Have you tried LyricsTraining? I have and I loved it. And so my students.
I bet many of us (English teachers) have tried this method (and your students once in a while would ask you to do that too): teach English through (English) songs by asking them to listen to a song and fill in the gaps of the song’s lyrics. Most of the time we prepared the song, lyrics, and worksheet by ourselves (yep, browsed, copy-pasted, edited, and printed it). With LyricsTraining, you do not need to do all that. Just prepare your computer and internet, and you’re ready to go.
Here’s 7 reasons why you and your students will love LyricsTraining:
- The website provides the latest songs and lyrics, things your students (or maybe yourself if you love (pop) music!) would love. You can search for your (or your students’) favorite songs, singers, bands, or lyrics in the Search box on top of the site.
- Songs and lyrics are categorized into 3 levels of difficulty: Easy, Medium, Hard. It makes it easier for students to choose what level they want to play. I guess lyrics levels are made based on the song tempo and vocabulary in the lyrics. The faster the tempo and the more advanced the vocabulary, the higher the level is.
- Aside from point 2, there are also 3 game modes you can choose for each song: Beginner, Intermediate, Expert. In Beginner mode, players only need to fill in 10% of the blanks, while in Intermediate they have to fill in 25% of the blanks. Expert mode means players have to fill in all the lyrics by themselves (no clues given).
- Just like karaoke, scores are provided at the end of the game. How do we get high scores? Type as fast as you can and choose the highest level and mode! This feature is great if you want to make students compete against each other.
- Here’s another interesting feature of this site. If you stop and can’t listen to the lyrics, the lyrics bar (the green highlight with arrows pointing down) will also stop and wait for you!
- Also, if you’re stuck and want to give up, you can choose to skip a word by pressing the Tab button on your keyboard. For more shortcuts you can click ‘Help’ at the bottom right of the video.
- Don’t feel like typing the lyrics? Go for a karaoke instead! Choose ‘Karaoke’ when you open a video and you can watch it with its full lyrics. You and your students can sing the song together.
Skills practiced and tips for maximizing LyricsTraining:
- Students can practice listening in a more challenging way.
- They can also practice (or test?) their vocabulary.
- Besides listening and vocabulary, we can also use LyricsTraining to teach grammar, idiomatic expressions, and slang. Before we play a song, it’s much better to prepare points students are about to practice in the song, choose the right song to do that, and prepare a follow-up activity afterwards. It gives them a sense of purpose and the practice will be more efficient and systematic.
However, though, I have some concerns and teachers need to be cautious before using LyricsTraining in their class, especially because of these reasons:
- Be very careful in choosing songs. Many of them use inappropriate language that might not be suitable for younger learners (or in fact, all learners). Other issue is although the lyrics might not be blatantly inappropriate, some (or many?) contain sexual implication.
- Even if the lyrics are fine, you still need to check the music videos, especially if they contain sexual imagery and nudity.
Well, I hope this post is useful. Ready to sing along? Happy playing!
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