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A Blueprint for Teaching Foreign Languages
and Cultures through Music in the Classroom and on the Web


IN AN era of declining enrollments in foreign language and literature departments nationwide, language instructors find themselves facing an array of new challenges. Chief among them is the mandate to stem or even reverse the slow depletion of our departments and classrooms. Moreover, teaching techniques and material must now also keep pace with accelerated technological advances in instructional media. Finally, as developments in second language acquisition theory continue to place the more central role of acquisition (the mode by which we learn our first language) over that of learning (traditionally the way in which we assimilate a second language), foreign language (FL) teachers need to shift from learning-based activities to more acquisition-based comprehensible input (i.e., pictures, authentic texts, realia).

Stephen D. Krashen, the author of Language Acquisition and Language Education, makes the distinction between acquisition, the subconscious process, and learning, the conscious knowledge or “knowing about” languages (8). With his input hypothesis, Krashen addresses the question of how students acquire language:

The best hypothesis now, the one that fits the data the most accurately, is that we acquire in just one way—by understanding messages or by obtaining comprehensible input. More specifically, we acquire a new rule by understanding messages that contain this new rule. This is done with the aid of extralinguistic context, knowledge of the world, and our previous linguistic competence. This Input Hypothesis explains why pictures and other realia are so valuable to the beginning language teacher; they provide context, background information, that helps make input comprehensible. (9)

If we follow Krashen’s argument, and as my experience in the classroom has shown, appropriately selected songs can also serve (like pictures) as a type of comprehensible input or form of realia that packages language rules into extralinguistic context for beginning students. In contrast to isolated dictations or substitution drills (as in the Rassias method), songs, with their micro narrative-like structure, encapsulate a coherent context more suitable for understanding vocabulary; they also aid students in acquiring new rules of the target language because their texts (when properly selected) contain understandable messages that include the new rules. Moreover, a broad range of songs—spanning classical to folk or from pop to rap—appeals to a diverse student body, enabling the instructor to reach a larger population. Finally, as I discuss in more detail at the end of this article, songs can be easily converted to a high-tech, Web-based format, allowing us to make the best use of the latest technological advances in instructional media.

Songs and Their Pedagogical Application

The benefits of using songs in the FL classroom have been well documented. Songs offer a number of mnemonic codes, such as repetition, rhyme, and melody, that aid the listener’s memory (Abrate 11; Maley 93). Furthermore, the integration of target language lyrics and melodies into in-class grammatical lessons (e.g., a refrain that underscores the imperative, such as “Sei nicht dumm, frag warum” [“Don’t be silly, ask why”]) can dramatically enhance the student’s ability to recall specific points of grammar (Jolly 13). Since many students enjoy listening to songs in their native language, the teaching of songs in the FL classroom can help motivate students to learn the target language (Brady 459). A portfolio of songs representing diverse historical and cultural periods exposes students to various sociopolitical and historical aspects of the target language because songs are authentic texts, that is, they are written in the target language for its native speakers (Abrate 9; Gatti-Taylor 465). A systematic use of songs to illustrate grammatical points and to initiate discussions of culture enables FL instructors to avoid the historical divide in most departments between language and cultural studies, what Hiram H. Maxim calls “the various curricular dichotomies that characterize our discipline: language versus content, [. . .] form versus meaning, [. . .] cultural fact versus cultural inquiry” (12). The song-based approach that I am advocating relies on authentic texts as the underlying linguistic linchpin to connect language acquisition to cultural literacy and thereby addresses concerns raised recently about “how to develop a practical classroom pedagogy that leads students to more knowledge about the target language while pursuing a cultural studies agenda” (Schneider and Emde 18). Teachers, therefore, might want to elaborate on songs with a particular sociopolitical context or literary history that lie within a specific musical genre closely associated with their language of instruction: the classical Italian aria, the 1920s French love song, Spanish folk songs, contemporary English rock, or, in my own field, German art songs or lieder.

