How to listen to this song: “We are the Champions” by Queen

How to listen to this song: “We are the Champions” by Queen

Use this song to practice the Present Perfect verb tense.

First Listen to the song “We are the Champions” by Queen

(If the above link doesn’t work, you can listen here, here, or here.)

Second Answer these questions: What is a champion? What kinds of champions are there?

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth Think about the Present Perfect verb tense. We use the present perfect to talk about past actions when we don’t know, or don’t care, when they happened. The form is have/has+third form of the verb—usually, it’s verb+ed, but not always (e.g. eaten, read, sat, etc.).

Note: You can also use the Present Perfect with “for” and “since”, but that’s not the emphasis for this song.

Fifth Answer these questions:

How many times can you find the Present Perfect in this song?

What does “I’ve paid my dues” mean?

What does “my share of” mean?

What does “I’ve taken my bows” mean?

This is a very popular song. Why do you think it is so popular?

Lyrics

I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
But I’ve come through

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions, of the world

I’ve taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
I thank you all

But it’s been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
And I ain’t gonna lose (ain’t gonna = am not going to)

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions, of the world

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions, of the world

Answers

What is a champion? A champion is a winner. Usually, a champion wins many games or matches, so we know they’re the best of everyone.

What kinds of champions are there? There are lots of champions. You can be a champion sports player, a champion speller, or a champion in any competition.

How many times can you find the Present Perfect in this song? There are eight (8): I’ve paid my dues, I’ve done my sentence, I’ve…committed no crime, bad mistakes I’ve made a few, I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face, I’ve come through, I’ve taken my bows and my curtain calls, it’s been no bed of roses

What does “I’ve paid my dues” mean? It means he has done things in the past so that he can be successful now.

What does “my share of” mean? It means a fair amount. Usually, we use this expression before bad things to say that we’ve had similar problems to everyone else. For example, I’ve had my share of fights, or I’ve made my share of mistakes.

What does “I’ve taken my bows” mean? At the end of a popular show or concert, a performer will bow. He means that he’s had good, popular shows.

This is a very popular song. Why do you think it is so popular? This is an opinion question. What do you think?

Do you have more questions about this song? Ask in the comments.

How to listen to this song: “All My Loving” by The Beatles

How to listen to this song: “All My Loving” The Beatles

Use this song to practice the Future Simple verb tense.

First Listen to the song “All My Loving” by The Beatles. If the above link doesn’t work, you can listen here, here, or here.

Second Answer this question: What do you think this song is about?

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth Think about the Future Simple verb tense. Future Simple is “will + the verb” For example: “I will go tomorrow” (or “I’ll go tomorrow”). In English, we use Future Simple for predictions about the future.Click here for more information, and practice exercises.

Fifth Look at the lyrics in the song. How many times can you find uses of Future simple? What predictions are there?

Sixth Answer these questions:

Why does he sing: “Tomorrow I’ll miss you.” Why will he miss her?

“I’ll always be true” means that he will not get a different girl. Do you believe him?

He sings: “I…hope that my dreams will come true.” What are his dreams? How can they “come true”?

Lyrics

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you.
Tomorrow I’ll miss you.
Remember I’ll always be true.
And then while I’m away,
I’ll write home every day,
and I’ll send all my loving to you.

I’ll pretend that I’m kissing,
the lips I am missing,
and hope that my dreams will come true.
And then while I’m away,
I’ll write home every day,
and I’ll send all my loving to you.

All my loving, I will send to you.
All my loving, darling I’ll be true.

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you.
Tomorrow I’ll miss you.
Remember I’ll always be true.
And then while I’m away,
I’ll write home every day,
and I’ll send all my loving to you.

All my loving, I will send to you.
All my loving, darling I’ll be true.
All my loving, all my loving ooh,
all my loving, I will send to you.

Answers

Why does he sing: “Tomorrow I’ll miss you.” Why will he miss her?

He’ll miss her because he is leaving tomorrow.

“I’ll always be true” means that he will not get a different girl. Do you believe him?

