embed audio files. Then, just make a copy for each student and share it with them.

Writing an extra sentence (ex3) was also met with a lot of enthusiasm. Some sentences they came up with were:

find someone who isn’t afraid to show his feelings
• find someone who calls to say goodnight

So, to sum up: fun, motivating, creative and productive task.

Conclusion

I’m going to try to use recently released songs every week and create some “light” tasks. Decoding features of connected speech, focusing on lexical chunks, maybe a task to stretch their creativity.. But the main aim will be to provide an enjoyable activity. Enjoyment is always motivating.

I know it’ll be a lot of extra work, but it’s worth it, especially if more teachers can use the tasks. I’ll publish the first one next week, so stay tuned.

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