Why the PopuLLar Project is Popular with Teens

What’s great about the PopuLLar project and how can you and your students get involved?

It’s a project that is ‘Owned’ by the students who work autonomously and collaboratively; teachers are facilitators and guides to the project process.
It uses the students own love of music as the motivator and we know teenagers love their music. Their music is personal and an important part of their lives. Teenagers are overwhelmingly engaged with music, 92% of 14-17 year olds own an Smartphone or MP3 player and they listen to an average of nearly 2.5 hours of music per day. We also know that there is a huge need to motivate secondary school students, in particular, to learn languages, focus digital competencies and be creative.

What do the teachers involved do?

Well actually the teachers do very little. They introduce the project to the students, stand back and let them run, and run they do. They can ask teachers for help, if they want, and you can help them with facilities to record and edit.

What do students do?

The project asks students to write their own lyrics to songs of their choice. They then translate their songs in to the target language they are learning; this will require adaptation to the music of the chosen song. The students then record their song (audio or video) and share it with other students all over Europe. The receiving students then have to comprehend the songs and translate into their native language and record their version for sharing.
The first groups of students in Czech, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK have completed their videos with incredible results, see the 2 examples: The kids have thrown teachers out of the project and are learning autonomously.
PopuLLar-Piloting in Brno, Czech Republic

PopuLLar – Buongiorno Principessa – Piloting in Spain English

Each participating school will have a page on the project wiki to share their videos and to choose other videos to work on http://popullar.wikispaces.com/
All the resources to use the project are freely available in 6 languages on the project website http://www.popullar.eu/resources.html It is best to start by showing the students the step by step guide http://share.snacktools.com/AEAED958B7A/fzp5bfsm
PopuLLar, http://www.popullar.eu/, is a European Union, funded, education project designed to harness music, the primary social interest of secondary school students, in to their language learning.
Statistical evidence (Source University of Hertfordshire’s Music and Entertainment Industries Research Group Summer 2009)
The most important entertainment type for 14 – 17 – 90% music
The size of the average digital collection is 8,000 tracks = 17 days
Average of 1,800 tracks on a pocket MP3 player or phone.
92% of 14-17 year olds own an MP3 player
Teenagers listen to an average of nearly 2.5 hours of music per day.
(Source: The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine)
Note: Thanks to Joel Josephson for letting me know about this project!
Involve your learners in this project and have them record their first music video.

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