"An attempt to integrate the teaching of the English language & ICT, using MUSIC as a mere pretext."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This is simply a Christmas list for "Pop" songs with different singers / bands:

Wrapping Paper
Britney Spears
Hall & Oates
The Eagles
Elton John
Paul McCartney
Band Aid
Mariah Carey
John Lennon 

Do you know them all?
Perhaps you don't know some of those names
 but I'm sure you know all the following songs...

"Top 10 Pop Christmas Songs"

If you are interested in the lyrics of those 10 songs, you can ckeck them up at http://www.lyrics.com/.


If you like music, have a look at this interesting website: WHAT IS THAT SONG?http://www.whatisthatsong.net/
A place on the Internet to find the identity of the songs you hear on TV commercials, TV shows, films/movies, the radio, ... and more !!
... And pay attention to the good selection of songs presented in the section called "Lists"


The crucial importance
of the first steps

As we all know, Music is not really one of the conventional categories of language study we are required to work with according to the curriculum (grammar, vocabulary, language skills, sociocultural aspects, etc), but it can be the content matter of any of these categories and we can focus on any, or many, of these areas when using songs (with a little adaptation - perhaps).

The key isue, in my opinion, is the very beginning of the whole process. In other words, we cannot take for granted the crucial importance of the very first step: The selection of the music/song.

To begin with, let us just reflect on that. We have to pay special attention when we decide on material which satisfies the interests and needs of your students and yourself (as a teacher), decide which methods of exploitation seem most relevant, and provide/adapt activities or tasks that fit your teaching situation.

The selection of the most appropriate song can be time-consuming, but -without any doubt- it will be worthwhile.
                                                                  ... Don't you think so? 


A few days ago I phoned a friend of mine, who is now living in Canada, to let her know simply that I have created this new blog:

                                                  "English @ Edrissis"

                                    ... Would you like to know what happened?
* Guess what ?
(before watching the video)

                                     ... After my phone call and hearing the news,
                                      everyone kept on having their lunch happily.

                                      PS. Could you tell me what you can see in her red scarf?

                                                 (Answer in the video:
Watch it again
and pay attention to
seconds 0:30 - 0:40)


In relation to Language Learning, the use of music and songs offers two major advantages: Music is both highly memorable (1) and highly motivating (2). As a consequence, It would be unwise to ignore this flexible and attractive resource. Without any doubt, it has a lot of potential. So, ...
                           Let us take advantage of it!!
Using music in our English Language Classrooms, no matter the level of proficiency in such a language of our students, have a number of obvious advantages. Let me name just a few of them, to illustrate and contextualize this new blog. It is worthwhile pointing out that by means of songs, we can simply:
-          Raise our students’ interest, when teaching foreign languages
-          Increase their motivation
-          Break the routine
-          Provide a real language in a real context
-          Assign meaningful /communicative tasks easily
-          Use them as a springboard to deal with all the language skills
-          Integrate English Language Teaching/Learning and Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
-          And, in short, take the English Language out of the Classroom. (Consequently, We pay attention not only to “formal” learning, but also to both “non-formal” and “informal” learning.)
But, as we all know, just listening to and singing songs will not make students able to communicate in another language and will not teach them how to use the target language appropriately.              
In order to bridge the gap, we should keep in mind the twofold major goal of this blog:
  • To provide a repertoire of songs (selected by the students and the teacher), taking into account the language used and the thematic content in them, and
  • To show how to use songs and music as enhancers, reinforces, or as centre-pieces for communicating in the classroom.
Why ?
Have a look at some reasons for using music in the classroom:
“Integrating Music into the Classroom”

“… because in songs language is presented in a stimulating and engaging manner.”

Have a look at some ideas about how to use songs:
“Music In the classroom” (part 1)
(For some more ideas, check parts 2, 3 & 4.)


Using music in our English classrooms is just …

A wonderful way to expose our students to different English accents in an attractive – and funny, sometimes- way.
“Voice Recognition Elevator”

                                                 (a situation comedy by Connell & Florence)
To have a laugh:  
Go to the website of the Burnistoun boys, Iain Connell and Robert Florence (www.connellandflorence.com)


“There is no human society    
without its music"    

This quotation by Alan Maley & Tim Murphey can be regarded, to some extent, as the rationale behind these lines, taken from Music & Song - Resources Books for Teachers. Oxford University Press. (A worthwhile and suggested reading.)

