How aspiring musicians like myself may feel about Hansard wasn't the deciding factor in choosing the Oscar-winning Once's Falling Slowly- I chose this for the inclusive importance it puts on the non-Irish character who the students are naturally going to relate to in some way or another and the way it makes Dublin look brokenly soft and woozy. I think students feel this way after a nice night out.... or a 30 minute pronunciation lesson.
What needs to be prepared:
1 photocopy to hand out broken into pages for small groups.
1 photocopy to hand out at the end of the session to each student
The soundtrack version of the song to play
(photocopies of lyrics are optional)
Technically there are very few rare phrasal verbs to work through, though "play themselves out" will take a bit of clever pre-teaching. This activity is meant for B1-B2 students in Intermediate or Upper-Int groups who have mastered the phonemes in the English File set. They must also be familiar with the real Irish "o" or the American "o" as well as Linking and Assimilation. This should be done after they have shown consistent ability to sound out IPA scripts for short linked phrases. The symbols representing the phrases are divided generally into "breaths" if that makes sense. I wanted to keep significant pauses obvious and keep the rhythm of the rhyme scheme in this way. I didn't do it word for word as that wouldn't reflect speech. It came out to 60 lines
So it was difficult but they managed most of it and saw all that theory in action.
How it went:
There were 14 students in the class where we did this. I handed out one page of five evenly-divided pages of lyrics to groups of three students. I had removed the title from the first page. They then worked it out taking 5 minutes on their per page until rotating it on to the next group until someone guessed the title because they had heard the song previously and enjoyed it enough to put on their mp3 player.