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MASARYK UNIVERSITY IN BRNO

FACULTY OF EDUCATION

Teaching Vocabulary through


Music
Diploma Thesis

Brno 2008

Dagmar ikov

MASARYK UNIVERSITY IN BRNO


FACULTY OF EDUCATION

THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE


AND LITERATURE

Teaching Vocabulary through


Music
Diploma Thesis

Brno 2008

Supervisor:
Mgr. Jaroslav Such

Written by:
Dagmar ikov

Prohlen
Prohlauji, e jsem diplomovou prci zpracoval/a samostatn a pouil/a jen prameny
uveden v seznamu literatury.
Souhlasm, aby prce byla uloena na Masarykov univerzit v Brn v knihovn
Pedagogick fakulty a zpstupnna ke studijnm elm
Brn dne 5. prosince 2008

Dagmar ikov

Acknowledgements
I would like to thank my thesis advisor, Mgr. Jaroslav Such, for his supervision,
helpful advice and recommending literature.

CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION .........................................................................................7
1. THEORETICAL PART

1.1. The Role and the Importance of Music .............................................9


1.2. History of Music ..............................................................................11
1.3. The Psychological Effects of Music ................................................12
1.4. Music and Language Learning ........................................................14
1.5. Why should this method work? .......................................................24
1.6. Memory............................................................................................29
1.7. Summary ..........................................................................................32
2. PRACTICAL PART

33

2.1. Information about the students ........................................................33


2.2. The Questionnaire ............................................................................35
2.3. The Evaluation of the Questionnaire ...............................................36
2.3.1. The Seventh Grade ................................................................36
2.3.2. The Eighth Grade ..................................................................37
2.3.3. The Ninth Grade ...................................................................38
2.3.4. Overall results .......................................................................39
2.3.5. The Selection of Songs .........................................................40
2.4. Practical exercises for the songs ......................................................41
2.4.1. Rihanna "Dont Stop the Music" .......................................42
2.4.2. Shakira "Dont Bother" ......................................................45
2.4.3. Fergie "Clumsy".................................................................48
2.4.4. Ozzy Osbourne "Mama Im Coming Home".....................49
2.4.5. Eminem "Mockingbird" .....................................................51

2.4.6. Blink 182 "I Miss You" .....................................................55


2.4.7. Jamiroquai "Cosmic Girl" ..................................................57
2.4.8. Red Hot Chily Peppers "Under the Bridge" ......................60
2.4.9. Students reactions to the exercises ......................................61
2.5. Students Test Results......................................................................63
2.6. Evaluation of the Test Results .........................................................65
CONCLUSION

69

RSUM

70

WORKS CITED

71

LIST OF APPENDICES

74

APPENDIX

Introduction
The Objective and the Content of the Diploma Thesis
This work is concerns using popular songs to teach English, especially
vocabulary since learning vocabulary is one of the key elements in learning a foreign
language and has always caused students difficulties. Thornbury quotes the linguist
David Wilkins to stress the importance of learning vocabulary: "Without grammar very
little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed (2002:13). He also
quotes several students who complain about their lack of vocabulary and points out that
"vocabulary teaching has not always been very responsive to such problems (2002:13).
The objective of this work is to measure the effectiveness of using popular songs to
teach vocabulary.
The work is divided into two parts: theoretical and practical. The theoretical part
discusses many aspects of music and language learning themselves, such as the role and
the importance of music in peoples lives. A brief account on history of music is also
included. This is followed by an analysis of the psychological effects of music. The
benefits and the effects of music on language learning are covered in the following part.
The last chapter of the theoretical part focuses on the general process of learning and
memory and those are implied on the tested method of using popular songs to teach
English.
All the knowledge gained in the theoretical part is applied in the practical one.
The practical part describes authors own research, the individual steps of the procedure,
and, of course, the results of this research. The practical part also includes exercises that
can be created for any song. The whole authors research and practical part are
described in detail beginning on page 33.
The conclusion summarises the content of this work, reflects on the results of the
research and evaluates the tested method.

Reasons Why I Have Chosen this Topic


There are two main reasons as to why I have chosen this topic. The first reason
is a personal one dealing, with my own experience with this method. This is how I had
taught myself English before I started attending an English course. I would look up the

lyrics of my favourite songs in a dictionary, and listening to my favourite songs made


me never forget these words, even though I have hardly ever used some of them. I
wanted to find out if this method would be as successful with my own students.
And the second reason is that there are many students at our school who love
and listen to music most of the time on their mobile phones and MP3 players. There are
problems with them on a daily basis listening to their favourite music on headphones
even during lessons. That is why I thought that I could make use of their habit and listen
to their music in the lessons - studying the lyrics of those songs making the lessons
more enjoyable and, hopefully, more effective.

Information about the Students


The students are pupils of an elementary school in Krom. This method will
be tested on three groups of students the seventh, the eighth and the ninth graders.
There are fifty-two children altogether in those three groups out of which eighteen
pupils are in the eighth, the same nimber in the ninth grade, while there are only sixteen
students in the seventh grade.
Their levels range from beginner to pre-intermediate. However, two of the three
groups consist of rather weak students with disciplinary problems and little interest in
English. On the other hand, one group, the seventh grade, consists of hard-working
students who like to study and are active during the lessons.
The students ages are from twelve to fifteen.
More information about the students is provided in the practical part on page 33.

Hypothesis
The hypothesis for this work is that students who are interested in the subject,
which in this case is going to be their favourite music, learn more easily and more
effectively. This method also includes repetitiveness, which is so important for the
process of studying because it is almost certain that the students will encounter the
material, their favourite songs, outside the classroom. Students at this age identify with
their favourite stars and are interested in what they are singing about and interest is also
fundamental for learning.

1. Theoretical Part
1.1. The Role and the Importance of Music
Why should music be suitable for teaching vocabulary? The answer is simple.
Music has always played a big part of humans lives, beginning with childs birth and
mothers singing lullabies to their children. It is used during all important occasions of
human lives beginning with childs christening, through weddings, to funerals. Each
country has its own anthem. Music has been important during many revolutions and was
even the cause of some of them. John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Karel Kryl can be mentioned
as some of the revolutionary musicians. The flower generation also connected through
music.
Pilka believes that every piece of art is a gift since it deals with big ideas and
social ideals as well as the most inward matters of each and everyone of us. It speaks a
language intelligible to everyone. Music brings emotions to life and it also serves as a
testimony of people from any land or time. It fills the gap between nations, crosses
thousands of miles and reveals more about its people than a scientific elaboration. It
may also help people to get into their own hearts. It speaks for us where words fail
(1959:275-277). Just as all different kinds of art, it serves many purposes. People create
and listen to it for the same reason - they all want to touch others with music or to be
touched by it.
Murphey made the following list about what people usually do with songs. We:
-

"listen

sing, hum, whistle, tap, and snap fingers while we listen

sing without listening to any recording

talk about the music

talk about the lyrics

talk about the singer/group

talk about video clips

use songs and music to set or change an atmosphere or mood []

use songs and music to create a social environment, form a feeling of


community, dance, make friends and lovers

read about the production, performance, effect, authors, producers, audiences


of music and song

use music in dreams

use music and song to make internal associations between the people, places,
and times in our lives, so they become the personal soundtrack of our
lives(1992:9).

Even the ancient Greeks knew of the importance of music. Holzknech assumes
that poets such as Homer and Hein must have been drawing from their own experience
when they celebrated the power of music and that their listeners would not have
believed them or would have laughed at them if the power of music had not been a
general experience. (1969:404).
Nowadays, it is almost impossible to escape music. It is used in films,
advertisements, it is on radio and even in most shops, restaurants and other public
places. Current technological inventions, such as the iPod, mobile phone and MP3
player enable people to enjoy their favourite music anywhere at any time. People listen
to it while traveling and even while walking in the streets. In fact, a lot of children get
into troubles for listening to music on their headphones during lessons. So why not use
music to our advantage?
Music as such has always been important, especially to most young people. It
has always brought them together. They love to share their music with one another.
Students of the three groups that the songs were piloted with love to talk about their
favourite artists. Talking about their favourite artists is a part of their everyday
communication. Music is connected to many areas of their lives. People who like
similar kinds of music usually dress in a similar way (see appendix number 12 and 13).
It is part of peoples way of living, of their world and it can be used as a means for a
teacher to get into his or her students world, to get closer to them.
Music may touch topics that people can relate to. Murphey writes that "songs
can be appropriated by listeners for their own purposes, largely because most pop songs
do not have precise people, place, or time references. For those who find them relevant,
songs happen whenever and wherever one hears them and they are, consciously or
subconsciously, about the people in ones own life" (1992:8)
For instance, any pupil in the group that listened Fergies song called "Clumsy"
could relate to it, since they all could think of a situation when they had felt clumsy.

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This shows that music is personal and people in general are most interested in and
motivated by things that they can relate to.
All of the above-mentioned arguments indicate that music is a subject of
everyday communication and it is something that is ever present in peoples lives
intentionally or unintentionally, which can be very beneficial for the method of using
songs to teach English vocabulary since it increases the possibility that students will
come across the taught material, frequently revising it.

1.2. History of Music


The history of music is worth mentioning because it connects language and
music together, which may further support the idea that teaching vocabulary using
songs should work.
The history of music is tied not just to the development of human culture, but
also to animals. Animals, such as birds, have always used music to communicate. There
are even many theories connecting the origins of music and speech together. According
to Geist, there are three theories connecting the origin of music to the origin of speech.
First theory was developed by people such as Charles Darwin, James B.
Monboddo, Charles D. Isaacson, Richard Wagner and others who claimed that speech
arose from singing. Monboddo believed that screams changed into tones before they
became articulate and that is why music can be more easily acquired than speech.
The supporters of the second theory, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Johann Gottfried
Herder, A. W. Schlegel and many others, claimed that speech and music were originally
connected. However, this theory has not been proven.
The scientists supporting the third and scientifically verified theory argue that
singing arose from excited speech. Scientists such as the famous Charles Darwin,
Herbert Spencer, Edward Mac Dowell, John Frederic and many others believed that
music was a result of excited speech caused by inner emotional states. Stabons thesis
says that singing and talking is the same thing. (1970:25-28)
This brief account of the history of music proves that music and language have
always been connected, which implies that teaching the vocabulary of a foreign
language through songs could be effective.

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1.3. The Psychological Effects of Music


What makes music such a powerful tool for teaching vocabulary of a foreign
language? Music has its effect not just on people, but also animals and even plants.
Robertson claims that "music with a beat can stimulate your body; music with
powerful melodies and harmonies performed with feeling can make you weep or cry out
with joy; and music like the fugues of Bach and Mozart can be mentally invigorating."
Film makers are very aware of the power of music. The movie Jaws directed by the
legendary Steven Spielberg proves that, since it is mainly the music thst brings tension
to most scenes of the film, not the images. For instance, if there was different music
accompanying the scenes of children playing in the sea, the footage could have easily
been used for a travel agency advertisement. This proves that music influences the way
people perceive things as well as the way they behave and it is used in many ways, even
as a therapy.
The website of the American Music Therapy Association gives the following
brief account of the history of music therapy:
The idea of music as a healing influence which could affect health and behavior
is as least as old as the writings of Aristotle and Plato. The 20th century discipline
began after World War I and World War II when community musicians of all types,
both amateur and professional, went to Veterans hospitals around the country to play for
the thousands of veterans suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars.
The patients' notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and
nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals. It was soon evident that the
hospital musicians needed some prior training before entering the facility and so the
demand grew for a college curriculum. The first music therapy degree program in the
world, founded at Michigan State University in 1944, celebrated its 50th anniversary in
1994. The American Music Therapy Association was founded in 1998 as a union of the
National Association for Music Therapy and the American Association for Music
therapy.
Music therapy is an established psychological practice in which music is used to
achieve therapeutic goals (Music therapy). Its beneficial effects have been
supported by a vast amount of research published through, for instance, the Journal of
Music Therapy or Music Therapy Perspectives promoted by the American Music
Therapy Association (AMTA).

According to the American Music Therapy

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Associations website it improves the quality of life and music therapy interventions
can be designed to:
-

promote wellness

manage stress

alleviate pain

express feelings

enhance memory

improve communication

promote physical rehabilitation.

Music therapy is beneficial for anyone from children to elderly people, healthy
or ill. It is not just classical music that is used for therapeutic purposes. All styles of
music may have a healing effect. The AMTA website stresses that the individual's
preferences, circumstances and need for treatment, and the client or patient's goals help
to determine the types of music a music therapist may use.
Holzknech further mentions an experiment done in prison when trying to support
his claim that music has a relaxing and soothing effect on people. In the experiment,
music was used to dispel prisoners depression. This method was highly successful with
the exception of felons who remained indifferent to the music. Music helped in many
cases where spoken word and books failed. Prisoners were even saving money to buy
their own musical instruments and started forming little groups. Forbidding them to
participate in the musical sessions was viewed as the hardest punishment (1969:406).
However, Holzknech also admits that music may have the opposite effect,
describing a story of a friend of his who was unable to continue with her scientific work
because her neighbour kept playing music that made it impossible for her to concentrate
or ignore it (1969:407). Although, the above-mentioned disadvantage may not be valid
in the case of teaching vocabulary through songs since in the case of a student working
on her scientific work, music served as a distraction and not as a means of learning the
subject.
Music therapy is done by music therapists who assess emotional well-being,
physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills
through musical responses. Then, they design music sessions for individuals and groups
based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song
writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through

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music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and


follow up. Naturally, such profession requires special education.
The most important aspect of music therapy connected with the method of
teaching vocabulary through music is that music is also used in schools to improve
students non musical areas especially physical coordination and communication skills,
which are probably the most important skills when learning a language.
The powerful effects of music on humans mind are well documented, but could
music positively influence foreign language learning?

