THE USE OF SONGS. RELATED TOPIC: 17.

Methodological considerations and a practical proposal

The use of songs and music in the FL area is one of the best ways to motivate learners and develop a taste for English, since they provide authentic and contextualized input and can be used to cover all language skills. Moreover, it is commonly acknowledged that songs have an intrinsic engaging power that facilitates catching out learners´ attention.

It seems clear that there are plenty of benefits in the use of music and songs in FLT; however, it is very likely that the most important one has to do with their engaging power in children.

In this particular case, the song “Route 66” can be an ideal contextualizing framework to develop sociocultural aspects. In guise of an example, for children in their 6th form we may design a unit entitled “Route 66, the historical spine of the USA”. The main objectives of the unit may be related to discovering relevant aspects of the USA as a prominent English-speaking country, through the kind of music that notoriously represents its culture, rock music.

Considering that the lyrics details important cities and states the famous highway goes through, I shall get my students to make use of ICTs and cooperate to solve tasks and find out some hallmarks of the American culture. In addition, we may get children investigate about places in the USA and its main geographical facts, the great variety of landscapes, animals or weather in that country. Once this investigation has generated the necessary information, we can challenge them into more communicative tasks where they can orally present what they have learned about the USA.

Andersen said that where words fail, music speaks. You can take this initial idea as a springboard to design your own sequence of activities that lead to an appealing final product.

We hope you also enjoy the music. (See lyrics below)

LYRICS

Well if you ever plan to motor west
Just take my way it’s the highway that’s the best
Get your kicks on Route 66
Well it winds from Chicago to L.A.
More than 2000 miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66

Well it goes from St Louis, down to Missouri
Oklahoma city looks oh so pretty
You’ll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don’t forget Winona
Kingsman, Barstaw, San Bernadino
Would you get hip to this kindly trip
And take that California trip
Get your kick on Route 66

It goes from St. Louis, down to Missouri
Oklahoma city looks oh so pretty
You’ll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don’t forget Winona
Kingsman, Barstaw, San Bernadino
Would you get hip to this kindly trip
Take that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66
Get your kicks on Route 66
And I’ll meet you on Route 62
Get your kicks on Route 66

 

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