I have said in previous posts that my ideas on why, when and how to use songs to support language learning have undergone a fairly major shift. Before, finding the correct lyrics was the prime factor in deciding what I might use. In this post I am going to suggest that before even understanding a song, you can use it to teach children to understand the relation between new phonic and graphic patterns.
This song, "You've got a friend in me" from Toy Story has the advantage that it is really well known and liked in English so the key notion of "Friendship" at the heart of it is usually understood.
In French it is called "Je suis ton ami" and offers a chance to show pupils two common phonic patterns that occur in French and which can cause problems when learning how to read and pronounce them. These are the 'w' sound that occurs between a consonant and the vowels 'oi' and 'ui' eg: 'moi' / 'puis' and the 'y' sound that occurs in words such as those containing '-ieu' '-ill' eg: vieux / vieille
Here is an extract from the French lyrics with words containing these phonemes highlighted. The whole Word document can be downloaded here.
You could either present the song with the highlights already put in or ask pupils to try and pick out and highlight these patterns for themselves as they listen.
If you have any ideas as to which songs might be useful for teaching certain phonemes in certain languages, leave a comment and/or a link below!