Contemporary Songs and Traditional Literature in the EFL Classroom
Keywords:EFL, Songs, literature
The most difficult goal an EFL teacher aspires to achieve is undoubtedly succeeding in involving L2 students in the study of English language and literature. Young learners, in fact, tend to use books and English teaching materials only to get good marks in the subject. Therefore, a number of suggestions have been made to overcome this problem by trying to create an atmosphere in the class that would encourage adolescent learners to appreciate the acquisition of the foreign language. Several studies (c.f. Cranmer and Laroy 1992, Schoepp 2001, Graham 2006) have revealed that teaching English language and English literature through songs can be a useful didactic method to capture the students’ interest in the activities and themes developed in class. It is generally recognized, in fact, that students can easily interiorise a foreign language by working on songs.
This paper illustrates a project carried out in a Class IV (Liceo) of a high school in Italy. Thirty students were involved in this project. They were invited to work in small groups and were asked to choose a song that could be linked to one of the literary works or themes developed during the school year. They were expected to prepare a presentation for the rest of the class and write a brief composition explaining the reasons for choosing that particular song and highlighting the connection between the song and the English literature work or theme.
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