Other research has shown that FL students find that songs create “a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere in the classroom” (Jolly 13). Consequently, some learners feel less threatened, which in turn lowers the affective filter or mental barrier that is “caused by low motivation, high student anxiety, low student self-esteem” (Krashen 10). As a result of this lowered affective filter, the motivation of FL study may increase (Iudin-Nelson 2). Finally, songs in the language class appeal to bimodal instruction and may positively affect cognitive processing, since music is processed in the right brain and speech in the left (Iudin-Nelson 84).

The practical application of music in the classroom is certainly not a new technique. To underscore the imperative, for example, French instructors often employ Edith Piaf’s “Milord” and Spanish teachers play Gloria Estefan’s “Oye mi canto.” Italian professors introducing the future tense may use Andrea Bocelli’s “Con te partiró,” while in German classrooms, instructors who wish to stress the accusative can rely on the German version of the Beatles’ “She Loves You.” But for most instructors, music is regarded as one tool among many and employed randomly. Rarely is it incorporated into an overarching pedagogical strategy. In 1996, when I began my research into this topic, I could find no evidence in print of a systematic incorporation—in the teaching of any language—of music into grammatical lessons and topical themes.1 So with the financial support of a grant from the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning, I set out to create such a system for the teaching of German.2

Since then, two dissertations that focus on the systematic use of music in language acquisition have been written, both in 1997: Laurie J. Iudin-Nelson’s doctoral work in the Slavic department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, entitled “Songs in the L2 Syllabus,” and Julia J. Ray’s “For the Love of Children: Using the Power of Music in English as a Second Language Program” at the University of California, Los Angeles. Their work offers a thorough theoretical foundation for a comprehensive music curriculum in the teaching of a foreign language; moreover, both dissertations provide numerous concrete examples of the implementation of individual songs used in the classroom. These two studies make a significant contribution to the field of FL pedagogy, and my own work in this area, which focuses on the German language, has benefited greatly from theirs.

All three projects—Iudin-Nelson’s in Russian, Ray’s in ESL, and my own in German—agree on three basic points of procedure in the integration of music into FL study: the establishment of criteria for selecting songs, the annotation of texts, and the pedagogical application of the pieces. In this paper, I discuss all three stages, focusing primarily on the last one, in order to provide a methodological blueprint for the many possible techniques for using songs in the classroom. In addition, I report on the resounding positive student response to the songs as well as outline strategies for overcoming obstacles confronting FL instructors who wish to employ music systematically. Both the student response and the obstacles for instructors have, in turn, prompted me to address a rapidly emerging issue (which neither Iudin-Nelson nor Ray raises, but with which I conclude), namely, the need for this curriculum to include a Web-based multimedia format.

Criteria for Selecting Songs

I find that the first challenge in selecting teaching material within the musical field is confronting the sheer multitude of lyrical and melodic possibilities. Consequently, my first task is to establish specific criteria for selecting songs. The key is to keep the target audience always in mind:

Once I select the texts, three more steps remain: finding the best recording of the song, annotating the text, and creating the handout. Finding the best version is often relatively easy, but sometimes finding any recording at all is difficult, especially of folk songs and student songs of the nineteenth century. The search for an appropriate performer with the clearest diction may present a challenge. For example, the renowned opera singer Thomas Hampson does justice to Mozart’s Don Giovanni, but when it comes to Franz Schubert’s lieder, other singers such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Fritz Wunderlich surpass him in clarity. And although Jessye Norman’s rendition of Strauss’s songs (which I use to highlight the subjunctive mode and the future tense) is a powerful one, her diction does not match that of Elizabeth Schwarzkopf.

Annotation of the Songs’ Texts

Once the best recordings of the appropriate songs have been chosen, the next step is to annotate them in order to accommodate a beginning-level student. For some songs, this simply means glossing new vocabulary; for others, where the grammar is complex, entire lines have to be translated. Further annotation includes a brief biography of the composers and performers (especially their dates and places of birth) as well as any personal information directly relevant to the song. For example, the poem “Wanderers Nachtlied” (“Wayfarer’s Night Song”), set to music by Schubert, was first carved on a cabin wall by the poet himself, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; when the church organ broke, the organist Franz Gruber hastily composed an opening hymn for his guitar; the result was “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”), a wonderful vehicle for instruction of adjective endings. In addition, if the texts were originally poems and later set to music, I find it helpful to supply background information on literary periods to give the students a larger cultural context. Finally, for the songs designated for the second semester (when students are better equipped to discuss the texts), I provide study questions to focus their reading and useful expressions for discussion (“In my opinion”; “I agree”; “That may be true, but”; etc.) so that students have both the topics and linguistic tools for discussion.

