Building Eurovision into my (why yes it’s April, how could you tell?) syllabus

Recently in my class we had a discussion of our guilty pleasures and when we choose to indulge ourselves in them.  We talked about binge watching Netflix when you have a paper due, or making cookies when you should be preparing for class (guilty!)

It is mid April.  We have three weeks left in the semester –upon mentioning this the other day I actually had a Senior burst into tears. Stress is high, the weather is hot-cold-rainy-snowing-sleet, papers and projects are coming due, and people are crawling to the finish line.

Sounds like a PERFECT time to create a speaking assignment with Eurovision Song Contest music videos!

Thanks to the lovely folks at What Else is On TV and their amazing knowledge of all things Eurovision, I asked them for a selection of videos of past present/contestants where the song was in a language other than English. My idea was to have my students choose their favorite video and tell a fantastic (in all senses of that word) story, in Spanish, about what they thought was going on.

We practiced in class with Edurne’s 2015 entry for Spain.  The tired, the cranky and the stressed out members of my class erupted in laughter…. incredulous about what they were watching.  I know, I know…this video is pretty gosh darn terrific on SO many levels.

Here is the playlist I created for them. The assignment is this:  Using a variety of tenses (as appropriate) and a varied vocabulary, choose one video  and create a story.  Talk about the artist, the song they are singing and what it means, what the artist did before Eurovision and where they are going after winning the competition…. as creative as you want to be!

I look forward to listening what they create!  And in the meantime I am watching more and more videos and avoiding those files that need to be organized that are sitting over there ————————–>

Happy Friday!!!

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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