Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Learning Station.

The Learning Station. 

I teach English in grade 2 and 3. Children at that age are very motivated to learn English and need a lot of different challanges to come along.

My experience is that songs are very good tools to engage all the children in the classroom. The level of knowledge in English is very varying in a group. There are  pupils with just a little experience of English and they therefore might be shy and do not want to speak English. There are also pupils with a decent vocabulary and they need opportunities to progress. Songs are for everyone.

The Learning Station is a fantastic gold mine where you can find material for almost any lesson in English. They have published over 250 children's songs that are part of educational curriculums world-wideThe Swedish curriculm emphasizing the importans of songs and ryhms in the syllabus in English.

If you have access to a Smartboard  you can choose from hundreds of different films and songs, all about things you work with in the lower level of compulsory school. There are songs about the alphabet, clothes, colours, food, figures, animals, months and days among many other subjects. If you do not have access to a Smartboard you can download the music.

The Learning Station has also created a series of free, printable activity handouts. You can find many educational lesson plans and lots of other fun things. The only problem is that there are so much material and you need time to go through it, time that you mostly do not have as a teacher.

One of my and my pupils favourite songs is “Boom Chicka Boom”. You imitate the moves and the song, bit by bit. The pupils love it and they want to do it every lesson. Usually we end the lesson by this song and after 4-5 times they are so good at it. Try it and enjoy!


  1. I chose to comment on this post, because I teach in grades 2 and 3 as well. The description of the resources made me so curious that I immediately went to the internet and looked at the page. I found a lot of fun songs and there was actually a song for me to use for tomorrow`s lesson which is about food.
    I agree with you that the learners are interested in learning English, but sometimes they also can feel uncertain if they do not understand what is being said. As a teacher we need to help them to feel linguistically secure in different ways. I think that it is important to support their understanding in familiar contexts. Therefore I, like you write, think that songs are a great tool for teaching. The learners in this age often like to sing and move and then they get the motivation for learning. When you sing you may forget your shyness for speaking as you write. It is a good thing that you describe that the songs are connected to different subjects so that the teacher can match songs with lessons. But my first impression of the website was that it was difficult to navigate. I suppose that it is easier for you because you have used the website several times. I missed a function for searching on the page. For now the YouTube link was best for me. But maybe you do not need everything on the website. As you highlighted the songs in your blog, they may be the best activity in this resource. I think I have to find out more on this website. I also agree with you that it takes a lot of time to be familiar with the material in the resource and it was a good thing to mention that in your text. Therefore it is particularly good to get advice from other teachers about ICT resources like this, because otherwise there is a risk to just shut down websites that are difficult to navigate and thereby miss discovering interesting things.
    The songs on this website are enhanced with short movies which I think is a good thing. I also like the songs because they include repeating and imitation just like your favorite song and that is important for how our learners learn.
    I think you made a clear presentation of the resource, The Learning Station, and I can understand that you and your learners have a lot of fun while you sing!

    Helena Sjöberg 1EN06U

  2. I could not agree with you more Gabriella – songs, rhymes and ring dances are number one when you teach English as a second language for young children! I work with “Right on” and it contains many songs and rhymes, both in text and sheet music. One part of the material is a DVD where you can listen to and learn the songs if you yourself do not read sheet music. The material also contains a glove puppet, Mr Morris. Even if not all children can understand or pronounce the words, they begin to imitate and follow in the songs when they hear the rhythm and when Mr. Morris starts to sing with them. And as you say, it does not take many lessons until the words are seated.
    Monica Franzén

  3. When I read about the website Learning Station I found it very interesting. You are writing "Songs are for everyone" and I agree. Many words and phrases will be better learnt if you sing them, you remember them better. Also our syllabus in English emphasizes the importance of songs and rhymes, like you are writing and I found it good with the connection to the syllabus. We have to start in the syllabus when we are planning our lessons.

    I found the website Learning Station difficult to understand and to navigate. I thought there was a register with songs in different categories but I didn´t find that. I think you better know the site and maybe you will write how to find the songs.

    I found some songs on Youtube and one of them was about colours. I must try this song tomorrow with the pupils in class 3. I think they really will like it.

    I find your presentation clearly and interesting. If I had found this site by my own I think I never had examine it because I find it difficult to navigate. So thank you for your presentation!

    Katarina Johnsson 1EN06U

  4. Since I have a wide range of pupils in my class from one doing a second year in the same class to some who has a native Englishspeaking parent at home I need activities that I can adjust to all at the same time. When I read about The Learning Station it caught my attention since it so apperently matches Lgr 11 with its contents. Especially, as you mention, the fact that songs and rhymes are clearly stated in the syllabus in English.
    I haven´t tried it myself yet but it seems like you´ve used it alot and knows how to get the best out of the website. I agree with Katarina Johnsson that it is a bit difficult to get around but since it appears to be very useful I intend to spend some time getting to know how it works. Your presentation will be a good start!
    Susanne Boman