1.4. Music and Language Learning


According to Thornbury, words are organised in the human mind in what is
called the mental lexicon, which means that the vocabulary is stored in "highly
organised and interconnected fashion (2002:16). He believes that "knowing a word
involves knowing its form, and its meaning As well as "knowing the words commonly
associated with it (its collocations) as well as its connotations, including its register and
its cultural accretions (2002:15). Both Harmer and Thornbury distinguish between
receptive and productive knowledge. Thorbury writes that "receptive knowledge
exceeds productive knowledge and generally but not always precedes it (2002:15).
However, Harmer points out that it is difficult to say which words that students know
are passive and which are active.
"A word that has been active through constant use may slip back into the passive
store if it is not used. A word that students have in their passive store may
suddenly become active if the situation or the context provokes its use. In other
words, the status of a vocabulary item does not seem to be a permanent state of
affairs (1991:159).
Hopefully, the words used in the lyrics remain in the active store as long as
students listen to the particular song and since the aim of this work is to use students
favourite songs, the period of time when pupils listen to the song for is long.
Thornbury described the following challenges that a learner of a second
language has to face:
-

"making the correct connections, when understanding the second language,


between the form and the meaning of words (e.g. mouth, feel and grippy),
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including discriminating the meaning of closely related words (e.g. lush and
plush)
-

when producing language, using the correct form of a word for the meaning
intended (i.e. nose not noise) (2002:2).

Thornbury continues with recommendations of what a learner needs to do in


order to meet these challenges:
-

"acquire a critical mass of words for use in both understanding and


producing language

remember words over time, and be able to recall them readily


develop strategies for coping with gaps in word knowledge, including coping
with unknown words, or unfamiliar uses of known words (2002:2).

Hopefully, music could help students fulfil one these recommendations since the
words used in songs are remembered, along with the melody of the song, throughout a
lifetime.
How is vocabulary learned? Thornbury mentions three ways of acquiring words
labelling, categorising and network building. Labelling means "mapping words on to
concepts. Categorizing skills enable a child to "extend the concept of a word (2002:18)
which means that a child understands that the word dog includes "other peoples dogs,
toy dogs, and even pictures of dogs (2002:18). Network building stands for
"constructing a complex web of words so that items like [] family and brother are
interconnected (2002:18).
When learning vocabulary, some words seem to be easier to remember than
others. What makes a word difficult? Thornbury made a list of several "factors that
make some words more difficult than others:
-

difficult pronunciation,

spelling (e.g. words that contain silent letters such as foreign, listen),

length and complexity (long words are more difficult),

grammar (e.g. verb patterns),

meaning (two words overlapping in meaning get confused, words with


multiple meanings),

range, connotation and idiomaticity (idiomatic expressions will generally be


more difficult than words whose meaning is transparent) (2002: 27 28).

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According to Thornbury, these are "the implications for teaching:


-

Learners need tasks and strategies to help them organise their mental lexicon
by building networks of associations the more the better.

Teachers need to accept that the learning of new words involves a period of
initial fuzziness.

Learners need to wean themselves off a reliance on direct translation from


their mother tongue.

Words need to be presented in their typical contexts, so that learners can get
a feel for their meaning, their register, their collocations, and their syntactic
environments,

Teaching should direct attention to the sound of new words, particularly the
way they are stressed.

Learners should aim to build a threshold vocabulary as quickly as possible.

Learners need to be actively involved in the learning of words.

Learners need multiple exposures to words and they need to retrieve words
from memory repeatedly.

Learners need to make multiple decisions about words.

Memory of new words can be reinforced if they are used to express


personally relevant meanings.

Not all the vocabulary that the learners need can be taught: learners will
need plentiful exposure to speech and text as well as training for self-directed
learning (2002:30).

Using songs to teach vocabulary, several conditions for teaching stated by


Thornbury are met. In lyrics, words usually appear in context, the sound of new words
is easily remembered along with the melody of the song and by listening to the song,
students are exposed to the new words many times.
As mentioned earlier, the roots of music and speech seem to be closely
connected. Stansell believes that
music positively affects language accent, memory, and grammar as well as
mood, enjoyment, and motivation and that pairing words and rhythm properly
helps to hold songs together, and to improve the ability of the mind to recall it.
He insists that music and language help each other in the process of learning

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human expression, a common goal. Interconnections between the musical and


linguistic areas enable music to assist in learning vocabulary and phrases, which
tasks are governed by the linguistic intelligence. High musical ability is common
among multilingual individuals and professional singers with thick accents
otherwise still sing in a standard dialect. With this appreciation for the assistive
place of music in the mind, researchers must try to discover ways that music can
more effectively awaken students to language learning.
Medina, who has conducted several researches on using music to teach
vocabulary and who was kind enough to grant her permission by email to quote her
work, which can be found in the appendix on page, writes that second language
researchers [...] have distinguished between vocabulary that is acquired incidentally and
vocabulary that is acquired intentionally, meaning that the former one is learned
through variety of sources and the latter one is learned in school. The above
mentioned sources include, for example, reading and listening to oral stories. Medina
mentions Krashens "Input Hypothesis", which explains how new vocabulary is learned.
According to this hypothesis, new and unfamiliar vocabulary is acquired when
its significance is made clear to the learner. Meaning is conveyed by providing
extralinguistic support such as illustrations, actions, photos, and realia. This, in
turn, results in what Krashen refers to as "comprehensible input" since the
linguistic input is made comprehensible to the second language leamer. Krashen
further states that the amount of comprehensible input is proportionate to the
amount of vocabulary acquired. Thus, vocabulary is incidentally acquired
through stories because familiar vocabulary and syntax contained in the stories
provide meaning to less familiar vocabulary.
Medina adds that songs share all of the same elements of an oral story.
Medina made a research related to the discussed method of teaching vocabulary
through music to determine the effects of music and illustration on language acqusition.
She created four equivalent groups by matching subjects on the basis of vocabulary
pre-test scores.
The Music treatment group heard the story in its sung version while the No
Music group heard the spoken rendition of the story (i.e., oral story). Subjects in

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the Illustration treatment groups were shown large, color illustrations of the story
while listening to the tape-recording. [] Subjects were able to derive the
meaning of unfamiliar words from illustrations. Subjects in the No Illustration
group were not shown illustrations; therefore, they extracted meaning from
contextual information.
Her research proved that the same amount of language acquisition resulted
whether musical or non-musical means were used (The effects of Music Upon Second
Language Vocabulary Acquisition (ERIC)). However, the combination of music and
illustration consistently yielded the highest average amount of vocabulary gain (The
effects of Music Upon Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition (FLES)).
Some scientists claim that the first thing we learn when acquiring our first
language is the discourse intonation that may be viewed as music since it is the actual
melody of the language. The pre-existing patterns of music in the early development of
language prove that the two are already long acquainted. Through its mother's body,
womb, and amniotic fluid, a fetus cannot hear consonants; it only hears the musical
vowel sounds (Stansell). Lake states that children learn to sing before they speak. An
infants communication is a series of coos that communicate hunger, fatigue, alarm or
pleasure. Further, a childs mother can discern the childs need based on pitch. Mora
quoted by Stansell adds that later on, it is through interaction that a child picks up not
only the musicality of each language, but also the necessary communication skills.
Moreover, for better acquisition of their mother tongue, children are taught nursery
rhymes, poems, but also songs. Why should it be any different when learning a second
language and its vocabulary?
Learning a mother tongue, the child first hears the language before it can speak
it. Brown writes that
one should learn with his/her ears before learning with his/her eyes. In learning
ones own language there are five or six years in which language skills are
developed by ear before the reading and/or writing of language is introduced.
This natural process enables one to instinctively communicate verbally with
words and later, after learning to read, learn to write those thoughts down.
Thornbury agrees when he describes the difference between acquiring a first
language and a second language is that "second language learners already have a first

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language [] with its conceptual system [] it involves both learning a new


conceptual system, and constructing a new vocabulary network a second mental
lexicon (2002:18). However, there are some shared features. "The adult learners
concept system is already installed and up-and-running(2002:18). This means that the
learner is "saved a lot of the over- and under-generalising associated with first language
learning (2002:18).
When using songs to teach vocabulary of a foreign language, the pattern of
learning is the same. It also starts with the listening and ends with fluent
communication. However, many students are not comfortable speaking in a foreign
language. Stansell claims that language students that lack familiarity with a target
culture and have trouble expressing themselves can connect through the freeing
influence of music. This freeing influence results in students being more relaxed.
According to Medina, in such atmosphere, they are also more attentive than usual, and
therefore, more receptive to learning. Through songs, students are exposed to
authentic examples of the second language. Furthermore, target vocabulary,
grammar, routines and patterns are modeled in context. These are but a few of the
benefits associated with music use in the second language classroom (Using Music to
Enhance Second Language Acquisition: From Theory to Practice).
By listening to English songs, students can hear the native pronunciation of
words. It improves their ability of hearing the language. Farrug argues that "music lends
a natural rhythm to words and phrases, helping language learners to use good
pronunciation. Melodies and rhymes guide learners to speak in a native cadence."
Brown states that it trains "the ear to hear and produce nuances of sound whether they
are musical or linguistic. Orchestra, band, and music teachers have noticed the ability
their immersion students have to hear variations of sound that non-language learners do
not even know exist."
Stansell quotes Palmer & Kelly explaining that the 4-beat division of most
songs coincides well with the linguistic foundation of binary alteration, or stressed and
unstressed syllables (Palmer & Kelly 539). Use of music is recommended by them for
better understanding of language because when songs and words match in stress and
accent, the learner can experience gains in comprehension of word stress, attention
span, anticipation of new text, and memory (Palmer & Kelly 539).

19

Moreover, the authors of Spectrum (Prentice-Hall Regents Publications) state


that "songs are an important aspect of culture, representing the history, folklore, and
current idiom of a country. [...] Singing can build students confidence by allowing
them to enjoy a degree of fluency in English before they have achieved it in speaking"
(qtd. in Music in the EFL Classroom). Shtakser also wrote that "didactically songs are
also useful in teaching the rhythm of the language and informing the students about the
culture of that languages speakers." And even if the teachers aim was not to use music
to teach vocabulary Shtakser argues that
"even just playing music without words creates a relaxed atmosphere that
enhances learning. The best example for this is the Suggestopedia method of
Georgii Lozanov in which foreign texts are read dramatically with the
background of several carefully chosen works of classical music. Lozanov
claims that the atmosphere created by the music enhances the ability of the
students to remember vocabulary words and thus shortens the study period of the
foreign language."
Suggestopedia is also going to be analysed in this work as one of the two
language teaching methods that are connected to using songs to teach vocabulary.
The question is, how can teachers put the use of music into foreign language
teaching practice? Many teachers are concerned about using songs in their lessons
fearing a number of factors. Murphey conducted a survey in a group of commercial
school teachers and made the following list of items that teachers most often worry
about:
-

"Administrators/teachers/students do not take music and song seriously.

It disturbs neighbouring classes

Some students get too excited

It takes away from the normal syllabus. Time is lost.

Students disagree about songs, and have different musical tastes.

Pop songs have poor vocabulary too much slang and bad grammar.

How do you exploit the material usefully? What is the goal?

It is hard to find lyrics source of old recorded material are no longer


available.

Students just want to listen, not to work.

Poor quality cassette/video recorder.

Lack of technical equipment due to cost.


20

Teachers do not like to sing or are not musical.

Many songs are not intelligible.

EFL songs are boring.

Students will not sing

Which songs should you choose? Many express violence and sexism.

What to do when students bring music which teachers hate?

Songs go out of date very quickly.

How do you share in materials production" (1992:8-9)?

Many of the above mentioned are, of course, irrational. For instance, most
students take music seriously, especially their favourite music by their idols. The
vocabulary of many songs may be of poor quality and full of slang, but so is the natural
language used in everyday situations, therefore it is necessary that students get
acquainted with the slang. Nowadays, it is very easy to find any lyrics on the Internet.
The technical equipment should not be a problem anymore since there is at least one CD
player in most schools. Even though some EFL songs are boring, the teacher may
choose any other song. Murphey argues that "the supply is inexhaustible!" (1992:8) and
summarises this by saying "no material will answer all our different needs", and that
success depends "on successful manipulation of the material by the teacher" (1992:9).
How can teachers use the material effectively? Murphey suggests the following
activities that teachers can do with students when teaching English through popular
songs:
-

study grammar

practice selective listening comprehension

read songs [...] for linguistic purposes

compose songs, articles about songs, letters to singers, questionnaires

discuss a song [...]

translate songs

write dialogues using the words of a song

use video clips in many ways

do role-plays (as people in the song, or the artist/interviewer)

dictate a song

use a song for gap-fill, cloze, or for correction

use music for background to other activities

integrate songs into project work


21

energize or relax classes mentally

practice pronunciation, intonation, and stress

break the routine

do choral repetition

teach vocabulary

teach culture

learn about your students and from your students, letting them choose and
explain their music

have fun (1992:10).

For teaching vocabulary, the most appropriate activities are probably writing
dialogues using the words of a song, dictating a song, using a song for gap-fill, cloze, or
for correction, integrating songs into project work, practicing pronunciation, intonation,
and stress. However, Murphey stresses that teachers should be careful not to kill the
material by doing too much of serious work (1992:10), that is why he believes that
probably the most important thing to do with a song in an English classroom is just to
have fun because it can stimulate very positive associations to the study of a language,
which otherwise may only be seen as a laborious task, entailing exams, frustration, and
correction(1992:6).
Blodget, who is not only a teacher, but also a musician and songwriter, has used
music to teach a second language successfully for many years. He mentioned even
some more ideas as to what students can do with the song in the lessons. They can:
-

create booklets illustrating the lyrics

karaoke, sing-along, or lip-sync video performances

dramatic interpretations/mime/acting out performances

dance and choreography moving hands, head, feet, and body to the music
in creative ways

re-write the song either altogether in an original and creative lyric (for those
who can), or by substituting all the nouns, or adjective, or other parts of
speech so as to make a new song lyric, and much more.

