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Focused Improvement Class Notes_152616353-Focused-Listening-With-Songs

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Focused Listening with Songs
Isaiah WonHo Yoo
iyoo [at] ucla.edu
American Language Center at UCLA Extension (California, USA)
1. Learners - Although this type of lesson can be used with students at
every level of proficiency, teachers should take into account the
proficiency level of their students when selecting a song. Teachers
should also consider the complexity of the grammatical and phonological
knowledge required of the students in order for their lessons to be
effective.
2. Time - It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.
3. Objective - To provide students with a focused listening activity where
they have an opportunity to use their knowledge in both grammar and
phonology of English. The teacher can also use this activity as a starting
point for various grammar or pronunciation lessons.
4. Activities - Teachers should prepare two types of handouts: a cloze
activity and a linking activity.
A cloze activity can be created by taking out a few "grammatically" important or
salient words in the lyrics: for instance, Nothing's (like) it used to be; Impossible (as)
it may seem = "although it may seem impossible"; and I should (have) known
better. As seen below in the procedures, one important step in the pre-listening
phase of this lesson is to have students figure out the missing words in the song,
using their grammatical knowledge. Having students predict the missing words is an
imperative step in that it allows them an opportunity to study the sentence
structures and the meaning of the lyrics.
One important point when creating a cloze activity with a song is to use blanks
sparingly. As a general rule, each line in the lyrics should not have more than one
missing word. It is also a good idea not to have any missing words in the first line. I
learned these points the hard way by watching my students writing in the answers
for the first two blanks when the song is already halfway finished.
Song lyrics also lend themselves well to linking or blending activities. One of the
common mistakes made by nonnative speakers is trying to enunciate each and
every word in a sentence. Spoken at a very slow pace, such enunciation of words
would not be considered wrong. However, natural speech occurs at a very fast
pace, so it is imperative that students learn how to link or blend sounds so as not to
sound choppy in their speech. Linking usually occurs between a consonant and a
vowel (e.g. pick up and pump it), but it can also occur between two vowels (e.g. do I

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Focused Listening with Songs Isaiah WonHo Yoo iyoo [at] ucla.edu American Language Center at UCLA Extension (California, USA) 1. Learners - Although this type of lesson can be used with students at every level of proficiency, teachers should take into account the proficiency level of their students when selecting a song. Teachers should also consider the complexity of the grammatical and phonological knowledge required of the students in order for their lessons to be effective. 2. Time - It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. 3. Objective - To provide students with a focused listeni ...
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