"Wow - what a wonderful idea", was the first thought that crossed my mind as I first read about this! Imagine to be able to follow an education in which some of the English lessons are based on some of your very favourite songs! A week ago I was e-mailed by a teacher of English, teaching students for the Cambridge Level Exams in Sri Lanka, associate with the British Council. He's name is Gayan. Gayan told very lively about the way he teaches his students. They have in town a video club called 4U, which helps them providing cassettes and CDs. Here is a little quotation taken from an e-mail I received from him:
"I have been teaching "Sleeping Child" since the last two weeks. In our language school we have recently used songs to teach good English- listening, speaking, reading and writing. - They learn things so quickly. And believe me I made MLTR so popular in our town. Everyone who comes here wants to collect MLTR's albums now. We use Karaoke in the class, so at the end of the lesson they sing the song and replace their own voice with the original!! Children enjoy it very much! Most of the pupils try to mutter the song "Sleeping Child" and "The Actor". We select the best singer in the class and give presents and get their own voice replaced by the original singer with the original music with the help of caraoke and give the cassettes to them. So now they are rushing to get the cassettes to the Video clubs! You simply imagine how their parents and friends feel when they hear this! We are lucky to be the fans of MLTR! We really rock the class now with MLTR! So - Let's have the mind of a child and make this world a heaven as in the song "Sleeping Child"."
Gayan have among other thing used my homepage to develop some questions that were to be answer by the class to improve their reading. The questions were mainly based on MLTR's album and members. The students should search my homepage and thereby find the answers to the questions. He also uses the song "The Actor". Gayan made a schedule in which some of the lines of "The Actor" were written. Thereafter he played the song and the students' job was now to put the right order into the lines. Not only did Gayan do these things, he also asked some deep questions about the song "Sleeping Child"
The questions are:
1) Explain how the singer wants to bring peace and harmony to the world?
2) When can we see the world a heaven?
3) Why do people fight each other?
4) Why do you think the singer says that the world is a wild place?
5) If you love listening to the song, tell why you like this song.
6) How does the music of the song go with the theme of the song.
I find these questions very great! I answered them myself and found it quite amusing to analyze one of my favourite songs! I'm hoping to be able to up-load and paste some of the answers of the students later on!
Gayan and his class also visited my homepage and they discussed how a real fan of music feel. His language school is called "English for Life" which supports the Cambridge Level Examinations. The school address is "English for Life", No 102/58P, Yampanawatte, Badulla, Sri Lanka.
I'm very honoured that Gayan is using my homepage to let his idea go out into the world! I hope that this can inspire other teachers to use music in their teachings! I find the idea very inspiring and I believe that children learn much faster, when they are taught in a way they find amusing and play-ful.
If you have any ideas or so that you think Gayan can use in his teaching, please do send me an e-mail and I'll tell him your ideas! Do please help him teaching English in a different way! Thank you for your help! And thank you Gayan for telling me about your project and ideas!
I will follow Gayan's teaching very carefully and keep you all up-to-date with the project!