Using songs in teaching English, is it possible to use modern pop music in lessons?  This is a question I received today from a teacher in Russia.

Songs (in English) are excellent in teaching and I always use them.

With older students they should pick the songs themselves.
Get them to do different things like make up three questions about the lyrics, collect in all the questions, then play the songs (you have to limit it to three songs) and have a general knowledge quiz in teams to see which team understands what the songs are about best.

Or you could discuss issues that come up in the songs, also write a different ending, or change something that happens in the song, see what your English students come up with if anything.

Of course the usual thing with songs is to fill in gaps in the words or cut the words up, distribute them and students search for the other people in class who have lines of the same verse.

With kids you do actions to the music and use the English songs as background to various language games.

There’s plenty more on it in my games books.  The preschool games book has a songs activity book with game ideas and lesson plans on how to teach each easy English song.  The primary and teen games books have ideas on how to use any English songs in class, with ideas like the ones above and many more.

All the best
Shelley
http://www.teachingenglishgames.com

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