Prison rebellions

Shawshank guard captain (Byron Hadley) and Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins)

Ideas for a film and music based ESL-EFL class on jails and prison rebellions

One of my favourite music artists to work with in the ELT classroom is Johnny Cash. His lyrics are unfussy and well enunciated but tell vivid stories and address controversial issues. The Man in Black sang often about social justice and campaigned a great deal for a then-unfashionable cause, prison reform. Continue reading

Murder ballads

Lesson idea for the EFL/ESL classrom based around Johnny Cash’s Delia’s Gone and a contemporary riposte

One of my favourite bands of recent years is New Orleans’ improbably-named Hurray for the Riff Raff, centred around the singular talents of singer¬†Alynda Segarra, who was brought up in the Bronx of Puerto Rican heritage. The band has expanded beyond its Americana roots but my favourite track of theirs is The Body Electric, a country-folk number that seems to tell the story of a woman’s murder, and the recovery of the body by a female friend, relative or same-sex lover. The timing of this post is also apposite as today is International Women’s Day. Continue reading