Diploma thesis

Brno 2007

Supervisor: Mgr. Jaroslav Suchý

Written by: Veronika Rosová

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION Rosová, Veronika. The use of music in teaching English: diploma thesis. Brno: Masaryk University, Faculty of Education, Department of English Language and Literature, 2007. Diploma thesis supervisor Mgr. Jaroslav Suchý.

ANNOTATION The diploma thesis deals with the use of music in teaching English. The attention is paid to songs, mainly focusing on their importance in language teaching both from theoretical and practical point of view. It is supported by the research the main subject of which is to find out if music helps to acquire and remember vocabulary.

ANOTACE Diplomová práce se zabývá využitím hudby ve výuce anglického jazyka. Pozornost je hlavně věnována písním, zaměřující se hlavně na jejich důležitost ve výuce jazyka, jak z teoretického tak praktického hlediska. Práce je podpořena výzkumem, jehož hlavním předmětem je zjistit, zda hudba pomáhá s osvojováním a zapamatováním si slovní zásoby.

KEYWORDS Music, song, teaching, listening, poem

KLÍČOVÁ SLOVA Hudba, Píseň, vyučování, poslech, báseň


Declaration I declare that I have written my thesis on my own and that I used the sources listed in the bibliography. I agree that the work will be kept in the Masaryk University library for study purposes. Brno, 10th August 2007.



Acknowledgements I am very grateful to my supervisor Mgr. Jaroslav Suchý, and I would like to thank him sincerely for giving me helpful and valuable advice. I appreciate his willingness to consult my thesis anytime I needed it. I would also like to thank all the students who took part in my research.


CONTENTS Bibliographical description Declaration Acknowledgements CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction – practical point of view 2 5 7 8

3 4




MUSIC 10 2.1 The term music & songs 10 2.2 Music and its beginning 10 2.3 Definitions of music 11 2.4 Influence of music 11 SUGGESTOPAEDIA 13 SONGS 14 4.1 What makes a song a song? 14 4.2 Nature of songs 15 4.3 Why introduce songs in the classroom 15 4.4 The importance and the role of songs in language teaching 16 4.4.1 Cultural significance 16 4.4.2 Enjoyable drill 17 4.4.3 Songs as practice material 17 The help of songs when learning pronunciation 18 The help of songs focused on sounds 18 The help of songs focused on words 19 The help of songs focused on connected speech19 4.4.4 What can we do with a song in language teaching? 20 .4.5 Taking songs seriously 21 LISTENING 23 5.1 What is listening? 23 5.2 The importance of listening 24 5.3 Listening difficulties 25 5.3.1 Listening difficulties stemming from pronunciation 26 5.4 Formal × informal speech 27 5.5 Teachers’ expectations of learners’ comprehension 27 SOME ASPECTS OF PLANNING AND TEACHING A LESSON28 6.1 Planning a lesson 29 6.1.1 Teaching aims 30 6.1.2 Motivation 30 6.1.3 Teaching aids and materials 31 6.1.4 Student groupings 32 6.2 Planning a listening lesson 33 6.3 Some aspects of teaching a listening lesson 33 6.3.1 Listeners’ expectations 34 6.3.2 Clear instructions 34 6.3.3 Feedback 35 POEM 36 7.1 The terms – literature, poetry, poem 36


7.2 Why to teach literature MEDINA RESEARCH RESEARCH 9.1 Parts of the research 9.2 Description of researched groups 9.3 Planning the research lesson 9.4 Results of the first questionnaire 9.5 Description of the song – lesson experiment 9.5.1 Description of the course of song- lesson 9.5.2 Results collection of song – lesson experiment 9.5.3 Results of the second questionnaire 9.6 Description of the poem – lesson experiment 9.6.1 Description of the course of poem – lesson 9.6.2 Results collection of the poem – lesson experiment Results of the poem – lesson worksheet Results of the interview 9.7 Comparing the results of song and poem-lesson experiment 10 SUMMARY 8 9 Sources Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Appendix 3 Appendix 4 Appendix 5 Appendix 6 Appendix 7 Appendix 8 Appendix 9 Appendix 10 Appendix 11 Appendix 12 Appendix 13

37 39 41 41 42 43 43 47 49 50 50 53 56 57 57 59 60 61 63 67 70 73 75 77 78 79 80 81 83 84 85 86



“Language is a treasure that enriches my mind. Music is a treasure that enriches my soul. Teaching enriches my spirit.” Veronika Rosová

English, music, as well as teaching create a substantial part of my life and have been its necessary components for many years. Also in the history and the present of mankind, English, music and teaching represent important areas of human activity and effort. Their importance, content, character, our attitude to them likewise their use have developed for centuries and they are still regarded as a bottomless well of new knowledge, ideas and information. I would like to have a look into this well and try to find some information and connection concerning the use of music in teaching English.

There are a lot of ideas, thoughts, and definitions about a language from different points of view. When I gave it a deep thought, one striking metaphor crossed my mind. As I wrote in the very first sentence, I consider a language the most valuable treasure one can possess. Alexander Solzhenitsyn´s quotation about language complements my idea splendidly: “Own only what you can carry with you: know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.” 1 Confucius said that “music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” I not only like listening to music, but I also love making music with the choir at concerts. It is the most pleasant, the most reliable, and the most effective way how to get straight into human‘s heart and speak a language everyone understands. When I ask people when and why they listen to music, their usual answers are for example: “I like listening to music when I feel extremely happy”, “I listen to music, while studying because it creates agreeable, and motivating atmosphere”, “I listen to music when I want to feel positive”, but also “I listen to



music when I am stressed or depressed because it makes me feel calmer, and relaxed”. My answer would be: “I listen to music in various situations, and under different conditions. Shortly, when I want to intensify my feelings or when I want encouragement.” Maybe this is the kind of pleasure Confucius named. While music enriches my soul, teaching enriches my spirit. It evokes a nice feeling of being helpful which motivates me incredibly. L. Dee Fink said that “teaching is helping someone else learn.”2 If we imagine that a language is the already mentioned treasure, and learners being treasure hunters, then teaching is drawing, and providing carefully planned maps for learners, who are led to a certain aim by the teacher, who should monitor, check if the learners are following the instructions properly, and mainly help them if they get lost on their way heading for the wealth of knowledge.

There are plenty of diverse ways how to teach, and learn a language. I would like to find out if the power of music and its particular use can be one of the useful, helpful and easily memorable ways how to acquire a language with ease and delight. In other words if music can help us put the ‘language treasure’ into the ‚memory bag‘.

1.1 INTRODUCTION – PRACTICAL POINT OF VIEW As I mentioned at the very beginning, music has been one of the necessary components of my life for many years, as I have been singing in a choir for seventeen years. This experience inspired me with my thesis’ theme idea. Every year we sing a lot of new songs, and very often in different languages such as Latin, Italian, Japanese, Welsh, Finnish, and others. Some of these languages are difficult, and moreover their pronunciation is also specific and exacting. Nevertheless, everyone is always able to learn a song without any bigger problems, and moreover we are usually able to sing a song, which has not been sung for a couple of years, plus, and that is the point, we remember the lyrics. Of course, it depends on a few factors, which influence our ability to recall the words, such as popularity of the song, motivation, choreography, time devoted to rehearsing, and



finally repetition. These factors played an important role while writing two questionnaires and drawing up the research.

The first questionnaire consists of eight questions by means of which I gained some useful information concerning the respondents’ tastes in music, singing, and listening. The main goals were to choose the most appropriate song, and to be sure the students and pupils like singing.

My research resulted from the questionnaire from which I chose a students’ favourite song on which one lesson was based. This song was used in various activities (see 8.5), and the students had the possibility to hear it five times and to sing it at least twice. This fact has its significant meaning since repetition and experience (here I mean singing) help with remembering. How much, for how long, is there likelihood of recalling some words even without music, and can we also talk about acquisition of some parts of a language? These are the questions I would like to find the answers to. And since an inspirational idea of comparing a song with a poem occurred in the course of the research, a poem was also used in various activities (see 8.6) in one lesson.

From my own experience I know the power of music, and I am aware of what it does to my mind and memory, yet I do not think I should expect the same effect on everyone. There are miscellaneous factors that influence the process of learning, and they will be taken into account when analyzing the research, as well as the results of the second questionnaire, which serves as a feedback and gathering of relevant pieces of information. Though I hope there will be enough evidence to prove that my hypotheses about the ability of music to facilitate learning, and help acquire vocabulary, are correct and will be tangible.


2. MUSIC The very first section of the first chapter describes the terms song and music in the way I will be using them in my thesis to avoid misunderstandings. In the second section we will have a look at the beginning of music and the word music proceeding with the possible definitions of music. Whilst the last section draws attention to the influence of music and its use, the second chapter focuses on suggestopaedia. 2.1 THE TERMS MUSIC × SONGS Throughout this thesis you will see the terms songs and music. They will be used in the same way as in the book Songs in Action, written by Dale T. Griffee, who defined them as follows: “The word songs refers to pieces of music that have words, especially popular songs such as those one hears on the radio. By music is meant instrumental music, for example, symphonic, chamber, easy listening, or solo instruments such as the organ, flute or guitar” ( p. 3).

2.2 MUSIC AND ITS BEGINNING A beginning is one of the most significant parts of everything that exists, and that is happening around us, which moreover has some kind of reason. Since music is an inseparable component of our lives, let us have a look at its beginning both from the contentual and lexical viewpoint. „Speculation on the beginnings of music is endlessly fascinating, but no certainty is ever likely to come of it. The first musical utterances in prehistoric times were imitations of bird songs or other natural noises; they were formalized signals of love, battle, or the hunt; they were rhythmic poundings on a hollow log or vocalization more song than speech and possibly preceding both“ (E. Borroff, p. 3). The word music comes from the Greek mousikê (tekhnê) by way of the Latin musica. It is ultimately derived from mousa, the Greek word for muse. In ancient Greece, the word mousikê was used to mean any of the arts or sciences governed by the Muses. Later, in Rome, ars musica embraced poetry as well as instrument oriented music.3



2.3 DEFINITIONS OF MUSIC This topic is quite a tricky one, however, it is important enough to be mentioned here. The perception of music and a definition coming from it vary from country to country, from nation to nation, from person to person and from language to language. In some languages there is even no word that would be translated as music. Socrates said: “I know that I know nothing”. We also will know that we do not know anything certain about a definition of music as there is not any unique definition in the world. In the following examples we can see the great disunity of opinions relating to what music is. Wynton Marsalis said that “music is sound organized in time.”4 Michael Linton perceives music as “the organization of sound and silence into forms that carry culturally derived meanings, cultivated for aesthetic or utilitarian purposes” (ibid.). Gottfried W. Leibnitz considered “music as nothing but unconscious arithmetic” (ibid.). According to Luciano Berio music is “everything one listens to with the intention of listening to music” (ibid.). The Encyclopedia Britannica offers a broader definition:
Music is an art concerned with combining vocal or instrumental sounds for beauty of form or emotional expression, usually according to cultural standards of rhythm, melody, and, in most Western music, harmony. Music most often implies sounds with distinct pitches that are arranged into melodies and organized into patterns of rhythm and metre. Music is an art that, in one guise or another, permeates every human society. It is used for such varied social purposes as ritual, worship, coordination of movement, communication, and entertainment.5

I would like to conclude this paragraph with Jean-Jacques Nattiez’s definition of music that summarizes concisely this paragraph: “By all accounts there is no single and intercultural universal concept defining what music might be.”6

2.4 INFLUENCE OF MUSIC The first of the six medicine-men’s rules says that “the sound is the principle of everything.” They used special drums and rattles to influence their bodies. The sound influences breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, releases muscular stress, influences body temperature, and increases endorfin level. Music as one of the neuroleptic factors reduces the signs of nervousness of children and teenagers by 30%. Music is used therapeutically, in psychiatry,
4 5 6


pediatrics and child psychiatry. With the aid of music neuroses and function failure (stammer, dyslexia, dysgraphia) are cured. ( “Mood music is very popular now, whether in the dentist’s surgery to relax us, or in shopping centres to encourage us to buy. Heart surgeons now use music to relax operating teams during long and stressful operations. In one London hospital women can listen to music during childbirth to relax them.”(T. Murphey, p. 37) One of the most common examples, yet among the most prominent is the use of music in films. It forms an essential part, which should evoke the atmosphere of a particular situation, and mainly corresponding feelings such as calmness, wellbeing, pleasure, joy, compassion, fear, thrill, tenseness, and others. Imagine, for instance, the main soundtrack of the film ‘Once upon a time in the west’ and the specific feelings evoked by the sound of the mouth organ. From the written examples it is certain, that music changes the atmosphere around us. T. Murphey also says that “music has the potential to change the atmosphere”, but what is more important than his confirmation of this fact is that in this case he means the atmosphere in a classroom, and describes music as follows: “It seems to give energy where was none, and to spark off images when students complain of having nothing to write about. ’Music is the stuff dreams grow on.’” (p. 37).

CONCLUSION The past of music is really remarkable. The reason I have mentioned it is because I think music must have some significant meaning when it goes together with the mankind from the first. Also the disunity of opinions is relevant here since it is evident that music works differently on everyone and everyone perceives it in their own way. It is obvious that music has some kind of power, which can influence physical the same way as mental condition of our bodies. It can bring about specific, required atmosphere, in which we react in a particular way. Moreover it can further help “recharge” our minds. After everything I have just listed one question still remains: “How much are we influenced by the power of music when learning languages?” One possible answer can be found in suggestopaedia, which will be dealt in the following chapter.


