28 New Yorkers. One question: Hey you! What song are you listening to? This clip was made by film maker Ty Cullen.
- Language level: Beginner – Pre-intermediate (A1; A2)
- Learner type: Teens; Adults
- Time: 30 minutes
- Activity: Listening for detail
- Topic: Music
- Language: Present continuous; Question and replies; Intonation
- Materials: Video; Worksheet
Lesson plan outline
- If possible, show students a pair of earphones or headphones and teach them the words.
- Ask students the following questions:
- Do you listen to music on the street?
- What equipment to you use? (mp3 player, mobile phone, etc.)
- Do you wear earphones or headphones?
- What are you listening to at the moment?
- Tell students that they are going to see a YouTube video in which a man with a camera stops people who are wearing headphones in the street. Write the following questions on the board and ask students to predict which one he asks: (a) Hey you! What song do you listen to?
Note: Like scissors, clothes and sunglasses, the words headphones and earphones are uncountable plurals.
(b) Hey you! What song are you listening to?
Note I: Question (a) sounds very strange in this situation. If we substitute the word song for music, it would make sense (Hey you! What music do you listen to?): This present simple question would serve to enquire about the listeners’ musical tastes in general.
Note II: This is an opportunity to illustrate the semantics of the present continous.
- Happening right now: See question (b) above.
- Happening around about now: See fourth question in step 2 (What are you listening to at the moment?)
- People are surprised.
- People don’t hear the man.
- People ignore him.
- People stop and speak
- People think that they have misunderstood the question and say, “What?”
- People say, “Sorry I can’t hear you!”
- People say, “I’m not listening to a song. I’m listening to the radio.”
Note: At this stage, you may want to drill the utterances in the table to clarify meaning. Different intonation patterns can result in different functions. Consider the utterance “What’s that?”
Refer students to the video so that they can access it at home. Set them the following questions for homework:
- Which person in the clip do you like the best and why?
- Which person in the clip surprised you the most with their musical taste? Why?
- Did you hear any other useful language in the video? What was it?
- How many people had to look at their mp3 players to answer the question? Describe them.
- How many people refused to answer the question? Describe them.