26 January 2011

Best songs for stem changing irreg. present

@lisajmch asked on Twitter this week about good activities for stem-changing verbs and my mind immediately went to a blog post I thought I'd made about a song with repetitions of 'puedo,' and again, it turned out it was in the dashboard and not written or published. So here goes.

I feel like a broken record, but to start off,
-only students who go on to major in Spanish will benefit from calling them "stem-changing" verbs. I've found it more useful to say things like "repite is a verb that acts like pide, so you have pido, repito, but rePETimos, PEDimos" - you're pointing out the difference without giving it a useless grammatical label and it gets you more accurate input in their ears.
-only accurate comprehensible input will cause them to spontaneously (read: without having to think & self-edit all the time) and consistently produce accurate forms. If all they ever hear is "puedo" and "poder," they won't produce "podo" or "pueder" unless they're overgeneralizing, and then that's just a creative, natural process of language that corrects itself with more input.

Anyway, for fun, here are two excellent songs to deal with that messy irregular present tense.



The Bacilos hit Pasos de gigantes is a gold mine with 9 repetitions of puedo just in the first verse. Have them count them. Have them touch their nose whenever they hear one. Something that lets you replay the accurate input into their ears. Also, you have a 'puedes' elsewhere and other stem-changers 'siento' & 'pienso' in the chorus which means they're also repeated. There used to be a good music video available for it on YouTube but it must have had copyright issues because I can't find it anywhere.



One of the all-time hits in my classroom is Fonseca's Hace tiempo, which does have a fabulous music video widely available too. Along with some really interesting cultural content, you've got a vast array of present tense to have fun with here, including present progressive and the 'g' verbs 'digo' and 'tengo' (another reason teaching "stem-changing" verbs doesn't work--what about when they're in both categories?). You'll also find the stem changers 'quiero,' 'siento,' and reflexive 'muero.' Incidentally, I have never had success "teaching" the hace + period of time concept and seeing students actually produce it until this song got into some of them.

Music works!

6 comments:

Callie said...

I recently found your blog and love it! You have a lot of great ideas here which are very inspiring. :-) I noticed on your post from Sept. 2009 that you have a file of all the music you use. I tried contacting you through Twitter, which I just started, and realized that I can't. So I was wondering how else you might be able to share that with me? Thanks! Callie

Sra Cottrell said...

Hi Callie! Thanks for the comment! I did have a chart of the music I use but it's out-of-date. I still have a lyrics file of songs I use and it's grown to well over 100 pages. I'd be glad to email it to you. Send me an email to cottrellse at gmail dot com and I'll send it to you.

The Mexican Beckers said...

Hi! I also recently started following your blog and am trying out so many of your ideas in my class. I especially loved your post about useless grammar. I can't tell you what a relief it was to have someone say that it's useless to teach indirect object pronouns because teaching them directly was just not working! Anyways, I saw that you mentioned sending Callie a lyrics file and I would love to be able to browse through the document as well. If possible, could you also send me the file? Thanks so much - Krista

cvs said...

Wonderful, inspiring blog! I would also like to request the file of music. I'll be writing you soon!
Thanks for sharing!

Nadinedlr said...

Hi there I too love your blog. If I may request the audio files as well thank you.

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