L1 karaoke

Karaoke is a great language development activity across all skill areas. Many of our EAL learners love singing, especially in their home language. Using this in class can be very powerful and motivating.


Ask your learners to find a karaoke song in their own language. There are many specialised websites (see list below) or your students will probably be able to find it on YouTube. In small classes you could ask each individual student to pick a song. In larger classes you could group them by home language and they then agree on a song.

  • Students can talk about the background of the song, why they chose the song.
  • Each student or group takes turns to come to the front of the class, plays the song and sings along (maybe you could pick the most confident ones to start).
  • The others discuss or write down what they think the song is about based on words they recognise, the tune and perhaps the video clip.
  • The song is played again but now the student pauses after every line or verse and translates it into L2.
  • The line or verse is played again and everyone sings along.
  • Continue with the next line/verse.
  • As a homework task ask the students to write the full translation which then can be displayed in the classroom next to the original version.



If you wanted to take it further, you could  ask your students to record their Karaoke song in English and  create a video clip to go with it. There is a very interesting website where students can share their recordings with other international schools: http://www.popullar.eu/index.html . The project is called POPULLAR and is run by Joel Josephson. Popular is a European Union,   funded, innovative, education project designed to harness music, the primary social interest of secondary school students, in to their language learning.

Karaoke websites with songs in different languages:

A different language is a different vision of life

(Federico fellini)

Thanks for Supporting EAL Learners




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