Last Night We Listened To Music And Danced In Spanish Using Popular Songs to Improve Language Listening Comprehension Skills

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Using Popular Songs to Improve Language Listening Comprehension Skills

Do you students sometimes get bored despite your best efforts? Are you looking for a new and different technique? Can you use learning activities that really wake them up? Do you want to capture and retain student interest? Did they even help you? Then try this classroom-tested method using student-selected songs to teach listening comprehension.

Almost everyone likes music. It is part of our language and life before birth. As children, we listen to lullabies. As children, we play, sing and dance to numerous nursery rhymes. As teenagers, we are consumed by the beats of famous music artists all over the world. As adults, every form of advertising we hear and every special event we experience is partly music. Music permeates television, film, theater, and even the nightly news. As we exercise, work, play, worship, and even die, music can help strengthen and transform every mood and emotion. In our daily lives, catchy tunes sometimes play in our heads, sing or chant. So, why not include music and songs in language learning?

Factors affecting listening comprehension

o Use new vocabulary, idioms and phrases – You should consider the new material offered in each song. This includes grammar, vocabulary and usage.

o Singer’s Pronunciation and Accent – Not all natives pronounce or sing in the same tone. Students may be exposed to accents outside the range of what they normally hear in context.

o Using new rules and structures Songwriters and singers are “loose” in using rules, structures, pronunciation, stress, and other language factors to apply to songs. The teacher should prepare for this.

Three main criteria for song selection

1. If possible, use songs that students like. Unfortunately, students often choose a song to use in class, which somehow makes the song unavailable.

2. Songs should have clear and understandable lyrics. There’s nothing worse than a song that almost no one understands. If you have difficulty understanding the lyrics after listening, you should choose another song.

3. The song should have an appropriate theme. There is enough bad news, negativity and violence in the world. Avoid any kind of negative theme songs. There are many positive, upbeat and even funny songs. Use these.

Music permeates almost every aspect of our lives

Music permeates almost every aspect of our lives. Students love it. It contains many useful elements for language teaching and is fun for both teachers and students. So why not include music and songs in your language lessons?

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