Suggestopaedia, a teaching methodology developed by Dr Lozanov in Bulgaria, claims to produce hypermnesia – an excellent memory. Among its many innovations is the use of background music during the reading of dialogues (of which the students have the text and a translation). The dialogue is usually read twice, once slowly and once at normal speed, to the accompaniment of background classical music and at about the same volume. The idea behind using the music is apparently to relax students’ defences and to open up their minds to the language. Music may also engage the right hemisphere of their brains more, and make learning a more holistic experience. (T.Murphey, p. 37)

“In a suggestopaedic course, music plays a large part in creating a pleasant suggestive atmosphere, thereby facilitating the lessening or removal of antisuggestive psychological barriers. Music helps to create a state of receptiveness induced by an apparent state of passiveness associated with a state of psychological relaxation and concentration of superior cerebral activity.” (
„Up to now, suggestopaedia has been the only method working with relaxation. Mainly based on the discovery of the mirror neurons7 Ludger Schiffler (2003) has developed the interhemispheric foreign language learning, using gestures and the mental visualization of the gestures during the relaxation period. The intended purpose of suggestopedia was to enhance learning by lowering the affective filter8 of learners.” The method works “not only on the conscious level of human mind but also on the subconscious level, the mind’s reserves. Since it works on the reserves in human mind and brain, which are said to have unlimited capacities, one can teach more than other method can teach in the same amount of time.”9

In other words Dr Lozanov says that music, with help of a specific suggestopedic classroom equipped deliberately with particular objects that work on our peripheral perception10, prepares the best conditions for receiving new information. Even though there are many factors, stimuli and conditions influencing suggestopaedic learning, music plays one of the most relevant roles in its realization, which is a fact that should not be missed out, but on the contrary it should be stressed as “the systematic introduction of music into pedagogy has proven to be an innovation with numerous beneficial results”.11

A mirror neuron is a neuron which fires both when an animal performs an action and when the animal observes the same action performed by another animal. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of another animal, as though the observer were itself performing the action. ( 8 An affective filter is a learning blockage due to a negative emotional ("affective") attitude. It is a hypothesis of second language acquisition, a field of interest of educational psychology. ( 9 10 Those stimuli which are for the most part not within the scope of conscious attention. ( 11



4 SONGS “No one knows why songs are powerful, but everyone knows from a personal point of view they are”, wrote Dale Griffee (p. 4) and I absolutely agree with his statement. Songs contain the power of music as well as the power of lyrics. While music touches our hearts, the lyrics and their words flow into our minds and so they draw us into their own world. It “grasps our imagination, emotions, and intellect with equal force regardless of our language backgrounds” (V. L. Holmes and Margaret R. Moulton, p. 2). In this chapter we focus on the explanation of what makes a song a song, why we should introduce songs and their use in the classroom, the role of songs in language teaching, cultural significance of songs and their nature, and we look at songs as enjoyable drill plus practice material including the sections dealing with help of songs when learning pronunciation, examples of activities that can be done in language teaching, and some attitudes to using songs in language teaching. 4.1 WHAT MAKES A SONG A SONG? As well as the title of this section, the following explanation is taken from the book Songs in Action, written by Dale T. Griffee, who characterized a song as follows.
Although songs have elements in common with speech and poetry, they are a unique form. Both songs and speech are vocally produced, are linguistically meaningful and have melody. Both songs and poetry use words to convey meaning, both are usually written down before publication, both can be put to music and both can be listened to (e.g. poetry for poems and a concert for songs). Nevertheless, songs have their own identity and they function differently from speech or poetry. It is possible to note at least three features of songs: 1) Songs convey a lower amount of information than poetry. Even though poetry can be heard, we usually read it, which permits longer and more dense information. 2) Songs have more redundancy than poetry. Songs achieve redundancy by devices such as the borrowing of lines from other songs, proverbs, catchphrases and cliché as well as alliteration. It is this high degree of redundancy that makes songs sound so simple, especially when compared to the complexity and subtlety of poetry. The simplicity of songs is not, however, a weak point. Because a song is heard for a short time, simplicity, redundancy and a certain ‘expectedness’ contribute to our understanding. 3) Songs have a personal quality that makes the listener react as if the song were being sung for the listener personally. We are joined through the direct quality of the song words (unlike a movie actor in a film, talking to another actor) to the singer and through the singer to others in the audience even if we are at home rather than at a concert. Thus songs have a socially unifying feature for the selected audience. Songs create their own world of feeling and emotion, and as we participate in the song, we participate in the world it creates. As Mark Booth states, ‘The song embodies myth and we step into it.’” (Dale T. Griffee, Songs in Action, pp. 3, 4)


4.2 NATURE OF SONGS There is one very interesting and remarkable idea relating to songs. It is believed that a language is easier to express in songs than in speech. Julian Dakin asserts that “for most learners, singing or reciting a rhyme is much easier than talking” (p. 5), and T. Murphey’s utterance is also very similar: “It seems easier to sing language than to speak it” (p. 6). We can find some reasonable explanation for this fact when considering the beginning of a child’s life. The very first child’s utterances are sounds like humming, spluttering, muttering, whooping, which resembles more the sound of singing than talking. T. Murphey (p. 7) writes more precisely: “The singing of songs resembles what Piaget (1923) described as egocentric language, in which children talk, with little concern for an addressee. They simply enjoy hearing themselves repeat”. In the chapter about beginning of music is written, that in prehistoric times the vocalization of song was more usual than of speech, which might mean that singing was more natural than talking, and which might mean there was and maybe there still is some natural inborn disposition in everyone as far as the attitude to singing is concerned. And “it could be that the need for egocentric language never really leaves us and is fulfilled partly through song” (T. Murphey, p. 7).

4.3 WHY INTRODUCE SONGS IN THE CLASSROOM? Mario Papa and Giuliano Iantorno offer very persuasive explanation.
Recent researches in the field of foreign language teaching have pointed out that students’ motivation and interest are among the most important factors for the learning of a foreign language. There are several means to improve the teaching effectiveness and to raise the interest and motivation of the students. Recorded tapes, filmstrips, sound films, songs, comics, newspapers and magazines are all familiar to teachers and students and they have proved to be, in most cases, very effective because they are strongly related to everyday life. We think that among these teaching aids, pop and folk song are materials that best reflect young people’s concerns as they often relate to important trends in modern society. Young people enjoy original folk and pop songs because of their authentic cultural content. (M. Papa, G. Iantorno, p. 7)

Let us highlight a few examples of songs that became an inseparable part of specific events in the past, and sometimes they can entirely characterize a given period or some particular event. In the sixties it was, for example, the protest song “Where have all the flowers gone?”, in the late sixties it was “San Francisco”, which “became the anthem of the “hippie” era”, or in 1985 Lionel Richie and


Michael Jackson`s “We Are the World”, which was intended to raise funds to help famine relief efforts in Ethiopia.12 Moreover there is one more advantage why introduce songs in the classroom according to Mario Papa and Giuliano Iantorno claiming that “singing is certainly one of the activities which generates the greatest enthusiasm and is a pleasant and stimulating approach to the culture of foreign people” (M. Papa, G. Iantorno, p. 8).

4.4 THE IMPORTANCE AND THE ROLE OF SONGS IN LANGUAGE TEACHING “In our time, it is hard to escape music and song as it occupies ever more of the world around us: in operating theatres, restaurants and cafés, shopping malls (muzak), at sports events, in our cars, and literally everywhere. It would seem that the only place music and song is slow to catch on is in schools” (T. Murphey, p. 4). And it is exactly schools, that could use the best and the most the immense potential a song disposes. “Songs have a place in the classroom for helping create that friendly and co-operative atmosphere so important for language learning, but they can offer much more”, claims D. T. Griffee, and I will try to complete his idea by giving other instances of the importance songs have.

4.4.1 CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE In the previous chapter we referred to the cultural significance of some songs in the past. However, it is also the present culture in more modern songs that has its meaning. To sum up: “Bringing a song into the classroom entails bringing the culture of the song in with it”. And thus “songs can be used as a way of looking at a culture and comparing it with other cultures” (D. Griffee, p. 5). From this point of view, it can be perfectly used as a cross-sectional topic. I would like to add to this contemplation about the importance of cultural background of songs in language teaching Dale T. Griffee’s statement. “Songs are part of what makes a generation a generation and the current generation is a global


generation rather than a parochial one. The world is evolving a common culture and pop songs are its backbone. By using pop songs in your classroom, you and your students are participating in the emerging world culture.” (D. Griffee, p. 6) Let the past remind us that it was already Jan Amos Komenský in the 17th century, who included, in his teaching principles, the principle of connecting the school with life. And using songs in language teaching is a great opportunity for applying it.

4.4.2 “ENJOYABLE DRILL” Jan Amos Komenský also demanded to maintain permanent jolly, creative atmosphere. He said that “cheerful mood is needed to avoid satiety and repugnance, which is the right poison of teaching.” Undoubtedly, songs definitely have the ability to maintain jolly atmosphere. “They provide variety and fun”, claims T. Murphey (p. 4), and a similar idea is to be found in My English Songbook, where the authors write “songs can provide an enjoyable change of routine in the classroom”, and they add that “as well as being fun, they have a useful part to play in language teaching” (p. 5). One of the basic principles when learning a language is a repetition: “Constant repetition is vital for the successful learning of a foreign language”, is stated in My English Songbook (p. 5), and I would like to add T. Murphey’s sentence, which says that “songs may strongly activate the repetition mechanism of the language acquisition device” (p. 5). It is common that “too many drills make boring lessons, but a favourite song can be repeated again and again with equal enjoyment” (My English Songbook, p. 5).

4.4.3 SONGS AS PRACTICE MATERIAL Song can be used in a lot of various ways (see 3.4.4). All the skills such as listening, reading, writing and speaking can be practised, the same way as linguistic areas starting with vocabulary, grammatical structures, and ending with rhythm, stress, fluency and pronunciation.
The rhythm of the verse helps the learner to put the stress in the right places, creating a natural flow of language and building up fluency. At the same time the presence


of rhyming words and such poetic device as alliteration13 and onomatopoeia14 help to focus on certain sounds, thus giving valuable ear-training and help in pronunciation. In the syntactical area a song gives us the opportunity to repeat the same structural item many times, thereby aiding correctness and fluency of expression. (Sheila Aristotelous Ward, p. 7)

Songs are also “especially good at introducing vocabulary because they provide a meaningful context for the vocabulary”. However, it depends on the choice of songs since there are also some songs without meaningful context. From the grammatical point of view, they “provide a natural context for the most common structures such as verb tenses and prepositions” (D. T. Griffee, pp. 5, 6). THE HELP OF SONGS WHEN LEARNING PRONUNCIATION Songs can be very helpful as far as learning pronunciation is concerned. They provide the authentic language with all its „traps“ (such as connected speech, different pronunciation of the same sound, or difficult pronunciation of some words) laid for learners, who should be exposed to it as much as possible to strengthen their ability to understand it. In the following subsections we will concentrate on three areas of difficulties in pronunciation (sounds, words, connected speech), and on explaining why songs can be useful when the learners are caught into these “traps of language”. THE HELP OF SONGS FOCUSED ON SOUNDS “Sounds are the smallest unit from which words are formed and can be categorised as vowels and consonants.”15 For the learners of English some sounds may be difficult to pick out because they do not exist in their mother tongue, and they “have to learn to physically produce certain sounds previously unknown to them” (ibid.). Even though it may be a difficult task for some learners, it is quite important because it can sometimes happen that “incorrectly pronounced sounds strain communication, and it can also change a phrase’s meaning” (ibid.). Songs can help learners because “the rhymes in songs provide listeners with repetition of similar sounds, and when the students choose to listen to songs time
A structuring device characterized by the reiteration of the initial consonant at the beginning of two consecutive or slightly separated words. ( 14 A word or a grouping of words that imitates the sound it is describing, suggesting its source object. ( 15 *


and again, they are indirectly exposing them to these sounds”16, repeating them, getting better at recognizing them, and finally producing them. THE HELP OF SONGS FOCUSED ON WORDS “Words are combinations of sounds which form together to give meaning. A word is uttered in syllables, usually one emphasised syllable (the stress) and the rest weak (unstressed)” (ibid.). There are several difficulties that may be encountered by a learner. Firstly, “each English word has its own stress pattern, with very complex ‘rules’ to guide learners.” Secondly, “even when the same words exist in both languages, the number of syllables is not always identical.” And lastly “weak syllables are central to English” (ibid.). There are both several difficulties and several ways songs can support practising these problems. “Words in songs fit the music, helping learners associate the number of syllables / stress in these words, with memorable rhythms. Songs contain endless examples of weak syllables, helping to convince learners of the way English is pronounced” (ibid.). THE HELP OF SONGS FOCUSED ON CONNECTED SPEECH “Connected speech is the natural way we speak, linking together and emphasising certain words, rather than each word standing alone” (ibid.). Connected speech plays a very important role in English as it is the way English is usually spoken, but unfortunately not always in English lessons. “Many learners are accustomed to hearing a very careful, clear pronunciation of words, such as native speakers might use when talking very emphatically or saying words in isolation” (S. Rixon, p. 38). However, native speakers usually connect the words. And when the “words are used in a connected natural utterance, some of their sounds are different to those used in very careful speech, and they may become harder for learners to recognise” (S. Rixon, p. 39). The problem is that the learners “normally learn words individually and, especially at lower levels, tend to pronounce each word separately.”17 Concerning this problem Shelagh Rixon claims that words pronounced in isolation often sound very different from the same words
16 17


said in connected speech, so there is little point in concentrating too much on single words said out of context (p. 30). Another problem is that learners “frequently misconceive contraction as being ‘incorrect’, only used in ‘slang’”.18 But as said a while ago, a native speaker says the words separately either on purpose or when talking emphatically, which means that connected speech is natural, normal and widely used. Songs help learners practise the described subject matters because they “provide real and ‘catchy’ examples of how whole phrases are pronounced often to the extent that students find it difficult to pick out individual words. The music further emphasises the ‘flow’ of the words. Moreover, songs, like other spoken texts, are full of contractions” (ibid.).

