What Does Pektopah Mean?

14 Nov

This song is based on a true story. It’s probably not very funny unless you’ve been to Russia, or Ukraine, or other former Soviet countries. If you want to do a quick language activity, listen to the “Brief -LY Clip” … Read More »

The Slavic Influence On American Music

14 Nov

There are American songs that nearly everyone in Russia (and in countries of the former USSR) seems to know, songs like “Summertime”, and “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” But not everybody knows that the composers of these very American-sounding songs had … Read More »

The Animal List Song

14 Nov

This is a recycled version of the Counting Songs. Same music. But this time the singer sings a list of 21 creatures. The song is only 15 seconds long, but from it you get THREE great activities for students. The … Read More »

Teenage Years

9 Nov

This poem was written by Zhenya Dudina, 20, of Samara, Russia. Step 1 Try to fill in the missing words. They will rhyme with the final word of the preceding line, so that and the context are your clues. Teenage … Read More »

Greensleeves

8 Nov

This song is said to have been written by Henry VIII, King of England, in the 16th century. It’s a beautiful melody, although, it’s a questionable listening activity for non-English speakers because the language is so old. Still, that’s the … Read More »

A Wall Like You

4 Nov

My friend Bilby Lighthouse wrote this song. He played the piano and sang, and then I added a lot of wet backing vocals to irritate him. Although the song wasn’t written as an ESL activity, I’ve made it into one, … Read More »

The Number Waltz

4 Nov

Step 1 Play the songs “The Number Waltz” and “Penny’s Number Waltz.” The music is the same, but the words – or in this case, numbers – are different. Students write down the numbers that they hear. Step 2 Ask … Read More »

Albina’s Anchovy Story

30 Oct

Here is a Little Story written and recorded by Albina Krasnova of Samara, Russia. Step 1 Before engaging students in the listening task below, you might want to involve them in some pair discussions on the subject of pizza. 1. … Read More »

Halloween: Dancing With The Skeletons

28 Oct

This is a choreography song… A Halloween dance number. There are almost no words to to this song. When you listen to the mp3 file, you’ll notice sections of the song are numbered: a voice will say 1, 2, 3, … Read More »

Halloween: Mr Candlelight

28 Oct

In this creepy song the singer actually sings to a candle. What does he say? Some key words have been gapped out of the lyrics, but they are listed below. You might try filling in the blanks before listening. Nouns: … Read More »