Monday, May 19, 2014

Using song in lesson

Assalamualaikum. Hello.

(I've been saving this post since forever)

Another post on teaching tips where I'll be sharing advice, discussion or information to lovely teachers out there. The tips that I posted were not really suitable with what I'm dealing right now but more towards the situation in primary or secondary school. 

Well hopefully in 3 years I will gain enough knowledge and confidence in discussing teaching issue related to my working situation. For the time being, I'm still learning (sometimes from scratch).

credit: Pinterest

This time around, I want to share on teacher's concern on using song in language lesson. I can't really claim this post is 100% fact. The list of concern, yes! I got it from my reading. But the rest of it is just a discussion and advice from senior teachers. So yeah…

Take what you want to take and leave what you disagree. Hope this helps!

Concern of teachers:
a. It disturbs the neighbouring class.
b. Students get too excited.
c. Lost the time.
d. Takes away from syllabus. (or PBS)
e. Poor vocabulary-bad grammar, profanity, slang
f. Clueless on how to maximize the song. The objective? Which aspect of language to explore?
g. Technical equipment.

When it comes to the issue of noise, it happens every time. No matter what you bring in class, a newspaper, ball or song, the unwelcome noise will always exist. This will be looking back into your class management. Make a clear instruction. Let them know what they need to complete or achieve at the end of the lesson. Avoid the "singing-all-together" session. The singing doesn't has to be in 30 minutes. Do not start away the lesson with singing, otherwise they will request for a singing session throughout the lesson. If singing really need to be done, then minimize it. What you can do, in the beginning of the lesson is to point to a group to sing a certain verse or allocate only 5 minutes at the end of class for singing ramai-ramai, that's it! Choose activity that makes them focus, such as listening, essay writing or fill in the banks. But if your class is exclusive and in isolation, sound proof and so on (which unlikely to happen in our country) singing at the top of your lung is welcome.

I think the biggest concern here involves the objectives. See.. setting up the objective is the most crucial. Every time I want to use a song, I keep asking myself…Is it coherence with the syllabus? Or Is it moving together with the language specifications? What should I write in the specific objectives? To exploit it usefully? To make the song and lesson effective (not just happy faces involve)…you must know where you are going with that song. Is it helping them in terms of language? Is this really a language class? Not singing class? 

What you can do in order to avoid time being wasted or syllabus unattended is to make sure the song matches a topic or any language specification. Remember, using song not only involves speaking the lyrics skills but also writing, reading and listening. So maximize the song. For example there is a situation where:

You asked students to read an article, answer 5 questions (for comprehension) and later turn it into a 2 verse lyrics.
You asked students to read and sing a song. Then write an essay about the message of the song.

Both of the situation above do not focus on the song. Song aids your lesson, becoming the activity. The focus here still language. The writing, the reading. Same goes with the other subjects such as science, history or moral study, the focus is always on the subject matter. A song is just an aid. Manipulate the song in order for it to help your subject or topic. 

Be careful in choosing the song. Study the lyrics, story behind the song carefully. By carefully, I mean take hours or weeks before assigning a song to your student. Avoid the ambiguous meaning, vulgarity, profanity, inside jokes of a song. The last thing you want to do in your class is explaining inappropriate terms. But it is okay to take lyrics with bad grammar or excessive metaphor, you could make discussion out of it with your students.

Another problem will be on the technical equipment. If your school doesn't have any computer lab, laptop or speaker.  It's okay. I think in these gadgets world, you could use a lot of teaching aid. You have ipad, smartphone, mini speaker, or not so mini speaker. There is a lot of option out there. It will cost you some cash but take it as an investment in your teaching career.

The second part of this post will discuss on activities that you could do in class which involve music and song. Hopefully you'll stay and read..Pwweasee~

For now, bai.

More teaching tips here TEACHING TIPS


Aisya A. said...

Read and sing, then write an essay.
Pernah jugak buat dua tiga empat kali zaman sekolah-sekolah dulu. Tapi tak ingat pulak lagu apa sebab dah lama sangat kan. :)

Niesa said...

Teringat zaman sekolah2...mmg seronok kalau belaja dgn lagu..xmembosankan lagi2 english class..hee

Azlan Strider said...

in my opinion what matters most is the method, if u can get it right, there ho harm in using music as part of teaching..hehehe


Aemy Nadira said...

i've been using this method, though its not in the lesson plan but i use it anyway..bcoz its fun learning, the kids love it. they learn faster with sing-along songs. hehe. thx for the tips babe ;)

btw, mcm mana u buat icon2 comel d header tu? cute ni...

and..are u in kk right now?

Armstrong said...

I have never heard any song played during class or language lesson. That would be awesome if that happened when I was studying haha.

nuranne (formerly simplyseoul) said...

Aisya; great..hehe.. write a journal on songs and movie. it will help a lot.

Niesa: I know right. English helps a lot.

Strider: hehe yes. music is practical. i guess im a bit paranoid.

Aemy: Great aemy. Encourage and motivate them a lot. Put a lot of variety in teaching aids.
My cousin do it for me.
Yes im in kk. Lets meet up.

Arms: Haha. yup me too..not much or variety back in my years. a lot of paper and pen.

Farah Arina said...

i love english but i don't like english class.