We did it! I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to switch things up by cutting up song lyrics and having students arrange them while listening instead of having them complete a cloze activity. We’re still discussing the family, and I stumbled upon a bachata song by Farruko called “Va a ser abuela.” Here’s the video:
I had my students break into pairs first before distributing my little baggies with lyric strips inside. The students emptied the contents of their baggies and began organizing the strips on their desks. Once I began playing the song, my Spanish I students had a really difficult time keeping up! It helped to go line by line, pausing the song after the completion of each “strip” to give students ample time to find the correct one. Once we got to the line just before the chorus, I replayed the song from the beginning and asked pairs to discuss what they thought the song was about so far. Once we got to the chorus, my students’ suspicions were confirmed: ¡Doña Eva va a ser abuela!
Toward the end of the song’s second verse, my students were down to about 6 remaining lyric strips. My last challenge: Arrange the remaining strips WITHOUT having to pause the song. My students were up for it, and did quite well at the end! Overall, they seemed to enjoy this alternative to the cloze, and were curious to see the music video afterwards. My only concern for this song selection was its theme (teen pregnancy) which led to a What would you/your mom/your parents do? discussion after the video.
Final thoughts: One of my students, after completing the activity, said “We should do this more often!” while another student answered “Ugh, we do too many song activities in this class!” Hmm. In retrospect, I do tend to “garnish” lessons with songs in order provoke student interest and I’m often not quite sure that I provide enough scaffolding for them to actually GET anything out of it (other than a new song on their iPods). For this particular song activity, my students had a strategy: “Catch” the last word heard right before the song paused and locate that word in the pile of lyric strips. Other than adjusting their hearing to Spanish pronunciation, what exactly have they gained from this? If they’re not comprehending what they’re hearing, as catchy and as relevant that a song may be, how can I expect my students to attain any level of proficiency in the language? The use of authentic sources can be a bit tricky for the lower levels, but this is something I really have to keep in mind from now on.