Pedagogical Applications of the Songs

But the very practical question remains: how should these songs be incorporated into the classroom experience?3 There are a number of different approaches to the timing and to the manner of implementing music. In terms of sequence, after the introduction of a particular grammatical point and subsequent written exercises, instructors can often employ songs as a springboard to oral drills or small-group work. When teaching the imperative, as mentioned above, I rely on a folk song “Sei nicht dumm, frag warum” (“Don’t be silly, ask why”) as a transition from written to oral work. After handing out a copy of the lyrics and introducing new vocabulary, I play the song to reinforce the grammatical lesson. With some encouragement, students will sing along, which gives them an opportunity to work on pronunciation. The structure of this song’s refrain acts as a paradigm that can be used for subsequent oral substitution drills (“Don’t be [imperative] silly”), which can be performed in either pairs or small groups.

Another song that lends itself to this type of approach is “Millionär” (“Millionaire”) by the German pop group Die Prinzen. The song’s first line provides a model sentence for students to work on the subjunctive: “Ich wäre so gerne Millionär, dann [. . .]” (“I would like so much to be a millionaire, then [subjunctive]”). Since this line is also repeated frequently in the refrain, students often leave the classroom humming or singing this phrase or their own variation.4

An alternative procedure unfolds in the opposite sequence: first the song is played, and then the text is examined. This approach is used most often—and most effectively—when the melody is well known. For example, as students enter the class in which they will work on the accusative case, they hear in the background the famous Beatles’ tune “She Loves You,” but sung in German. The familiar melody not only becomes the model sentence for explaining the accusative case but also helps lower the affective filter and makes the target language less foreign to the students. A second performance of the song can segue to oral substitution drills (similar to those mentioned above) or to a lesson on culture. Students can be reminded that the Beatles’ success began with their first performances in Hamburg and that, whereas in cities such as Cologne and Dusseldorf Germans often relate to French cultural traditions, Hamburg’s historic affinity has been to England. If time permits, a clip from the film Backbeat offers a brief but colorful glimpse of Germany in the sixties. In a similar manner, I include the Beatles’ German version of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” (“Komm, gib mir deine Hand”) to reinforce the dative case.

This method of selecting a song whose refrain underscores a particular grammatical point is the most straightforward but not the only pedagogical application. The cloze, or fill-in-the-blank, handout technique works well, particularly with adjective endings. The eight stanzas of Heinrich Heine’s poem “Aus alten Märchen winkt es” (“From Old Fairy Tales It Waves”), set to music by Robert Schumann, offer numerous examples for students to practice their language skills. Because the song’s complexity for beginning-level FL students, I have found it helpful to follow Iudin-Nelson’s three stages of listening-reading: prelistening, listening, and postlistening. Prelistening involves the use of “advance organizers,” the introduction of new concepts in relation to past knowledge—before the actual learning task (Iudin-Nelson 111). Since the poem comes from the post-Romantic period, we brainstorm as a group to arrive at the Romantic period’s dominant themes (e.g., nature, fairy and oriental motifs, the irrational, love, music). In the listening-reading stage, the students shift their focus to a grammatical task. I distribute a handout of the poem with missing adjectival endings; since this text is relatively long, I then divide the class into four groups and assign to each group two stanzas to fill in the blanks. Following their group work, the members of each group take turns reading lines of poem with their answers to the entire class; then they check their answers by listening to the song. In the postlistening phase, which involves evaluation of listening-reading comprehension, I not only make certain the students have the correct answers but also ask the students to point out examples of Romantic themes in the song, to answer true-false questions, and to indicate where Heine (along with the music) critiques these Romantic themes through his use of irony.

