Saturday, 14 October 2017

Pink- "What About Us"

Sometimes some of my students are taken over by a sudden and unpredictable mood swing: maybe the day after they were peaceful and heedful, whereas the next day they look like somber, inattentive and careless, if not rude, to others' concern. I don't know if the same has happened to you, but in many cases this is due to love woes, which can have a "dramatic" impact not only on my student but  on all the other friends he/she has in the class! At times they want to talk about their sufferings and disappointment, but usually they don't and they don't want even join my lesson. What will I do then? Here's my suggestion to create a more relaxing atmosphere in the class, not being too intrusive or regardless their emotional state: "What about us", a song written and sung by the US pop star Pink, which is perfect to understand the sensations one may prove after breaking up, as here you can find lots of words related to feelings. Furthermore this song is also suitable to learn and practice phrasal verbs and colloquial expressions and that's the focus of my activity today. 

Level: intermediate

Focus on: phrasal verbs and idioms

Activity: fill in the gap

Lyrics taken from: Google Play Music 


Friday, 13 October 2017

Coldplay ft. Big Sean- "Miracles (someone Special)"

As many of you already know, immigration is one of the most controversial issues we're currently more concerned about. Taking into account that many of us have ancestors, friends or sons who, for some reason, have moved from their homeland to a new country for a better chance, I just settled on the idea of working on Coldplay's hit "Miracles". In actual fact, I believe this song is excellent for two reasons: a) students can look at the immigrants' experience and feelings with different eyes and therefore increase awareness in other people's emotions and b) they can also be more motivated to follow their dreams. In the song, in fact, there's a list of great people who succeeded, notwithstanding the obstacles they had to go through. What's more the videoclip of the song can be taken to mean both a family photo album and a gallery of pictures; the words that appear on it are quite emotional and catchy, too.

Level: pre-intermediate

Grammar focus on: simple past

Activity: complete the song with the correct form of the verbs given between brackets


Thursday, 12 October 2017

One Republic feat. Tiziano Ferro- "No Vacancy"

Hi everyone!I'm back again after a long while with my bizarre posts on how to use contemporary hits to teach and learn English as a second language, i.e. a hard task for any Italian teacher! I'm glad to start over with an easy listening, "No Vacancy", by the US group One Republic, that many students already know thanks to the collaboration of the band with the Italian music singer and songwriter  Tiziano Ferro. I thought this is may help you to review past simple in a very relaxing way. Enjoy it!

Level: beginner

Grammar focus on: past simple

Activity: complete the song with the given verbs in the correct form

Lyrics taken from: Google Play


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Coldplay- "Up & Up"

I'm so glad to take up this blog again!One year has passed and now that my baby is almost one year old, I can say that it was the best time ever spent with my family. Nevertheless I missed this blog so much that I looked forward to updating it with my hits and here I am. 
What better way than working on "Up & Up" by Coldplay? I loved this song, since I listened to it for the first time and once I watched the video clip, I was totally in bliss. I think this song is fit for adult teenagers as it gives a good chance to think about how much we as human beings are interactive and connected to our environment. Moreover, if you're also teaching literature, the line "See the forest there in every seed" may be used as a link to William Blake's poem "To see a World in a Grain of Sand". If you're planning a CLIL activity, this song is perfect to introduce the concept of globalization and environmental awareness, too.

Level: intermediate/ upper-intermediate

Grammar focus on: -ing form

Activity: fill-in the gaps (items provided in scrambled order)

Lyrics taken from: Google Play Music


Friday, 9 October 2015

Pharrell Williams- "Freedom"

I have taken an instant liking to "Freedom" by Pharell Williams, because it is a vibrant defense of personal rights and I'm positive that also young learners will agree with me! Seeing that the language is quite simple, it is absolutely proper for ESL beginners.

Level: beginner

Grammar focus on: present simple/ imperative

Activity: fill in the gaps exercise (items provided) 


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Robin Schulz (feat. Francesco Yates)- "Sugar"

In watching the videoclip of "Sugar" by Robin Schulz for the first time, I got almost puzzled and I exclaimed: "Oh my God, this policeman is getting terrifically mad!Is he going to kill himself?". Then, I realized that the videoclip describes well that feeling that sooner or later everyone has, when we fancy about escaping the daily routine and doing something unusual and extraordinary. Finally, I found the lyrics and I thought that this song may be really good at explaining the different uses of the verb get and here's my worksheet. 

Level: pre-intermediate

Grammar focus on: 'get+ past participle" and "have/has got"

Activity: fill in the gap exercise. Only one word has been deleted, therefore students may be provided the exercise without any hint and they have to find out what the text is about. After, they may be  invited to watch the videoclip and describe the emotions and the reactions of the protagonist (reusing get+ past participle), too .


Lyrics taken from:


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

U2- "Song for Someone"

As soon as I ended listening to "Song for Someone" by U2, I was immediately flooded with a great tenderness and I thought of all those sensitive students, our society often labels wrongly as weak or unable, and I picked it up to create a worksheet that could be used in our classroom, especially with those that may sometimes be quite troublesome. The lyrics are fairly accessible to students at a lower level and you can use them, in revising not only modals, but also simple present or would/should.

Level: starter/ pre-intermediate

Grammar focus on: can, could, should

Activity: fill in the song with the missing modal verb


Tip: if you wish to sing along with your class, why don't you give a look at this version with subtitles?