Lesson Plan for Teaching Speaking Essay

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Now we'll listen to the song while you listen for the words that are missing on your worksheets. Listen carefully and try to pick out the missing words as the song is played. We'll play the song two or three times until everyone fills in all of the blanks on their worksheets."



[the presentation component of the intermediate ESL listening and speaking lesson plan consists of playing an audio recording (vinyl record, cassette, CD, DVD, etc.) of the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" two or three times. During this series of presentations, the students are instructed to carefully listen for the words that are missing on their worksheets and to fill these blanks in when they hear the words mentioned in the song. After the first presentation, the teacher will use the following commentary.]

"How are you doing? Has everyone filled in all of the blanks on their worksheets?"

[if not, teacher plays song a second time.]

"Has everyone found all of the missing words now?"

[if yes, skip to read-along segment of the lesson plan under Practice below; if no, teacher plays song for a third time.]



[After the third playing of the recording, students will be queried to determine if everyone has completed their worksheets completely using the sample instructions outlined below.]

"Has everyone finished filling in all of the blanks on their worksheets?"

[Students with missing words will be advised of the correct lyrical entries.]

[the song is then played again at which time the students read along with the song following the teacher's guidance as follows.]

"I'll play the song again, only this time I want you to read along with the song from your worksheets. Try to keep up with the song."

[the song is played a final time at which point the students are encouraged to sing along following the lyrics on their completed worksheets.]

"Now we'll all have some fun. I'm going to play the song one more time but this time, we will all sing along following the words on your worksheets."

[Teacher plays "Yellow Submarine" a final time and leads the entire class in a boisterous sing-along. When the sing-along is finished, the teacher will conclude with the following commentary.]

"That WAS fun! You can see why so many people liked this song and still enjoy today."



[Following these presentations, the students are provided with the opportunity to compare their answers and to discuss what they heard (Tunnell, 2007). The teacher will direct the feedback segment of the lesson plan using the commentary provided below]

"Now I want you to form groups of three or four students each and compare your worksheets with the other students. See if everyone heard the same word and what words took the longest for you and the others to understand."

[Students break up into small groups and compare answers and discuss any problems they had in discerning the missing words on their worksheets. The teacher will then lead a discussion concerning the song and its context as follows]

"What were some of the words that were hard for some of you to understand?"

[Teacher fields responses.]

"Did everyone fill in their blanks with the same words?"

[Teacher asks what substitute words were used in place of the actual lyrics.]

"What were some of the words that you heard that were different from the real lyrics?"

[Teacher fields responses and conducts follow-up using commentary below.]

"Now let's discuss what this song was about and where it might be played and who might like listening to it."

[Following the guidance provided by Tunnell (2007), when the meaning of the song has been made clear and comparisons have been made concerning which words were the most difficult to discern and what substitute words were used by the students in place of the actual lyrics, the students will be asked questions such as the following to help improve their understanding and comprehension skills.]

1. "What is this song about?"

2. "Is this a happy song or a sad song"

3. "What kind of similes/metaphors do you hear?"

4. "Would you play this at your wedding?"

5. "Did you enjoy this song?"

6. "What kind of people do you think would enjoy this song?" (Tunnell, 2007, para. 2).

[Depending on the answers to these questions, the students can be asked relevant follow-up questions that can fuel further areas of discussion if there is time remaining.]


The research showed that speaking and listening skills are both essential elements in helping intermediate ESL students gain proficiency and fluency. The research also showed that there are a number of approaches that can be used for this purpose, but one popular approach is to use songs recorded by the Beatles, including the whimsical recording, "Yellow Submarine." By using popular music such as "Yellow Submarine" that contains clearly articulated lyrics, intermediate ESL students will likely enjoy the learning opportunity more than using a prerecorded lecture or readings from a book. Moreover, the several presentations of the song will help them hone their listening skills and the lyric reading and sing-along will help them improve their speaking skills in the process.


Ferris, D. & Hedgcock, J.S. (1998). Teaching ESL composition: Purpose, process, and practice.

Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Guhde, J.A. (2003). English-as-a-second Language (ESL) nursing students: Strategies for B

building verbal and written language skills. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 10(4), 113-

Huang, J. (2006). The effects of academic skills on Chinese ESL students' lecture comprehension. College Student Journal, 40(2), 385-386.

Kasper, L.F. (2000). Content-based college ESL instruction. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum


Leinaweaver, J. (1998, June). The 'tuning in' listening activity. The Internet TESL Journal, 6(6),


Nachtigal, S. (2010, September 30). How to use Beatles songs to teach English in the ESL

classroom. Suite101.com. Retrieved from http://www.suite101.com/content/beatles-songs-to-teach-english-in-the-esl-classroom-a244818#ixzz11cMSkewX.

Tsou, W. (2005). Improving speaking skills through instruction in oral classroom participation.

Foreign Language Annals, 38(1), 46-47.

Tunnell, L. (2007). ESL activity lesson plan: English through music. LauraTunnell.com.

Retrieved from http://laurentunnell.com/WorkSamples/WorkSamples_files/


Appendix a

Lyrics to the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine"

[Source: Sing365.com at http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/yellow-submarine-lyrics-the-beatles/52eebad13a32818948256bc20013c0d0]

In the town where I was born,

Lived a man who sailed to sea,

And he told us of his life,

In the land of submarines,

So we sailed on to the sun,

Till we found the sea of green,

And we lived beneath the waves,

In our yellow submarine,

We all live in yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine,

We all live in yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine.

And our friends are all aboard,

Many more of them live next door,

And the band begins to play.

(Trumpets play)

We all live in yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine,

We all live in yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine.

(Full speed ahead, Mr. Barkley, full speed ahead!

Full speed over here, sir!

All together! All together!

Aye, aye, sir, fire!

Captain! Captain!)

As we live a life of ease (life of ease)

Every one of us (every one of us) has all we need,(has all we need)

Sky of blue,(sky of blue) and sea green,(sea of green)

In our yellow (in our yellow) submarine.(submarine) ( Haha! )

We all live in yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine,

We all live in yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine.


We all live in yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine,

We all live in yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine.[continue]

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