Winter holiday music also easily lends itself to the cloze method. Since the beginning-level German A syllabus at Harvard covers adjective endings during the holiday season, Christmas carols offer an instructional vehicle. For example, the adjective endings of “Still Nacht” (“Silent Night”) or “O Tannenbaum” (“O Christmas Tree”) are left blank for the students to fill in. I include in the handout verses with small textual alterations to the articles of each noun to demonstrate how the adjective endings would need to change accordingly (see app. A). After listening to the carols sung by the Vienna Boys’ Choir (and with the students’ participation) I leave time to discuss German holiday rituals and, in a larger context, the religious demography of the Federal Republic.

Another technique for using songs involves modifying the tense of the text. Schubert’s setting of Goethe’s poem “Der König in Thule” (“The King in Thule”) serves as an excellent example for teaching the simple past. The poem is written in the simple past, but students receive a present-tense version with instructions to return the verbs to simple past, then check their answers as they listen to it. If time permits, instructors can also employ Iudin-Nelson’s three stages to this song to introduce students to the Sturm und Drang period and highlight its themes (the Middle Ages, folkloric elements, and heightened emotion).

Yet another type of grammatical exercise works with modified syntax (as I alluded to in my description of “Silent Night”). The text of “Für dich da” (“There for You”), by the German pop star Herbert Grönemeyer, provides an excellent series of subordinate clauses. Because of the song’s length, I divide the class into small groups and assign each group a pair of stanzas, as I did with Heine’s “Aus alten Märchen winkt es.” Students receive a worksheet in which the clauses are separated into jumbled sentences and must be reassembled into the proper German word order according to the rules for independent and dependent clauses.

Heine’s “Wenn ich in deine Augen sehe” (“When I Look into Your Eyes”) offers an opportunity for students to practice multiple tasks: learning different ways to say “when” in German, drilling the conjugation of strong verbs in both the present and the past tense, and practicing putting complex sentences into proper German word order. As the title suggests, the structure of the poem’s stanzas follows a pattern of a complex sentence beginning with a subordinate clause introduced by “when” (see app. B). What makes this song (which lasts less than ninety seconds) so interesting for beginning-level FL students is that—although it is comprehensible in the present and past tense—the tense dictates which form of the German “when” (“wenn” or “als”) the students must use. Thus the students are faced with three possible readings: if they read the song in the present tense, they must use the subordinating conjunction “wenn”; if as a singular event in the past, then “als”; or if the song appears to describe a repeated or habitual event in the past, then the students fill in the blank with “wenn.” After the students are separated into small groups, they receive a handout with the subordinate conjunction “when” missing and the verbs in the infinitive. Once the groups decide on a specific reading of the poem, they write their versions on the board. While listening to the song (composed by Schumann), the groups can hear which version is correct. Finally, since Heine has taken poetic license with the normal German syntax, the students are given a chance to “correct” Heine’s grammar and return his lyrics—temporarily—to proper German word order.

My last approach to using songs to teach grammar requires no modification at all, only repetition. To practice adjectives and adverbs in the comparative and superlative degree, instructors can choose any text with multiple musical settings and then ask students to compare the various versions. Goethe’s “Der Erlkönig” (“The Elfen King”) is an exemplary choice for this exercise because numerous composers (ranging from Carl Loewe with his simple strophic setting to Schubert with his complex through-composed version) have set the poem to music. In my class, students begin a discussion of the songs with objective questions (“Which version is longer/shorter?, louder/softer?, faster/slower?,” etc.) before shifting to subjective questions (“Which version do you find darker/lighter?, more interesting?, more moving?,” etc.). In these discussions of the text, students must justify their evaluations and later perhaps even respond to Goethe’s rather surprising comment that he preferred Loewe’s rendition to that of Schubert’s. Do they agree or disagree with Germany's most famous author?

Songs can also lead directly to an inquiry into particular social, political, or cultural issues. For example, our textbook’s chapter on equal rights and gender roles (Dollenmayer and Hansen, ch. 16) presents a number of traditional German stereotypes about women. To facilitate the discussion, I employ the following preclass strategy: I assign for homework Grönemeyer’s popular song “Männer” (“Men”), which features clichés about men, as a companion piece to the textbook’s reading on women; I ask the students to mark those clichés with which they agree in one particular color and those with which they disagree in another; and I provide students with a list of set phrases for indicating agreement and disagreement (“Ich stimme zu” or “Ich bin nicht der Meinung”), so that they have the tools for debate readily at their disposal. The next day in class, students listen to the song and exchange views on which of the song’s assertions they believe to be valid or invalid and then generate a list of German stereotypes about men and women based on the text they have read. Finally, we compare German clichés about men and women with gender stereotypes of other countries and cultures—preferably those of the students themselves. In this way, the textbook and the song lead to a group conversation about cultural norms and the construction of gender-based stereotypes and clichés.