Stansell mentions Fawn Whittakers article that deals with the use of music
through literature review. She believes that songs have a positive effect in all languagelearning areas (listening, speaking, reading and writing). She describes her process of
presenting a song to a class, which consists of four steps. The first step is playing the
song to the students. Then, she has students repeat the words which is followed by
22

pointing out new expressions giving students pronunciation cues. She finishes by
playing the song again while the students are allowed to sing along. Stansell concludes
that this approach might "lead to the out-of-class associations that are crucial to
language learning. Simply attending class a few days a week and doing homework does
not a proficient language speaker make, but adding songs encourages rehearsal." Of
course, this theory is also valid for teaching vocabulary.
Blodget also stresses that by using music to teach a language,
all of the (Howard Gardners) seven multiple intelligences are addressed when
teaching language through music with the appropriate accompanying exercises:
-

kinesthetic (dance, clapping, stomping, body movement, percussion)

musical (listening, singing, playing, distinguishing)

linguistic (interpreting lyrics while listening or through exercises)

logical/mathematical (music is maths)

social (choral, dance, cooperative learning with the exercises)

visual (illustrations, dramatizations, video)

individual (the fallback for all of the written exercises, as well as with
individual projects and culminating activities).

Moreover, music does not only reach students inteligence. It is also emotional,
so even if students do not understand the meaning of all the words, music itself might
help them. There are music videos to most popular songs that also help students
understand the content of the lyrics. There is usually some topic or story covered in the
lyrics therefore students learn the new word within a context.
Another reason for using songs in English lessons is that the lyrics are often rich,
sometimes deep, at times silly or funny, which is something students appreciate. They
are full of slang words that are not covered by traditional English textbooks. Some
songs touch interesting topics that may be used for further discussion. Some lyrics are
even demanding and can be useful when trying to teach students to see the deeper
meaning of different texts. Murphey agrees that some songs can be quite complex
syntactically, lexically, and poetically and can be analyzed in the same way as any other
literary sample (1992:8).
The fact that song lyrics cover vast themes and topics means that the vocabulary
that students are exposed to is immense. One student of Spanish revealed at Language
Learner Adviser web site that using music to learn another language

23

"has increased my exposure to everyday vocabulary, and also to some more


poetic or idiomatic uses of the language. Some words, which I would pass by in
a vocabulary list or dictionary as 'uninteresting' or 'not useful' I now learn by
hearing over and over in songs, or by looking them up to figure out what the
lyrics mean."
However, some lyrics may be offensive or inappropriate, so teacher should
always be cautious when choosing the songs.
All of this should help students when learning new vocabulary. Listening to
something students like makes it interesting and motivating to learn. Music also serves
as an escapism from class and makes the learning almost effortless meaning that
students might learn the language without noticing it. Voln summarizes it perfectly
when he says "We all have experienced it. A songs sticks in your head and it is
impossible to get rid of it. But do you know anybody who would have experienced a
grammar exercise stick in their head" (1997:cover of the book).

1.5. Why should this method work?


Using music to teach vocabulary attracts students attention. Their natural
admiration for their favourite artists should motivate them to try to understand the lyrics
of their songs and according to Harmer, motivation "is the biggest single factor affecting
students success" (1991:3). Linhart writes that motivation influences ones performance.
It is closely connected to the energy that one puts into an activity and conditioned by
one s needs and emotions. Motivation is the initial stimulus for learning. It is tightly
knit to ones attitudes, which means that it is personal. The need to understand what is
happening around me is also a learning stimulus (1967:53-54). Murphey also believes
that highly motivated language learning starts with the students and what they are
interested in (1992: 5) Wikipedia lists the following six effects that the right
motivation can have on students learning and behaviour. It can:
1. Direct behaviour towards particular goals.
2. Lead to increased effort and energy
3. Increase initiation of, and persistence in, activities
4. Enhance cognitive processing
5. Determine what consequences are reinforcing
6. Lead to improved performance (Motivation).

24

There are two types of motivation; intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic
motivation "occurs when people are internally motivated to do something because it
either brings them pleasure, they think it is important, or they feel that what they are
learning is significant" and extrinsic motivation means that "a student is compelled to do
something or act a certain way because of factors external to him or her (like money or
good grades)" (Motivation). Educational psychologists have studied intrinsic
motivation "and numerous studies have found it to be associated with high educational
achievement and enjoyment by students"(Motivation). The intrinsic motivation can be
achieved, if students:
" - attribute their educational results to internal factors that they can control (e.g.
the amount of effort they put in),
- believe they can be effective agents in reaching desired goals (i.e. the results
are not determined by luck),
- are interested in mastering a topic, rather than just rote-learning to achieve
good grades" (Motivation).
The method of using popular songs to teach vocabulary should make students
motivated intrinsically since it is believed that students will be interested in the songs
for they were chosen to be their favourite songs by their favourite artists based on a
questionnaire that they had answered. Shtakser mentioned that
"students relate to songs as part of entertainment rather than work and find
learning vocabulary through songs amusing rather than tedious. This is true especially
with pop songs which are part of youth culture. Better familiarity with these songs
improves students status within the peer group and therefore stimulates learning."
Thornbury writes that "for a long time, teaching approaches such as the Direct
Method and audiolingualism gave greater priority to the teaching of grammatical
structures (2002:14). He claims that it was the communicative approach that played the
key role in the "re-think of the role of vocabulary (2002:14). Teaching vocabulary
through music has similar features as two effective modern language-learning
approaches, one focusing on vocabulary called Lexical Approach and Suggestopedia.
Heres a brief discription of the two methods.
Lexical Approach was developed by Michael Lewis who believed that
"an important part of language acquisition is the ability to comprehend and
produce lexical phrases as unanalyzed wholes, or "chunks," and that these

25

chunks become the raw data by which learners perceive patterns of language
traditionally thought of as grammar (Lewis, 1993, p. 95)."
Moudraia writes that "the key principle of a lexical approach is that "language
consists of grammaticalized lexis, not lexicalized grammar." It distinguishes vocabulary
from lexis. Vocabulary are words with fixed meanings while lexis includes
"the word combinations that we store in our mental lexicons. [...] The lexical
approach advocates argue that language consists of meaningful chunks that,
when combined, produce continuous coherent text, and only a minority of
spoken sentences are entirely novel creations" (Moudraia).
Lewis suggests the following taxonomy of lexical items:
-

"words (e.g., book, pen)

poly words (e.g., by the way, upside down)

collocations, or word partnerships (e.g., community service, absolutely


convinced)

institutionalized utterances (e.g., I'll get it; We'll see)

sentence frames and heads (e.g., That is not as ...as you think; The
fact/suggestion/problem/danger was ...) and even text frames (e.g., In this
paper we explore ...; Firstly ...; Secondly ...; Finally ...) (Moudraia).

Moudraia also suggest activities which can be "used to develop learners'


knowledge of lexical chains.
-

intensive and extensive listening and reading in the target language

first and second language comparisons and translation--carried out chunkfor-chunk, rather than word-for-word--aimed at raising language awareness.

repetition and recycling of activities, such as summarizing a text orally one


day and again a few days later to keep words and expressions that have been
learned active.

guessing the meaning of vocabulary items from context.

noticing and recording language patterns and collocations.

working with dictionaries and other reference tools.

working with language corpuses created by the teacher for use in the
classroom or accessible on the Internet.

Suggestopedia was developed by Bulgarian psychotherapist Dr. Georgi Lozanov


in the 1970s

and "the name is from the words suggestion and pedagogy"

(Suggestopedia). In his website, Lozanov claims that using this method means "three
26

to five times faster, easier and deeper learning, inner freedom, increasing the motivation
for learning, joyful learning and psychol-physiological well-being."
Suggestopedia works with relaxation. Lozanov further writes that it is "a science
for

developing

different

non-manipulative

and

non-hypnotic

methods

for

teaching/learning of foreign languages and other subjects for every age-group on the
level of reserve (potential, unused) capacities of the brain/mind" and in his website
provides an extract of recommendations from international expert group of UNESCO
that has tested and evaluated his method as "generally superior" and recommends using
this method for teaching many subjects all over the world ( ).
Teaching using this method is done in four phases: introduction, concert session,
elaboration and production. The introduction is a part where the teacher focuses on the
grammar and lexis of the content that is going to be taught in a playful manner. The
concert session can be either active or passive. According to Wikipedia, "in the active
session, the teacher reads the text at a normal speed, sometimes intoning some words
and the students follow" while "in the passive session, the students relax and listen to
the teacher reading the text calmly" with music played in the background
(Suggestopedia). Elaboration describes a phase where the students sing songs and
play games with the teacher being a consultant. In the production phase, the students
should be able to use actively what they have learned, which means that they should be
able to "speak and interact in the target language without interruption or correction"
(Suggestopedia).
The teacher should not control the students. Instead, he should be a partner to the
students and participate in all activities. Lozanov requires that the teacher should be
trained in order to be able to elaborate professionally the intonation, rhythm and tone.
He argues that it is also a very "good way to manage discipline among children"
however, he insists that it is not a method of amusement as many people think because
of the good spirits within the group" because he believes that "unnatural joking aimed at
relaxation does not accelerate but retards the process of education" ( ).
Lozanov further recommends that the material "should be arranged and
systematised in view of its easier and more profound assimilation." His other
requirements concern the volume and complexity of the material which "should be on
the border of the conscious mind and even partly in the peripheral perceptions or the
paraconsciousness" where "much of minds reserves exist." Therefore, a special training
for teachers is essential in order to be able to work "in the field of the reserve (unused or
27

most often unknown) great personal capacities" otherwise the teacher is going to have
difficulties doing his or her work.
What connects the method of teaching vocabulary through music to the abovementioned two approaches? The method that this work focuses on shares one common
feature with suggestopedia, music. It seems that music is the key element of
suggestopedia making it so special. The method of using popular songs to teach English
also covers some aspects of the lexical approach since it includes the above mentioned
"intensive and extensive listening in the target language" and "repetition and recycling
of activities, such as summarizing a text orally one day and again a few days later to
keep words and expressions that have been learned active" ("Lexical Approach"). Some
exercises created for the songs in the practical part are "guessing the meaning of
vocabulary items from context", which is also one of the features of the Lexical
Approach ("Lexical Approach"). To sum up, the method tested by this work shares
some of the characteristics of Suggestopedia and Lexical Approach, two modern
foreign-language teaching methods.
Moreover, using students favourite songs to teach vocabulary creates endless
opportunities for revision and revision is fundamental for storing the information in long
term memory, which is the main objective of this work, to help students learn new
vocabulary forever. Linhart says that "without revision, there is no learning"
(1967:147). Revising the subject matter in different ways deepens students knowledge.
It is also very important that the revision is done systematically. Revising should be
done also outside the classroom which is something many students have problems with.
However, music might help those students to overcome this problem since it has the
quality of sticking in ones head. Murphey calls this ability `the song stuck in my head
phenomenon` which stands for "the echoing in our minds of the last song we heard"
(1992:7).
To ensure even higher probability of students revision, it was already mentioned
that the songs were chosen to fit their taste in music. Most students enjoy listening to
their favourite music and this will quarantee one of the goals conditions of this work in
having them revise the vocabulary in order to for them to learn the vocabulary for good.
Moreover, the song itself is a source of repetition. Each song consists of usually
2 verses, a bridge and a chorus. The lyrics of the verses and the bridge usually differ.
However, the chorus usually repeats several times, therefore the lyrics of the chorus and
the new vocabulary included in the chorus will probably be remembered first
28

There is also another theory supporting the idea of the effectiveness of the tested
method. This theory analyzes the effects of left and right brain on learning. Lake
mentions James Asher who believed that no genuine learning can happen until there is
a switch from the left to right brain. Lake explains this quote saying that there must be
images for the mental representation of a word in order to retain and use it. He
continues, describing people with right brain dominant personalities as those who prefer
drawings, freedom in expressing emotions and use of metaphors. Right brain people
respond well to illustrated instructions and rely heavily on images in thinking or
remembering. According to Lake, the left brain dominant individual is defined as
being more verbally oriented and objective. They rely on language in thinking and tend
to be analytical in their reading. The left brain learner rarely uses metaphor. He claims
that music is beneficial for both type of personalities because it uses both brain
hemispheres. Emotion and language are one in a song.
This part of the work shows that the method tested by this work meets the basic
criteria for effective learning such as motivation, effective teaching method and
revision. Songs used by this method should provide the necessary motivation for
students. The method of using songs to teach vocabulary includes aspects of two
mordern successful approaches. Moreover, the tested teaching method quarantees
revision in several ways. Using music also seems effective for people, with both right
and left brain dominant individuals.

1.6. Memory
Since memory plays the key role in learning vocabulary and a foreign language
in general, it is also going to be analysed in detail.
Linhart defined memory in the following way: memory is an organism's ability
to store, retain, and subsequently retrieve information for a certain time (1982:126).
Memory can be classified in several ways. The classifications are based on duration,
nature and retrieval of information. There are three stages in the formation and retrieval
of memory encoding, storage and retrieval. Encoding is a process of processing and
combining of received information (Memory). Storage describes a creation of a
permanent record of the encoded information and retrieval means calling back the
stored information in response to some cue for use in a process or activity
(Memory).

