In an interesting lesson by one of our teachers today, our students learnt about listening skills. They used a song, Cats in the Cradle, to analyse natural speech and the differences between spoken English and written English. By the end of the lesson, they were much better able to understand natural speech because now they knew what was possible. They learnt that learning English and improving your listening isn’t just about practice and vocabulary, it’s also about focusing on pronunciation and connected speech.
Their teacher left them with two pieces of homework. The first was to carry on what they had learnt in class by using the website, Lyricstraining.com, which is a wonderfully useful and entertaining tool for students.
Their second piece of homework was to practise their grammar and writing by writing the story of the song. Here is one student’s version of the story:
The story was told by a father and began when his baby was born. He wasn’t there as his son grew up. He had to do daily chores and when his son learnt to talk, he wasn’t there. When his son was ten years old and wanted to play with him, again he didn’t have time for him. While the son was still young, he wanted to be like his father.
When the son was in college and came home to visit his parents, things changed – the father wanted to spend some time with his son but then the son had different things he wanted to do, like borrow the father’s car.
when the father got older and retired, he wanted his son to visit him but again the son was too busy with his daily chores. Then the father realised that his son had grown up just like him.
This story reflects the problem of modern life – you never find the time to be with your family. First as a parent you are too bust and when you are old, your children have their own children and they are too busy.
Well done! This was a wonderful story-version of the song and just shows that learning English isn’t always about grammar and vocab exercises…it can be a lot of fun too.
Find out more about EC’s Adult English Courses in the UK.