HALF DAY WORKSHOP
TEACHING SPANISH through SONG
INDISPENSABLE TECHNIQUES FOR WRITING LESSONS TO SONGS
HOW TO CHOOSE THEME- AND GRAMMAR-APPROPRIATE SONGS
HANDS ON LESSON WRITING LAB IN SMALL GROUPS
THE IMPORTANCE OF MELODIC MUSIC AND MEMORIZATION IN LANGUAGE LEARNING

 

WORKSHOP
DESCRIPTION:

I. We will listen to several songs and participate in accompanying learning activities that have already been successfully "classroom tested" by the presenter;

II. Next, the presenter will review criteria, methodology and approach to creating a lesson for any existing song whether traditional, popular, or teacher-created;

III. Then we will listen to and analyze culturally authentic songs, and together aim toward creating a full lesson with examples for each grammar, vocabulary, cultural, or thematic aspect. The goal is to present all of the possible lesson-writing angles (over 40) which I have discovered, as well as discover a few more in the group process. This second half is intended to be an interactive small group cooperative effort as well as a large group brainstorm session. Finally, each group will put their newly-created sample lessons on the overhead, and we will review the work the groups have done, as a whole group.

Several songs will be brought by the presenter for this "lesson creating lab," but participants are encouraged to bring Spanish language songs on cassette or CD plus a plastic overhead of the lyrics, in 20 pt. or greater type for us to work on, pre-selected with the following criteria (all participants should receive this page before attending):

that the song have one primary and several secondary vocabulary themes appropriate to level (i.e., city theme with vocabulary such as places in town/shopping vocabulary/transit vocabulary... etc.);

at least 90% of the grammar and vocabulary be within the target level (songs are problematic if they are "all over the map" grammatically or thematically);

ideally, there be some repetition of structure (refrains, dependent clauses, etc.);

there be consistent use of the same verb tense (present tense only, or preterite/imperfect contrast, or conditional/past subjunctive relationship, etc.); gender/number agreement (a song that describes or lists people or things), or other miscellaneous grammatical structures (personal a', reflexive verbs, adverbs of place, "tener" idioms, etc.);

the song be agreeable to listen to. This applies to all grade levels, but especially for secondary students, it must be something that they will respond to: it can't be "kiddie", yet it must be melodic; it might be culturally "authentic", but it doesn't have to be. Even those who listen to rap respond positively to melodic music as well. This is a wonderful opportunity to reinforce art and music in the schools.

 

BENEFITS to PARTICIPANTS

The participant will walk away with an expertise in choosing songs that are appropriate for language teaching, customized for each learning level. Participants will also take with them a set of creative tools for writing meaningful and successful accompanying lessons to whichever of the thousands of appropriate songs that exist in the world that the teacher would like to share with his or her class.

The Presenter has published a CD of songs in Spanish with Lesson Activities Book, entitled "Musicapaedia: Learning Language Through Music," of which a full sample lesson, lyrics, and songs on mp3 or Real Audio can be accessed at http://www.musicapaedia.com, which is an example of what we will be aiming for when designing lessons for authentic songs during the workshop.

THIS WORKSHOP WILL GIVE YOU A REFRESHING, NEW APPROACH TO TEACHING SPANISH IN YOUR CLASSROOM!

 

HALF DAY WORKSHOP PRICE:

$500 (plus travel and lodging expenses).

 

Please contact the author:

Tom Blodget
Spanish Instructor
Butte College
1562 Mountain View Ave., Chico, CA 95973
(530) 345-1982
blodget@snowcrest.net