29

There are several types of memory. Sensory memory is defined as


the ability to retain impressions of sensory information after the original
stimulus has ceased. It refers to items detected by the sensory receptors which are
retained temporarily in the sensory registers and which have a large capacity for
unprocessed information but are only able to hold accurate images of sensory
information momentarily (Sensory Memory).
It can keep the perceived information for approximately 200 500
milliseconds (Memory). George Sperlings experiments proved that the capacity of
sensory memory is about 12 items. Some of the information stored in the sensory
memory proceeds to short term memory, whose capacity is also limited, and George A
Miller, a professor of psychology at Princeton University, conducted experiments that
revealed that its capacity was 7+2 items and its duration was from several seconds to
one minute. However, recent researches showed that the short term memory capacity
can be increased by a process of chunking which means that people are able to store
information better, once the information is presented in meaningful chunks. It is also
believed that short term memory relies rather on an acoustic code when storing
information. Conrads tests proved that people could not recall words that sounded
similar, such as dog, hog, fog etc. (Memory).
Thornbury also mentions working memory that he describes as a work bench,
where information is first placed, studied and moved about before being filed away for
later retrieval (2002:23). He writes that the material remains in working memory for
about twenty seconds (2002:23). This is made possible by the existence of the
articulatory loop, a process of subvocal repetition, a bit like a loop of audio tape going
round and round (2002:23). This articulatory loop, as he states, seems to be a
determining factor in the ability to learn languages: the longer the loop, the better the
learner (2002:23).
There is also a long-term memory. While short term memory is limited in
capacity, the capacity of long term memory is enormous and its duration covers ones
lifetime. However, Thornbury mentions the fact that long-term memory is not always
as long-term as we would wish (2002:24). He points out that learnes sometimes retain
new vocabulary items the length of a lesson, but have forgotten them by the next
lesson (2002:24). He mentions several principles that need to be observed in order to
store the material in a permanent long-term memory:
- Repetition: combined with an attempt to organise the material.
30

- Retrieval: Activities that require retrieval of the new material, such as using the
new word in written sentences.
- Spacing: Distributing memory work across a period of time
- Pacing: Giving the opportunity to pace learners own rehearsal activities.
- Use: putting new words to use.
- Cognitive depth: The more cognitively demanding decisions the learner makes
about a word, the better the word is remembered.
- Personal organising: The judgements that learners make about a word are most
effective if they are personalised.
- Imaging: Learners remember visualised words better and that is why it is
recommended that learners associate even abstract words with some mental image.
- Motivation: Strong motivation makes the learner to spend more time on
rehearsal and practice.
- Attention/arousal: Words that trigger a strong emotional response are more
easily recalled than ones that dont. (2002: 24-25)
Using students favourite songs definitely ensures repetition, motivation,
personalised approach and certainly arouses students attention. Since the lyrics of the
songs are going to be analyzed, students should always connect the words used in the
song with the melody, thus associating it with a mental image.
Thornbury asks Why do we forget words? Forgetting is a natural process and
according to Linhart, it is not the opposite of learning (1982:139). He writes that in
order for certain information to be stored other has to be forgotten (1982:139). It has
been estimated that up to 80 per cent of material is lost within 24 hours of initial
learning, but that then the rate of forgetting levels out (2002:26). He mentions a study
of learners retention of foreign language which revealed that in the absence of
opportunities to use the language, rapid forgetting occurred in the first three or four
years after instruction, but then levelled out, with very little further loss, even up to 50
years later. Forgetting may be caused by interference from subsequent learning and by
insufficient recycling (2002:26). By interference is meant overload of students when
the price for learning new language items is the forgetting of old ones (2002:26).
Based on this finding, teachers are advised not to teach words in lexical sets where
words have very similar meanings (2002:26).
Blodget believes that there is no better way for storing information in long-term
memory than through music. He stresses that "probably nothing imprints linguistic
31

patterns better than words wedded to memorable music. Because of the unique
impressive nature of melodic music, students will retain grammatical structures and
vocabulary for the rest of their lives." Lake argues that "the key factor to storing
material in a persons long-term memory is rehearsal. Adding rhythm and melody to
chunks of language invites rehearsal and transfers words into the long-term memory."
Medina states that "in the psychological research, music and its subcomponent,
rhythm, have both been shown to benefit the rote memorization process. When various
types of verbal information (e.g., multiplication tables, spelling lists) have been
presented simultaneously with music, memorization has been enhanced (Gfeller, 1983;
Schuster and Mouzon, 1982). Research on the effectiveness of rhythm, a subcomponent
of music, has been equally favorable (Staples, 1968; Ryan, 1969; Weener, 1971;
Shepard and Ascher, 1972; Milman, 1974). The literature also indicates that the
retentive effects of rhythm can be maximized when the targeted verbal information
carries meaning. In several studies, a rhythmic presentation benefitted memorization
when the items were both meaningful and meaningless (i.e., nonsense syllables). Yet,
the impact of rhythm was greatest when the verbal information was more meaningful
(Weener, 1971; Shepard and Ascher, 1971; Glazner, 1976)" (The effects of Music
Upon Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition (ERIC)).

1.7. Summary
The objective of the theoretical part was to analyze music, its role and
importance in peoples lives, history, which was important because it connected
language learning and music together, the psychological effects of music, current
scientific findings on using music for language teaching and of course, the general
process of learning and memory playing the key part in learning vocabulary. All the
information was presented in order to support the potential positive effects that the
method of using songs to teach English should have. The knowledge gained is applied
below in the practical part.

32

2. Practical Part
2.1. Information about the students
Since the author had not other choice but to work with the following three
groups, it is necessary to describe them in order to get a deeper understanding of the
results of this work. The songs were piloted with 3 groups of the seventh, eighth and
ninth grades at an elementary school in Krom. The three classes are very different
and teaching in those groups requires different approaches. The group of the seventh
class consists of mostly well-behaved students with good attitudes towards learning.
The groups of eighth and ninth grade consist of rather weak students of these two
classes often with disciplinary problems.
There are 16 children in the seventh grade, 11 girls and 5 boys. As mentioned
before, there are no big educational or disciplinary problems in this group. However,
there are two students whose level of English is very low and who have faced failing
different subjects in the past. One of them is a girl whose problems are caused by a high
number of hours absent and who comes from a socially deprived family. The other
student is a boy who always disrupts the lessons. Holding his attention and making him
participate in the classroom is not an easy task because he is constantly busy trying to
entertain his peers or doing something completely unrelated to the classroom activities.
Moreover, there are two girls who struggle with English, and their attitude towards the
subject is not positive. They are concerned with everything except what is happening in
the class and rarely do they express an effort. They do enjoy music, though. The other
rest of the class is active most of the time, trying to learn with little adolescent displays
here and there, but in general, teaching these students is a pleasure. Most of these
students seem to love music, often listening to it on their MP3 players, and like to talk
about their favourite stars.
On the other hand, teaching the eighth grade is a constant battle. There are 9
girls and 9 boys. The biggest challenge for a teacher are three boys with considerable
disciplinary or learning problems. One boy has lived in a childrens home. There has
been a lawsuit which is constantly being suspended. His parents are in the middle of a
custody battle. He has been living in uncertainty for more than two years now, not
knowing what is going to happen with his life, which has left its effects on his
emotional and psychological well-being, which is eventually the cause for all his

33

problems. He refuses to cooperate, does whatever he wants to do and when admonished,


he becomes disrespectful, even rude to the teacher. When he gets upset, he becomes
uncontrollable.
Another pupil causing troubles in this class is a boy who has entered this school
this year with a history of bad behaviour from previous schools. Some of his
schoolmates have been complaining that his coming into the school has made the whole
social climate of the class worse. Girls have complained that boys with good behaviour
became grosser. He is the leader in this class and is constantly trying to get his peers
attention and admiration by showing his total disrespect to the school and teachers in
general. He spends his time at school disrupting the lessons.
Another student that stands out in the class is a boy who shows signs of a gifted
student. He loves physics and often represents the school at various competition. He
loves talking to teachers and fixing any broken objects, however, he refuses to do
anything that does not interest him. Unfortunately, English is not his favourite subject,
therefore he spends the lessons talking to his schoolmates about the problems he is
working on, ignoring the teachers expostulating. He requires the constant supervision
of the teacher in order to work. He never does any homework, and constantly forgets
something.
The rest of the group consists of average students with hardly any motivation to
learn English and who get easily influenced by the three strong personalities. Most of
the class, especially the boys, but even some of the girls, like following and emulating
them. Most students in this class also seem to enjoy music.
The ninth grade is also a class with a lot of problematic students. The class
consists of 9 boys and 8 girls. The two strongest children are a boy and a girl who both
come from bad family backgrounds. The girl is raised by her grandmother. The girls
centered around her also try to rival her or at least not to do anything she would not
approve of. Some of her friends revealed that she can manipulate the whole class and
that she would turn the whole class against anyone who refused to comply with her
rules. Therefore everyone pretends to be friends with her and cooperate with her in her
actions.
The already-mentioned boy was very similar to the student of the eight grade
who lives in the childrens home. Even though he is raised by his mother, he lacks
discipline, and regards any admonition from a teacher as an offence towards him. When
upset, he also becomes very rude to the teacher. He hardly has any friends among the
34

boys in the class, however he has got many adoring female admirers who try to gain his
respect by behaving in a similar way. He even has a criminal record with the police and
has caused many problems at school.
The rest of the students in the ninth grade also represent average learners with no
magnificent attitude towards learning English and with slight disciplinary problems.
However, they are usually willing to cooperate, prepare for the classes, do their
homework and pay attention during the lessons and the love for music in this group is
evident.

2.2. The Questionnaire


The questionnaire was given to the above-described three classes. The
questionnaire is in English therefore it was ensured that all the students understood all
the questions asked in it. Students who did not manage to fill in the questionnaire during
the lesson were allowed to take it home and hand it in the following lesson.
The questionnaire consists of five questions regarding their musical tastes. The
first two questions concern their favourite artists and songs. In the first question, the
students are asked to make a top ten list of their favourite singers and groups and in the
second question, they are asked to make a top ten list of their favourite songs.
Since there are a lot of people who do not have their favourite signers or groups,
the questionnaire includes the third and the fourth question dealing with their favourite
and least favourite musical genres. Students are offered a list of several genres and here
they are allowed to tick more than just one answer.
The last question is there to find out how often the students listen to their
favourite music because there is a possibility that the students who listen to their
favourite music everyday might have better results learning vocabulary from the songs
than those who do not listen to it as frequently or hardly ever listen to it.
The students were also asked to sign the questionnaire to facilitate better
evaluation of the effectiveness of this method. However, they did not have to sign it if
they did not want to.
The questionnaire is attached in the appendix on page.

35

2.3. The Evaluation of the Questionnaire


The results have been divided into three groups the seventh grade, the eighth
grade and the ninth grade. Students were asked to make their top-ten lists of their
favourite artists, songs and genres, however, any mention of an artist, a song or a genre
has been considered to be a vote regardless of its position in a student s list. The votes
for each artist, song and genre have been counted and put into the following charts. The
entries in the charts are in alphabetical order. Each chart representing students answers
is introduced by a quote of the question from the questionnaire. Here, a maximum of
first five chart positions are shown. The complete results can be found in the appendix
on page

2.3.1. The Seventh Grade


There are sixteen students in the seventh grade, but only nine students filled in
this questionnaire.
I.

Make a top ten list of your favourite singers and groups.


Chart position
1.
2.
3.

II.

Name of the singer or


group
Fergie
Rihanna
Avril Lavigne
Timbaland

Make a top ten list of your favourite songs.


Chart position
Name of the artist and
song
1.
Fergie - "Big Girls Dont
Cry"
Rihanna - "Umbrella"

III.

6
4
3

Number of votes
2

Which of these musical genres do you like the most?

Chart position
1.
2.
3.
IV.

Number of votes

Musical genre
Hip-hop
Pop
Rap
Rock

Number of votes
10
6
4

Which of these musical genres do you like the least?

Chart position
1.
2.

Musical genre
Country
Funk

36

Number of votes
6
5

Heavy Metal
Punk
Jazz

3.
V.

How often do you listen to your favourite music?


Frequency

Number of votes
6
2

Everyday
Several times a week

2.3.2. The Eighth Grade


There are 18 pupils in this group out of which twelve filled in this questionnaire.
I.

Make a top ten list of your favourite singers and groups.

Chart position
1.

2.

II.

Name of the artist


Kotrafakt
Linkin Park
Pussy Cat Dolls
Eminem
Iron Maiden
Korn
Lordi

Number of votes
3

Make a top ten list of your favourite songs.


Chart position
1.

III.

Number of votes
2

Which of these musical genres do you like the most?

Chart position
1.
2.
3.

IV.

Name of the artist and


song
Britney Spears - "Piece of
Me"
Pussy Cat Dolls "Dontcha"

Musical genre
Hip-hop
Rock
Pop
Rap

Number of votes
9
8
6

Which of these musical genres do you like the least?

Chart position
1.
2.
3.

Musical genre
Opera
Country
Heavy Metal

37

Number of votes
9
8
7

V.

How often do you listen to your favourite music?


Frequency

Number of votes
11
1

Everyday
Several times a week

2.3.3. The Ninth Grade


This group consists of eighteen pupils and the number of students who have
filled this questionnaire is sixteen.

I.

Make a top ten list of your favourite singers and groups.


Chart position
1.
2.
3.

4.

II.

Name of the singer or


group
50 Cent
Eminem
Avril Lavigne
Blink 185
Cypress Hill
DJ Tiesto
Good Charlotte
Linkin Park
Omix
Rihanna
Green Day
Kontrafakt
Lordi
Nirvana
Prodigy
Pussy Cat Dolls
Red Hot Chily Peppers
Rytmus
Sum 41
Tafrob
Usher

Number of votes
6
5
3

Make a top ten list of your favourite songs


Chart position
1.
2.

III.

