Having recently had an article published in our company rag about using songs in adult classes as well as kids ones I thought I’d better practice what I preach. Consequently I chose three Christmas classics for my seasonal lessons as I’m a bit fed up of talking about Christmas festivities in England to a load of people who don’t really celebrate Christmas in any way.
I chose John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’for the obvious reason that it’s known by almost everyone (not all though as one lady had never heard of it!) and is simple and repetitive. For this the students just had to finsh off the last word in each line based on them rhyming with others.
‘Do they know its Christmas time?’ by Band Aid is hardly known and I used this with the Upper-Intermediate levels by way of cutting the lyrics up into strips which the students had to listen out for and put together on the table to form the whole song. A new thing for me and something different to the usual gap-fill exercise and it got a bit of movement in the classroom.
The third song I used was ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade which isn’t known by anyone in Japan! Noddy Holder’s brummie accent is very difficult for Japanese ears so I used the much slower acoustic version which Noel Gallagher of Oasis recorded a while back for ‘The Royle Family’ Christmas special.
The students who were given this song to listen to had to keep their ears peeled for a range of target language which we have been working on over the last eight months or so and is far too dull to go into on these pages. Overall, these songs seemed to capture the imagination of the students (on the surface anyway!) and with some of the afternoon classes bringing in cakes (both bought and homemade) it was a nice end to a year that has flown by.