Stars in their ojos

24th November 2006 at 00:00
I don't know a modern foreign languages teacher who has not sung Heads, shoulders, knees and toes in the target language with a class. My colleague teaches French months to the theme tune from the Wombles. Another sings the verb "etre" to the 1998 World Cup football anthem Vindaloo.

At our school students sing their request to remove their blazers (est-ce que je peux enlever ma veste s'il vous plait?) to the music from the advert "if you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit join our Club!".

We have competitive sing-offs - table versus table, boys versus girls.

Ask the students to raise their hand each time they hear a certain word. Or give out 10 vocabulary words from the song but include one that doesn't feature - after listening students have to tell you which one.

Songs in English can also be useful. The recent tv use of Nina Simone's Ain't Got No (I Got Life) can be used to give singing your way through parts of the body a new lease of life: get students to translate the first verse into the target language then get them to sing along to the advert (available online).

If nothing else it'll give you a laugh and welcome break from Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Charlotte Becton

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