I now make popular music a regular part of my class and my students ask for "song day" constantly. Little do they know that they are not only acquiring new vocabulary, improving their listening skills, seeing grammar in context, and reading, but they are also building a love of the language that will hopefully keep their desire to learn the language strong well after they leave my classroom.
How to Start Using Popular Music in Your Classroom
1. Find out which songs are popular by reviewing the Latin Billboard Charts
2. Look up the lyrics using a website like letras.com and scan them for any language or themes that would be inappropriate for your classroom. You may want to see if their is an official music video available on www.youtube.com and preview that as well.
3. Allow your students to preview the video and make predictions about the theme or message of the song.
4. Copy the lyrics, correcting the spelling mistakes and typos that frequently accompany online lyrics.
5. Remove 5-10 words from the lyrics that your students should know and be able to recognize aurally. You may even want to remove a couple of words that they are not familiar with to help develop their "ear" for letter sounds.
6. Allow your students to listen to the song (without the video) at least 2 times, depending on the speed and complexity of the song. If they still have trouble hearing the missing words, try pausing the song immediately after a blank and having them immediately say what they heard.
7. Choose about 5-8 lines from the song that you think your students will be able to understand, at least in part, and ask them to find them when given the English translation.
8. Ask them to change those 5-8 lines by applying a current or former grammatical concept that they have been learning in class.
Here are some songs and activities that I have developed for use in my classroom:
Song Activities & Kits