Name of the artist and


song
Blink 182 "I Miss You"
Prodigy "Voodoo"

Which of these musical genres do you like to most?

38

Number of votes
4
3

Chart position
1.
2.

3.

IV.

Number of votes
12
7

Which of these musical genres do you like the least?

Chart position
1.
2.

3.
V.

Musical genre
Hip-hop
Pop
Punk
Rock
Rap

Musical genre

Number of votes
13
11

Opera
Country
Classical Music
Musicals
Jazz

How often do you listen to your favourite music?

Frequency
Everyday
A few times a month

Number of votes
15
1

2.3.4. Overall results


The total number of students who filled the questionnaire is fifty.
I.
II.

Make a top ten list of your favourite singers and groups.


Chart position

1.

2.
3.
4.
5

Name of the singer or


group
50 Cent
Avril Lavigne
Eminem
Fergie
Rihanna
Linkin Park
Kontrafakt
Pussy Cat Dolls
Lordi
Blink 185
Britney Spears
Cypress Hill
DJ Tiesto
Good Charlotte
Omix
Red Hot Chily Peppers
Shakira
Timbaland
39

Number of votes
7

6
5
4
3

III.

Make a top ten list of your favourite songs.


Chart position

Name of the artist and


song
Blink 182 "I Miss You"
Prodigy "Voodoo"
Britney Spears - "Piece of
Me"
Fergie - "Big Girls Dont
Cry"
Rihanna "Dont Stop the
Music"
Rihanna "Umbrella"
Pussy Cat Dolls
"Dontcha"

1.
2.

3.

IV.

3.

Musical genre
Hip-hop
Pop
Rock
Rap

Number of votes
31
19
18

Which of these musical genres do you like the least?

Chart position
1.
2.
3.

VI.

4
3

Which of these musical genres do you like to most?

Chart position
1.
2.

V.

Number of votes

Musical genre
Country
Opera
Classical music

Number of votes
25
22
20

How often do you listen to your favourite music?


Frequency

Number of votes
46
3
1

Everyday
Several times a week
A few times a month

2.3.5. The Selection of Songs


The selected songs had to meet two criteria. They should be appropriate as far as
the content is concerned and the lyrics should more or less correspond with the students
knowledge of English.

40

This method of teaching vocabulary was piloted with nine songs. Some of the
songs were done with all three groups and some of them only with one group. The
songs were selected so that there was at least one song for each person who had filled
the questionnaire in the particular group.
This is a list of songs selected for the seventh grade:
Rihanna "Dont Stop the Music"
Shakira "Dont Bother"
Fergie - "Clumsy"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
The eighth grade listened to the following songs:
Rihanna "Dont Stop the Music"
Ozzy Osbourse "Mama Im Coming Home"
Eminem "Mockingbird"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
The following songs were chosen for the ninth grade:
Rihanna "Dont Stop the Muxic"
Blink 182 "I Miss You"
Eminem "Mockingbird"
Jamiroquai "Cosmic Girl"

2.4. Practical exercises for the songs


The authors inspiration for creating some of these exercises were books by
Voln, Hutchinson and Murphy. Some of them were created by the author of this work.
For each song there is a listening activity at the beginning. Some creative writing
activities where students had to use the new words were added to activate the language.
Many exercises are focused on students understanding of the content of the lyrics and
where possible, some activities are connected with the grammar as well, for instance,
there is an exercise on irregular verbs or on comparatives and superlatives. Some
exercises also draw from the students knowledge about their favourite artists whose
songs were selected. To make the activities even more enjoyable, some exercises are in
form of crosswords etc.
It was mentioned before that students were tested on the vocabulary that they
learned through song in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this method. There were

41

also some troubling students who had to be tested in order to learn the new words. It
should be noted that students were not required to learn all the new vocabulary that
appeared in the lyrics of the song, but they were instructed by the teacher which words
they would be tested on because in some of the lyrics, there were too many new words.
This was done so as not to overload the students. The words that students were
supposed to learn are listed in the aim for each song and they were usually the ones that
appeared in the exercises. The words listed in the wordlist on the handouts were there to
help the students get a better understanding of the lyrics.

2.4.1. Rihanna "Dont Stop the Music"


Target group:

the seventh, the eighth and ninth grades of primary school

Level:

low pre-intermediate to pre-intermediate

Aim:

to teach new vocabulary of the lyrics (impossible, incredible,


naughty, private, chest, refuse, go on, rock, escape, look for,
explode, candidate, aura, stress, party, DJ, passion, shake away)

Time:

total of 65 minutes (45 minutes and 20 minutes)

Material:

a CD player
a CD with the song
a copy of a handout for each student
a bilingual dictionary for each student

Assumptions:

This song should be enjoyed by majority of pupils in each class


because Rihanna was listed as a favourite artist by many of them
in the questionnaire. The lyrics are not very difficult and the song
is not expected to cause students many problems.
1st lesson

1. Play the song for students to listen and to fill in the missing words. Play the song
again. Check the words by asking students to give you the words that they have
filled in. Write the words on the board for those students who might have missed
some words.
42

Answer key
Music; away; baby; play; DJ; show;
15 minutes
2. Ask students to match the opposites in the two columns. Some students may
know some of the words in this exercise. Ask them to tell the rest of the class the
Czech equivalents. Give students dictionaries to look up the rest of the words
that they do not know.
Answer key
Impossible possible
Incredible unremarkable
Naughty decent
Private - public
5 minutes
3. Get students to look at the lyrics of the bridge and ask them to find the four
words describing the parts of a human body. Students should know the words
hand and face but they might have problems with the words chest and waist.
Answer key
hand; waist; face; chest
4 minutes
4. Most students have problems understanding all the meanings of the word way.
Ask them to read the lyrics and to try to make out the three different meanings of
this word as set in their worksheet.
Answer key
1. zpsob Like the way you do this
2. smr - when you looked my way
3. cesta Im making my way over to my favourite place
5 minutes
5. Ask students to match the synonyms in the two columns. You may let them use
dictionaries to look up the words they do not understand.
Answer key
Refuse say no
Go on happen
Rock dance

43

Escape run away


Look for - search
6 minutes
6. These English words are very similar to their Czech equivalents. Ask students to
guess their meaning. They may have problems with the word aura.
Language note
A definition of aura taken from the Oxford online dictionary is 1 the distinctive
atmosphere or quality associated with someone or something. 2 a supposed
invisible force surrounding a living creature.
Answer key
Explode - explodovat
Candidate - kandidt
Aura - aura
Stress - stres
Party pait
DJ - diskokej
4 minutes

7. This exercise can be done as a homework. Ask students to learn all the new
words and complete this exercise at home. By answering the four questions, they
are going to get a name of a Michael Jackson song that is sampled in this
Rihanna song.
Answer key
Wanna Be Starting Something
6 minutes
2nd lesson
The remaining exercises may be done either at the beginning of the lesson or at
the end of the following lesson to revise the vocabulary that they learned the previous
lesson.
8. To revise the new vocabulary that the students were supposed to learn at home.
Play the song again and let them fill in the missing words. Check the correct
answers with students.
Answer key

44

shake; possible; aura; rocking; naughty; waist; chest; chest; wanna; escape;
refuse; keep; passion
7 minutes
9. To revise the learnt vocabulary, have a discussion with the students about the
topic of the song by having them answer these questions.
Answer key
Students own answers.
13 minutes

2.4.2. Shakira "Dont Bother"


Target group:

the seventh grade of primary school

Level:

low pre-intermediate

Aim:

to teach new vocabulary of the lyrics (kind, fat free, cool, see,
own, unkind, practice, lose ones nerve, deserve, bother, wait,
lose, promise, cry, defy, beat, give up, file, stay, be glad)
to get students acquainted with some of English weights and
measures (foot, pound)
to revise and practice comparatives and superlatives

Time:

45 minutes

Material:

a CD player
a CD with the song
a copy of handout for each student
bilingual dictionary for each student

Assumptions:

Most pupils should know this song well since it is a recent hit.
The lyrics are not as difficult, however few new words appear
making the lyrics slightly difficult, but not incomprehensible.
Shakiras accent might cause difficulties in the beginning, but
students should be able to understand in the end.

I.

Play the song for students and have them fill in the missing words. Some
students may have problems understanding her accent so play the song again

45

for them to have an opportunity to fill in those words that they did not
understand the first time.
Answer key
Look; school; she; sorry; be; doesnt; see; country; football
14 minutes
II.

Tell students to connect the synonyms in the table. They should know most
of the words. They are allowed to use a dictionary to look up those words
that they do not know.

Answer key
Kind type
Fat free slim
Cool great
See understand
Own have
Unkind - unfriendly
5 minutes
III.

Read the instructions and ask students whether they know how many metres
is one foot. If they do not know, tell them that one foot is 0,3048 metres.
Then ask them to do a sum.

Answer key
c) 1,80 m
2 minutes
IV.

Follow the same instructions as in exercise number III.

Answer key
a) 0,45 kg
2 minutes
V.

Ask students to connect the words with the phrases. Tell them that they may
work in pairs. Help them with the phrases that they may have difficulties
understanding.

Answer key
1g
2b
3h

46

4d
5i
6e
7a
8m
9p
10 f
11 c
12 k
13 l
14 j
15 o
16 n
16 minutes
VI.

Tell students to look at the first verse of the lyrics and find all the
comparatives and superlatives and put them in the table filling the other two
forms of the adjectives.

Answer key
adjective

comparative

superlative

great

greater

the greatest

much, many

more

the most

good

better

the best
3 minutes

VII.

Ask students to think about their lives and write one thing that they are glad
about.

Answer key
Students own answers
3 minutes
VIII.

This exercise is suitable to be given to students as homework. Tell students


to think of their idol or some imaginary perfect person and ask them to
describe that person in five sentences. Tell them that they can write about
that persons looks, personal qualities or his or her skills.

Answer key

47

Students own answers


20 minutes

2.4.3. Fergie "Clumsy"


Target group:

the seventh and the eighth grades of primary school

Level:

low pre-intermediate to pre-intermediate

Aim:

to teach new vocabulary of the lyrics (fall in love, serious, single,


break up, breath, sink, play it cool, crazy, clumsy, bite, break up)

Time:

45 minutes

Material:

a CD player
a CD with the song
a copy of handout for each student
bilingual dictionary for each student

Assumptions:

Fergie being one of students favourite artists should motivate the


students. The lyrics may seem as a tongue twister especially in the
chorus and the words confusing and similar, but since this song is
a current hit, the frequent airplay that this songs enjoys on the
radio stations should help students revise the words frequently.

I.

Play the song for students and ask them to fill in the missing words.

Answer key
Time; play; me; love; love; cant; love; me;
10 minutes
II.

There are two similar or confusing words in each sentence of this exercise.
Ask students to choose the correct one. Tell them to look at the lyrics where
they can find some of the expressions to help them. Explain the differences
between words they may seemingly mean the same such as single and alone.

Answer key

48

falls; serious; single; broke up; crawls; bite; breath; touch; alone; sank; crushed;
sleeves; clumsy; cool; crazy; like
20 minutes
III.

Ask students to describe situations that make them feel clumsy. They may
prepare their answer and write them down or they can have a discussion
about it in classroom.

Answer key
Students own answers
15 minutes

2.4.4. Ozzy Osbourne "Mama Im Coming Home"


Target group:

the eighth grade of primary school

Level:

low pre-intermediate to pre-intermediate

Aim:

to teach new vocabulary of the lyrics (hypnotized, ride, tell lies,


turn around, worry, heart, go by, selfish, apart, hurt,stone, fire,
strange, seem, cant stand + ing)
to revise irregular verbs (see, come, go, be, drive, have, lose, find,
make tell, stand, take)

Time:

45 minutes

Material:

a CD player
a CD with the song
a copy of handout for each student
bilingual dictionary for each student

49

Assumptions:

Students should already know all the irregular verbs that appear in
the lyrics. This song has been chosen to please just one student in
the group but since this is quite a famous song and there are
couple of students who like rock music, they might eventually
enjoy this song.

I.

Play the song and let students fill in the missing words.

Answer key
Come; home; me; lost; good-bye; so; but; everyday; dont; me;
8 minutes
II.

The table includes irregular verbs that appear in the lyrics of the song. Ask
students to fill in the other forms of the irregular verbs as well as their Czech
equivalents.

Answer key
Verb

Past simple

Past participle

esky

see

saw

seen

vidt

come

came

come

pijt, pijet

go

went

gone

jt, jet

be

was/were

been

bt

take

took

taken

vzt, brt

drive

drove

driven

dit

have

had

had

mt

lose

lost

lost

ztratit

find

found

found

najt

make

made

made

udlat, vyrobit

tell

told

told

ci

stand

stood

stood

stt, vystt

take

took

taken

vzt si, brt


13 minutes

III.

Ask students to write down two things that they cannot stand doing.

Answer key
Students own answers
5 minutes

50

IV.

Help students to complete the crossword to find out Ozzy Osbournes


nickname. Students may look at the lyrics to find the correct words to
complete the sentences with.

Answer key
1. hypnotized
2. ride
3. tell lies
4. turn around
5. cry
6. heart
7. go by
8. selfish
9. made
10. apart
11. hurt
12. take
13. stones
14. fire
15. strange
16. seems
Solution: Prince of Darkness
17 minutes
V.

Ask students to read the lyrics and answer the two questions.

