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Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand

Turns out that Franz Ferdinand are coming to town soon, touring their new album ‘Always Ascending‘ – an album which has the makings of being a staple soundtrack of the summer. Tickets shall be promptly booked.

The discovery sent me on a bit of a journey into their discography this Sunday, reminiscing of days gone past in various places throughout the world, and in unfortunate teacher spirit, I ended up wondering which songs would have use in the classroom.

Their debut self-titled album ‘Franz Ferdinand’ struck me as being a gold-mine, packed full of groovy, catchy songs, which are full of simple language.

I reckon a lot of this could be quite useful for elementary/pre-intermediate learners, for reasons below:

Jacqueline (Present Simple / Money)

It’s always better on holiday, so much better on holiday
That’s why we only work when we need the money
It’s always better on holiday, so much better on holiday
That’s why we only work when we need the money

Genius Link

Tell Her Tonight (Past Simple / Relationships)

I only watched her walk but she saw it
I only heard her talk but she saw it
I only touched her hips but she saw it
I only kissed her lips but she saw it

Genius Link

Dark Side of the Matinee (Fame)

A little more complex than the above 2, ‘Dark Side of the Matinee’ tells the story of somebody who eventually gives in to fame and the lifestyle which goes with it.

I time every journey
To bump into you accidentally,
I charm you and tell you
Of the boys I hate, all the girls I hate, all the words I hate
All the clothes I hate, how I’ll never be anything I hate
You smile, mention something that you like
Oh, how you’d have a happy life if you did the things you like

Auf Achse (Want/Desire & Present Simple/Will)

An excellent track on the theme of yearning for something you cannot have. Incredibly simple lyrics which are extremely memorable.

You see her, you can’t touch her
You hear her, you can’t hold her
You want her, you can’t have her
You want to but she won’t let you
You see her, you can’t touch her
You hear her, you can’t hold her
You want her, you can’t have her
You want to but she won’t let you

Darts of Pleasure (Seduction / Want & Present Simple / Will)

You are the latest contender
You are the one to remember

You are the villain who sends a
Line of dark fantastic passion

I know that you will surrender
I know that you will surrender
I want this fantastic passion
Will have fantastic passion

You can feel my lips undress your eyes
Undress your eyes, undress your eyes

Words of love and words so leisured
Words are poisoned darts of pleasure
Die, and so you die

 

Ideas on How to Exploit the Above

Some of the choruses of these songs would be best suited to just after you’ve done controlled written practice and a bit of drilling with students, so they’re familiar with the form and will be more likely to recognise the forms/language.

No need to play the entire song, just parts of it which contain interesting language. You can project the lyrics with gaps, print out some gapfill exercises or run it as a dictation, depending on the time/resources/effort you have available.

The rationale is as follows:

1. Songs are catchy, so Ss are more likely to remember target language.

2. If Ss like the song, they can add it to their playlists, and will constantly review the target language.

3. Sung language is difficult to hear, so develops Ss’ ability to hone in on the target language in more authentic contexts (unlike easy coursebook listenings)

4. Songs can be fun and groovy; a great break away from written practice

5. Songs provide a context which is usually personal, and can provide inspiration for follow up speaking tasks.

 

Here’s 1 in a series of music posts. Let me know what you think, if there’s any albums/songs you like using in class, or if you found any joy in using a bit of Franz in class?

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