A2 · B1 · Learning English with songs

Learning English with songs: Feeling Good by Avicii

Good morning! Today’s Monday and many of you may feel tired and not very motivated by the thought of starting a new week, but the funny thing is that some of us feel happy and full of energy because during the weekend we had time to think and plan new projects and Monday is the perfect day to set them to work. While I was writing an email, this song started playing on my computer and I thought that was just perfect to set people in a positive mood or sort of explain the feeling you have when you are happy and want to shout it out to the world. It’s another of Avicii’s wonderful songs Feeling Good. The lyrics deal with present simple, present continuous and vocabulary related to the natural world, so it’s suitable for students from A2 to B1 although you may want to see the pre-listening list of vocabulary below before doing the listening activity.

Vocabulary list

Breeze /bri:z/ = a soft wind – blossom /ˈblɒs.əm/= flowers on trees that become fruit – Dawn /dɔːn/= a period in the day just before the sun rises. Dragonfly  /ˈdræɡ.ən.flaɪ/ = large insect with four transparent wings that flies over water and can be of different colours like green or red. Butterflies (singular butterfly)  /ˈbʌt.ə.flaɪ/= an insect with large brightly coloured wings. Scent /sent/= the smell of something.

A1 · A2 · Learning English with songs · Listening

Pink Floyd – Bike

This is a really hilarious song performed by Syd Barret. It’s a sort of wierd love song where the boy is wooing a girl offering her the few things that he has and sharing stories and facts about his daily life with her. The end of the song is quite scary and I can’t help wondering if the girl didn’t actually turn out to be ‘the type of girl that fits into his world’. I’m aware that some blog visitors will think me completely bonkers for using this song and that my students may even think that I’ve knocked my head on some hard surface (well I actually did a couple of months back, so that might explain everything!). Anyway, I think this song is absolutely fab for low levels and it’s SO English!

A2 · B1 · Learning English with songs · Listening

David Bowie – The Man Who Sold the World

Here’s a song written by David Bowie back in the 70s that became very famous again when Nirvana performed their fantastic cover. It wasn’t an easy task for me to decide which version to use; because I love both of them, but since very few people know that Bowie wrote it, I eventually decided to use this one. The aim of this activity is to become familiar with the relative pronoun ‘who’ and to practise simple past verbs. There are two versions, one with the verbs in brackets and the second one without the verbs.

A2 · B1 · B2 · Learning English with songs

Don’t Give Up Too Soon

Probably the most devastating problem in modern society is loneliness, which is even worse for the elderly. John Lewis Christmas advert aims to raise awareness of this situation. Hopefully, this touching ad will not only tug at people’s heartstrings, but will also make people understand how much we need each other, especially now in a year so full of isolation and anxiety.

John Lewis 2020 Christmas Advert Alternative by NimbusBeds.co.uk | Stop Loneliness at Xmas
B1 · B2 · Learning English with songs

Audioslave Be Yourself

Audioslave image from Mondo Sonoro

The aim of this song is to practise verbs after ‘someone’ as students often make mistakes with these forms.

The uplifting and optimistic lyrics in this song explore the bittersweet issues of life, perceived and experienced very differently by each individual, and where after all, nothing more can be done rather than accept whatever happens, and take it in our stride.

Someone finds salvation in everyone
Another only pain

It’s a great song although, it chokes me up a bit when I come to thinking about how Chris Cornell ended his life. Anyway, enjoy! wauwauwauwuawuawuawuawuawuawuawuawuawauwauwauwau…

B1 · B2 · Learning English with songs · Listening

David Bowie – Heroes

Another incredible song by David Bowie (Did he ever do anything that was not worth while?). This song is for revising vocabulary from different topics dealt with in intermediate levels. It’s also a great way to hear a good sample of ‘will’ for future use as the song deals with a posssible future situation, where two people are engaged, probably in being themselves, against all the odds. I hope you enjoy the activity.

This activity is also a homage to my brave students that come to classes despite having to almost freeze to death due to that classes must be held with all the windows open and that there will always be a risk of catching this virus that threatens to change our lives in such a drastic way.

A1 · A2 · Learning English with songs

Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

In no other way could I have started creating and uploading blog entries for this year, other than placing this beautiful cover by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole and his soothing ukele. It’s a song of hope, to which we all relate to during these times of troubles and worries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s even more than a song of hope. It’s a conviction, that somewhere, there is a better and more beautiful place where humans will find comfort and their problems will melt away like lemon drops. I really hope that some day soon, we find that hidden rainbow.

For this post I’ve set two listening activities where beginners can fill in the gaps with the words they hear. The first button is for verbs and the second button is the same song, but this time filling in the gaps with missing nouns.

C1 · Learning English with songs · Listening

Muse – Uprising

Muse image from Wikipedia

I love this song! Gives one such a feeling of power and recharges batteries. Maybe you like it as much as I do, so you might enjoy doing this listening activity and at the same time, finding out the meaning of some idioms and synonyms. First do the pre-listening activity and after you can do the sentence completion.

A1 · A2 · Learning English with songs · Listening

Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Summer Holiday

This is a good song for the present continuous and vocabulary related to holidays and having a good time. The first activity is a jumbled sentence listening and the second activity is a sentence completion. Levels A1/A2