The last time I wrote about music, and somehow I completely forgot to mention one of the masters of English, the funny, intertextual, one and only Weird Al Yankovic!
Frankly, I’m a fan of this guy and I’d gladly share most of his songs with my students as they’re simply funny, witty and highly enjoyable – well, I can only encourage you to listen and have fun. Weird Al has been performing for quite a while, so you can find a good piece of music for everyone and make a nice listening exercise (I highly recommend sharing the video as well).
Today, however, I want to share the parody of Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. You may be familiar with the controversies regarding the original lyrics, but there’s nothing to be worried about when it comes to Weird Al’s video, you can share it publicly 🙂
I’d introduce this video as a fill-in-the-gap listening exercise (you can find the lyrics here) as a break during some tedious grammar review classes (tenses revision or articles exercises, don’t we love this stuff?) with an intermediate+ level.
To keep the good mood, I would follow the listening activity with some groupwork, where my students could write a short poem about – why not? – their struggles with English grammar or some grammar rules they may have problems with remembering.
If you have time for a small class project, you may encourage your students to write their own proper song about grammar, either inspired by some popular pieces of music, or a completely original one – even if they’re not really into singing, they can always rap (they’ll feel more confident performing in group). With an extremely eager group you may even think about filming a proper video clip – the possibilities are endless 🙂
The truth is, you can use Word Crimes to show the students – and remind yourself – that everything can be spiced up with a little bit of fun, even if ‘a song about grammar’ doesn’t sound like fun at first.