4.4.4 WHAT CAN WE DO WITH A SONG IN LANGUAGE TEACHING? Automatic usual and simple answer to this question could be: “A word-gapfill.” However, the answer is not so single valued. And hopefully, the following selected list of Tim Murphey (and references to other sources of activities) will be convincing enough to prove that the answer can be much longer. What can we do with a song in lesson?

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22)

Listen Sing, whistle, tap, and snap fingers while we listen Sing without listening to any recording Talk about the music Talk about the lyrics Talk about the singer / group Use songs and music to set or change an atmosphere or mood, as ´background furnishing’ Use songs and music to make a social environment, form a feeling of community, dance, make friends Write songs Perform songs Do interviews Write articles Do surveys, make hit lists Study grammar Practice selective listening comprehension Read songs, articles, books for linguistic purposes Compose songs, letters to singers, questionnaires Translate songs Write dialogues using the words of a song Use video clips in many ways Do role-plays (as people in the song) Dictate a song


23) 24) 25) 26) 27) 28) 29) 30) 31) 32)

Use a song for gap-fill, cloze, or for correction Use music for background to other activities Integrate songs into project work Energize or relax classes mentally Practice pronunciation, intonation, and stress Break the routine Do choral repetition Teach vocabulary Teach culture Learn about your students and from your students, letting them choose and explain their music 33) Have fun. (T. Murphey, pp. 9, 10)

If we look at this list carefully, we can see that all four skills (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) can be very well and equally practised. The number of books and web pages providing inexhaustible quantity of ideas and precise instructions what to do with a song in a classroom has increased recently. Let us mention some of them.

Dakin, J. Songs and Rhymes for the teaching of English.1992 Griffee, D. T. Songs in action. 1995 Macmillan publishers. My English Songbook. 1981 Murphey, T. Music & Songs. Oxford University Press, 1992 Ward, S. A. Dippitydoo. Songs and activities for children. 1980 Rixon, S. Tip Top. 1992

<> At these web pages musical activities for young learners of EFL are to be found. < .htm> At these web pages there are some activities to promote comprehension. <> At these web pages songs with related activities are to be found.

4.4.5 TAKING SONGS SERIOUSLY Even after the long, but not exhaustive, list of what can be done with a song, many teachers would still have doubts about using songs as a full-value teaching material because they consider songs as a sort of leisure time activity, which cannot be taken seriously. Tim Murphey and Suzanne Medina hold different opinion.


Music and song can be as useful as, and sometimes more than, conventional classroom materials. But it is often suspect because it is so enjoyable and so little used. Louis-Jean Calvet (1980) says that the idea that language learning cannot be enjoyable is outdated. Nevertheless, many teachers and students cling to the attitude that if something is fun, you cannot be learning. Like medicine, these people think, if it does not taste nasty, it cannot be doing you any good. (T.Murphey, p. 16)

Nevertheless, in 1993, Suzanne Medina conducted research (see more in section 7) focused on the effects of music on second language vocabulary acquisition by means of which it was proved that music helped the children who were taking part in the research in vocabulary acquisition. She claims that if “music is a viable vehicle for second language acquisition to the same extent as other nonmusical means, then songs can no longer be regarded as recreational devices, having little instructional value. Consequently, educators might consider giving music a more prominent role in the second language curriculum.”19

CONCLUSION This chapter drew attention to the features of songs, to deeper contemplation about them and their use. Accordingly, it is obvious that songs have a lot of qualities supporting their significance in language teaching. Songs naturally motivate students, they can evoke positive atmosphere and they have considerable cultural significance, as well as they present an inexhaustible source of materials practising pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary plus all of the four skills. However, there are three facts I regard as the greatest advantages of songs, which – together - make this formula: Griffee’s conveying meaning plus personal quality of songs plus enjoyable drill equals the ability of songs to repeatedly evoke particular feelings, ideas and experiences, which are more easily memorable and retroactively visualizable. “The music ties words and motion together and increases memorability” (T. Murphey, pp. 121, 122). Malvina Reynolds’s quotation will concisely close this chapter about songs: “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”20

19 20


5 LISTENING The principle condition of working with songs lies and depends on listening, which represents here the main medium of receiving information. A lesson with a song is based closely on listening, and therefore it is necessary to mention the basis of listening, its importance, and some difficulties, that can be encountered. This chapter focuses on listening, and includes sections dealing with possible descriptions of listening, the importance of listening, listening difficulties stemming from pronunciation, and formal versus informal speech and teachers’ expectations of learners’ comprehension.

5.1 WHAT IS LISTENING? “Listening is a complex skill which operates at various levels. It is a skill which involves a series of different strategies and micro-skills that we use at different times for different purposes”, state J. McDowell and Ch. Hart, who describe these strategies and micro-skills as follows.

● When we listen, we make use of information we already have about the topic being spoken about. The more we know, the less intensively we have to listen. ● We use the information we already have about the topic, and about how the language works, to anticipate and predict what is coming. ● We normally listen selectively rather than listening to every word. We listen for key words and expressions that give us clues to meaning, and not to every single word as many learners tend to do. ● As we listen and select information, we store it in short-term memory so that we can reinterpret it in the light of what is to come. We then store it in long-term memory, in the form of messages rather than in actual words. (McDowell, J., Hart, Ch., Listening Plus, p. 7)

At this point it is worth mentioning a few words about catchy songs because they are closely related to short-term and also long-term memory. Certainly everyone has already experienced personally the phenomenon of catchy songs – special and particular sorts of tunes, which, after hearing them, can stay in one’s mind sometimes only for a while, sometimes for few hours, but sometimes also forever. Keith Duffy describes this phenomenon in terms of “brain itching and brain scratching (mentally repeating a song)”. He carried out research, where the “test subjects were played snippets of familiar songs that had segments removed. Participants said their brains filled in the gaps – in fact, they ‘heard’ the removed parts of the songs in their heads. This was especially true in songs that had lyrics – as well as songs which evoked strong visual memories in participants.” Paul Barsom


wanted to find out what “exactly causes that initial itch”. Even though he regards it as a pretty intangible thing he claims that “certain kinds of musical gestures or combinations seem to plug readily into our memory, like molecules coming together in a chemical reaction”. In spite of the fact that P. Barsom listed some “factors that might cause a song to be catchy such as a certain familiarity, a cultural connection between music and listener, and repetition, there is no formula for ‘catchiness’.”21

Since the ideas of what listening is vary, let us give another explanation for comparison. Michael Rost defines listening “in terms of the necessary components”, which listening consists of.
● discriminating between sounds ● recognising words ● identifying grammatical groupings of words ● identifying ‘pragmatic units’ – expressions and sets of utterances which function as whole units to create meaning ● connecting linguistic cues to paralinguistic cues (intonation, stress) and to nonlinguistic cues (gestures) in order to construct meaning ● using background knowledge and context to predict and then to confirm meaning ● recalling important words and ideas (M. Rost, pp. 3, 4)

And he adds that “successful listening involves an integration of these component skills” (p. 4).

5.2 THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING The pupils, students, learners of a language usually say that speaking is the most important skill to master. But hardly anyone is aware of the fact that before speaking we usually have to listen to be able to react then. And even if speaking precedes listening in a form of asking or saying something, in most cases this act involves expectation of response, which is, again, listening. So, we can definitely agree with Michael Rost, who wrote that “progress in listening will provide a basis for development of other language skills” (M. Rost, p. 3). “No one knows exactly how listening works or how people learn to listen and understand. It is a skill which seems to develop easily for mother-tongue listening, but requires considerable effort where listening in a foreign language is concerned”, claims Mary Underwood (p. 1), who also says that “listening is the activity of paying attention to and trying to get meaning from something we hear.


To listen successfully to spoken language, we need to be able to work out what speakers mean when they use particular words in particular ways on particular occasions, and not simply to understand the words themselves” (p. 1). Jeremy Harmer describes three main reasons why it is also important to teach listening to spoken English. “One of the main reasons for getting students to listen to spoken English is to let them hear different varieties and accents – rather than just the voice of their teacher with its own idiosyncrasies. In today’s world, they need to be exposed not only to one variety of English (British English, for example) but also to varieties such as American English, Australian English, Caribbean English, Indian English or West African English” (J. Harmer, p. 97). This is a cogent argument for involving listening to songs in a classroom, since the songs provide an inexhaustible quantity of different varieties of English. However, this advantage does not relate just to songs, the students can be “exposed to spoken English through the use of taped material which can exemplify a wide range of topics such as advertisements, news broadcast, poetry reading, plays, speeches, telephone conversations and all manner of spoken exchanges” (J. Harmer, p. 98).

The second major reason for teaching listening is because it helps students to acquire language subconsciously even if teachers do not draw attention to its special features. Exposure to language is a fundamental requirement for anyone wanting to learn it. Listening to appropriate tapes provides such exposure and students get vital information not only about grammar and vocabulary but also about pronunciation, rhythm, intonation, pitch and stress. Lastly, just as with reading, students get better at listening the more they do it! Listening is a skill and any help we can give students in performing that skill will help them to be better listeners. (Harmer, J., p. 98)

5.3 LISTENING DIFFICULTIES I have been teaching for six years, and whenever I imagine my students listening to something, either to me or to a tape, their puzzled, frustrated and powerless expressions of their faces come to my mind. Even though they usually say speaking is worse than listening, they do not have such difficulties with speaking like with listening. Even if they make mistakes while speaking, the counterpart usually gets the meaning. But as far as listening is concerned, there is no counterpart to help them, and they have to rely only on their own ears. Unfortunately, it happens very often that they get lost in what is being said to them, and they get angry, sad and helpless. My own experience can also confirm Jim Scrivener’s statement


saying: “Even if someone knows all the grammar and lexis of a language, it does not necessarily mean that they will be able to understand a single word when it is spoken” (J. Scrivener, p. 170). And the main learners’ problems according to them are:
● people speak too fast to follow; ● they can’t tell where words start and stop; ● people pronounce words they just don’t recognise; ● they can’t work out details of what is being said; ● they can’t get even a general sense of the message; ● they don’t know what attitudes people are expressing; ● they can’t pick out those parts that are most important for them to understand. (Scrivener, J., p. 170)

At least four from these mentioned problems stem from English pronunciation, so let us have a brief look at the “difficulties stemming from pronunciation” (S. Rixon, p. 37).

“There are four main sources of listening difficulty: 1 The weak relationship between English sounds and the way they are spelt in the written language. 2 Changes in sounds when they occur in rapid, connected speech. 3 The rhythm pattern of English speech. 4 Different ways of pronouncing the ‘same’ sound”. (S. Rixon, p. 38)

All these sources of listening difficulty can be well practised on songs. There are various exercises using the lyrics of songs such as for instance a gap-fill, ordering the parts of the text, reading and comprehension, by which means the first difficulty may be practised. The students can see the written language, and immediately hear the difference while listening to it. As far as the connected speech and rhythm are concerned I dare say that songs are one of the best types of exercises practising these sorts of problems. When we sing, the words are naturally connected together to fit the melody with the help of rhythm, which represents an enormous help and support for learners. The fourth difficulty is closely connected with the first one. The lyrics of songs can be used as a material, in which the students, while listening, should find the ‘same’ sounds pronounced differently.


5.4 FORMAL × INFORMAL SPEECH “Many language learners have limited experience of English language in informal situations. In their lessons they tend to use formal language because this is expected when teachers and students talk to each other, and so they have difficulty in understanding informal spoken discourse” (M. Underwood, p. 14). Nevertheless, when we imagine the conversations in everyday situations, we usually use informal spoken language, and, moreover, we use it naturally. Therefore we can conclude that learners of English should not be taught only formal speech, and informal speech should be involved in their learning, as well. Songs can serve as a very good and inexhaustible source full of informal spoken language that is used commonly in everyday English (see for example the song ‘That don’t impress me much’ in appendix 9).

5.5 TEACHERS’ EXPECTATIONS OF LEARNERS’ CONPREHENSION Goodith White wrote an interesting article about listening comprehension, which is worth mentioning not only because of surprising information, but also because of the question at the end of her article.

A study of Bone (1988) of native speakers showed that people often listen at only 25 per cent of their potential and ignore, forget, distort, or misunderstand the other 75 per cent. Concentration rises above 25 per cent if they think that what they are hearing is important and/or they are interested in it, but it never reaches 100 per cent. Do we therefore expect too much of language learners, especially when there is no guarantee that the students are interested or motivated, since they have usually played no part in deciding what they listen to, or why they are listening? (G. White, p. 7)

Even though it is almost certain that Goodith White wrote and meant this question as a rhetorical one, which does not require any answer, I want to answer, at least, to myself in order to avoid great expectations and subsequent disappointment before playing the next listening exercise to my students. I did expect too much! Songs offer the teacher the possibility to let the students choose what they want to listen to, and in doing so, increase their motivation and concentration (see the quotation above 25 per cent). And moreover, as Tim Murphey says “it gives them some responsibility, and involves them in the lesson more” (p. 14).


CONCLUSION According to what has been written about listening, there is a considerable evidence to suggest that listening is a skill worth paying great attention to. Listening consists of many McDowell and Hart’s micro-skills or M.Rost’s necessary components, which can be called building bricks, and which must be well-made and well-put to build a strong wall – “part of a house called language”. (S. Hanušová’s didactics lesson) Shelagh Rixon claims that “the principal aim of listening comprehension practice is not to provide a model for oral production, but to strengthen the ability to understand spoken messages” (p. 13). On the other hand, I think that songs include both practice to strengthen the ability to understand and they are excellent models for oral production.

