There are so many ways you can enhance Spanish learning with song recordings at home or in a classroom. Depending on your specific students, their ages and personalities, as well as your teaching style, circumstances, or goals/objectives, below are some ideas that may fit your needs.
- Students listen to a song, and see if they can figure out what it is about. When it is over, discuss the meaning. Allow them to listen with or without looking at the lyrics. It’s more challenging without seeing the lyrics.
- List some vocabulary words on your board. Next to each word write something students should do when they hear that word in the song. For example, they could raise their right hand for one word, raise their left hand for another, and clap for another word. This builds their ability to listen carefully and respond appropriately.
- If your students have been learning about a particular verb tense, have them do something, like clap their hands, every time they hear a verb sung in that tense.
- Give students a list of simple questions in Spanish or English that they can answer from listening to the song.
- Put fill-in-the-blank Spanish sentences on the board or sheets you hand out, and have students fill them in as they listen, or fill them in together after the song.
Give your students a copy of the lyrics while playing a song. Let them sing along as it plays. Music is a great way for students to get the feel for the natural rhythm, flow, and pronunciation of a language. If your students are older and self-conscious about singing in class, then let them listen to a song first while reading the lyrics. When the song is finished, read the lyrics aloud together.
Let students listen to a song while looking at the lyrics. When the song is finished see if they can translate it to English using what they have been learning in your class. Chances are they will not know every word in the song or not understand some specific phrasing, but they may be able to decipher meaning from context or get the gist of things. You can also translate it together as a team, helping each other out, and teacher giving some assistance with a vocabulary word here or there or a verb conjugation. Working together helps students to build translation skills and strategies that they can apply when reading Spanish passages on their own. Ideally we like for students to “think” in Spanish, but that is not always how things work during the entire language learning process.
While your students are doing a craft that relates to the culture of a specific country, play music from that country in the background. Or, if you are having a party, say a Mexican Fiesta, then play music to add ambiance to the festivities. Prior to playing the music, discuss some basics about it such as the types of instruments used and the style of singing. After the music is done, ask students what they thought about it, how they would describe it, what it made them think of, etc. You can also show pictures of people from that country playing that type of music and explain its origins or importance within that culture. Or, ask your students to explore what they think the importance is.
Memorization isn’t always a bad thing depending on how it is used and the motivation for it. You could provide your students with a song and its lyrics, and challenge them to learn to sing along with the song without looking at the lyrics. Add a greater challenge to see if they can memorize the words without hearing the song. Then when you are all together, play the song and everyone sing along the best that you can! Or, everyone try to “sing” the song from memory without it playing.
This challenge helps students to build memorization abilities, remember vocabulary words they can use elsewhere, remember full sentence structures that helps support understanding Spanish language syntax (sentence word order) and conjugated verbs.
Enhance Spanish Learning with Spanish for You! Songs
Spanish for You! currently has 15 songs that you can use to enhance Spanish learning. Each song comes with lyrics that you can reproduce for your students and is designed around a theme so they can be used with your thematic units. You can find them HERE, listen to samples, and view lyrics. $1.99 per song with lyrics.
If you use my themed curriculum packages, you can buy the songs in sets to match these 3 themed pkgs. – Mi vida, Conversaciones, and Viajes. Each set has 5 songs, one song for each unit in each theme. They can be found in their sets HERE. $8.99 per set with lyrics.
All these ideas to enhance Spanish learning with song recordings help students develop an ear for the language. They learn to listen carefully to decipher meaning from context and by paying attention to where words begin and end. They also get practice with pronunciation and syntax, how the pieces of language come together to form phrases and sentences. And best of all, they usually find listening to song recordings fun!