The Response of Students and Other Instructors

The response to the use of these standardized printed texts and cassettes in the classroom has been enthusiastic and confirms the findings of more formal studies that rate employment of music “very useful” (Jolly 13). Typical of the general reception, one student wrote, “When our instructor brought in song lyrics etc., that was both interesting and educational.” Anecdotal evidence also supports G. Iantorno and M. P. Salerno’s assertion that “students will take songs outside the classroom and will go on performing [or listening to] them long after the lesson has finished. Unlike drills, which usually slip from the pupils’ minds as soon as they leave the classroom, songs can last a lifetime and become a part of one’s own culture” (181). In fact, my colleagues and I have discovered that students not only enjoy the music but also want to hear more of it. Four concerts of classical lieder by Schubert and Schumann planned in conjunction with beginning-level course work drew large student audiences from all levels of the German-language program. Because of the success of these concerts, two more performances are scheduled for the next academic year.

At present, all instructors of beginning-level German in Harvard’s college, extension, and summer school classes are (to varying degrees) incorporating this method of teaching language through songs into their lesson plans. Although this song-based approach was immediately welcomed by the instructors as an additional platform from which to clarify numerous grammatical points and to introduce various cultural periods and topics, the integration of nearly three dozen songs into the German A syllabus, like the implementation of any new system, did not come without problems, obstacles, or adjustments. On a technical level, the cassettes and worksheets were less user-friendly than originally anticipated. Instructors found the cassettes clumsy to work with. It was often difficult to locate the appropriate song and to cue it up before class, and it was next to impossible to rewind the cassette to the beginning of the song to replay it during class. The worksheets—although located in a central departmental folder—were occasionally misplaced or missing. Moreover, it was not easy to make changes to the handouts or personalize them by adding either supplemental study questions or cultural information. We alleviated many of the initial logistical problems by distributing the songs on well-marked CDs and by ensuring that the text for all songs was included in individual instructor course packets that are distributed at the beginning of each semester. As a backup, instructors could access this material on the departmental hard drive.

Another obstacle for some instructors was their unfamiliarity with particular songs, groups, styles, or periods of music. Consequently, I now include additional background information for the instructors on classical composers, Web addresses to contemporary bands’ Web sites, and summaries on musical periods and song cycles. This material is not intended to be passed on to students since much of it would be beyond their FL linguistic skills; it is intended rather to raise instructors’ familiarity with the songs and in doing so to bolster their confidence with the musical material.

In addition, I found it helpful to explain to fellow instructors the songs’ manifold pedagogical possibilities. What I saw as self-evident was often considered by colleagues to be a worksheet with seven seals. For example, instructors hesitated to use certain songs, after an initial trial, if the pre- or postlistening activities were not clearly spelled out, because discussions afterward tended not to develop beyond simple questions such as, “Did you like the song? Why or why not?” Consequently, I am in the process of providing additional instructor’s user guides that offer general suggestions on how to link the musical material back to previously covered chapters of the textbook. Instead of simply asking students if they like a particular song, instructors could use the opportunity to review the many different ways to say “like” (“mögen,” “gern haben,” “gefallen,” etc.) in German or as a transition to a partner exercise in which the students interview one another about their tastes in music. I also plan to meet with instructors at the beginning of each semester (as well as periodically during the semester) to offer demonstrations on the various techniques for the implementation of these songs in the classroom.

