Grade 6 just had their Ujian Praktek several weeks ago. They had listening and speaking test for this year Ujian Praktek. Since we’ve practiced listening to some songs in previous lessons, we also had a song with some missing lyrics. Songs are great ways to learn a language. Maybe even you (and I) can remember how you learn English through songs when we were younger. Back then, we tried to listen to the songs several times to get the correct lyrics and unconciously learned a great deal about the language itself, such as vocabulary, grammar, listening skills, etc.
I chose “Do What You Gotta Do” by Bonita and the Hus Band. There are several reasons why I chose this song. First, the lyrics are vocabularies that they already knew with only 1-2 tricky words to spell. Second, the meaning is quite easy to understand and this will help them in writing the short essay in comprehension section. Third, the song itself is actually quite short with a lot of repetitions for them to recheck their answer. I played the song three times during the test; for the first, without pausing, and for the second and third time, I paused after each verse.
They had two questions to answer in short essay:
- According to the lyrics, what should you do in difficult times? If there’s more than 1 solution, please write them all down. Please quote the lyrics and explain the meaning.
- Please write your personal experience that is similar to the lyrics of the song above. Write in 50 words about the difficulties/challenges you had and what did you do to overcome them.
The interesting part is to see student’s answer in the Comprehension Section. They really get the meaning and can elaborate the idea in their own words.
Here are some of their fascinating answers:
(Note: the bolder writings are correction from the teacher)
It was really an amazing feeling to see a 11-12 years old children can ‘read’ between the lines. The way how they elaborate the idea of the song is excellent for their age. They wrote phrases like, “never give up”, “you should be brave enough to go through it, no matter what the risks are”, “you gotta keep your head high to keep trying and moving on”, “you can not let your weakness brings you down”. How amazing is that?
The answers of the second question are also great. This question is made to get their deeper understanding about the meaning of the song by reflecting on their past experiences. I know they are young, but they are also accustomed to writing weekly journal in the classroom. So I know they are used to reflect on their daily life and learning.
Here are some of the answers:
They are really amazing kids and I really hope they can take some of the learning into their heart and never give up in the face of any challenge or problem in the future. I hope they can get learning about life itself from many different sources, not just school, but through songs, arts, books, and people around them. I hope your life ahead will be as fascinating as the books we’ve read and as beautiful as the songs we’ve listened to.
Happy Graduation, kids!