Music is all around. It is everywhere. All our students have their own musical tastes. As we all know, they are really interested in the music they like. So, ...
Why don’t we use music in our classroom as a mere pretext to present the English Language in a real, authentic and meaningful context?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Orígenes y Razón de Ser

“Let the music play… in our Classroom”“English @ Edrissis”

A finales de Noviembre de 2010, nació el blog “Let the music play… in our Classroom” (http://letthemusicplayinourclassroom.blogspot.com) como producto final del Curso sobre “Las TIC en el Área de las Lenguas Extranjeras” organizado por el Instituto de Tecnologías Educativas (ITE) del Ministerio de Educación, con la idea de conjugar, por un lado, la Lengua Inglesa y Las Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación, con la música en lengua inglesa que escuchamos tod@s a nuestro alrededor, por otro.
Un mes más tarde, tras la revisión del trabajo realizado hasta el momento, y con el oportuno asesoramiento de expertos en la materia, se decidió cambiar tanto el Título del blog por otro más cercano a nuestra realidad, “English @ Edrissis” , como su correspondiente dirección URL (http://englishedrissis.blogspot.com), para hacerlo así más funcional y –sobre todo- que resultara más fácil de recordar entre tod@s aquellos que se quieran asomar a esta ventana,  transformándolo en un blog de aula con la misma filosofía que poseía su predecesor.
En definitiva, “English @ Edrissis” pretende ser un blog de aula para el alumnado de inglés del CEA Edrissis, coordinado por el profesor Jesús Canca Lara, con la idea de constituir un claro ejemplo de integración de las TIC en nuestras clases.
Partimos del potencial de las nuevas tecnologías e Internet. No cabe duda de que las TIC ofrecen nuevas posibilidades para añadir un toque motivador a nuestras clases, al aprendizaje de las lenguas y al desarrollo tanto de la competencia en comunicación lingüística como de la competencia digital. No lo desaprovechemos. Lo tenemos al alcance de la mano.
El hecho de proporcionar materiales reales colgados en la Red, a los que todos tenemos acceso en cualquier momento y desde cualquier lugar (y me refiero concretamente a video-clips musicales de YouTube), y plantear tareas motivadoras y atractivas que permitan a los estudiantes disfrutar de la actividad es una garantía de éxito. Aprovechemos la música como un claro ejemplo de acercamiento de la lengua inglesa a la realidad cotidiana de los alumn@s. Seguro que el material que se le facilite será de su interés. Al menos, demos ese primer paso.
En resumen, a modo de justificación del presente blog, y citando a mi amigo Fernando Trujillo, profesor de la Universidad de Granada, en su artículo “Competencia en Comunicación lingüística y TIC” (publicado en el blog “educ@conTIC”) …

“las TIC son fieles aliadas de la competencia en comunicación lingüística, de la misma forma que esta competencia está en la base del desarrollo del resto de las competencias en el contexto escolar. Por ello, cualquier inversión mediante las TIC en la mejora de la competencia en comunicación lingüística, representa, en realidad, una inversión en el desarrollo de todas las competencias del individuo y en sus posibilidades de éxito en la escuela” (y en la sociedad – añadiría yo).

       … As simple or/and as complicated as that!

Esperemos que la andadura que ahora iniciamos sea de utilidad para los que se asomen a esta ventana, “English @ Edrissis”. Ese, al menos, es nuestro único y humilde propósito.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Just a few words (and a home-made video)
to warmly welcome you on this newborn blog
and wish you all…

… a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year  !!

PS. The video has been produced by Victor Ferrer, a friend of mine, for this very occasion.Thank you, Victor! ;-)

Monday, December 20, 2010


English @ Edrissis

Nos hemos mudado.
                      Estrenamos un blog con un nuevo nombre:
                                                     "English @ Edrissis". 

First of all, welcome to this blog "English @ Edrissis", where you will have the opportunity -on the one hand- to learn and improve your English in a different way, listening to music and watching video clips, just as an excuse to work with the English Language. On the other hand, you will also find useful links to improve your  English, being able to participate with your comments/opinions and sharing experiences.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I will. But please, remember a couple of things before starting this adventure...

                                                                      Don´t stop the music!
                                                         Let the music play in our classrooms!

                                                                                                                                            Jesús Canca