6 SOME ASPECTS OF PLANNING AND TEACHING A LESSON Teaching is not only a complicated process of transferring the information, but it is also a process about establishing relationships, forming new ideas, finding new ways, and shifting the borders of one’s world of knowledge. A teacher is the one, who has the power to push these borders, but there are various factors, we will focus on in this chapter, influencing this “pushing”. From the beginning of this thesis we have been mainly dealing with music and songs, their significance, advantages and their possible use in language teaching. We wrote about various ways how to use a song in a classroom. So if we do not want to use only the, already mentioned, word-gap-fill, but precisely on the contrary, we want to use everything songs offer, and base a lesson on a song, there are several factors that can considerably influence the fruitfulness of such a lesson. These factors are planning a lesson including teaching aims, motivation, teaching aids and materials, student groupings, and teaching, in our case, a lesson based on listening, including listeners’ expectations, clear instructions and feedback. The following sections, having these titles, discuss the basic theory of these factors, and they are connected with practical examples from my research.


6.1 PLANNING A LESSON “Planning is a thinking skill” wrote Jim Scrivener (p. 109), who also gives a very good advice what to do while planning a lesson when he says: “Let your mind wander and explore a number of ways that material and learners can meet. Just enjoy them and keep wandering” (p. 111). His advice is well-founded because there are a lot of areas the teachers should think about before a lesson. According to Cora Lindsey and Paul Knight we need to decide: What the goals or aims of the lesson are what resources to use whether to adapt the coursebook, if we are using one – to supplement, leave out, or replace activities and materials to make them more appropriate for our learners and our teaching methods which types of activities the learners will do how the learners will interact with the teacher and each other the sequence of activities the timing and pacing how best to use the classroom (p. 103).


Some experienced teachers think and believe that they do not have to prepare a lesson plan, but “most teachers go on preparing lessons throughout their careers, even if their plans are very informal” (J. Harmer, p. 121). Lesson based on a song demands having a lesson plan because even though it is a good material, it is ‘raw’ material, which needs working up to get the best of it in a lesson. There are several good reasons for being prepared for every lesson both for students and for teachers. Two convincing Jeremy Harmer’s reasons for having a lesson plan from the students’ point of view are: 1) Evidence of a plan shows them that the teacher has devoted time to thinking about the class. 2) It gives students confidence: they know immediately whether a teacher has thought about the lesson, and they respond positively to those who have (p. 121). Jim Scrivener offers two compelling reasons for having a lesson plan for teachers. 1) The better prepared a teacher is, the more likely it is that he/she will be ready to cope with whatever happens. 2) Planning increases the number of options – and in doing so, increases chances of a successful lesson (p. 109). In the following sections we will focus on some specific areas closely related to teaching which should be taken into consideration when planning a lesson.


6.1.1 TEACHING AIMS Oxford dictionary defines aim as “the purpose of doing something; what somebody is trying to achieve” (Oxford Dictionary, p. 26). When we substitute the inexplicit words in this general explanation by more specific ones, we will get a possible definition of a teaching aim, which is: teaching aim = the purpose of teaching; what a teacher is trying to achieve. Before every lesson it is useful to state the aims of a lesson, as said before, what we want to achieve. There are various kinds of aims, but “the most important aim usually concerns intended student achievements: things that they will have learned, skills they will have improved, points they will have reached by the end of the lesson” (J. Scrivener, p. 124). Cora Lindsey and Paul Knight distinguish language aims – including three areas of vocabulary, functions, and grammar. Skill aims – reading, listening, speaking, and writing. And subsidiary aims – these are the language or skills that your learners practise but which you are not specifically concentrating on in the lesson (p. 104). As already mentioned in sections 3.4.3 and 3.4.4, with the help of songs a lot of different areas such as all the skills, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation can be practised, so any of these aims is suitable for a lesson with a song, and can be set. It is just important to make it clear which will be the main aim to focus on in a lesson. In my research both lessons (song and poem lesson) had the main language aim, which was vocabulary acquisition, and skill aims focused on listening, reading, and speaking in a song-lesson, and reading, listening, writing and speaking in a poem-lesson. Subsidiary aims were grammar and pronunciation. Setting a teaching aim is the first necessary and important step of a lesson plan. The next steps are making up suitable motivation, choosing and preparing materials and aids we will be using, and deciding about classroom management. These are also the titles of the following subchapters we will concentrate on.

6.1.2 MOTIVATION Every activity we do is motivated by something. Either it is our own need, feeling, wish, idea, interest (intrinsic motivation) or it is a duty, necessity, order, or promised reward (extrinsic motivation), the motivation is the basic and first “kick” to do something. In the process of teaching it is one of the most important tasks for teachers, especially those teaching children who, in comparison with adult learners, 30

usually lack the motivation for learning, which is a claim based on my own experience. Teachers have to “provoke interest and involvement in the subject even when students are not initially interested in it. It is by their choice of topic, activity and linguistic content that they may be able to turn a class around. It is by their attitude to class participation, their conscientiousness, their humour and their seriousness that they may influence their students. It is by their behaviour and enthusiasm that they may inspire”. (J. Harmer, p. 8) I would go so far to say that motivation is an utterly essential part of successful learning and teaching. When we are well-motivated we try to do our best, which is the best presumption for a good result. Jeremy Harmer also says that “highly motivated students do better than ones without any motivation at all” (p. 8). Songs can help the teacher with the initial motivation because the fact itself that they are so pleasurable to listen to is motivational enough, moreover, see in section 4.5, motivation can be increased if we let the students choose their songs, which is a fact I used in my research.

6.1.3 TEACHING AIDS AND MATERIALS Teaching aids and materials are necessary components of teaching and there are “three main ways in which these materials can be used: as a supplement to a core course book, as self-learning material, and as modular course material” (J. Revel and B. Breary, p. 6). There is a wide range of teaching aids and materials such as flashcards, posters, pictures, games, books, magazines, newspapers, videotapes, films, songs, pelmanism, quizzes and many others we can choose from. When choosing teaching materials several criteria have to be taken into account. Jane Revel and Barry Breary write that “materials should be creative, interesting, fluency-focused, task-based, problem-solving focused, humanistic, and learningcentred” (p. 6). According to my experience I would also add adequate, understandable and well-prepared. In both of my research lessons I tried to ‘equip’ my materials with as many of these characteristics as possible, and visuals, “the best-known sensory aids” (E. W. Stevick, p. 106), were largely used because as Penny Ur writes “visuals have an important function as aids to learning, simply because they attract students’ attention and help and encourage them to focus on the subject in hand” (p. 30).


“Traditionally the most frequent use of visual aids has been simply to illustrate what words are saying” (E. W. Stevick, p.106). However, recently, miming and acting have also become popular visual aids. Penny Ur claims that if the visual aids are “conspicuous, colourful, humorous, dramatic, or in motion – so much the better: striking and stimulating visual aids are likely to heighten students’ motivation and concentration” (p. 30). These were used in various forms in my poem-lesson (see more in section 8.6). At this point I will let my experience speak again. Sometimes it may take time to prepare something nice, entertaining, useful, and at the same time instructive (I mean for instance diverse cards, pelmanism, games etc.). Nevertheless, it is worth investing our effort! When there is something the students can touch, can move, can play with, it seems (to me) that they are feeling more at ease, as though just the idea of playing would calm them down from the demanding process of studying, involving the threatening thoughts of being always prepared, not making a mistake, and hard thinking. The described process of studying is nicely and ingeniously hidden in games the students like and appreciate very much.

6.1.4 STUDENT GROUPINGS There are four ways how to organise students when teaching them. “They can work as a whole class, in groups, in pairs, or individually” (J. Harmer, p. 20). However, students’ preferred ways of working differ from one to the other, and this is why all these organizational forms of work should be used and alternated. Every form has its advantages and disadvantages which are suitable for one student, but inconvenient for other. Let us highlight some of them. On one hand, a whole class arrangement is the best because of time sparing, easy monitoring, and having students’ attention, on the other hand the students are usually passive. Groupwork and pairwork “seem to have many advantages. In groups and pairs students tend to participate more equally, and they are also more able to experiment and use the language than they are in a whole-class arrangement” (J. Harmer, p. 21). However, some students may feel ashamed and uncomfortable to speak in front of other people. The advantages of solowork are: “It allows students to work at their own speed, allows them thinking time, and they can go back to considering their own individual needs and progress” (J. Harmer, p. 21). On the contrary, when it is used very often the students get bored. 32

On the basis of the fact that every student prefers different form of work, I combined all four sorts of groupings in both of my research lessons. 6.2 PLANNING A LISTENING LESSON In the previous section it has already been pointed out that setting teaching aims, preparing teaching aids, making up suitable motivation and students’ grouping are necessary components of the process of planning a lesson. These are also, undoubtedly, valid for planning a listening lesson, so there is no need to mention them again. On the other hand we can be more specific, since the main aimlistening has been chosen. According to Shelagh Rixon there are three main considerations when planning a listening lesson:
1) Choosing one of the types of listening experience that you have previously identified as relevant or interesting for your students 2) Finding exercises that both fit what the passage has to offer and practise skills connected with listening that will be useful for your students 3) Bringing these exercises together and putting them into a sequence which forms a coherent lesson. (S. Rixon, p. 63)

As far as the first consideration is concerned I let the students choose their favourite songs whereby their interest was aroused, and then I chose the most suitable song according to particular criteria (see 8.4 question 4). The exercises were all closely connected with the song. Except for the main aim to practise listening, reading and speaking were also included. Even though writing was not in the song-lesson, there are some activities connected with songs focusing on writing (see 3.4.4). The exercises in the research concurred and formed a coherent listening lesson (see 8.5).

6.3 SOME ASPECTS OF TEACHING A LISTENING LESSON During teaching a lesson a teacher must be aware of many facts s/he has to adapt according to the existing situation. So it may very well happen that during one lesson the teacher may also serve as a psychologist, an actor, a singer, or a DJ (those who does not sing, and play music). Nevertheless, his / her main role, which is also a part of just mentioned transformations, is to be a facilitator – someone whose priority is to help the students and to make learning easier.


The following subsections will discuss some possibilities of making listening lesson easier, dealing with listeners’ expectations, clear instructions and feedback.

6.3.1 LISTENERS’ EXPECTATIONS Imagine several common situations from everyday life, such as for example shopping, being at the doctor’s, meeting a friend, celebrating a birthday, travelling by train, or listening to well known songs. In all these situations we usually know what the conversation is going to be about, and we expect particular words phrases or sentences, and as far as songs are concerned it is undoubtedly true, as well. Who in the world would not finish automatically the sentence “We will, we will ……..!” Who among Czechs does not know what Karel Gott will put sugar in? “But when students sit in a classroom and the teacher says ‘Listen to this’, and then switches on the cassette recorder, the students may have no idea what to expect. Even if the sounds and words are familiar, they may still be unable to understand because they lack certain kinds of knowledge necessary for them to comprehend”, stated Mary Underwood (p. 30), who also considers this act as being unfair to the listeners. So, before listening, “students should be ‘tuned-in’ so that they know what to expect, both in general and for particular tasks” (M. Underwood, p. 30). In other words, the students should be given a reason to listen. This ‘tuning-in’ or pre-listening activities represent one of the facilitator’s possibilities how to make the listening easier.

6.3.2 CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS The presence of clear instructions is completely necessary in everything we are doing. Because how can something be done without knowing what exactly should be done and how? This problem of lacking clear instructions exists everywhere – at work, at school, at home, and causes various troubles. In the prelistening phase of a lesson it can cause “students to ‘switch off’ and not attempt to do anything, and this in turn distracts those who are trying to perform the task. All the students should understand what they have to do before a teacher starts to play, read or speak the listening text” (M. Underwood, p. 32). Without doubt, it also concerns songs. In spite of the fact that songs are enjoyable enough to listen to without any other specific reason if the teacher wants to use the potential of songs


fully in order to achieve the lesson aim, clear instructions are one of the presumptions how to succeed. However, there is something more to add when giving instructions. Even when the teacher thinks he / she gave clear instructions enough for everybody to understand, it does not have to mean that the situation corresponds to his / her supposition. Therefore the teacher should check the instruction.

6.3.3 FEEDBACK Everyone was once a child and everyone, certainly, experienced the need for praising or evaluating something they had done (for example a painted picture, recited poem, built castle etc.), and also the disappointment when this need was not satisfied. Actually, this need has never left us. Of course, it is not so intensive like in childhood, but the need still remains. Thinking deeply, it even seems that this need is ‘reintensified’ as far as students are concerned. No wonder. Learning simply demands praise, correction and evaluating. Jeremy Harmer (p. 10) expressed it more precisely saying that: “Giving feedback involves praising students for things they do well, and offering them the ability to do things better where they were less successful. It involves teachers in judging their students’ responses to correction so that they can act accordingly.” And so “students want to know the correct answer immediately they have done a task, are frustrated if it is delayed, and may very well lose some of their interest by the time it does appear” (P. Ur, p. 29). Therefore after every activity in both research lessons a feedback followed - in various forms. Reading and writing do not need immediate feedback because the students can reread the relevant material, but “speaking and listening, however, need to be reacted immediately” (P. Ur, p. 28). The reason for the need to be checked immediately is that “what a listener has heard is still echoing somewhere in their mind and there is still a possibility of hearing it again” (P. Ur, p. 28).

CONCLUSION This chapter started with a thinking skill of planning a lesson, which is a process running in a teacher’s mind and which consist of many other thoughts. The name of the first thought is a teaching aim – an abstract spot, where the students should find a piece of, already mentioned, language treasure. For this journey it is necessary to prepare good nutrition called motivation, and moreover make clear 35

signposts, write a well-arranged brochure, build an information desk, in short, prepare teaching aids and materials that can help them on this journey. And finally decide which parts of this journey will be shared by the whole class, group, pairs, and which parts the students will have to go through individually.

