Teacher notes

Seven steps to success with Teaching Tracks materials

At Teaching Tracks, we believe that these materials are suitable for both experienced and novice teachers.

To get the most from using these lessons, we advise reading the step-by-step guide below on how to employ songs and song lyrics in a non-formulaic way, guaranteeing a very satisfying classroom experience for both teacher and student alike.

Step 1. Breathe, relax, clear your mind of your preconceptions – you are about to embark on a journey into the possibilities offered by using songs and song lyrics.

Step 2. Familiarise yourself with the song. Listen to it, sing along and maybe watch the video too. Immerse yourself in it!

Step 3. Locate the lyrics and read through them. Remember that due to issues like connected speech, the lyrics may be different from what you thought (creating what is known as mondegreens). So be prepared for a surprise or two.

Step 4. Think about the song’s theme/s and what language emerges from it.

Step 5. Look through the ‘activity breakdown’ synopsis – it’ll give you a good overview of the approach to the song and an idea of the linguistic possibilities emanating from it. It offers suggestions about when to first use the song, the lyrics, and the video – crucial for the logical staging of activities.

Step 6. Read through the detailed teacher’s notes and think about whether you are going to use all or just some of the activities. Take time to brainstorm ideas as to how you are going to implement these activities to suit your students. What will they like? What will challenge them? Make the materials your own by thinking about how you would adapt them to your regular style of teaching. In other words – mix it up!

Step 7. Use with confidence. Remember you are doing something your students will love. Don’t ever forget – songs are a great text type with real pedagogic purpose.