Yes I do, because… OR No I don’t, because…

He sings: “I…hope that my dreams will come true.” What are his dreams? How can they “come true”?

He hopes to kiss her and be with her. To “come true” means to be true in the future. For example, if my dream is to live in France and I move to France, then my dream came true.

How to listen to this song: Halo by Beyonce

How to listen to this song: “Halo” by Beyonce

Listen to the song three times. (You can listen here, here, or here.) After each time, there are some questions you should try to answer. Before you listen the third time, read the lyrics. Also read the lyrics while you listen for the third time. At the end, you can find the answers. Enjoy.

First Listening Questions

What is this song about?

What is a “halo”?

Second Listening Questions

What does “I can see your halo” mean?

How does Beyonce feel about the man?

Is this a new or an old relationship?

Now read the lyrics.

Remember those walls I built
Well, baby they’re tumbling down
And they didn’t even put up a fight
They didn’t even make up a sound

I found a way to let you in
But I never really had a doubt
Standing in the light of your halo
I got my angel now

It’s like I’ve been awakened
Every rule I had you breakin’
It’s the risk that I’m takin’
I ain’t never gonna shut you out

Everywhere I’m looking now
I’m surrounded by your embrace
Baby I can see your halo
You know you’re my saving grace

You’re everything I need and more
It’s written all over your face
Baby I can feel your halo
Pray it won’t fade away

I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo
I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo

Hit me like a ray of sun
Burning through my darkest night
You’re the only one that I want
Think I’m addicted to your light

I swore I’d never fall again
But this don’t even feel like falling
Gravity can’t forget
To pull me back to the ground again

Feels like I’ve been awakened
Every rule I had you breakin’
The risk that I’m takin’
I’m never gonna shut you out

Everywhere I’m looking now
I’m surrounded by your embrace
Baby I can feel your halo
Pray it won’t fade away

I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo
I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo
Halo, halo

Everywhere I’m looking now
I’m surrounded by your embrace
Baby I can see your halo
You know you’re my saving grace

You’re everything I need and more
It’s written all over your face
Baby I can feel your halo
Pray it won’t fade away

I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo
I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo

Third Listening Questions

“Remember those walls I built” means emotional walls. What are emotional walls? Why are they “tumbling down”?

How does Beyonce feel when she is near her man? How do you know?

She says “every rule I had I’m breaking”. What rules do you think she had in the past?

What does “think I’m addicted to your light” mean?

She says “swore I’d never fall again”. “Swore” is the past tense of swear. To swear means to promise. So, she promised to never fall again. Do you know what two words normally follow “fall”?

What does “you’re my saving grace” mean?

A Little Extra

Go ahead and check the answers below. If you’d like to work with this song a little bit more, here are three things you might do.

Can you find all the times in the song where there is no subject in the sentence?

What examples of non-standard English can you find?

First Listening Answers

What is this song about? This song is about a girl who really likes a boy.

What is a “halo”? A halo is a ring of light above someone’s head. Usually, angels have halos.

Second Listening Answers

What does “I can see your halo” mean? It means that she can see and feel how special he his. He’s like an angel. He’s a very good guy.

How does Beyonce feel about the man? She loves him.

Is this a new or an old relationship? She doesn’t say, but probably it’s a new relationship because she talks about being awakened and some other things.

Third Listening Answers

“Remember those walls I built” means emotional walls. What are emotional walls? Why are they “tumbling down”? Emotional walls stop us from becoming close to another person. Like saying “I won’t share my feelings because I don’t want to be hurt.” They’re tumbling down because she is getting close to him. Tumbling means falling.

How does Beyonce feel when she is near her man? How do you know? She feels very good. For example, she says “I got my angel now” and “You’re everything I need and more”.

She says “every rule I had I’m breaking”. What rules do you think she had in the past? We can’t know for sure, but probably her rules were about not becoming close to someone. For example, maybe she said that she would never tell some secrets. Or she would never become too close to someone.