7. POEM The original idea, at the beginning of my diploma thesis, was to concentrate fully on the use of music in teaching English, and to support the idea of positive influence of music in language teaching, both from theoretical and practical point of view. My intention was to carry out research based only on a song, however, during my investigation an interesting subject matter, proposing a comparison of the influence of song with a poem, appeared. Because it turned out it could be beneficial for my thesis, I carried out research based on a poem (see 8.6) which not only helped when evaluating the final results, but it also enriched me and my teaching in many directions. Let us now have a brief look at the theoretical background of literature supporting its incorporation into language teaching. The first section explains the terms: literature, poetry and poem, and the second section gives various explanations and reasons why to teach literature.

7.1 THE TERMS – LITERATURE, POETRY, POEM Since in the following sections these terms will be used variously, let us explain them properly with the help of Oxford Dictionary. Literature – pieces of writing that are valued as works of art, especially novels, plays and poems (p. 751) Poetry – a collection of poems; poems in general (p. 973) Poem – a piece of writing in which the words are chosen for their sound and the Images they suggest, not just for their obvious meanings (p. 972)

The explanations were provided to bear in mind that these terms are in hyponymic relation, which means that a poem is a part of poetry which is a part of literature, so using the terms literature or poetry always includes the presence of a poem, as well.


7.2 WHY TO TEACH LITERATURE “Who among us cannot recite a short poem or nursery rhyme learned long ago?” Ask V. L. Holmes and M. R. Moulton, who provide the explanation of this phenomenon. Firstly, “poetry sticks with us because it resonates in our hearts and minds”, and secondly “poems often adhere to predictable patterns of rhythm and rhyme, they are pleasurable and easy to recall” (V. L. Holmes and M. R. Moulton, p. 2). “Literature language surrounds us in many different ways and is to be found in many daily practices (e.g. playground rituals, verbal games, jokes, songs, and advertisements jingles).” (R. A. Carter, p. 7) V. L. Holmes and M. R. Moulton offer explanation of language acquisition through poetry, and they give reasons for using poetry in language teaching.
Children are often introduced to poetry early in their lives by parents, grandparents, and other caretakers who chant nursery rhymes or sing lullabies to soothe their children’s anxiety – all before the youngsters have any consciousness of linguistic forms. Many children learn their first words from poems because the sounds of poetic language, with its patterns of rhythm, rhyme, and cadence, intrigue them and make them listen carefully. Linguists suggest that early knowledge of syntax comes from children listening to language forms from their environments. More often than not, those forms are poetic. Poetry teaches children to listen, develop vocabulary, learn to read and write, and think creatively. For some of the same reasons that poetry is useful in acquisition of a first language, it is an effective way of learning and reinforcing the sounds and structures of a second, or even third, language. Through listening to poetry, second language learners can reinforce target language learning in a natural way. (V. L. Holmes and M. R. Moulton, p. 3)

According to R. A. Carter there are three main reasons for teaching literature. These are: the cultural model, the language model, the personal growth model.
The cultural model Teaching literature within a cultural model enables students to understand and appreciate cultures and ideologies different from their own in time and space and to come to perceive tradition of thought, feeling, and artistic form within the heritage the literature of such cultures endows. b) The language model The main reason is to put students in touch with some of the more subtle and varied creative uses of the language. There is much to be gained in terms of language but a main impulse of language-centred literature teaching is to help students find ways into a text in a methodical way and for themselves. c) The personal growth model The main goal is to try to help students to achieve an engagement with the reading of literary texts. The personal growth is rewarding because it results from learning how to appreciate and evaluate complex cultural artefacts; it is fulfilling because it is stimulated by an understanding of our society and culture and of ourselves as we function within that society and culture. (R. A. Carter, p. 2, 3) a)


Alan Duff and Alan Maley offer another three types of justification for using literary texts: linguistic, methodological, and motivational.
a) b) Literary texts offer genuine samples of a very wide range of styles, registers, and text-types at many levels of difficulty. Literary texts are open to multiple interpretations. This ready-made opinion gap between one individual’s interpretation and another’s can be bridged by genuine interaction. Literary texts are non-trivial, they deal with matters which concerned the writer enough to make him or her write about them. This ‘genuine feel’ of literary texts is a powerful motivator, especially when allied to the fact that literary texts so often touch on themes to which learners can bring a personal response from their own experience. (A. Duff & A. Maley, p. 6)


There is an inexhaustible amount of poems from which we will choose a few examples on which we will demonstrate Carter’s models and Duff and Maley’s justification for using the poems in language teaching. Tradition of thought, feeling, and artistic form of the cultural model can be demonstrated on Elizabeth Barret Browning’s poem ‘How do I love thee?’ (see appendix 9). The methodical way of the language model can be presented on the poem used in the research (see section 8.6 and appendix 7). For the personal growth model see for instance the poem written by Rudyard Kipling ‘If’ (see appendix 10). From the linguistic point of view nursery rhymes are nice examples of wide range of styles, registers, and text-types at many levels of difficulty (see some examples in appendix 11). There are a lot of poems that offer multiple interpretations and are very personal. In appendix 12 two examples are to be found. The first poem is ‘To a stranger’ by Walt Whitman and the second by William Butler Yeats ‘Leda and the swan’.

Although the explanations and given reasons for teaching literature are convincing “looking through TEFL / TESL writings in the seventies or early eighties, we find surprisingly little about the teaching of literature.” Nevertheless, “during the 1980s the situation has changed quite radically and literature is undergoing an extensive reconsideration within the language teaching profession.” (R. A. Carter, p. 1)


8. MEDINA RESEARCH Suzanne Medina is a professor of School of Education in Carson, California, who conducted research in an area similar to what I am interested in, in my diploma thesis. Her pieces of knowledge and findings support my research which is the reason why there is a reference to her investigation. She carried out research focused on the effect of music on second language acquisition. Her research was based on a story song. The theoretical support was largely based on Krashen’s second language acquisition hypotheses, which we will highlight the main ideas from. Two best known Krashen’s hypotheses, from his five, are the ‘Input’ and ‘Affective filter’ hypotheses. “According to Krashen’s Input Hypothesis, new, unfamiliar vocabulary is acquired when its significance is made clear to the learner. Meaning is conveyed by providing extralinguistic support such as illustrations, actions, photos, and realia. This in turns results in what Krashen refers to as ‘comprehensible input’ since the linguistic input is made comprehensible to the second language learner” (S. Medina). In the ‘Affective Filter’ hypotheses Krashen says that “the extent to which linguistic input is received from the environment largely depends upon the learner’s ‘affect’, that is his inner feelings and attitude. Negative emotions, functioning much like a filter, can prevent the learner from making total use of the linguistic input from his environment. Therefore, if he is anxious, unmotivated, or simply lacks confidence, language acquisition will be limited. Music evokes positive emotions which can lower the ‘affective filter’ and bring about language acquisition.” (S. Medina) The research was carried out in a group of 48 second grade limited-Englishproficiency children. These were divided into four groups, each of which had different presentation of the story song that was sung or spoken with or without illustrations. After the four-day treatment there was the first test to measure vocabulary acquisition and the second test was two and half weeks later in order to determine the short-term and long-term effects of music and illustrations. Despite the fact that when evaluating the data Medina consulted various factors (e.g. high proficiency and low proficiency subjects) the results show that “while the effect of illustrations was seemingly quite powerful, it was the addition of music which appeared to boost the positive effects of the illustrations.” (S. Medina)


There is another theory supporting the use of music in language classrooms, which should be mentioned. It is Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences that is based on his conviction that “there exist eight distinct intelligences: musical, spatial, logical, linguistic (verbal) logical-mathematical, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal and naturalist” (S. Medina). It seems that they are independent of one another, so if some difficulties appear in one of these intelligences, it does not mean they will appear in the others. Most individuals are usually very good at only one or two of these areas. Gardner claims that “it is the responsibility of educational institutions to cultivate these intelligences because historically schools have focused on the development of only two of these intelligences: linguistic and logical/mathematical skills. Using music as a vehicle for second language learning is consistent with Gardner’s theory, and furthermore, those students who are strongest in this musical intelligence will experience more successful instruction.” (S. Medina)


9 RESEARCH The practical part of my diploma thesis will be dealing with research I carried out in the time span of seven months, with 53 subjects (students), in four different groups (see 7.2). The research consisted of five different parts (see 7.1) by means of which I wanted to find out the answer to the question if music can help the learners with vocabulary acquisition, and to what extent. The first two sections describe in detail the parts of my research and the researched groups. The third section provides the results of the first questionnaire, the fourth section covers the song-lesson experiment describing the sequence of activities, the course of the lesson in the groups, evaluation and its results. The fifth section describes the poem-lesson experiment including the sequence of activities, description of the course of the lesson, evaluation, plus results. At the end of this chapter a comparison of the results will be provided.

9.1 PARTS OF THE RESEARCH My research consisted of two questionnaires, two pieces of research – the first based on a song, the second based on a poem, and two collections of results. The very first part of the research represented the first questionnaire by means of which I needed to find out what attitude to music the students had, and mainly what kind of music they liked, what kind of music they did not like, which song was their favourite, and if they liked singing. These items of information were the most significant, and the “song-research” was based on them. After the questionnaire followed the research based on a song. This song had been chosen by the subjects of research, or song chosen by myself fitting into their favourite genre. This song was used in a sequence of different activities (see 7.5) during one lesson (45 minutes). The research was carried out in January. The third part consisted of two short activities before the second questionnaire, and the questionnaire itself that was focused on students’ evaluating the lesson, and especially on gaining results from the first research. Strictly speaking, how many words, phrases, or sentences the students recalled without and with the song after two months. The next part was a lesson based on a poem I had chosen according to particular criteria (see 7.6), and that was used in various activities (see 7.6) during one lesson (45 minutes). This research lesson was conducted in April. 41

The last part included a worksheet with pictures next to which the students were supposed to write the denotations and the worksheet also included lines where they could write anything extra they remembered from the poem (other words, phrases, or sentences). At the end I did an interview evaluating the lesson in comparison with the previous lesson based on song. These data were gathered in June.

9.2 DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCHED GROUPS As said before, the research was carried out in four different groups which differed in age, number of males and females, and level of English, which are factors that might have influenced the research, and therefore they should be described more accurately. 1) Secondary school group (SSG) It was the ninth class of secondary school in Nový Jičín consisting of 18 pupils (6 girls/12 boys) at the age of 14/15. The boys were hockey players, which can have some influence on some results. They were pre-intermediate learners of English. This group of pupils knew me because I did my teaching practice in their class during three weeks.

2) Grammar school group (GSG) The students at the grammar school in Nový Jičín were in their first year of studying. There were 16 students (9 girls/ 7 boys) at the age of 15/16 in this class. They were intermediate learners of English. These students had not known me before the research.

3) Language school group A (LSGA) This group consisted of 9 students (6 men/ 3 women) between 25-46 years old. They were pre-intermediate learners of English. I have been teaching this group for four years.

4) Language school group B (LSGB) This group consisted of 10 students (6 men/ 4 women) between 28–51 years old. They were intermediate learners of English. I have been teaching this group for five years. 42

9.3 PLANNING THE RESEARCH LESSON In the theoretical part I expressed the opinion that if a lesson is based on a song in order to use its full potential, and to get the best of it (in our case to find out if a song has the ability to help acquire vocabulary more easily, or to greater extent than any other way of teaching, in our case a lesson based on a poem), the teacher should think about a lesson plan, and prepare it. The basic rules I followed, when planning a listening lesson, were already described in the theoretical part (see 5.2), but still there were some more I took into consideration while planning my research lessons based on a song. These were: ● the most important is the input of information which can be visual, auditory, tactual, and kinaesthetic ● Diversity, movement and repetition must be involved

And some rules written by renowned authors. ● “A good lesson needs to contain a judicious blend of coherence and variety” (J. Harmer, p. 122) ● “If a listening text is to be repeated a number of times, there must be a clear and definite purpose for listening each time” (M. Underwood, p. 32). ● “Tasks should be success-oriented” (P. Ur, p. 27). ● “At the level of teaching sequence we have to ensure the presence of three elements, Engage, Study, Activate” (J. Harmer, p. 126).

9.4 RESULTS OF THE FIRST QUESTIONNAIRE Seeing that the foundation for the following section (Description of the songlesson experiment) is the questionnaire, let us have a look at its results.
Explanatory notes: F – female M – male T – total (in groups) Total – all respondents SSG – secondary school group GSG – grammar school group LSGA – language school group A LSGB – language school group B

1) Do you like listening to music?