Answer key
Where is Ozzy going? He is going home.
Has he changed? Yes, he has.
2 minutes

2.4.5. Eminem "Mockingbird"


Target group:

the ninth grade of primary school

Level:

low pre-intermediate to pre-intermediate

51

to teach new vocabulary of the lyrics (soldier, witness, jeweller,

Aim:

promise, shoot, ring, argue, mockinbird, break into, puzzled,


scared, proud)
to get students acquainted with the slang expressions and idioms
(straighten up, Im give you the world, Papa was a rolling stone,
to develop a habit, to witness something first hand, it backfires on
me, gon, ya, Ima)
Time:

2 x 45 minutes

Material:

a CD player
a CD with the song
a copy of a handout for each student
a bilingual dictionary for each student

Assumptions:

This song is expected to cause students some difficulties since the


lyrics are full of slang and there is quite a number of new words,
but since Eminem is one of the students favourite artists, their
enthusiasm to learn an Eminem song should help them overcome
any possible problems.
1st lesson

I.

Play the song and have students fill in the missing words. It may be
necessary to play the song more than once or twice since students may have
problems following the text.

Answer key
sometimes; you; smile; be; is; why; crazy; dollars; CD; TV; sing
20 minutes
II.

Before starting analyzing the lyrics of the song, to help students understand
what the song is about, ask them who or what is Hailie. Eminems fans will
know the she is his daughter. Also, ask them who is Eminem refering to
when he says mommy and daddy. Make sure that students know that by

52

mommy and daddy he means himself and his wife. Have students read the
phrases and try to quess their meaning based on the context of the lyrics and
what they know about Eminem.
Answer key
Straighten up little soldier stiffen up that upper lip. Be strong. Dont cry.
Ima give you the world. I am going to give you the world.
Papa was a rolling stone. Your father cannot live in one place and keep longterm
relationships with people.
To develop a habit. To become dependant on some substances.
Witness something first hand. See something with your own eyes.
It backfires on me. What I do turns against me.
10 minutes
III.

Ask students what they think a piggy bank is. Tell them to use their
imagination and to compare the word with the Czech language because there
is a similar term in their mother tongue.

Answer key
prastko (na penze)
1 minutes
IV.

Read the sentences with students and ask them to look at the lyrics to find
the described words.

Answer key
witness; soldier; jeweler; promise; nightmare; shoot; ring; argue; mockingbird;
break into
10 minutes
V.

Tell students to finish the three sentences with the three words: puzzled,
scared, proud.

Answer key
a) scared
b) puzzled
c) proud
4 minutes
Tell students to learn the vocabulary that they have learned so far at home so
that they can continue with the following exercises.

53

2nd lesson
VI.

Tell students to try to read the three words. Have them think about what
words these three words sound like and what words could they represent.

Answer key
gonna; you; I am going to
4 minutes
Get students to read the lyrics again. Go through the lyrics with students and
help them to understands the difficult parts. Then have them answer the following
questions.
25 minutes
VII.

Ask students who Eminem sings to

Answer key
b) his daughter
1 minute
VIII.

Based on the lyrics and what students know about Eminem, have them finish
the sentence. Eminem and his wife:

Answer key
b) have problems.
1 minutes
IX.

Ask students which of the three answers describes the content of the verse.

Answer key
a) third verse
b) first verse
c) second verse
2 minutes
X.

Ask the group that read the second verse to answer this question.

He had no money. He spent one Christmas crying because he did not have enough
money to buy his children presents. He lived in a slum and his wife tried to save
some money for their children, but someone stole the money. He and his wife were
fighting and Eminem left his family to live somewhere else. Then, he went to
California where he met Dr. Dre and became succesful. However, he could not
spend time with his family. His wife became dependant on some substances and he

54

felt he had failed as a father again and tried to comfort his children. He was not
happy.
10 minutes
XI.

Students should be able to answer the question if Eminem is happy?

Answer key
No, he is not.
1 minute
XII.

Ask the group that read the third verse what was it about. What would
Eminem do for his children?

Answer key
d) do it all.
1 minutes

2.4.6. Blink 182 "I Miss You"


Target group:

the ninth grade of primary school

Level:

low pre-intermediate to pre-intermediate

Aim:

to teach new vocabulary of the lyrics (nightmare, shade, morgue,


waste, valley, indecision, treason, creep, unsuspecting, stare,
background, darkness, insides)

Time:

45 minutes

Material:

a CD player
a CD with the song
a copy of a handout for each student
a bilingual dictionary for each student

Assumptions:

The lyrics may be a bit difficult for students because the lyrics are
quite poetic, but this song is one of students favourite songs
should guarantee students interest.

I.

Play the song and ask students to fill in the missing words.

Answer key

55

Christmas; sorry; always; you;


8 minutes
II.

Have students read the clues and fill in the crossword. All the words needed
for this crossword can be found in the lyrics of the song. Tell students to
look at the lyrics. This will help them.

Answer key
1. nightmare
2. shadow
3. morgue
4. creep
5. waste
6. valley
7. indecision
8. treason
9. unsuspecting
10. stare
Solution: Tom DeLonge
15 minutes
III.

Ask students to look at the first column of three words that they should know
and then, have them guess the meaning of the related words in the second
column.

Answer key
Background pozadi
Darkness tma, temnota
Insides - bicho
4 minutes
Tell students to look at the lyrics and get them answer the following questions.
IV.

How does the singer feel?

Answer key
He feels sad and depressed.
7 minutes
V.

Why does he feel this way?

Answer key

56

He feels this way because his girlfriend left him and he misses her.
3 minutes
VI.

What does he do when he cannot sleep?

Answer key
He counts webs from all the spiders catching things and eating their insides.
2 minutes
VII.

Does he want his girlfriend to come back?

Answer key
Yes, he does.
2 minutes
VIII.

Why do you think he and his girlfriend broke up?

Answer key
Students own answers
4 minutes

2.4.7. Jamiroquai "Cosmic Girl"


Target group:

the ninth grade of primary school

Level:

low pre-intermediate to pre-intermediate

Aim:

to teach new vocabulary of the lyrics (heaven, across, land, clear,


umbrella, check, beam, right, encounter, distant, list, all the same,
world, step in, flounder, rest, hyperspace, ecstasy, cosmic, galaxy,
solar system transmit, frequency, scan, gravity, magnetise,
transporter, radar, lazer)

Time:

45 minutes

Material:

a CD player
a CD with the song
a copy of a handout for each student
a bilingual dictionary for each student

57

"Cosmic Girl" by Jamiroquai might not be generally as successful

Assumptions:

as the other songs since it has been chosen to please only one
student and it is not a current hit and it is expected that the rest of
the class will not know this group nor the song, therefore they
might not be as interested in it. There is quite a number of new
words, but most of these words should not cause troubles because
they are similar to Czech equivalents.
I.

Before playing the song, tell students that there are some words in italics in
the lyrics and that they are supposed to underline the word they are going to
hear in the song. Play the song. Check the words with students. Write them
on the blackboard.

Answer key
Saturday; dance; baby; should; eyes; galaxy; ecstasy; cosmic; forty; call; step; care;
galaxy; time
10 minutes
II.

Tell students to find the words described in each verse of the lyrics.

Answer key
First verse
1. heaven
2. across
3. land
4. clear
5. umbrella
6. check
7. beam
8. cos
Second verse
1. right
2. distant
3. encounter
4. list
5. all the same
6. other

58

7. world
8. step in
9. all around
10. flounder
11. hyperspace
Third verse
1. rest

20 minutes
III.

Ask students to which TV program Jamiroquai refers when he sings Do I


have to go star-trekking.

Answer key
TV series called Star Trek.
3 minutes
IV.

There is a list of words connected to space and physics that are similar to
their Czech equivalents. Tell students to guess their meaning.

Answer key
Ecstasy extze
Cosmic kosmick
Galaxy galaxie
Questar nzev njak planety
Solar system solrn systm
Teleport teleportovat
Transmit pemstit se
Frequency frekvence
Scan snmat
Gravity gravitace
Magnetise magnetizovat, ovlivnit, upoutat, okouzlit
Transporter dopravnk, transportr
Radars radary
Laser - laser
8 minutes

59

V.

Tell students to think about the songs they have done before and ask them if
they can think of a song with similar lyrics and name the similarities.

Answer key
Rihanna Dont Stop the Music
The song is also about a boy and a girl meeting at a discoteque.
4 minutes

2.4.8. Red Hot Chily Peppers "Under the Bridge"


Target group:

the seventh grade of primary school

Level:

low pre-intermediate to pre-intermediate

Aim:

to teach new vocabulary of the lyrics (together, companion, deed,


downtown, only friend, hill, worry, believe, God, at least, get
enough)

Time:

45 minutes

Material:

a CD player
a CD with the song
a copy of handout for each student
bilingual dictionary for each student

Assumptions:

The students should understand most of the words as well as


grammar in this song. However, the lyrics are quite poetic and
students might not get the deeper meaning of it. Therefore, the
teacher should help them and give them some ideas as to what
this song might be about to choose from.

I.

To make sure students understand the meaning of the words that they
are supposed to fill in the lyrics later, ask them to make a sentence
using each word from the box.

Answer key

60

Students own answers


7 minutes
II.

Let students guess where the words should be in the lyrics. Then play
the song for students to check their ideas. Check the words with
students and write them on the blackboard.

Answer key
Dont; city; she; am; is; hard; loves;
8 minutes
III.

Tell students to read the lyrics and answer these questions.

Answer key
c); a); b); b); a)
6 minutes
IV.

The singer often uses the pronoun she. But what does it refer to? Ask
students.

Answer key
The city
4 minutes
V.

Tell students to think of their favourite city and to describe it in 5 to


10 sentences. Ask them to use at least 5 words that appear in the
lyrics. They may also draw a map of their town. Have them also
explain why they like the city so much.

Answer key
Students own answers
20 minutes

2.4.9. Students reactions to the exercises


As mentioned in the introduction part and at the beginning of the practical part,
the songs and the designed exercises were used in three different classes at an
elementary school in Krom and the classes differ in many aspects, for example, their
learning habits, attitudes towards English, discipline and many others. Unfortunately,

61

these three groups were the only ones available to the author, therefore the songs could
not have been piloted with any other students.
The most well-behaved class with good attitudes to learning is the seventh grade.
There are hardly any disciplinary problems and most students enjoy learning and
express their interest in the language. They are active most of the time and work hard
even during "normal" lessons. These students were excited about learning vocabulary
through songs, enjoyed doing all the exercises and were very active. The students liked
the activities so much that they asked to continue in them in the following year and even
tried to analyze lyrics of their favourite songs on their own. Their only weakness was
that their level of English knowledge was quite low and therefore they did not always
get the deep understanding of some of the lyrics. However, this could be easily solved
by having the teacher go through the lyrics and help them with the difficult parts. Foe
example, the teacher can give them a number of possible topics that this song might be
about and have them choose the correct answer.
The eighth grade is a class with big disciplinary problems. There were only few
students active during the lessons throughout the year and the new approach of using
their favourite music to teach them English has not changed their attitude towards
learning very much. It has changed only those students who liked the particular song
that we were working on at that time while the rest of the class continued disrupting the
lesson. The problem with this class was that the students who caused the most trouble
and have the worst attitudes toward English were not interested in music and if they
were, it was Czech music that they were interested in. Those students were making fun
of the artists or the song and sometimes even refused to do a song that was by an artist
they did not like. Therefore these activities did not motivate them the way it was
expected and since those students cause the most problems, which this method did not
solve, the quality and atmosphere of the lessons did not improve that much.
The ninth grade consists of students similar to those in the eigth grade. There are
also many students with disciplinary problems and hardly any interest in English and
learning in general. However, there was one big difference. Most of the students love
music and in this case, the method of using popular songs in English was succesful. It
helped to motivate them, get their attention and most of the students really enjoyed the
activities and were interested in the content of the songs. However, the fact that their
learning habits and attitudes towards English had of poor quality meant that their level
of English was not as high as it could have been if their attitudes had been better.
62

Therefore they sometimes struggled with the lyrics because their vocabulary did not
match the level they were supposed to have reached. They were supposed to be at preintermediate level and they did not understand elementary English.
However, there was one positive aspect common for all the classes. The song
worksheets were the only worksheets that students asked for if they missed a lesson,
even though there is a slight suspicion that they might have asked for it in order to have
the pictures of their favourite stars. Nevertheless, this should be mentioned and taken
into account because having the worksheet increases the possibility of them looking at
the lyrics and learning something from them even if they asked for it for the wrong
reasons.
Another fact worth mentioning is that some students even expressed their
interest in looking for more lyrics. They asked the teacher to show them how to look for
lyrics on the internet, which should also be considered as an achievement because it
proves that this method motivated them into exploring more lyrics.

