A year before I came to Gakuho, the junior high requested that ALTs do a radio show in English every Wednesday. My predecessor, and the current junior high ALT decided to have a short English conversation, and play a song in English.
This was a great opportunity because in the beginning, the students weren’t allowed to even broadcast their own directed shows, in consideration for students who might be studying, but gradually, the rules loosened a bit.
Since I came on, I’ve been excited about curating the current English pop hits for the kids, hoping that they’ll remember and hear it somewhere else and think, “The ALT played this song!” I referred to Billboard, but also Kidz Bop and Common Sense Media, as I needed some help choosing age-appropriate songs, since most of what my cynical adult self would choose are not so fun for 13 year olds.
My criteria was that the song needed to have an upbeat and fun melody, have recognizable artists (ie Katy Perry, One Direction), age-appropriate lyrics (“Uptown Funk you up” barely made it…), and encouraging.
In all honesty, the kids are usually having lunch and talking with each other in their classrooms, so it’s usually too loud to hear our songs. Given that, I decided that sharing music with English that are much too simple would be a waste of time.
Now that I write this, I think my next curation will include pop music from the rest of the world…!
For the next several weeks, these are the songs that are on the playlist:
Alesso – Heroes
Meghan Trainor – All About that Bass
Anna Kendrick – Cups
Ariana Grande – Break Free
Avicii feat. Aloe Blacc – Wake Me Up
Bastille – Pompeii
American Authors – Best Day of My Life
Echosmith – Cool Kids
Katy Perry – Birthday
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
MIKA feat. Ariana Grande – Popular Song
One Direction – Story of My Life
P!nk – Try
Paramore – Ain’t It Fun
Sheppard – Geronimo
5 Seconds of Summer – Don’t Stop