A novel idea for teaching English in Ireland

Teaching songs in an EFL (English as a foreign language) class is a fun way to teach English and most students will really enjoy this. Students will love to learn the lyrics of their favourite songs so that they can sing along to them when they hear them.

When students come to Ireland to learn English they really are happy to learn about the Irish culture and traditions. Ireland is a well loved country all over the world. Everyone has heard of our music and famous bands and singers, so it is very easy to incorporate this into Irish cultural classes both in Ireland and anywhere in the world if you are a teacher (perhaps with Irish connections) who would like to introduce the Irish culture into your classes.

Even the most reluctant students will be joining in in no time. Remember that there will be students in your class that will be the first on the floor to make a show of dancing around to the music and others, as for any EFL class using songs as a way of teaching English, there will be the shy ones, those who can’t sing a note and others who just dont like to sing at all. So use the enthusiastic ones to get the rest of the group warmed up, start with one of the more lively songs and even the quiet ones will be clapping their hands and joining in with the fun.

A lot of the success of the class will also depend on your own enthusiasm! Again, just like any TEFL class, you need to do {a warm up|an introduction} to using songs in the classroom. Ask them if they know any famous Irish bands or singers and then if they know any Irish songs. Most of them will be able to answer at least one song or singer. Now you may not have the particular song they have mentioned with you for that class but you can take a note of it and try to find for the next class. However dont worry too much because there is a huge selection to choose from and any one of them, in particular the fast lively ones, will be a guaranteed hit!

What you DO need to be careful of is copyright! Many teachers and schools forget about this when playing any kind of music in class. The safest songs to play are those that are over 70 years old from when the writer of the music dies. (It is advisable to check this before you play any song in your class.) This means that the safest type of music to play is Traditional Irish songs! However, you then have the problem of WHO is singing these songs as the producers of the singers and bands will also have imposed a copyright! This can cause a major problem for any teacher or school who breaks copyright laws.

However, there is a solution! Find a non-copyright version of Traditional Irish music.

However, this is not easy to find as there is very little available – until now!…

Learning English in Ireland is a new website devoted to providing EFL and TEFL resources and advice for anyone wanting to teach or learn about Irish culture.

One of their publications is called “Teaching Traditional Irish Songs.” It has ten popular songs and each song has 14 different types and levels of worksheets plus music sheets and guitar chords. The singer have a wonderful clear voice – perfect for listening exercises! So no more worrying about copyright, or spending precious time finding exercises to match the words of songs – it has all been done for you in “Teaching Traditional Irish Songs, plus music CD.

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