A Journey in TEFL


   I learned very early in life that: “Without a song, the day would never end; without a friend, a man ain’t got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend- without a song” So I keep singing a song. – Elvis Presley

I have written many times that I really enjoy using songs in the classroom. I know how effective these real songs can be. My husband never had a formal English lesson. He studied French at school but he loves music very much and he can speak English better than he can speak French. He is not good at grammar yet he can communicate. Whenever I use songs in my lessons I know that barriers become smaller so I decided to compile some lesson ideas here. If you want to share yours, please blog about them and send me the link and I’ll add it here. If you don’t blog, my blog will be very glad to have guest bloggers for ‘using songs in efl classes’


Five reasons why I use songs in my classes

  1. They are authentic materials
  2. You can also teach culture and history
  3. Songs contain repetitions and repetitions enhance learning
  4. Good way to teach vocabulary and pronunciation
  5. They are fun and they can easily energize the unmotivated

 Here you can reach what I have blogged so far.

 Liven up classroom with music

When I’m sixty-four

Songs that represent me

From My delicious bookmarks:

Using Songs in the English Classroom

Songs that can be used in the classroom

Music for Teaching Social Studies

Write a Blues song

Using Music in the ESL Classroom


using songs in the esl classroom

Teaching with songs

Musical English Lessons International


EFL Classroom.ning


Using Songs in the Classroom

Tune into English

Learn English with songs from Esolcourses

Links from the comments of this post:

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/blogs/nik-peachey/6-activities-you-can-do-online-songs-music via Nik Peachey

http://ddeubel.edublogs.org/2010/12/31/tesol-teacher-training-presentations/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_nPUuPryCs via David Deubelbeiss

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Folk-DC-Digital-Childrens-Folksongs-for-Language-and-Cultural-Learning/181031155249040 via Joel Josephson

from Arjana Blazic listening quizzes  made on the ESL Video websitehttp://traveloteacher.blogspot.com/p/quizzes-for-eflesl-students.html

Learn English With Christmas Songs page: http://traveloteacher.blogspot.com/p/learn-english-with-christmas-songs.html

 Ideas from friends: (from comments)

from The Smiths ‘Ask’ and The Divine Comedy‘Come Home Billy Bird’ via @TEFL101

L.O.V.E by Nat King Cole via Anna Varna

 A great summary of #ELTchat about Teaching English through songs: activities, resources and benefits of using songs for teaching, on Jan 12th via Vicky Saumel

Teaching English through songs in the digital age (part 1 of 4): Background readings and resources

Teaching English through songs in the digital age (part 2 of 4): Ideas for using songs

Teaching English through songs in the digital age (part 3 of 4): Specific songs and their uses

Teaching English through songs in the digital age (part 4 of 4): Music-related web 2.0 tools

14 Comments so far

  1.    Joel Josephson on January 5, 2011 7:14 am      Reply

    I am involved in a new EU project (kick-off meeting on Monday) called Folk DC. The project will be using Folk songs in 10 European languages to motivate language learning. Only a Facebook page so far: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Folk-DC-Digital-Childrens-Folksongs-for-Language-and-Cultural-Learning/181031155249040

    It culminates with a live, simultanious, Internet linked concert in 5 cities with school choirs singing.

    •    Eva Büyüksimkeşyan on January 5, 2011 9:46 am      Reply

      Thank you Joel

  2.    ddeubel on January 5, 2011 10:42 am      Reply


    Great links and I’m always looking for more about “song” . If I ever had to use anything to assess how well a teacher is doing in the classroom – a song lesson would be it. It is a challenge but joy to do well, isn’t it?

    Thanks for the nod to EFL Classroom – you also might like my teacher training presentation. See it on my blog page (it is flash so won’t use the direct link, comment boxes go crazy when you do!). http://ddeubel.edublogs.org/2010/12/31/tesol-teacher-training-presentations/

    With song, I also recommend watching Carolyn Graham’s fine video on youtube about Jazz Chants. Really informative. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_nPUuPryCs

    •    Eva Büyüksimkeşyan on January 5, 2011 5:36 pm      Reply

      Thanks David,
      You know efl classroom ning gave me lots of ideas to use songs in the classroom and thank you very much for the links. I love chants, especially with younger learners.

  3.    annavarna on January 5, 2011 11:16 am      Reply

    Great idea Eva! The most recent song I used and we had great fun was the L.O.V.E by Nat King Cole. We sang it at the Christmas show as well. But you gave me a good idea to blog about and participate in your challenge!

    •    Eva Büyüksimkeşyan on January 5, 2011 5:32 pm      Reply

      Thanks Anna, I’m looking forward to reading your post and I have some songs in my mind to write plans for :) So we can have a reference to go when we need.

  4.    TEFL101 on January 6, 2011 2:20 am      Reply

    Songs can be great teaching tools. Verse is a highly aesthetic form of chunking, i.e. it’s meaningful and context-related. Unlike than teaching syntax in isolation, verse is easily retained. Above all, they’re fun.

    I recommended The Smiths the other day because their lyrics are so literate – ‘Ask’ is a good one. But another good band are The Divine Comedy, because each of theirs songs unfolds as a coherent story – ‘Come Home Billy Bird’ a good example.

  5.    Simon on January 6, 2011 4:22 am      Reply

    This is fabulous! So many links and ideas all in one place – this one post has saved me hours of searching. My repertoire of songs that I use in class was getting a bit tired and this is exactly what was needed. Keep up the great work.

  6.    Nik Peachey on January 6, 2011 8:27 am      Reply

    I wrote these 6 activitries for using online song resources.

    Hope they are useful.
    Nik Peachey

  7.    Alessandra Pallavicini on January 9, 2011 6:33 pm      Reply

    Hi, I like using songs in my EFL classes too. Here is a link to a blog I use for this

    and here is the link to a European project I worked on which was based on songs.The worksheets on the songs were prepared by the students.
    Thanks for all your suggestions and links

    •    Eva Büyüksimkeşyan on January 9, 2011 6:40 pm      Reply

      Great links Alessandra. What a lovely project! Thanks for sharing

  8.    arjana on January 16, 2011 4:24 pm      Reply

    Dear Eva,
    thanks for sharing these useful links. I’m definitely going to use them in my teaching.

    Just like you, I love songs and use them in class whenever I can. I also like creating exercises based on the songs my students like (but I like them too:-) In these songs, they can improve their knowledge of synonmys or homophones. Because you asked your readers to share their links, here I go with the link to my video listening quizzes which I made on the ESL Video website:

    There’s also a Learn English With Christmas Songs page: http://traveloteacher.blogspot.com/p/learn-english-with-christmas-songs.html

    All the best

    •    Eva Büyüksimkeşyan on January 16, 2011 4:34 pm      Reply

      Hi Arjana,
      I can’t think a life without music. Thanks for the very useful links :-)

  9.    Uta on April 28, 2011 1:34 pm      Reply

    Hi Eva, I just stumblede upon your fantastic blog – I found so many good ideas for my own English tuition classes. I often use songs because that’s what the kids can relate to. I also started a blog “Looking@Lyrics” http://www.lookingatlyrics.wordpress.com and a German version “Lyrics unter der Lupe” http://10uta02.wordpress.com about songlyrics – and yesterday I used Milow’s new song “You and Me” to practise conditional sentences…
    All the best and regards from Germany,


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