10 5 2 3

15 12 4 4

1 2 1 3

1 2 3 2

2 4 4 5

0 0 0 0

1 0 1 1

1 0 1 1

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0


This question was the most significant since the research was not only based on listening to music, but its main aim was to find out if music can help when learning vocabulary. The results show that the vast majority of younger learners (SSG and GSG) always like listening to music. Approximately half of the adult learners in LSGA and LSGB like always, or usually listening to music. Even though there is one person in three of these four groups that likes listening to music only sometimes, there is nobody who does not like listening to music, which is a very positive fact. 2) What kind of music is your favourite?
SSG GS G LSG A LSG B total 55% 29% 40% 0% 29% 17% 9% 3% 5% 27% 19% 22% 0% 3% 2% 0% 3% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 6% 4% 0% 13% 8% 0% 0% 0%

3) Is there any kind of music you do not like?
SSG GS G LSG A LSG B total 0% 0% 0% 0% 6% 4% 5% 6% 6% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 18% 3% 9% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 36% 15% 25% 36% 55% 47% 5% 13% 9%

F M T Hip-hop F / M Rap T Country F M T Rock F M T Drum & F base M T (Heavy) F metal M T Jazz F M T Reggae F M T Techno F M T Brass / F folk M music T

Pop music

5 0 5 0 5 5 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 3 3 0 0 0

4 2 6 0 4 4 0 0 0 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0

2 4 6 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

1 3 4 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

F M T Hip-hop F / M Rap T Country F M T Rock F M T Drum & F base M T (Heavy) F metal M T Jazz F M T Reggae F M T Techno F M T Brass / F folk M music T No F M T

Pop music

0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 3 10 13 0 1 1

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 4 5 9 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 2 2 1 2 3

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 7 1 0 1 0 1 1


These two questions can be evaluated together as they closely relate to each other. The purpose of these questions was to find out the favourite music style of the majority in each class in order to choose a suitable song, and to know which music styles are not much-favoured. The outcomes show that pop music and rock are the most preferred in every group and brass music with techno the least. 4) What is your favourite English song? (See below the questions 7 and 8)

5) Do you like more English or Czech songs?

F 4 8 1 1

M 9 7 4 2

T 13 15 5 3

F 2 1 2 3

M 3 0 2 4

T 5 1 4 7

6) How often do you listen to English songs?

F 2 2 1 2

M 3 2 2 2

T 5 4 3 4

F 3 5 0 1

M 4 3 2 2

T 7 8 2 3

F 1 1 2 1

M 3 1 1 2

T 4 2 3 3

F 0 1 0 0

M 1 0 1 0

T 1 1 1 0

F 0 0 0 0

M 1 0 0 0

T 1 0 0 0

The results of questions number five and six indicate whether the respondents prefer English to Czech songs and the frequency they listen to English songs and in doing so indirectly exposing them to the sound of songs (see more section It is obvious that younger learners prefer more English to Czech songs than the adult learners, however, students in every group listen to English songs, except for one secondary pupil.


7) Do you play or did you play any musical instrument?

F 5 6 1 0

M 0 5 2 3

T 5 11 3 3

F 1 3 2 4

M 12 2 4 3

T 13 5 6 7

As we can see the group of boys from the secondary school extremely increases the percentage of those who do not, or did not play any musical instrument, which may be the consequence of the fact, that they are hockey players. 8) Do you like singing?

F 2 4 2 1

M 1 2 0 2

T 3 6 2 3

F 3 2 0 1

M 0 3 3 0

T 3 5 3 1

F 1 2 1 2

M 1 0 0 3

T 2 2 1 5

F 0 1 0 0

M 2 1 2 1

T 2 2 2 1

F 0 0 0 0

M 8 1 1 0

T 8 1 1 0

This question was very important since singing was a part of the research and was regarded as a significant instrument of repetition (the song was sung three times). The chart shows positively that in three groups the respondents like singing in general, however in the secondary school group the number of pupils who do not like singing is quite high, which became evident during the song-lesson experiment (see more 7.5.1). 4) What is your favourite English song? The answers to this question differed in every group from student to student. These are some examples of favourite songs in the groups. SSG – London Bridge, Fergie; No woman no cry, Bob Marley; Pump it, Black Eyed Peas; Californication, Red Hot Chilli Peppers; Perfect, Simple Plan GSG – Perfect, Simple Plan; Numb, Linkin Park; Was it all worth it, Eminem LSGA – Beautiful Day, U2; Perfect Day, Lou Reed, Swanheart, Nightwish LSGB – Let it be, Beatles; Sorry, Madonna; Daylight, Cold Play


For the song-lesson experiment in SSG as well as in GSG I chose the song ‘Perfect’ by Simple Plan because, firstly, in both groups the choice of popular music prevailed, secondly this song was mentioned several times by the students in the questionnaire, and lastly the lyrics of the song were suitable for pre-intermediate and intermediate learners. For LSGA group the song ‘Perfect Day’ by Lou Reed was chosen and for LSGB ‘Let it be’ by Beatles because of the same reasons mentioned above. 9.5 DESCRIPTION OF THE SONG – LESSON EXPERIMENT The lesson consisted of seven different activities, one of which was repeated three times. This was the order of the activities:- Grab a word; Cut up lyrics; Singing; Translation; Find the word; Singing; Underline these phrases; Comprehension check; Singing. 1st activity – GRAB A WORD Aim – to tune the students in. “To have fun” (T. Murphey, p. 10). Description Twelve words from a song plus four arbitrary words were chosen, written on big pieces of paper with points (100-300) under each word, and stuck on the board. Students were standing in front of the board and while the first listening they were supposed to grab a word immediately they had heard it or thought they had. Before playing the song, I read all the words loudly. Unknown words were not translated. At the end the students were instructed to take and keep their grabbed words with them.

These were the chosen and arbitrary words in each song: Perfect: - grow up, disapprove, along, proud, gonna, wanna, lasts, pain, feel, hero, far, alright, friend, bag, promise, way Perfect Day: - feed, movie, glad, hang on, park, dark, later, all, fun, forget, keep, good, walk, bad, ball, mood Let it be: - words, darkness, people, world, chance, cloudy, light, tomorrow, music, sound, trouble, hour, love, friend, say, swear


2nd activity – CUT UP LYRICS Aim – to practise listening comprehension Description The students, in pairs, were given cut up lyrics of the song, and while the second listening to the song they had to put it into the right order. If they were successful, there was a message on the back of the pieces (“Well done!”). After this they had to find the words they took from the board in the text, and count the points on them. The winner got a small chocolate. 3rd activity – SINGING Aim – “to practise pronunciation and intonation, and have fun” (T. Murphey, p. 94) “Singing songs in unison produces a sense of community and increases student confidence in the language” (S. Medina). Description Students and I sang with the lyrics. 4th activity – TRANSLATION Aim – to practise language awareness when translating Description Groups of three students were given one part of the lyrics (every group different part) with translation of 2 / 3 difficult words on small cards, and they tried to translate this part freely in a time limit of approximately 4 minutes, then every group read their version of translation. 5th activity – FIND THE WORD Aim – to practise the vocabulary of the song, to get the students into motion Description Eight most difficult words were chosen (in one case ten), written on big pieces of paper, and stuck on the walls in the classroom. The students chose randomly the explanation from my hand, and had to find the right matching word.

These were the words they had to find the explanation to: Perfect: - waste, wanna, disapprove, proud, pretend, pain, hero, seem, stand, gonna Perfect Day: - feed, reap, sow, glad, hang on, keep, movie, weekender 48

Let it be: - agree, darkness, trouble, until, broken heart, wisdom, whisper, shine 6th activity – SINGING Aim – to repeat pronunciation, intonation, vocabulary, “to have fun”(T. Murphey, p. 94) Description Students and I sang with the lyrics. 7th activity – UNDERLINE THESE PHRASES Aim – to repeat the vocabulary, to practise orientation in the text Description The students had to underline the expressions in the text I wrote on the board in Czech. Then I checked the correct answers. 8th activity – COMPREHENSION CHECK Aim – to practise speaking, comprehension of the text Description The students were supposed to answer the questions related to the lyrics of the song. 9th activity – SINGING Aim – to repeat singing the song with bigger confidence Description Students and I sang with the lyrics.

9.5.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE COURSE OF SONG – LESSON EXPERIMENT The same sequence of activities was done in every group. Even though this experiment was basically for all four groups the same (except for the chosen song), the course of the lessons differed. The SSG was the liveliest. The first and the second activity were without any problems, the pupils were enjoying the games with competitive mood. The first singing was a little bit shy, and even though the second and the third singing were stronger, not everyone was singing which corresponds with the answers in the first questionnaire, where eight boys wrote they never liked singing. The first troubles appeared in the fourth activity – translation. The pupils found it difficult to produce 49

a coherent text, but this was basically the aim, to show them how difficult it is to translate something meaningfully into Czech even when they understand. However, their age and level of English might have been a part of the troubles. As far as the GSG is concerned the lesson ran without any problems, on the contrary, the students were very active, and everybody was singing with pleasure from the very beginning. The lessons in LSGA and LSGB were very similar. Some difficulties appeared in the fourth activity – translation, mainly in LSGB whose lyrics to ‘Let it be’ were more difficult. Their first singing was quite cautious, but during the last singing everyone sang. When I evaluate these lessons in general, every lesson ran very well, and the most important fact was that the majority of students was singing. In my opinion, all of the lessons were very positive, relaxed, and I had a very good feeling after every lesson. How much these lessons, based on a song, helped the students acquire the target vocabulary, and how the students perceived and felt during the lesson, are the questions that will be answered in the next sections.

9.5.2 RESULTS COLLECTION OF THE SONG-LESSON EXPERIMENT The data were gathered two months after the song-lesson experiment, in March. It consisted of three parts. At the beginning the students were instructed to recall the song-lesson and to write as many words, phrases, or sentences as they remembered from the song. This activity was necessary because after that the students were asked to sing the song (without handouts with lyrics), and compare the amount of words they recalled without and then with music. There were four more questions in the second questionnaire asking the students specific evaluating questions relating to the song-lesson. The number of students in each group was the same, except for the secondary school group where one boy was absent.

Explanatory notes: F – female M – male T – total (in groups) Total – all respondents SSG – secondary school group GSG – grammar school group LSGA – language school group A LSGB – language school group B


1) What was the song-lesson like for you? (Circle all the answers you agree with)




F 4 6 3 3

M 4 5 6 5

T 8 11 9 8

F 3 4 1 2

M 4 4 3 3

T 7 8 4 5

F 1 0 0 0

M 4 0 0 1

T 5 0 0 1

F 0 0 0 0

M 0 0 0 0

T 0 0 0 0

These numbers say that the vast majority of the respondents perceived the song-lesson as interesting and enjoyable, which corresponds with the theory where the fact that songs are highly enjoyable has been mentioned several times. The students also described this lesson as: “splendid, relaxing, and English through games”. 2) Was the song-lesson instructive?

F M T F M T 6 8 14 0 3 3 8 6 14 1 1 2 3 6 9 0 0 0 4 6 10 0 0 0 95% 87% 90% 5% 13% 10% While all the adult students in language school groups think the song-lesson

was instructive, and they learned something, some of the younger students have different opinions. Nevertheless, there was no one who would not recall at least something from the song (see more questions number 5, 6).

3) Did the song-lesson go quickly?

F M T F M T 5 8 13 1 3 4 7 7 14 2 0 2 3 6 9 0 0 0 4 5 9 0 1 1 86% 87% 87% 14% 13% 13%


Eighty - seven percent of all respondents wrote that the lesson went quickly. The highest number of those who did not perceive the course of the lesson as quick can be seen in the secondary school group. 4) How did you feel during the lesson? (Circle all the answers you agree with)





F 2 4 2 3

M 3 3 2 3

T 5 7 4 6

F 3 5 3 4

M 5 5 4 4

T 11 10 7 8

F 3 2 0 0

M 5 3 1 2

T 8 5 1 2

F 0 0 0 0

M 0 0 0 0

T 0 0 0 0

F 0 0 0 0

M 0 0 0 0

T 0 0 0 0

The results of this question clearly show that most of the students (69%) felt relaxed, and moreover during this lesson many students felt also positive. Despite the fact that some students wrote normal, there was nobody who would have felt stressed, or negative, which is a very satisfying result. To this question more students’ comments were added: e.g. “I felt at ease”, “during good songs I have a unique mood, rather indefinable”, “it was very pleasant.” 5) Were you able to recall any words, phrases, or text without melody? YES



F 3 1 2 2

M 6 3 2 1

T 9 4 4 3

F 2 5 1 1

M 4 0 4 3

T 6 5 5 4

F 1 3 0 0

M 1 4 0 2

T 2 7 0 2

F 0 0 0 1

M 0 0 0 0

T 0 0 0 1

According to this chart there was only one woman who did not recall anything without the melody which makes only 2% of the 52 respondents. The prevalent majority (98%) recalled some words, phrases, or sentences which is an important fact.


6) Were you able to recall any words, phrases, or text with melody? YES



F 0 0 0 2

M 3 0 1 0

T 3 0 1 2

F 4 5 3 2

M 6 2 5 4

T 10 7 8 6

F 2 4 0 0

M 2 5 0 2

T 4 9 0 2

F 0 0 0 0

M 0 0 0 0

T 0 0 0 0

As we can see in this chart the amount of vocabulary the students recalled with music considerably increased, mainly as far as phrases are concerned. CONCLUSION According to the results of the second questionnaire the song – lesson experiment can be summarized. The lesson was interesting for 69 percent of the respondents and 46 percent perceived it as enjoyable. For 90 percent the lesson was instructive and 87 percent wrote that the lesson went quickly. Moreover, 69 percent of the students were feeling relaxed and 42 percent also positive during the lesson. Nobody felt stressed or even negative. Furthermore, the charts number five and six partly answer the main question of this diploma thesis if music helps with vocabulary acquisition and to what extent. The numbers in chart five say that there were 39 percent of the students who recalled some words, 39 percent recalled some phrases and 20 percent recalled some sentences without music. The amount of vocabulary dramatically increased with the help of music, mainly as far as phrases are concerned (by 21%). These numbers will be further compared with the results of the poem – lesson experiment (see 8.6.2).

