Thursday, January 29, 2015

Simple Past

Age: Adults
Focus: Simple Past

The song "BECAUSE YOU LOVED ME" by Celine Dion is a very good opportunity for students to practice the Simple Past of the verbs. Younger students don't like this song, so I only use it with adults. You can give this song as a wrap-up activity after they have practiced the verb tense for some time. First, students are introduced to the vocabulary in the song and then they engage into a brief discussion. After that, they write down the past form of the verbs provided. Then, they sing the song and finally play a concentration game.

Activity - Downloadable

Are you an optimist?

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Reflection & Discussion

Short and simple activity: The song "BEAUTIFUL LIFE"  by Ace of Base gives students the opportunity to reflect whether they are optimistic or pessimistic about life. First, they discuss and share what they think and why. Then, they listen to the song and identify elements that represent being optimistic about life. Finally, they engage into a discussion about their attitude towards life in general.

Activity - Downloadable

Creative Writing

Age: Adults
Focus: Writing

"A THING ABOUT YOU" is a song by Roxette and gives students the opportunity to use their imagination in a piece of writing, based on three words from the song. First, they use the three words to write a story. After that, they are introduced to the lyrics and compare the two stories. Finally, they categorize the words in order of difficulty. (They are allowed to use the dictionary to find the definitions of any word they don't know). An option for a wrap-up activity is to illustrate the song.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Present Perfect

Age: Adults
Focus: Present Perfect

The song "A SONG FOR YOU" is very old and cheesy, however it has sentences in the Present Perfect. I would only use it in one situation: If students had told me they enjoyed listening to the Carpenters. Even so, I would rather show them the version performed by Michael Bubblé, which is more updated, even classy, I might add. Feel free to show the original one, though.

It's a very short and simple task. First, students share in pairs what they might know about The Carpenters. Then, they answer a quiz and after that, they are showed the lyrics with the Present Perfect highlighted. Next, a slide explains what the Present Perfect is and finally, students engage into writing sentences about themselves.

Activity - Downloadable (The Carpenters)
Activity - Downloadable (Michael Bubblé)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Talking about places

Age: Older Teens & Adults
Focus: Describing Places

The following activity is about the song "A FOGGY DAY" performed here by Michael Bubblé. First, students try to guess what place the song is about by reading some clues on slide 2. In the song, the author says what he doesn't like about the city. After listening to the song, students have to share what they don't like about a city they know, which could be their hometown or any other place. This could be done in the form of a piece of writing as well.

Word Functions

Age: Adults
Focus: Word Functions

The activity below was made for the song "AT LAST" by Etta James. The focus is word functions. First, a list of words is showed as the song is played. A fun element could be lipsink the song while it's playing. Then, the students categorize the words into verbs, nouns and adjectives. In the end, they fill in blanks in the lyrics. Activity - Downloadable

Monday, January 5, 2015

Can I marry your daughter?

Age: Teens and Adults
Focus: First Conditionals

The activity proposed here is for the song "RUDE" by Magic. Although the song doesn't have the first conditional, it can be used for that purpose, so you can show students the slide with the lyrics but you don't necessarily need photocopies.


First, students fill in speech bubbles in pictures taped to the wall. Then, they are assigned a role in a group of three.

Student 1: The boyfriend
Student 2: The girlfriend (or the girl's mother)
Student 3: The father

Assuming students have been exposed to the first conditional and practiced for some weeks, in groups of three, they engage in a conversation in which the boyfriend asks his girlfriend's father to marry her. In case the girls in class don't feel comfortable playing the girlfriend, they can play the girl's mother.

The boyfriend is supposed to use the first conditional in the conversation and convince the girl's father (or mother) that their marriage will work out.  IF YOU GIVE ME YOUR PERMISSION, WE WILL… / IF WE DON'T GET MARRIED, WE WILL… etc. (The same with the adults below)


First, male married students share with everyone how they proposed to their wives and female married students share how their husbands proposed to them. Then, they are assigned a role and engage in the same conversation proposed above.

NOTE: For both age groups, teacher monitors students and provides them with vocabulary and feedback.

Activity Downloadable