9 June 2009

Song Club

The activity which my students and I enjoy the most is song club. This is not a required part of the curriculum, but is something that I decided to introduce myself.

One day a week we are given an hour to do what we like with our home-room class. Some teachers use this time for more intellectual pursuits like poetry or math problem solving. but I prefer just having a sing-a-long with the class. It doesn't involve thinking too much (which is considered a crime by most Thais) or being too serious (another heinous crime), but is an easy task which actually leads to good vocabulary acquisition.

Most weeks I pick the songs, but occasionally I allow for the students to pick one. I download the video for each song and print out the lyrics before arriving at class. These are hardly ever songs that I would choose to listen to at home. I found quickly that my favourite type of music ( stuff like the Pixies or Billy Bragg) isn't suitable for ESL students; instead they prefer vomiting inducing stuff like Westlife or other pretty-boy bands. I often feel like a traitor to the music of my youth when I observe the female students "ooing" an "aahing" at my selections.

The most popular song by far is 'My Love' by Westlife and the girls scream when it comes to the solo by the blond blue-eyed guy. I often have the urge to stick up a photo of the now grown-up members of the band who are fighting, and often losing, in the battle against middle-age - I wonder would the girls scream then.

Despite the mostly lousy selection of music it is hard not to enjoy it when the students sing their hearts out. There is something so uplifing to be found when 50 teenagers join as one and lose themselves in the music. It makes the whole thing worthwhile. It is a class that frequently runs over time, because we have all forgot to look at the clock.

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