The Web-Based Multimedia Format

No matter how well designed the worksheets are, there is not always enough classroom time to use all thirty-four of the songs that I have collected and annotated thus far. We needed to create a format in which students could (when appropriate) preview the songs before class and arrive in class better prepared for a discussion of the texts. We wanted a system in which the students—of their own volition and according to their interests—could follow up on a song heard in class, by listening either to the same song again or to other songs that treat the same grammatical concept or theme. Therefore, with the financial support of an additional grant from the Language Consortium and the technical assistance of Harvard’s support team for the humanities, I have begun to create multimedia lessons on the Web that incorporate the texts, music, and worksheets compiled for in-class instruction. These lessons will also include a strong visual component comprising photographs, slides, maps, and video clips. The goal is to make this material available in a multimedia format that will appeal to more students; enable them to immerse themselves in the language, literature, and culture of the target language outside the classroom; and, in the end, help motivate them to learn the German language on their own.5 Once the song-based approach has been integrated into the language-teaching curriculum, the Web project is the natural (and logical) next step toward the common effort to attract more students to foreign languages. With the help of new technologies, we can show our languages of instruction in the best possible light.

The author is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Germanic Languages at Harvard University. This article is based on his presentation at the 2000 MLA Convention in Washington, DC.


1In 1975 Yukiko S. Jolly called for “the systematic and careful utilization of songs in the teaching of a foreign language” (11). Although Jolly offers a general theoretical rationale for the use of music, he does not provide any concrete examples for employing songs in the classroom. Jayne Halsne Abrate’s work in this area does just the opposite. While Abrate gives little theoretical grounding for the use of French popular songs in teaching French, her article includes a plethora of pedagogical applications of such songs in the classroom. My work seeks to combine these two approaches and to update both of them in terms of the theoretical basis for using songs and in regards to their application in the classroom as well as on the Web.

2See my article “Teaching Foreign Languages through Music.” While my views on the theoretical foundation of using music to teach language (as well as my criteria for selecting songs and my approach to annotating them) have changed little since my earlier article on this subject, my intent with this essay is to widen the scope of the songs’ pedagogical applications, to highlight strategies for overcoming common problems facing instructors initially, and to strengthen the case for a Web-based multimedia format.

3The pedagogical applications included in this section have been derived not only from my experiences in the classroom but also from those of my fellow German-language instructors at Harvard University. Without their insights and esprit de corps, the success of this project would not have been possible.

4For a more involved treatment of this song that “introduces the subjunctive by function rather than form,” see Joan Keck Campbell’s excellent handout.

5The URL for the course page is http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~germana. It provides some examples of this multimedia format. All the songs will be added to this Web site over the course of the academic year. Because of current copyright restrictions, however, not all songs are accessible to members outside the Harvard community.

Works Cited

Abrate, Jayne Halsne. “Pedagogical Applications of the French Popular Song in the Foreign Language Classroom.” Modern Language Journal 67 (1983): 8–12.

Brady, Arthur D. “Opera as a Motivating Device.” Foreign Language Annals 6 (1980): 459–64.

Campbell, Joan Keck. “Ich wär’ so gerne Millionär.” Teaching Ideas: A Collection of Successful Classroom Strategies. Ed. Lynne Tatlock. Cherry Hill: Amer. Assn. of Teachers of German, 1993. N. pag.

Dollenmayer, David B., and Thomas S. Hansen. Neue Horizonte. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton, 1999.

Garland, Henry, and Mary Garland. The Oxford Companion to German Literature. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1986.

Gatti-Taylor, M. “Songs as a Linguistic and Cultural Resource in the Intermediate Italian Class.” Foreign Language Annals 6 (1980): 465–69.

Iantorno, G., and M. P. Salerno. “The Use of Songs in the Language Class.” Rassegna italiana di linguistica applicata 11 (1979): 179–85.

Iudin-Nelson, Laurie June. “Songs in the L2 Syllabus: Integrating the Study of Russian Language and Culture.” Diss. U of Wisconsin, Madison, 1997.

Jolly, Yukiko S. “The Use of Song in Teaching Foreign Languages.” Modern Language Journal 59 (1975): 11–14.

Kramer, Daniel J. “Teaching Foreign Languages through Music.” Consortium News Autumn 1997: 22–24.

Krashen, Stephen D. Language Acquisition and Language Education. 2nd ed. Language Teaching Methodology Ser. New York: Prentice, 1989.

