Using songs to teach adult ESL

Songs are a very good way to teach or learn a foreign language. There are....thousands of songs in least! And people all over the world like English songs, especially  the oldies such as those of the Beatles. Personally I like Ella Fitzgerald and Patti Page....

So I use songs all the time. I usually find them on YouTube with the lyrics superimposed, and on WhatsApp I will add the lyrics separately so that people can study them, read them out loud and then....sing them!!!

Here is one of the best all time songs to help people learn English!


Hello Paul and all, Your sharing this beautiful version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole reminds me of my mother who passed in 2015. During a week-long vigil at her bedside, my siblings and I listened to that song over and over. 

I agree with you, Paul and Anita, that music can be a wonderful addition to the class. Thanks for suggesting songs aligned with adverbs of frequency.

In this spring's class, we read a Newsela article about the Bread and Roses Strike among the mill workers--most of whom were women-- in Lawrence, Massachusetts in the early 1900s. We also listened and learned the great protest song by the same name. There are lots of videos on YouTube featuring the song.

This history has special significance for me since I lived in Lawrence until I was five, and some of my Irish ancestors worked in those mills.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition