This EAP activity is designed specifically for advanced level students. The activity aims to enrich students’ listening and speaking skills using the song, “Imagine” by John Lennon. The use of authentic material such as this song will promote ability of students to analyze relevance of media to real-life scenarios, evaluate the singer/composer’s world views based on their own opinions, and apply the views of the composer to their everyday life as students. The song, “Imagine” expresses Lennon’s view about the world during the time of war.
He visualizes a world that does not give importance to cultural, political, religious differences. Instead, he proposes that people unite and realize that they are created equal, thus they should live with equal rights and opportunities, no matter where they are coming from. The theme of the song is very relevant in our time as it will make students realize the importance of equality despite gender, racial, religious, and cultural differences. The use of the song is very ideal considering the multicultural background of the students taking up the course.
The message of the song will encourage students to express their views about the world, while promoting their ability and confidence to use the target language during group work and class presentation. Strategies: • Group Work Strategy. The activity will require students to work in groups. This will provide students an opportunity to interact with others using English as their medium. As students use the language, the activity will enhance their ability to speak and listen to others during planning and presentation.
• Six Thinking Hats. The core of the activity is the use of “Six Thinking Hats,” a strategy introduced by Edward de Bono, which requires students to “extend their way of thinking about a topic” while wearing different colors of hats to suggest different thinking perspectives. This strategy requires students to interpret the song, express their point of views, synthesize the song’s meaning, apply the theme of the song to real-life scenarios, and evaluate their own learning based on the activity.
As it requires students to think, react, and discuss, the strategy will allow the teacher to gauge students’ ability to express themselves in English, while promoting camaraderie at the same time. • Authentic Instruction. The use of a popular song helps students relate more to the lesson. The language used in the song makes it easy for students to understand the context and the message of the composer. Moreover, by using popular songs for instruction, the teacher provides a guide to students as to what kind of literature or media materials they should subscribe to.
• Brainstorming. As the groups process the ideas they will present, they conduct brainstorming, where all ideas are accepted and recorded for synthesis and valuing before presentation. • Panel Discussion. The discussion part of the task requires students to present their ideas on a given topic in a panel discussion. In this activity, each of the students is given time to express their ideas in relation to the topic assigend to them. While they do this, it is important to emphasize agreement of their thoughts on the given issue/topic. • Forum.
While the panel presents, the audience makes notes on issues they want to discuss with the panel. Therefore, after the panel discussion, members of the audience are encouraged to ask questions to be addressed by the panel. • Active Learning. Basically, the use of different strategies such as groupwork, Six Thinking Hats, authentic material, brainstorming, panel discussion and forum promote active learning among students. The activity does not only require them to think, but also make them move about in groups, take note of their classmates’ thoughts, and present their views orally.