2.5. Students Test Results


In order to evaluate the effectiveness of this method, the students were tested on
the vocabulary that they had learned through the songs as well as on the vocabulary that
they had learned from their textbooks. The results were compared and analyzed from
different perspectives and a conclusion on the effectivess of this method drawn.
First, the results of the students who had listed the particular song as their
favourite was examined.
Average mark on vocabulary learned
through song
2
2
1
1
1

Name of the artist and the song


Blink 182 "I Miss You"
Eminem - "Mockingbird"
Fergie - "Clumsy"
Jamiroquai "Cosmic Girl"
Ozzy Osbourne "Mama Im Coming
Home"
Red Hot Chilly Peppers "Under the
Bridge"
Rihanna "Dont Stop the Music"
Shakira -"Dont Bother"

1
1
1,5

63

Secondly, the average mark from tests on each song is presented in order to find
out which songs were most successful and which ones seemed to cause students the
most difficulties. The entries in the chart are made according to how effective the
particular song proved.
Name of the artist and the song

Average mark

1. Red Hot Chilly Peppers "Under

1,2857

the Bridge"
2. Blink 182 "I Miss You"

1,4375

3. Ozzy Osbourne "Mama Im

1,7333

Coming Home"
4. Fergie - "Clumsy"

1,9285

5. Rihanna "Dont Stop the

6. Jamiroquai "Cosmic Girl"

2,2142

7. Shakira - "Dont Bother"

2,25

8. Eminem - "Mockinbird"

2,5

Music"

Thirdly, the test results were divided by grades. An average mark in tests on
vocabulary learned from coursebook were compared to the average mark in tests on
vocabulary learned through songs.
Grade

Average mark in tests on

Average mark in tests on

vocabulary learned

vocabulary learned

through songs

through coursebook

1,9148

1,588

2,1406

1,931

1,617

Finally, the overall results are presented. The average mark of all students in
tests on coursebook vocabulary was compared to the average mark in tests on
vocabulary learned through songs.
Average mark in tests on vocabulary

Average mark in tests on vocabulary

learned through songs

learned through coursebook

64

2,0297

1,6956

2.6. Evaluation of the Test Results


As the results showed, the average mark on vocabulary learned through music
was worse by about 0,3 than the average mark on vocabulary learned through textbooks in general. The difference between the results is almost the same for the seventh
and the ninth grade, about 0,4. The smallest difference between those two marks, about
0,2, was in the eighth grade, which scored the worst mark in both of the tests.
The songs with the worst results turned out to be Eminem, followed by Shakira
and Fergie. The best results in tests were for lyrics by Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Blink
182.
The test results of the students who listed a particular song as their favourite
proved as the greatest achievement because the average mark on five out of eight songs
was 1.
What conclusions on the effectiveness of this method can be made based on
these results? Since the overall results showed that students had better results on
vocabulary learned through textbook, teaching vocabulary through songs seems to be
ineffective. What could be the possible reasons for this failure? And is it truly as
ineffective as it may seem or are there any improvements achieved by the tested
method?
There could be several reasons for students scoring worse in tests on vocabulary
learned through songs. One of the reasons may be that some of the songs are not current
hits with high rotation on radios, therefore students who do not listen to those songs
heard it only few times in the classroom which probably was not enough to make the
remember the melody, the lyrics and learn the new words. Moreover, teenagers take
music seriously and feel strongly about the music that they listen to and resent artists
and songs they do not like and not all the songs that were used enjoyed overall
popularity. Some songs were chosen to please only one student in order to meet the
requirement of having one song for each student that filled the questionnaire, which also
worsened the average mark because the song itself did not motivate most of the
students. However, it is important to involve all the students in the learning process and
choosing only songs popular with the majority of students would not be fair to those

65

who have different tastes. And last but not least, some students kept on losing the
worksheets and had nothing to learn from for the tests.
As mentioned above, in general, there is about 0,4 difference between the
average mark on vocabulary learned through songs and vocabulary learned through
textbook in the ninth and seventh grade with the seventh grade scoring slightly better in
both tests since there seem to be better students there. There was little difference
between those two marks in the eighth grade which was probably caused by the fact that
the most troublesome students are not that interested in music and kept on disrupting the
lessons in the same way as they normally do. The non-existant improvement in the
atmosphere during the lessons showed through in the results staying the same.
The most effective proved to be songs by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Blink 182 and
Ozzy Osbourne. There are several reasons as to why these three songs were the most
successful. "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chilli Peppers was probably the easiest song
as far as grammar is concerned and there were not that many new words to learn. Blink
182s "I miss You" was voted by the students as one of the favourite songs. The lyrics
for Ozzy Osbournes "Mama Im Coming Home" were probably also not as demanding
for the students.
The three songs that caused the most problems were Jamiroquais "Cosmic
Girl", Shakiras "Dont Bother" and "Mockingbird" by Eminem. However, it is not
surprising that these three songs failed. The lyrics for Jamiroquais "Cosmic Girl" were
probably too abstract for students to understand and full of unusual vocabulary and even
though students were not required to learn the difficult words connected to physics, this
song caused them difficulties. Since the songs were selected to fit the taste of all
students who had filled the questionnaire, this song was chosen only because of one
student who mentioned it as his favourite. The rest of the class did not know the song
and since it is not a current hit, it is not played frequently on the radios so they only got
to hear the song in the classroom, which probably was not enough to make the other
students remember the song and its lyrics and learn the new vocabulary.
The lyrics for Shakiras "Dont Bother" are not that difficult, but since this song
was piloted in the seventh grade, the lyrics might have been demanding for them since
the students level of English is the lowest and there were quite a number of new words
for them.
Eminems "Mockingbird", which had the worst results, also has the most
difficult and the longest lyrics. The difficulty of this song may have also been caused by
66

the author who overrated the students level of English due to the fact that she started to
teach them that year and did not know them that well. This song and Eminem are very
popular among students thats why it was chosen for the nineth grade whose level of
English is supposed to be the highest. Even though the students enjoyed the lessons with
this song very much, they still did not succeed learning the new vocabulary.
Nevertheless, there was one big achievement reached with this song that the test results
did not reveal. It was the only song whose lyrics nobody was able to follow as Eminem
was rapping. His rapping seemed too fast at first and his accent unintelligible and it took
several playings before the students were able to understand it. Later on, it cause no
problems and the students got used to it. They found out that it is even possible to
understand rappers.
This method is, however, highly successful if students like the particular song.
The test results on vocabulary learned through music of students who listed the song as
their favourite were excellent. The average mark on five out of eight songs was 1. The
worst results were found in those songs that were not successful in general, Eminems
"Mockingbird" which was the most demanding song, Shakiras "Dont Bother" where
students did not succeed as well, and surprisingly, Blink 182s "I miss You" which was
voted as one of the most popular songs. Nevertheless, Blink 182s score was spoiled by
one of the most troublesome students of the ninth grade described above. If it were not
for him, the average mark would have also been 1.
Putting all the test results aside, the greatest achievement of this experiment was
that the students of the seventh grade want to continue with this method, have already
handed in this years lists of their favourite songs and artists of their own accord and
demand to include songs into English lessons. Some students have already started to
analyze, translate and try to understand lyrics of their favourite songs on their own.
Unfortunately this is not the case of the eighth grade as a whole, whose students seemed
untouched by this method, though there were some exceptions. Two students asked to
continue with the songs. There is no information on how it has effected the students of
the ninth grade, who have left the school, but some positive aspects were already
noticed towards the end of the school year when some students asked the teacher how to
look for the lyrics on the internet.
And as it has already been mentioned, an improvement in the atmosphere during
the lessons and bigger involvement of students when students worked on these songs
should also be considered as an achievement because in many cases the songs helped
67

with the disciplinary problems. Teaching more focused students definitely leads to
better learning by all involved.

68

Conclusion
The objective of the work was to test and measure the effectiveness of teaching
vocabulary through music. This work is divided into two parts, a theoretical and a
practical part. The aim of the theoretical part was to provide scientific findings on
related subjects.
As the results of students test results show, the tested method proved to be
uneffective in general. However, a more detailed analysis of these results revealed
highly positive aspects of this method as well as some achievements. The method of
teaching vocabulary through music led to excellent results when students were tested
on vocabulary of their favourite songs. Students who listed the particular song as their
favourite reached for most songs an average mark 1. The average mark on two songs
was higher than the average mark from tests on vocabulary learned through coursebook,
while one of the two songs reached a number one in the students chart. Based on these
findings, it can be said that teaching vocabulary through music is highly effective if
students like the song.
As mentioned earlier, there were other positive aspects of this method. The
atmosphere during the lessons was better than during ordinary lessons. The students
were more focused and more interested. Some pupils expressed their interest in
searching and working on more lyrics of their favourite songs and one class, the seventh
grade has requested to continue with this method in the following school year. Some
pupils even started to work this way on their own, which is probably more important
achievement than the marks themselves because it added another dimension to ther
language learning process.
To sum up, this method is highly effective if the song used is the students
favourite. However, the overall results of this method were worse than if students
studied vocabulary through their coursebook, though it should be taken into
consideration that the songs were piloted with below-the-average students with very
poor attitudes towards learning and yet some positive results and aspects were achieved.
It may also be that the findings are just a result of the initial fuzziness period that
Thornbury warned of (2002:30).

69

RESUM
Diplomov prce Uen slovek hudbou se zabv pouvnm populrnch psniek
jako metody vuky slovek. Clem bylo otestovat, analyzovat a vyhodnotit efektivnost
tohoto zpsobu prce. Prce je zaloena na hypotze, e uen je efektivn, jsou-li ci
motivovni a zaujati. Zjem m zajistit uit jejich oblbench anglickch a americkch
psniek. Skladby byly vybrny na zklad dotaznk, kter vyplnili studenti, na nich
bude tato metoda testovna. S vyuitm vdeckch poznatk popsanch v teoretick
sti prce byla k textm jednotlivch psn vypracovna rzn cvien, je mla za cl
procviit a objasnit novou slovn zsobu. Efektivnost metody byla zjiovna pomoc
test. ci byli zkoueni ze slovn zsoby zskan prostednictvm vybran psniky a ze
slovn zsoby, kterou se nauili z uebnice. Vsledky tchto test byly porovnny
z nkolika hledisek a na zklad tohoto srovnn byla vyhodnocena efektivnost metody.
Krom vsledk test byl popsn i prbh vuky a zmna pstupu k k anglitin.

RSUM
The diploma thesis called Teaching Vocabulary through music deals with
using popular songs as a method of teaching vocabulary. The aim of this work was to
test, analyze, and evaluate the effectiveness of this kind of teaching method. This work
is based on the hypothesis that only motivated and interested students learn effectively.
It is the using of popular songs that should quarantee students motivation and interest.
The songs were chosen based on a questionnaire completed by the students with whom
this method was tested. The exercises for the lyrics of the chosen songs were created
based on scientific findings described in the theoretical part. The objective of these
exercises was to explain and practice the new vocabulary. The effectiveness of this
method was determined through tests. Students were tested on vocabulary learned
through songs and vocabulary learned though the coursebook. The test results were
compared and analyzed from several points of view and, based on this comparison, a
conclusion on the effectiveness of this method was drawn. Apart from the test results,
the course of a lesson and any changes in students attitude toward English were
described.

70

Works cited

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HARMER, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Harlow: Longman
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HOLZKNECHT, Vclav. PO, Vladimr a kolektiv. lovk potebuje hudbu. Praha:
Panton, 1969. 1st published 1969. 452 s.
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University Press, 2000. 1st published 2000. 136 s. ISBN 0 19 4365344
LEWIS, Michael. The lexical approach: The state of ELT and the way forward. Hove,
England: Language Teaching Publications, 1993.
LEWIS, Michael. Implementing the lexical approach: Putting theory into practice.
Hove, England: Language Teaching Publications, 1997.
LINHART, Josef. Psychologie uen. Praha: Sttn pedagogick nakladatelstv, n. p.,
1967. 392 s.
LINHART, Josef. Zklady psychologie uen. Praha: Sttn pedagogick nakladatelstv,
n. p., 1982. 250 s.
MURPHEY, Tim. Music & Song. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. 1st published
1992. 151 s. ISBN 0 19 437055 0
PILKA, Ji. Svt hudby. Praha: Sttn nakladatelstv krsn literatury, hudby a umn,
n.p., 1959. 1st published 1959. 314 s.
THORNBURY, Scott. How to Teach Vocabulary. Essex: Pearson Education Limited,
2002. 185 s. ISBN 0582 429668
VOLN, Jan. English through Songs. Praha: LEDA s.r.o. 1997. 1st published 1997.
ISBN 80 85927 28 4

Electronic sources:
American Music Therapy Association. 10 Aug 2008. <http://www.musictherapy.org/>
Blodget, Tom. Teaching the Target Language Through the Lyrics of Melodic Music.
Songs for Eatching. Using Music to Promote Learning. 25 Aug 2008.
<http://www.songsforteaching.com/musicapaedia/teachingtargetlanguagethroughlyri
cs.htm>
71

Brown, Nyssa. Lamb, Deborah. Parallels Between Music Learning and Language
Acquistion: From Fluency to Literacy. CARLA. Nov 2004.. 20 Aug. 2008.
<http://www.carla.umn.edu/immersion/acie/vol8/Nov2004_MusicandLanguage.html
>
Communicate Aproach Modern Foreign Languages. Second Language Acquisition. 9
Apr 2002. 15 Aug 2008. <http://www.aber.ac.uk/~mflwww/seclangaqu.html>
Music In th EFL Classroom. Ernies. EFL Songs Page. 21 Aug 2008.
<http://www.lingolex.com/userpages/music.html>
Farrug, Daine. How Music Helps Language Learning. Suite101. 22 Jan 2008. 20 Aug
2008.
<http://languagestudy.suite101.com/article.cfm/why_use_music_to_learn_language>
Lake, Bob. Music and Language Learning. 20 Aug 2008.
<http://www.dtae.org/adultlit/connections/music.html>
Language Learning Advisor. 25 July 2008. <http://www.language-learningadvisor.com/use-music-to-improve-language-skills.html>
Medina, Suzanne L. The Effects of Music Upon Second Language Vocabulary
Acquisition. (ERIC) ESL through Music. 2000. 20 Aug 2008.
<http://www.forefrontpublishers.com/eslmusic/articles/02.htm>
Medina, Suzanne L. The Effects of Music Upon Second Language Vocabulary
Acquisition. (FLES) ESL through Music. 2000. 20 Aug 2008.
<http://www.forefrontpublishers.com/eslmusic/articles/01.htm>
Medina, Suzanne L. Using Music to Enhance Second Language Acquisition: From
Theory to Practice. ESL through Music. 2000. 20 Aug 2008.
<http://www.forefrontpublishers.com/eslmusic/articles/06.htm>
Memory. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 23 Aug 2008. Wikimedia Foundation,
Inc. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page>
Motivation. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 5 Aug 2008. Wikimedia Foundation,
Inc. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page>
Moudraia, Olga. Lexical Approach to Second Language Teaching. ERIC Digest.
June 2001. 20 Aug 2008. <http://www.ericdigests.org/2002-2/lexical.htm>
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Robertson, Don. The Effects of Music. The Text Library. Learn about the Worlds
Great Music. 10 Aug 2008.
<http://www.dovesong.com/positive_music/effects_of_music.asp>
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Audio CDs:
Blink 182. "I Miss You." Blink 182. Geffen Records., 2003.
Eminem. "Mockingbird." Curtain Call. Aftermath., 2005.
Fergie. "Clumsy." The Dutchess. Insterscope Records., 2006.
Jamiroquai. "Cosmic Girl." Travelling Without Moving. Sony., 1997.
Osbourne, Ozzy. "Mama Im Coming Home." No More Tears. Sony., 1991.
Red Hot Chily Peppers. "Under the Bridge." Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Warner
Bross/Wea., 1991.
Rihanna. "Dont Stop the Music." Good Girl Gone Bad. Def Jam., 2007.
Shakira. "Dont Bother." Oral Fixation Vol. 2. Sony., 2006.

