Thursday, October 25, 2012

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An Idea for Music in Your Learning

Fountain Pen
(Picture from Kartikay Sahay on Flickr)
My favourite pen is a fountain pen.  I love writing with a fountain pen.  I can’t really explain why I feel like this but that’s not important.  What’s important is that I love writing with this pen and when I pick it up, I immediately want to start writing.

If you feel like this or if you just like writing, then I have an idea about something you can start writing about.

Making Your Own Gapfill from Music

More than a decade (10 years) ago, I was introduced to a music group called Mana by a friend at university.  The first song I heard was En El Muelle De San Blas.  I loved it and still do.

What I decided to do to help my listening skills and my vocabulary was to do a gapfill.  I’m sure you know what a gapfill is:
We are _____ __ listen to a song now. (Fill in the gap)

We are going to listen to a song now.

I decided to listen to the song, one verse (part) at a time and listen again and again.  Each time I tried to write down as much of the song as I could hear.  Here are the results:

As you can see, it was not perfect but I did listen to more and more and I know my listening skills improved. I continued and did another verse and you can see the results of that too.

My feeling is that doing this definitely improves your listening skills and it is a fun way to do it because you can listen again and again to music you like.  The important thing is to actively write down what you are hearing.  This is difference between listening and hearing.

However, it is important to practise and do this regularly.  I didn’t practise for months and I tried to do this activity again.  Here are the results:

As you can see, I have not improved.  Why?  ...because I hadn’t practised.

So, try it with a song you like in the language you are learning and let me know how you do.


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