What does “think I’m addicted to your light” mean? It means that he is so good that she can’t stop loving him.

She says “swore I’d never fall again”. “Swore” is the past tense of swear. To swear means to promise. So, she promised to never fall again. Do you know what two words normally follow “fall”. In love. The full expression is to fall in love.

What does “you’re my saving grace” mean? It means that he saved her.

Do you have more questions about this song? Ask in the comments!

Using Songs to Teach Grammar

Using Songs To Teach Grammar

UPDATE (Sep.14.2010) Click here to see all the posts about using songs to teach grammar.

Grammar is the life of a language. Grammar is what holds it all together. Grammar gives a language its personality, its beauty, its breath.

Grammar, some might argue, is boring.

But we can all agree that using songs is a great way to teach grammar. Here’s a list of eleven songs and the grammar you might teach with them*

Future Simple (Passive)—Maroon 5 “She Will Be Loved”

Passive Voice—The Beatles “All You Need Is Love”

Present/Future Continuous—Ayo “Down On My Knees”

“I’d rather”—Kings of Convenience “I’d Rather Dance”

Verb Tense Review—The Beatles “In My Life”

Using Modals to talk about the past, present and future—Muse “Resistance”

Various Past Tenses—Human League “Don’t You Want Me?”

Present Simple—Queen “Somebody to Love”

Present Unreal/2nd Conditional—Bare Naked Ladies “If I Had A Million Dollars”

Present Unreal/2nd Conditional—Wizard of Oz “If I Only Had a Brain”

Present Unreal/2nd Conditional—Beyonce—If I Were a Boy

* You can use these songs in many ways. Here’s one:

(1) Listen to the song.

(2) Explain the targeted grammar.

(3) Have the students do some simple exercises.

(4) Print off and pass out the lyrics.

(5) Have the student underline the targeted grammar while you listen.

(6) Have the students write something related to the song using the targeted grammar.

Studying with Songs

Student Self Study: How to listen to music

Everybody knows that if you listen to a lot of music in English, then it’s easier for you to learn English. Listening to English music helps you learn faster. Just think about the people you know that speak English really well. How many of them listen to a lot of English?

Why is this true? Imagine that you learn a new English word. Let’s say the word is “poisonous”. It means that something is harmful, usually if you eat or drink it. For example: You can’t drink that. It’s poisonous. If you drink it, then you’ll die. But, now let’s say you learn the word “toxic”. It means the same thing as “poisonous”. For example: You can’t drink that. It’s toxic. If you drink it, then you’ll die.

Which word is easier to learn? Well, in 2004 the answer was “toxic” because we kept hearing “Toxic” by Britney Spears on the radio.

The same is true for everything in English. Grammar, pronunciation—listening to music reinforces them. For example, “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles, is great reinforcement for the passive voice.

And don’t think that studying in a classroom has to come first. If you heard “Toxic” 20 times and then looked it up in a dictionary, then you’d never forget what it means. So, listening to songs can be a great way to prepare yourself to learn more in the future.

You don’t have to do anything else. Just listen a lot! But, you can do more. Here are five ways to really get the most out of songs.

Five ways to really learn a lot using songs

#1 Look up the lyrics. (The lyrics are the words in a song.) If you go to Google and search for your song’s title and the word “lyrics” you can easily find the lyrics to your song.

Try it. Go to google.com and search for “toxic lyrics”.

#2 Before you look up the lyrics, try to write them down yourself. You’ll become better at listening for details if you do.

#3 Can you sing? It doesn’t matter. Even if you sing by yourself, it’ll be good for your memory, so don’t be shy, sing along with the song.

Sometimes it’s really hard to understand English because people speak too fast. If you can sing along with a song, you’ll get used to listening to English quickly. It will also improve your pronunciation, intonation, and stressing of words.

#4 Memorize some or all of the lyrics. Then you can sing them anywhere!

#5 Share a song with a friend. If you teach a song to a friend, then you’ll really remember it well.

Tip: If you don’t know the words, this is a great online dictionary

http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/

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