9.6 DESCRIPTION OF THE ‘POEM – LESSON’ EXPERIMENT The poem was selected according to a number of criteria. At its most basic level, in the poem, used for this research, had to be a clear concrete story for easier comprehension (because some poems are abstract and can be interpreted and understood variously, which was not demanded) and the poem had to be short. Additional criteria were also met. At the end of each verse there was a word which rhymed with the word at the end of the next verse. The poem had vocabulary


appropriate for pre-intermediate and intermediate students of English and contained at least 9 words unfamiliar to some of the students. The lesson consisted of eleven different activities which followed in this sequence:- Guessing the title; Write a poem; 1st Recitation of the poem; Fill-in the rhyming words; Checking + 2nd Reciting; Students’ recitation; Drama activities; Comprehension check; Word drill; Expressions with ‘mind’; Rap. 1st activity – GUESSING THE TITLE OF THE POEM Aim – tuning in Description The picture of the serial ‘Lost’ was shown to the students who were supposed to guess the title of the poem. 2nd activity – WRITE A POEM! Aim – “to share a composition task, to use language creatively” (T. Murphey, p. 80) Description The students, in pairs, were asked to write 2 – 4 lines of a poem with the title ‘Lost’. After having it written they recited their short poems in the class. 3rd activity – 1ST RECITATION OF THE POEM Aim – to have the idea what the poem is about Description The students were given handouts with the poem without the rhyming words. On the board there were two posters with the poem written on them (without the rhyming words). Under them there were four pictures illustrating some words of the poem. In addition, there was a poster where the rhyming words were written. These were read, however not translated. The students were asked to listen and watch me carefully, while I was reciting the poem, without saying the rhyming words, but showing, or miming them. When I was reciting the poem I used the pictures and miming to show them the meaning of the words. 4th activity – FILL-IN THE RHYMING WORDS Aim – to practise language awareness 54

Description The students were asked to fill in the rhyming words. After their filling in we checked their answers together, and stuck the rhyming words (written in red) into the poem on the board. The words the students still were still not sure about were described more precisely. 5th activity – STUDENTS’ RECITATION Aim – to practise pronunciation, and rhythm of the poem Description We recited the poem loudly together. 6th activity – DRAMA ACTIVITIES Aim – to practise the words through drama, experience; “to have fun” (T. Murphey, p. 10) Description Three groups of two were given different situations from the poem written on small cards. They had to perform them, and the other guessed. The rest of the students, who were not involved into performing a situation, got a card with only one word of the poem which they had to mime. 7th activity – COMPREHENSION CHECK Aim – to practise speaking, comprehension of the poem Description The students were supposed to answer the questions related to the poem. 8th activity – WORD DRILL Aim – to memorize the rhyming words through drill Description The instruction was to say the rhyming word which rhymed with the one I said (e.g. I said: “Fence”, the students: “Dense”). I kept on saying and repeating the words till the moment I was sure everyone was saying the right rhyming word. 9th activity – 2ND STUDENTS’ RECITATION Aim – to practise the rhyming words 55

Description The rhyming words were removed. I recited the poem without them, but asked the students to say them instead of me. 10th activity – EXPRESSIONS WITH ‘MIND’ Aim – to learn other common, useful phrases Description Three other expressions with ‘mind’ were explained. These were Mind the gap / Mind the step / Mind your head. 11th activity – RAP22 Aim – to use the rhythm for better memorizing the target vocabulary; “to have fun” (T. Murphey, p. 10) Description Firstly I rapped the poem alone to get the students into the rhythm, and then we rapped together.

9.6.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE COURSE OF POEM-LESSON EXPERIMENT The poem with the same sequence of activities was used in every group. The course of the lesson did not differ so distinctively like in the song-lesson, but still there were some differences among the four groups. The pupils in the SSG were really enjoying drama activities, but they were excited by rapping (mainly boys). Writing the short poem caused some troubles at the beginning because they were worried about making mistakes and about the form of their poems as they had never been writing an English poem before. Therefore I told them to write anything that came to their minds. Even though their poems were not without mistakes, they made sense and were witty (unfortunately I did not write them down, and I do not remember them to be able to present them). The target vocabulary of the poem Lost was more difficult for them than for the students at the grammar school, and it took more time to explain it, but this fact did not hinder the final comprehension of the poem.
Rap is the rhythmic delivery of rhymes. Sometimes it has been claimed to be a backronym of the phrase “Rhythmically Applied Poetry”, or “Rhythm and Poetry”. Rap describes quick and slangy speech or repartee long predates the musical form. Rapping can be delivered over a beat or without accompaniment. (


The poem-lesson with the GSG passed very well, without any problems. Their poems were the best from all four groups, and even though I did not write them down, two poems stuck in my mind. The first was “I lost my eye, and I cannot cry”, and the second was “I lost my puppy and I was sad, but then I found it under the bed.” While reciting their poems there was very comfortable atmosphere in the classroom. The course of this lesson in LSGA and LSGB was also very pleasant. However, the troubles appeared in totally different activity than in previous groups. It was the word drill when they had to say the rhyming words. It took them much more time to say them without looking at the board. As far as writing a poem is concerned the students had the biggest difficulties to make something up. From these two groups only one poem stuck in my mind: “I am lost, I went to the post, and met a ghost.” In spite of the fact that the poem-lesson experiment was carried out only in order to provide results that could be comparable with the results of the song-lesson experiment, I was very nicely surprised by the course of the lessons, which convinced me to use this way of teaching more often. I do not only think it is a very nice way to break the routine, but it also “turned out to be useful vehicle for different purposes: vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, speaking, listening, reading, language awareness, critical thinking, literary appreciation, and writing” (V. L. Holmes and M. R. Moulton, p. 1).

9.6.2 RESULTS COLLECTION OF POEM - LESSON EXPERIMENT The last data gathering took part in June. Firstly, the students were given a worksheet with pictures (see appendix 8) from the poem next to which they were to write the denotations. Moreover there was a special place, on this worksheet, where they could write anything extra they recalled from the poem. After this activity I held an interview the main subject of which was to compare the song-lesson with the poem-lesson. RESULTS OF THE POEM – LESSON WORKSHEET When evaluating the poem – lesson worksheet some criteria were taken into account. These were: - incorrect spelling was disregarded if the meaning was obvious 57


before students’ filling in the worksheet it had been said to write the words from the poem (if they remembered), so when they wrote below picture 4 (see appendix 8) ‘go’, or ‘run’ instead of ‘wander’, or ‘fall’ instead of ‘faint’ (picture 7), I did not count these words because they were not in the poem


when the students wrote just some parts of the pictures, such as in pictures 1 and 5 (see appendix 8) ‘climb’ instead of ‘climb up’, or ‘match’ instead of ‘strike a match’, I counted these words because they were the part of the poem

The items in the chart (e.g. 1 word, 3 words etc.) do not refer to the numbers of pictures on the worksheet (see appendix 8). The words written below the pictures were counted together with the words written extra. Those who wrote extra words mentioned the title of the poem ‘Lost’, ‘way’, and ‘slowly’. As far as the phrases are concerned only one was mentioned in a few cases (‘strike a match’). Few students also wrote some sentences. Either it was ‘I lost my way’, or ‘Mind the wet paint’.

SSG 0 WORDS F M T 1 WORD F M T 2 WORDS F M T 3 WORDS F M T 4 WORDS F M T 5 WORDS F 0 2 2 0 5 5 3 4 7 1 1 2 2 0 2 0

GSG 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 1 3 4 2 6 1

LSGA 0 0 0 0 2 2 1 0 1 2 0 2 0 3 3 0

LSGB 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 2 2 2 1 3 0 2 2 0

TOTAL 5% 7% 6% 5% 23% 15% 23% 19% 21% 32% 10% 19% 27% 23% 24% 5%



0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2 3 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 1 3

1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1

0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1

10% 8% 5% 10% 8% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 9% 6% 8% 9% 10% 9%

In this chart we can see certain differences among the four researched groups. The grammar school group recalled the highest amount of vocabulary, and on the contrary the secondary school group recalled the lowest number of words. The language school group B was slightly better than language school group A. According to these results it can be said that the students’ achievements correspond with their level of English. RESULTS OF THE INTERVIEW “The interview is an investigative method, which enables to record not only facts, but also to get deeper into the respondents’ motifs and attitudes” (P. Gavora, p. 110) This method was chosen for the results collection of this research because ‘spontaneous, personal answers’ (P. Gavora, p. 110) were required. Moreover, “the contact face to face should guarantee the true and sufficient answers” (P. Gavora, p. 110). The interview was conducted after the result collection of the poem – lesson worksheet. The main subject was to find out which lesson the students liked more and why. Let us have a look at its results in the following chart.


Question: What did you like more: the song – lesson or the poem – lesson?



13 14 9 9 85%

5 2 0 1 15%

In three groups there were some students (15% of all respondents) who preferred the poem – lesson. The explanations for their choices were that the poem – lesson was more entertaining with the drama activities than the song - lesson, the lesson went more quickly, and they liked the final rapping more than singing.

It needs to be said that evaluation of the poem – lesson results turned out to be more complicated than I had expected, and other ideas of collecting the results came to my mind when evaluating the data. Firstly, there could have been one more activity after filling in the worksheet - we could have tried to rap the poem (like we sang the song), and perhaps the students would have recalled more words. Secondly, after these two activities (worksheet + rapping) the students could have been given another questionnaire including the questions similar to the last two questions in the second questionnaire (see appendix 3), which would be: “Were you able to recall some words with / without rhythm?” Furthermore, it would have been easier to evaluate the questionnaire which would have made it possible to arrange the results in better way.

9.7 COMPARING THE RESULTS OF SONG AND POEM – LESSON EXPERIMENT This section will compare the results of the two research lessons (the second questionnaire providing the song – lesson results and the poem-worksheet plus interview providing the poem – lesson results), focusing on the amount of words, phrases, sentences the students recalled and students’ feelings during the lesson.


The outcomes of the research lessons show that only 2 percent of the students did not recall any word after the song – lesson. As far as the poem – lesson is concerned this number is higher by 4 percent. Considerable differences can be seen in the amount of recalled phrases and sentences. Thirty-nine percent of the students were able to recall some phrases from the song, but only eight percent from the poem. Twenty percent were able to recall some sentences from the song, and nine percent from the poem. According to these outcomes the question if music helps with vocabulary acquisition can be answered saying that it does. Furthermore, eighty five percent respondents preferred the song – lesson since they felt relaxed (69%), positive (42%), the lesson was interesting for 69 percent and enjoyable for 46 percent of students. 10. SUMMARY Music and songs in the context of teaching English were the areas which the main attention of this thesis was devoted to. We analysed their importance, character, use and in doing so we got deeper into the bottomless well of knowledge from which some information was taken out - to show and explain particular connections among these areas. This information was also supposed to support both the theory holding an opinion that music has the ability to help acquire and remember vocabulary and subsequent research seeking to prove this assertion. The beginnings of music, various theories about music and a lot of examples from everyday life have shown that music belongs to mankind from its very first and it is a common and necessary part of our lives. There is a special power hidden in it, which can bring about required atmosphere, evoke particular feelings, moreover, influence physical as well as mental condition of our bodies. As someone wise said that even though “all remains mystery, its power should be used to its fullness.” One of the best examples of how to use this mysterious power of music also in language teaching is songs that were used in the research of this thesis. The outcomes of the investigation have proved that music has the ability to help acquire and remember vocabulary. Furthermore, music incredibly helps to recall the lyrics of songs when listening to them, and thus encourages learners’ confidence in language. The teachers can, by using songs in lessons, also contribute a great deal to help learners improve listening skills because “teachers who make it clear that they


believe in the value of listening work and who plan and conduct listening sessions in a purposeful way will find that their students grow in confidence and soon begin to experience the pleasure that listening successfully can bring” (M. Underwood, p. 28). What speaks in favour of using songs in language teaching is also the fact that, according to the research results, the students perceived the lessons with songs as interesting, instructive, positive, relaxing and enjoyable and nobody experienced redoubtable J. A. Komenský’s satiety and repugnance – poison of teaching. Songs can become “a tool which we can use to animate and facilitate language learning and acquisition” stated Tim Murphey (p. 16), and Mario Papa with Guiliano Iantorno concisely described this tool saying that “it is an exceptional teaching tool: in fact, students will take songs outside the classroom and will go on performing them long after the lesson has finished, purely for their own pleasure. Songs are unforgettable, can last a lifetime and become part of one’s culture” (M. Papa & G. Iantorno, p. 8). I am convinced of the truthfulness of their statement as in my case songs create an indispensable part of my culture and life. They cherish both a treasure of music that enriches my soul and a treasure of language that enriches my mind. “Songs enrich the world I live in.”


