Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This is a post I owe to a lot of teachers who keep writing me to post the videoed workshop I did as part of the OUP teacher training course at the end of August. I did warn everybody that I had my sessions filmed merely for self-development purposes, but I gave in and decided to make parts of it public.

I must admit that I had a lot of fun planning and doing this workshop and it seems that this enthusiasm was catching, and I was glad to see it happenning :-)

To give you a bit of insight into what this workshop was about here are the main things we covered:
  • how the participant teachers use chants/rhythms and rap songs in their current teaching
  • how they thought this helped their learners acquire EFL
  • what the key aspects of rap songs that really make them an effective tool in language learning are
  • why it is such a powerful tool in education (not just ELT) - a bit of theoretical and histortical background
  • what the simple steps are in making their own ELT rap songs
  • what other ways there are to exploit them
  • how to turn coursebook material into rap songs
  • how to get learners to make their own rap songs and rhythm
Special thank also goes to where I downloaded the free rap beat from, and you can find loads more of your own and your learners liking.

Enjoy this taster and let me know what you think.

p.s. I built the first few lesson with my primary class on rapping, and here's the end product after the first 50 mins. As I have received quite a few request for the lesson plan, I will also put that together soon. So ELT RAP lesson plan to come in the next post...soon :-). I have also done it with lower primary classes and adults, though exploited it in different ways, but the result has always been the same: lots of fun and useful language chunks at their disposal, language they remember and start to use freely too. Hurray! Let me know if you decide to give it a try and of the outcome.


  1. Great to see you "live", and you brought the funk !

    Look forward to your next post !

  2. Raps, jazz chants, love them all. Repetition. Repetition. Simple intuition.

  3. Hiya Brad and David,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I am still going through the bits of recordings that are of an acceptable quality, well as my time allows.

    The ELT or less ELT raps that participants have put together virtually in 5 mins are absolutely phenomenal. It's so easy once you have the framework, so I will definitely try to put together a selection of them and post them.

    And yes, funk with intuition :-).



    BTW, this version was the first time ever I rapped my training ELT rap in front of a large group of teachers (i.e. not my sts) and so I was a little more tense than with the groups that followed, where the quality of the recordings didn't turn out to be good. Nevertheless, the lyrics stuck so much in my head that you could wake me up in the middle of the night and I'd rap it to you :-)

  4. Rika,
    Thank you for the rap! I changed it a little for our adult students. We performed at our annual picnic. Ss enjoyed it.

    Through talks and picnics we learn a lot
    To express our feelings through stress and intonation
    We build our vocabulary ’n useful expressions
    But you need to remember
    When you are having a talk
    To make it real, with useful language
    Appropriate to the place ’n topic of the interest
    No point in asking ‘Are you a boy?’
    What’s the answer ‘No, I’m a toy’?
    You won’t be captured. So what’s the point.
    Talk about what you need
    Talk about what you want
    Make it simple, make it simple
    So here are the key words
    Useful ’n real, authentic ’n real
    Communication, participation
    Our interest, our life
    Our interest, our life


  5. Hey Alex,

    Your picnic rap sounds like a lot of fun, thanks for sharing it. I'm glad you made so much use of the ELT training rap and adapted it to your own context. That's exactly what needs to be done with any other types of rhymes and rhythms: give them a model, and then they rewrite the words and phrases to their own situation.
    When and where did you have your picnic? Do you have any photos about it? Would you share them with us?
    Hope to hear more from you and your sts.


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