Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ for reported speech practice

If you, dear reader, know me well, or even if any of my students ever read this, you will all nod when I say that I’m a walking jukebox. Yep, my everyday speech is full of random quotes from lyrics, and in class, uff, that randomness increases exponentially. I just can’t help it. Actually, the reason why I started studying English by myself was because I wanted to be able to sing along to the songs that I listened to on the radio. Inevitably, this means that, whenever I can, I also play songs in class or use quotes from songs to explain grammar. Not to mention the wink-wink links I insert in my forum messages or in my happy-living good-weekend wishes. Below, a selection from the latest wink-winks I sent during this academic year on the virtual campus featuring The Weeknd‘s ‘I Can’t Feel My Face‘, Deep Dish‘s ‘Say Hello‘, Depeche Mode‘s ‘Enjoy The Silence‘ and The Young Rascals‘ ‘Groovin’‘, to showcase a few.



Of course, when I’m given the freedom to leave the textbook aside, I also use real song materials to practice full grammar topics. That’s what I did when I realized that David Bowie‘s ‘Space Oddity‘ was a full dialogue from beginning to end; containing examples of statements, questions and commands; with a coherent storyline as well; from which I could also exploit the double meanings of ‘tin can’, the ‘blue planet’, the ‘whose shirt you wear’, ‘the stars look(ing) different’…. Of course, whenever I use this activity, I take advantage of the situation to infuse some good intravenous injection to my students of what David Bowie means for the history of (sometimes not so popular music and his collabs with some of my fave artists, including Queen and Placebo, among many, many, many, many, many others. So, here, my ridiculously tiny homage to the great star that was is David Bowie.



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