Anderson, A. and Lynch, T. Listening. Oxford University Press, 1988 Carter, R. A. Teaching Literature. New York: Longman, 1991 Dakin, J. Songs and Rhymes for the teaching of English. Harlow: Longman Group Ltd, 1992 Duff, A. and Maley, A. Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992 Gavora, P. Úvod do pedagogického výzkumu. Brno 2000 Griffee, D. T. Songs in action. Hertfordshire: Phoenix, 1995 Harmer, J. How to Teach English. Addison Wesley Longman Limited, 1998 Hedge, T. Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991 Holmes, V.L. and Moulton, M.R. Writing Simple Poems. Cambridge University Press, 2001 Komenský, J.A. Didaktika Velká. Brno, 1948 Lindsay, C. and Knight, P. Learning and Teaching English. Oxford University Press, 2006 Macmillan publishers. My English Songbook. University of York/Macmillan Press, 1981 McDowell, J. and Hart, Ch. Listening plus: authentic recordings with tasks to develop listening skills and teacher training. Edward Arnold (Publishers), 1987 Murphey, T. Music & Songs. Oxford University Press, 1992 Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2000 Papa, M./Iantorno, G. Famous British & American songs. Longman Group Limited 1979 Revel, J. and Breary, B. Listening Advanced. Oxford University Press, 1988 Rixon, S. Developing listening skills. Macmillan Publishers Limited, 1986 Rosen, M. Children’s Poetry. London: Kingfisher Books, 1985 Rost, M. Listening in action. Prentice Hall International, 1991 Scrivener, J. Learning Teaching. Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2005 Stevick, E.W. Teaching and learning languages. Cambridge University Press, 1982 Underwood, M. Teaching listening. Longman Group Limited, 1989


Ur, P. Teaching Listening Comprehension. Cambridge University Press, 1992 Ward, S. A. Dippitydoo. Songs and activities for children. Longman Group Ltd, London 1980 White, G. Listening. Oxford University Press, 1998


Affective filter [online]. SEE AT <> Alliteration [online]. SEE AT <> BROWNING, B. Elizabeth. How do I love thee? [online] SEE AT <> Definition of music [online]. SEE AT <> DORRELL, Philip. Music Perception [online]. SEE AT <> EBONG, Balbina and SABBADINI, Marta J. British Council, Cameroon Developing pronunciation through songs [online] SEE AT <> Hudba a její vliv na tělo a mysl [online]. SEE AT <> KIPLING, Rudyard. If. [online] SEE AT <> MEDINA, Suzanne. Acquiring Vocabulary through Story-Songs [online]. SEE AT <> <> <> Mirror neuron [online]. SEE AT <> Music [online]. SEE AT <> Nursery rhymes [online]. SEE AT <> <> Onomatopoeia [online]. SEE AT <>


Quotations [online]. SEE AT <> Quotations on music [online]. SEE AT <> Quotations on Teaching, Learning, and Education [online]. SEE AT <> RACLE, Gabriel L. Music, Pedagogy, Therapy: Suggestopaedia [online]. SEE AT < lmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED158583&ERI CExtSearch_SearchType_0=eric_accno&accno=ED158583> Rap [online]. SEE AT <> REYNOLDS, Malvina. Song Lyrics and Poems [online]. SEE AT <> ROEDERER, Juan G. Course on the perception of music by the human brain [online]. SEE AT <> San Francisco (be sure to wear flowers in your hair) [online]. SEE AT < s_in_Your_Hair%29> Suggestopedia [online]. SEE AT <> We are the world [online]. SEE AT <> What makes a song catchy? [online]. SEE AT <> Where have all the flowers gone? [online]. SEE AT <> WHITMAN, Walt. To a stranger. [online] SEE AT <> YEATS, B. William. Leda and the swan. [online] SEE AT <>



Milé holky, milí kluci, jmenuji se Veronika Rosová a studuji posledním rokem na Pedagogické Fakultě v Brně. V mé závěrečné diplomové práci budu zkoumat vztah mezi angličtinou, hudbou a vámi. Prosím vás, abyste odpověděli na následující otázky.

Věk: ........................ (napiš číslo) Pohlaví: kluk holka (zakroužkuj)

1) Posloucháš rád/a hudbu? (zakroužkuj jednu z odpovědí) a) vždycky ano b) většinou ano c) někdy d) zřídka e) nikdy

2) Jaký druh hudby máš nejraději? (zakroužkuj jednu z odpovědí) a) populární b) hip-hop / rap c) country d) rock e) drum and base f) metal / heavy metal g) jazz h) reggae i) techno / tekno j) dechovku / lidovou hudbu

3) Je nějaký druh hudby, který nemáš rád/a? (zakroužkuj jednu z odpovědí) a) ano


Pokud ano, napiš který ? (Použij názvy z otázky č.2) ................................ b) ne 4) Jaká je tvá nejoblíbenější anglicky zpívaná písnička? Název písničky napiš anglicky nebo česky. Pokud nevíš název, napiš skupinu nebo zpěváka, který ji zpívá. ……………………………………………………………………………… …..

5) Máš raději písničky zpívané anglicky nebo česky? (zakroužkuj jednu z odpovědí) a) anglicky b) česky

6) Jak často posloucháš anglické písničky? (zakroužkuj jednu z odpovědí) a) velmi často b) často c) někdy d) zřídka e) nikdy

7) Hraješ nebo jsi hrál/a na nějaký hudební nástroj? (zakroužkuj jednu z odpovědí) a) ano Pokud ano, napiš: jaký: ...............................................………………………………………. jak dlouho: ................................................................................................. b) ne

8) Zpíváš rád/a? (zakroužkuj jednu z odpovědí) a) vždycky ano b) většinou ano 68

c) někdy d) většinou ne e) nikdy

Děkuji Ti za vyplnění dotazníku a těším se na další brzkou spolupráci!!!



Milé studentky, milí studenti, jmenuji se Veronika Rosová a studuji posledním rokem na Pedagogické Fakultě v Brně. V mé závěrečné diplomové práci budu zkoumat vztah mezi angličtinou, hudbou a vámi. Prosím vás, abyste odpověděli na následující otázky.

Věk: ........................ (napište číslo) Pohlaví: muž žena (zakroužkujte)

1) Posloucháte rád/a hudbu? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a. vždycky ano b. většinou ano c. někdy d. zřídka e. nikdy

2) Jaký druh hudby máte nejraději? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a. populární b. hip-hop / rap c. country d. rock e. drum and base f. metal / heavy metal g. jazz h. reggae i. techno / tekno j. dechovku / lidovou hudbu

3) Je nějaký druh hudby, který nemáte rád/a? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a. ano


Pokud ano, napište který? (Použijte názvy z otázky č.2)............................ b. ne

4) Jaká je Vaše nejoblíbenější anglicky zpívaná písnička? Název písničky napište anglicky nebo česky. Pokud nevíte název, napište skupinu nebo zpěváka, který ji zpívá. ……………………………………………………………………………… …..

5) Máte raději písničky zpívané anglicky nebo česky? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a. anglicky b. česky

6) Jak často posloucháte anglické písničky? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a. velmi často b. často c. někdy d. zřídka e. nikdy

7) Hrajete nebo jste hrál/a na nějaký hudební nástroj? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a. ano Pokud ano, napište: jaký: ...............................................………………………………………. jak dlouho: ...........................................................................................…... b. ne


8) Zpíváte rád/a? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a. vždycky ano b. většinou ano c. někdy d. většinou ne e. nikdy Děkuji Vám za vyplnění dotazníku a těším se na další brzkou spolupráci!!!



Milé studentky, milí studenti, V lednu letošního roku jsem vás jednu hodinu učila na základě vámi vybrané písně. Prosím, abyste mi v následujících šesti otázkách poskytli zpětnou vazbu na tuto hodinu.

Věk: ……………. (napište číslo) Pohlaví: muž žena (zakroužkujte)

1) Jaká pro vás byla „hodina s písničkou“? (zakroužkujte odpovědi, se kterými souhlasíte) a) zajímavá b) zábavná c) normální d) nudná Jiné: …………………………………………………………..


Byla pro vás hodina naučná? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a) ANO b) NE

3) Utekla vám hodina rychle? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a) ANO b) NE

4) Jak jste se cítili v průběhu hodiny? (zakroužkujte odpovědi, se kterými souhlasíte) a) pozitivně b) uvolněně c) normálně d) ve stresu e) negativně Jiné: ……………………………………………………………….. 73

5) Byli jste schopni si vybavit nějaká slova / fráze / text bez melodie? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a) ANO (Pokud ANO, zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) • mezi 1 – 20 slovy • určité fráze • určité věty / text b) NE

Jiné: …………………………………………………………………

6) Byli jste schopni si vybavit nějaká slova / fráze / text s melodií? (zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) a) ANO (Pokud ANO, zakroužkujte jednu z odpovědí) • mezi 1 – 20 slovy • určité fráze • určité věty / text b) NE

Jiné: ……………………………………………………………….. ………………………………………………………………...

Děkuji za spolupráci a přeji vám hodně úspěchů ve studiu angličtiny!

Veronika Rosová



Hey dad look at me Think back and talk to me Did I grow up according to plan? And do you think I'm wasting my time doing things I wanna do? But it hurts when you disapprove all along And now I try hard to make it I just want to make you proud I'm never gonna be good enough for you I can't pretend that I'm alright And you can't change me 'Cuz we lost it all Nothing lasts forever I'm sorry I can't be perfect Now it's just too late and We can't go back I'm sorry I can't be perfect I try not to think About the pain I feel inside Did you know you used to be my hero? All the days you spent with me Now seem so far away And it feels like you don't care anymore And now I try hard to make it I just want to make you proud I'm never gonna be good enough for you I can't stand another fight And nothing's alright 'Cuz we lost it all Nothing lasts forever I'm sorry I can't be perfect Now it's just too late and We can't go back I'm sorry I can't be perfect


Nothing's gonna change the things that you said Nothing's gonna make this right again Please don't turn your back I can't believe it's hard Just to talk to you But you don't understand 'Cuz we lost it all Nothing lasts forever I'm sorry I can't be perfect Now it's just too late and We can't go back I'm sorry I can't be perfect 'Cuz we lost it all Nothing lasts forever I'm sorry I can't be perfect Now it's just too late and We can't go back I'm sorry I can’t be perfect


APPENDIX 5 PERFECT DAY – LOU REED Just a perfect day Drink Sangria in the park, And then later, when it gets dark, We go home. Just a perfect day, Feed animals in the zoo Then later, a movie, too, And then home. Oh it's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you. Oh such a perfect day, You just keep me hanging on, You just keep me hanging on. Just a perfect day, Problems all left alone, Weekenders on our own. It's such fun. Just a perfect day, You made me forget myself. I thought I was someone else, Someone good. Oh it's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you. Oh such a perfect day, You just keep me hanging on, You just keep me hanging on. You're going to reap just what you sow, You're going to reap just what you sow, You're going to reap just what you sow, You’re going to reap just what you sow…


APPENDIX 6 LET IT BE - BEATLES When I find myself in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me Speaking words of wisdom, let it be And in my hour of darkness She is standing right in front of me Speaking words of wisdom, let it be Let it be, let it be Let it be, let it be Whisper words of wisdom, let it be And when the broken hearted people Living in the world agree There will be an answer, let it be For though they may be parted There is still a chance that they will see There will be an answer, let it be Let it be, let it be Let it be, let it be Yeah there will be an answer, let it be Let it be, let it be Let it be, let it be Whisper words of wisdom, let it be Let it be, let it be Ah let it be, yeah let it be Whisper words of wisdom, let it be And when the night is cloudy There is still a light that shines on me Shine on until tomorrow, let it be I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me Speaking words of wisdom, let it be Yeah let it be, let it be Let it be, yeah let it be Oh there will be an answer, let it be Let it be, let it be Let it be, yeah let it be Oh there will be an answer, let it be Let it be, let it be Ah let it be, yeah let it be Whisper words of wisdom, let it be


APPENDIX 7 LOST – JAMES GODDEN In a terrible fog I once lost my way, Where I had wandered I could not say, I found a signpost just by a fence, But I could not read it, the fog was so dense. Slowly but surely, frightened to roam, I climbed up the post for my nearest way home, Striking a match I turned cold and faint, These were the words on it, “Mind the wet paint.”




APPENDIX 9 THAT DON'T IMPRESS ME MUCH – SHANIA TWAIN I've known a few guys who thought they were pretty smart But you've got being right down to an art You think you're a genius-you drive me up the wall You're a regular original, a know-it-all Oh-oo-oh, you think you're special Oh-oo-oh, you think you're something else Okay, so you're a rocket scientist That don't impress me much So you got the brain but have you got the touch Don't get me wrong, yeah I think you're alright But that won't keep me warm in the middle of the night That don't impress me much I never knew a guy who carried a mirror in his pocket And a comb up his sleeve-just in case And all that extra hold gel in your hair oughtta lock it 'Cause Heaven forbid it should fall outta place Oh-oo-oh, you think you're special Oh-oo-oh, you think you're something else Okay, so you're Brad Pitt That don't impress me much So you got the looks but have you got the touch Don't get me wrong, yeah I think you're alright But that won't keep me warm in the middle of the night That don't impress me much You're one of those guys who likes to shine his machine You make me take off my shoes before you let me get in I can't believe you kiss your car good night C'mon baby tell me-you must be jokin', right! Oh-oo-oh, you think you're special Oh-oo-oh, you think you're something else Okay, so you've got a car That don't impress me much So you got the moves but have you got the touch Don't get me wrong, yeah I think you're alright But that won't keep me warm in the middle of the night That don't impress me much You think you're cool but have you got the touch Don't get me wrong, yeah I think you're alright


But that won't keep me warm on the long, cold, lonely night That don't impress me much Okay, so what do you think you're Elvis or something... Oo-Oh-Oh That don't impress me much! Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-No Alright! Alright! You're Tarzan! Captain Kirk maybe. John Wayne. Whatever! That don't impress me much!


APPENDIX 10 HOW DO I LOVE THEE? Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of everyday's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with a passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.


APPENDIX 11 IF Rudyard Kipling If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or, being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two imposters just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools; If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breath a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on"; If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!


APPENDIX 12 NURSERY RHYMES SNOW The snow comes down In the dark of night. When we awake, The world is white.

RAIN RAIN GO AWAY Rain rain go away, Come again another day. Little Johnny wants to play; Rain, rain, go to Spain, Never show your face again! A WISE OLD OWL A wise old owl lived in an oak The more he saw the less he spoke The less he spoke the more he heard. Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

CHRISTMAS IS COMING Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat Please to put a penny in the old man's hat; If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do, If you haven't got a ha'penny then God bless you!



Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you, You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream,) I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you, All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured, You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me, I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only, You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return, I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone, I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again, I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

LEDA AND THE SWAN William Butler Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed By his dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, He holds her helpless breast upon his breast How can those terrified vague fingers push The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? How can anybody, laid in that white rush, But feel the strange heart beating where it lies? A shudder in the loins, engenders there The broken wall, the burning roof and tower And Agamemnon dead. Being so caught up, So mastered by the brute blood of the air, Did she put on his knowledge with his power Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?


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