73

LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix No. 1 Dr. Suzanne Medina Email
Appendix No. 2 Questionnarie
Appendix No. 3 The Evalution of the Questionnaire
Appendix No. 4 Blink 182 "I Miss You" Worksheet
Appendix No. 5 Eminem "Mockingbird" Worksheet
Appendix No. 6 Fergie "Clumzy" Worksheet Worksheet
Appendix No. 7 Jamiroquai "Cosmic Girl" Worksheet
Appendix No. 8 Ozzy Osbourne "Mama Im Coming Home" Worksheet
Appendix No. 9 Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge" Worksheet
Appendix No. 10 Rihanna "Dont Stop the Music" Worksheet
Appendix No. 11 Shakira "Dont Bother" Worksheet
Appendix No. 12 Depeche Mode Picture
Appendix No. 13 Depeche Mode fans - Picture

74

APPENDICES

Appendix No.1 - Dr. Suzanne Medina - Email


Dear Dagmar:
Thank you for your message. That is wonderful news that you are writing on this topic.
Please feel free to paraphrase anything on my website or quote it as you wish. Simply
make certain that you cite your source (e.g., the article, author, etc. ). If you have any
questions, feel free to ask.
Best Wishes,
SM

Thursday, August 21, 2008 1:21 PM


"Dr. Suzanne Medina" dr.medina@ca.rr.com

75

Appendix No.2 Questionnaire


Name: _________________

Questionnaire
Dear students,
in order to make English classes more enjoyable for you and, hopefully, more effective,
I have decided to use some of your favourite music to teach you English, especially
vocabulary. I would like you to fill in this questionnaire so that I am able to choose the
right songs for you. If you fill in this questionnaire honestly, you are very likely to be
rewarded by having the opportunity to listen to, get to know and understand the lyrics of
some of your favourite songs.
In filling this questionnaire, please do not put in any Czech singers, groups or songs. We
are learning English and we will not need any Czech music.
Thank you for filling in this questionnaire.
I. Make a top ten list of your favourite singers and groups.
1. _________________________
2. _________________________
3. _________________________
4. _________________________
5. _________________________
6. _________________________
7. _________________________
8. _________________________
9. _________________________
10. _________________________
II. Make a top ten list of your favourite songs.
1. _________________________
2. _________________________
3. _________________________
4. _________________________
5. _________________________
6. _________________________
7. _________________________
8. _________________________
9. _________________________
10. _________________________
III. Which of these musical genres do you like the most? You may tick as many genres
as you wish.
a) pop
b) rock

76

c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
h)
i)
j)
k)
l)
m)

heavy-metal
punk
funk
rap
hip-hop
country
classical music
opera
jazz
musicals
other: _________________________

IV. Which of these musical genres do you like the least? You may tick as many genres
as you wish.
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
h)
i)
j)
k)
l)
m)

pop
rock
heavy-metal
punk
funk
rap
hip-hop
country
classical music
opera
jazz
musicals
other: _________________________

V. How often do you listen to your favourite music? Please tick just one answer.
a) everyday
b) several times a week
c) a few times a month
d) I dont listen to music.

77

Appendix No.3 The Evaluation of the Questionnaire

The Seventh Grade


There are sixteen students in the seventh grade, but only nine students have filled
in this questionnaire.
VI.

Make a top ten list of your favourite singers and groups.

Chart position
1
2
3
4
5

VII.

Name of the singer or


group
Fergie
Rihanna
Avril Lavigne
Timbaland
Shakira
Alicia Keys
Annastacia
Ashley Tisdale
Black Eyed Peas
Blog 27
Britney Spears
Christina Aquilera
DJ Shadow
Evanescence
Forbn Bleu
Good Charlotte
Haddaway
Hilary Duff
Pink
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Shaggy
Vanessa Anne Hudgens

Number of votes
6
4
3
2
1

Make a top ten list of your favourite songs.

Chart position
1

Name of the artist and


song
Fergie - "Big Girls Dont
Cry"
Rihanna - "Umbrella"
50 Cent - "Disco in Ferno"
Alicia Keys - "No One"
Avril Lavigne - "When
youre gone"
Britney Spears - "Toxic",
"Piece of Me"
Enrique Iglesias - "Do you
know"
Fergie - "London Bridge",
78

Number of votes
2

"Clumsy"
Haddaway "What Is
Love"
Hillary Duff - "Hey Now"
Christina Aquilera "Beautiful"
Kelly Clarkson - "Because
of You"
Pink - "Dear Mr. President"
Pink "Just like a File"
Rihanna "Dont Stop the
Music"
Shaggy- "Mr. Bombastic"
Timbaland - "Way I are"
VIII.

Which of these musical genres do you like the most?

Chart position
1
2
3
4
5
IX.

Number of votes
10
6
4
3
1

Which of these musical genres do you like the least?

Chart position
1
2

3
4
5
X.

Musical genre
Hip-hop
Pop
Rap
Rock
Jazz
Classical music

Musical genre
Country
Funk
Heavy Metal
Punk
Jazz
Classical music
Rock

Number of votes
6
5

4
3
2

How often do you listen to your favourite music?


Frequency

Number of votes
6
2

Everyday
Several times a week

The Eighth Grade


There are 18 pupils in this group out of which twelve filled this questionnaire.
VI.

Make a top ten list of your favourite singers and groups.

79

Chart position
1

Name of the singer or


group
Kotrafakt
Linkin Park
Pussy Cat Dolls
Eminem
Iron Maiden
Korn
Lordi
2 Pac
4 lyn
50 Cent
A16
Atomic Kittens
Avril Lavigne
Black Eyed Peas
Black Sabbath
Britney Spears
Bruce Dickinson
Ceasars Palace
D 12
Dr. Dre
Eazy E
Fergie
Gamma Ray
H16
Helloween
Ice-T
Judas Priest
Liqido
Manowar
MC Eight
Motorhead
N.W.A.
Nightwish
Peaches
Puddle of Mudd
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Rytmus
Sharpe 4
Snoop Dogg
Sounds To Consume
Suga Babes
Tafrob
The Game
The Sounds
Weeser
WU Tang

80

Number of votes
3

VII.

Make a top ten list of your favourite songs.

Chart position
1

VIII.

Number of votes
2

Which of these musical genres do you like the most?

Chart position
1
2
3
4
5
6

IX.

Name of the artist and


song
Britney Spears - "Piece of
Me"
Pussy Cat Dolls "Dontcha"
Avril Lavigne "My
World", "Skater Boy",
"Tomorrow"
Enrique Iglesias "Do You
Know"
Fergie - "Big Girls Dont
Cry"
Flipsyde "Happy
Birthday"
One Republic "Apologize"
Pussy Cat Dolls
"Buttons", "Beep"
Rihanna "Dont Stop the
Music"
The Pointer Sisters
"Jump"

Musical genre
Hip-hop
Rock
Pop
Rap
Heavy-Metal
Punk
Funk
Jazz

Number of votes
9
8
6
3
2
1

Which of these musical genres do you like the least?

Chart position
1
2
3
4

Musical genre
Opera
Country
Heavy Metal
Classical music
Jazz
Musicals
81

Number of votes
9
8
7
6

Punk
Funk
Hip-hop
Rap
Pop
Rock

X.

3
1

How often do you listen to your favourite music?


Frequency

Number of votes
11
1

Everyday
Several times a week

The Ninth Grade


This group consists of eighteen pupils and the number of students who have
filled this questionnaire is sixteen.

VI.

Make a top ten list of your favourite singers and groups.

Chart position
1.
2.
3.

4.

5.

Name of the singer or


group
50 Cent
Eminem
Avril Lavigne
Blink 185
Cypress Hill
DJ Tiesto
Good Charlotte
Linkin Park
Omix
Rihanna
Green Day
Kontrafakt
Lordi
Nirvana
Prodigy
Pussy Cat Dolls
Red Hot Chily Peppers
Rytmus
Sum 41
Tafrob
Usher
+ 44
2 Pac

82

Number of votes
6
5
3

A Fire Inside (AFI)


Angels and Airwaves
Anti-Flag
Kanye West
AC/DC
Barclei
Basement Jaxx
Berry White
Billy Matent
Billy Patent
Britney Spears
Bushido
Cascada
Diams
Disgrafix
DJ Kappa
Fergie
Fort Minor
High School Musical
Jamiroquai
Jennifer Lopez
Lady Sovereigh
Madonna
Miky Mora
Missy Elliot
Monkey Business
Nas
Nelly Furtado
NeYo
Outcast
Pablo Pith
Placebo
Plan White t/ s
Ramones
Redman a Metodman
Scooter
Sex Pistols
Shakira
Simple Plan
Snoop Doggy Dog
The Casulties
The Game
The Unseen
Twisted Sisters
Tyra Banks
US5

VII.

Make a top ten list of your favourite songs

83

Chart position
1.
2.
3.

Name of the artist and


song
Blink 182 "I Miss You"
Prodigy "Voodoo"
+44 "No, It Isnt"
50 Cent - "If I Can",
"Pimpin", "A Yo"
Technology
AFI "The Day of Phoenix"
Angels and Airwavew
"Call to Arms"
Anti-Flag "This Is the
End", "Love Like Winter"
Avril Lavigne - "Hot"
Basement Jaxx "Good
Luck"
Billy Patent "Fallen
Leaves"
Blink 182 "Feeling This,
Down"
Britney Spears - "Gimme
More"
Cancada "What Hurts the
Most"
Cypress Hill "Hitso from
the Bong", "Boom Biddy
Bye Bye"
DJ Tiesto - "Flight 643"
DJ Which FMD
"Straight from da Heart"
Eminem "Mockingbird",
"Mite"
Flypside "Train"
Fort- Mindr "Remember"
Glen Hansard and Markta
Irglov "Falling Slowly"
Good Charlote "AM
Black"
Good Charlote "Missery"
High School Musica "Bet
on It"
Jamiroquai "Cosmic Girl"
Kanye West "Stronger"
Lil Mama "Lip Gloss"
Linkin Park "Numb, In the
End", "What Ive Don"e
Nas - "I Can"
Omix "Slam"
Outcast "Hey Ya"

84

Number of votes
4
3
1

Pavemore "Misery"
Baiencese
Peter Pable "Step Up"
Placebo - "Every"
Plan White ts - "Hey There
Delilah"
Rihanna "Dont Stop the
Music"
Rihanna Feat. NeYo - "Hate
that I love You"
Samantha Jade "Step Up"
Scooter "The Bottom"
Sex Pistols "EMI", "Good
Save the Queen"
Snoot Dogg - "Xibith"
US5 "Work Your Body"
Usher "Caught Up"
Usher "Yeah"
Xzibit "Get Your Walk
On, Bye Now"

VIII.

Which of these musical genres do you like to most?

Chart position
1
2

3
4
5

IX.

Number of votes
12
7

6
4
1

Which of these musical genres do you like the least?

Chart position
1
2

3
4
5
6
7
8

X.

Musical genre
Hip-hop
Pop
Rock
Punk
Rap
Heavy Metal
Funk
Jazz

Musical genre
Opera
Country
Classical Music
Musicals
Jazz
Heavy Metal
Funk
Rock
Rap
Pop
Punk

How often do you listen to your favourite music?


85

Number of votes
13
11

8
7
6
4
3
2

Frequency
Everyday
A few times a month

Number of votes
15
1

Overall results
The total number of students who filled the questionnaire is fifty.
VII.
VIII.

Make a top ten list of your favourite singers and groups.


Chart position

1.

2.
3.
4.
5

IX.

Name of the singer or


group
50 Cent
Avril Lavigne
Eminem
Fergie
Rihanna
Linkin Park
Kontrafakt
Pussy Cat Dolls
Lordi
Blink 185
Britney Spears
Cypress Hill
DJ Tiesto
Good Charlotte
Omix
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Shakira
Timbaland

Number of votes
7

6
5
4
3

Make a top ten list of your favourite songs.


Chart position
1.
2.

3.

Name of the artist and


song
Blink 182 "I Miss You"
Prodigy "Voodoo"
Britney Spears - "Piece of
Me"
Fergie - "Big Girls Dont
Cry"
Rihanna "Dont Stop the
Music"
Rihanna "Umbrella"
Pussy Cat Dolls
"Dontcha"

86

Number of votes
4
3

X.

Which of these musical genres do you like to most?


Chart position
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

XI.

Number of votes
31
19
18
10
7
5
3
1

Which of these musical genres do you like the least?


Chart position
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

XII.

Musical genre
Hip hop
Pop
Rock
Rap
Punk
Heavy Metal
Jazz
Funk
Classical music

Musical genre
Country
Opera
Classical music
Heavy Metal
Jazz
Musicals
Funk
Punk
Rap
Rock
Pop
Hip hop

Number of votes
25
22
20
19
18
17
15
13
7
5
4

How often do you listen to your favourite music?

Frequency
Everyday
Several times a week
A few times a month

Number of votes
46
3
1

87

88