Using music in the classroom is always a good idea. It can provide a background for students to feel comfortable talking to each other in English without feeling listened to during speaking activities, it can be used for dictations, or to do research projects and work on a part of English culture.
In this case, we used the song “Where Is the Love?” by the Black Eyed Peas in 2nd Year Bachillerato to introduce the theme in a new unit and to do a Use of English exercise.
At the beginning of the lesson, students listened to the song and jotted down the topics it deals with. They came up with concepts like “discrimination,” “terrorism” or “money,” and from that they had to guess the theme of Unit 8, which we were about to begin. Cristina was right in guessing that the unit theme was “Issues.”
After a couple of introductory activities in the book, we rounded off the lesson using the same song for a listening comprehension/grammar activity. This time it was not the usual “fill in the blanks” routine. Students were given a word from the family of the missing word next to each blank (if they needed the adjective, they were given the noun or the verb), and they had to practice the same word transformation routine that they need to master for the Use of English section of the First Certificate exam that some of them will be taking this year.
It was a nice way to use music both to make the introduction to a new unit more interesting and to practice the students’ grammar skills in an unusual manner. The students loved it.