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Using Songs to Teach English Language

Let's have a closer look at how using songs to teach English language can help you out.

There's no doubt about it students, especially young learners, respond well to a teacher who can interact with them on their own level, and that means learning how to put your own doubts to one side. We are all capable of being silly, and kids love it. One of the things you will be expected to do as an ESL teacher is to lead your young learners in song, using song to teach English language is a great way to familiarize them with the sounds of English. 

That's why part of our job, and your training here with us at TESOL Training International - Cebu, is to help you to become more comfortable in this situation. Standing in front of a bunch of your peers and singing the kind of songs you can use with your own students will stand you in good stead when you use songs to teach the English language in your own classroom.

There is an excellent article here from the British Council that explains why this skill is so necessary for any ESL teacher to be able to master.

Let’s take a look at why we think that using songs to teach English Language is so important, and some ideas you can take away from your training with us here at TESOL Training International – Cebu.

Numbers - Finger Song

Music has the ability to stimulate the student’s mind as well as bringing a little happiness to the classroom, who doesn’t like music after all? Music also has the ability to cross boundaries and cultural divides and connect the different cultures and languages of your students. Regardless of age, music is almost universally enjoyed.

So, here are a few ideas you could use when you use songs to teach English language in your own classroom. Depending on the ages of your students you will have to modify the ideas accordingly.

Guess the Title

Before your students listen to the song, give them some clues about the song. Maybe you could use a picture or two to represent the words of the title. You’ve all played Pictionary, surely?


You could print out the lyrics and then use them as the basis of a grammar class. Song lyrics are a great way to teach your students about language tenses.


Songs do not always make sense to us initially. When you use songs to teach English language you could pick out unusual vocabulary for the students to explain, or ask them to think of their own way of explaining the song.

Creative Writing

After listening to a song, ask your students to write an essay about how that song made them feel?

Write the Next Verse

You could play only the first verse of a song, and then ask the students to continue and make there own version of the song. Then compare notes and see if anyone came close to the original version.

Interview the Band

After listening to the song, you could perform a role play, which is great for speaking practice. Pretend you are at the Grammys and are interviewing the band. What would you ask?


Learning English is about ‘thinking in English’ not your own language. There are often big differences in meaning and, as the famous movie said it gets ‘Lost in Translation’. Use song to practice translating the meaning accurately in your own language. This is great for vocabulary building.

Phonics - Banana & Apple Song


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Langrich-On, Inc.,  one of the biggest and leading Online ESL schools in the Philippines, offering English lessons to Japanese students, has sent many of it's teachers to take the TESOL Certificate Course offered by us since January 2014. The third batch is now taking the March training.

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