Maley, Alan. “Poetry and Song as Effective Language-Learning Activities.” Interactive Language Teaching. Ed. W. M. Rivers. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987. 93–109.

Maxim, Hiram H. “Integrating Language Learning and Cultural Inquiry in the Beginning Foreign Language Classroom.” ADFL Bulletin 32.1 (2000): 12–17. [Show Article]

Ray, Julia J. “For the Love of Children: Using the Power of Music in English as a Second Language Program.” Diss. U of California, Los Angeles, 1997.

Schneider, Jeffrey, and Silike von der Emde. “Brave New (Virtual) World: Transforming Language Learning into Cultural Studies through Online Learning Environments (MOOs).” ADFL Bulletin 32.1 (2000): 18–26. [Show Article]

Appendix A: “Still___ Nacht! Heilig___ Nacht”

Text von Franz Gruber (1787–1863)1

Musik von Joseph Mohr (1792–1848)

Ergänzen Sie den Text mit den richtigen Endungen. (Fill in the blanks with the proper adjective endings.)

Original Text Modified Text
Still___ Nacht, heilig___ Nacht!
Alles schläft, einsam wacht
nur das traut___ hochheilig___ Paar.
Hold___ Knabe im lockig___ Haar,
schlaf in himmlisch___ Ruh’!
Schlaf in himmlisch___ Ruh’!
Die still___ Nacht, die heilig___ Nacht!
Alles schläft, einsam wacht
nur ein traut___ hochheilig___ Paar.
Der hold__ Knabe im lockig___ Haar,
schlaf in der himmlisch___ Ruh’!
Schlaf in der himmlisch___ Ruh’!
Still___ Nacht, heilig___ Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, oh, wie lacht
Leib’ aus dein___ göttlich___ Mund,
da uns schlägt die rettend___ Stund’
Christ, in dein___ Geburt!
Ein still___ Nacht, ein heilig___ Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, oh, wie lacht
Leib’ aus ein___ göttlich___ Mund,
da uns schlägt ein___ rettend___ Stund’
Christ, in dein___ Geburt!


einsam allein, alone

traut close

hold blessed, dear, beloved

lockig curly

die Ruh’ = die Ruhe peace

göttlich divine

rettend saving; present particle of “retten”

1Zwei Tage vor Weihnachten im Jahre 1818 war die Orgel von der Nikolauskirche in Oberndorf, Österreich wegen der häufigen Überschwemmung (frequent flooding) des Flusses kaputt. Der junge Priester, Josef Mohr, hat Angst gehabt, dass es keine Musik zum Weihnachten geben würde. Darum hat er den Text dieses holden Liedes geschrieben. Dann hat er den jungen Organisten, Franz Gruber, gefragt, ob er die Musik für das Lied schreiben würde. An dieser Nacht hat Gruber die Gitarre gespielt und die beiden haben das Lied zum ersten Mal gesungen.

Appendix B: “___ (wenn, als, wann) ich in deine Augen___ (sehen)”

Text aus Buch der Lieder (1827) von Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)

Musik (1840) von Robert Schumann (1810–46) aus “Dichterliebe” op. 48, no. 4

Ergänzen Sie die folgenden Sätze mit der richtigen Form von “when” und den richtigen Verben. (Complete the following sentences with the proper form of “when” and the proper verbs.)

___ (wenn, als, wann) ich in deine Augen ___ (sehen), das Auge, -n eye

So ___ (schwinden) all mein Leid und Weh; schwinden to fade; das Leid sorrow; das Weh woe

Doch ___ (als, wenn, wann) ich ___ (küssen) deinen Mund, küssen to kiss; der Mund, -¨er mouth

So ___ (werden) ich ganz und gar gesund.

___ (wann, wenn, als) ich mich ___ (lehnen) an deine Brust, lehnen an (Akk.) to lean on, to rest on; die Brust, -¨e breast, chest

___ (Kommen)’s über mich wie Himmelslust; die Himmelslust heaven’s joy

Doch ___ (als, wann, wenn) du ___ (sprechen): “Ich liebe dich!”

So ___ (müssen) ich weinen bitterlich. weinen to cry

© 2001 by the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages. All Rights Reserved.

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