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The Harlem Shake As A Language-Learning Activity

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I was crazy enough to have my English Language Learner students create Gangnam-style videos as a language-learning activity (though no one reading this blog will ever see what we created since students wouldn’t do it unless I participated and, trust me, you don’t want to see me dancing).

So, if Gangnam-style worked so well, why not jump on the Harlem Shake bandwagon?

If you don’t know, the Harlem Shake is the latest music craze. I’m planning on showing some of these videos to my students next week, have them describe what they see in writing and verbally (they can also compare the different versions), and then have them design their own. I’m sure they’ll demand that I participate when it’s time to perform. If so, don’t hold your breath about seeing the final product.

Here are a few versions (you can see more here):

Here are a couple of other helpful links:

Rules for Shooting Your Own ‘Harlem Shake’ Video


Have You Done A Harlem Shake Video Yet?

Free Super-Easy “Create A Harlem Shake App” Comes To iPhones Today

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

5 Comments

  1. Love this – and also think that deciphering the lyrics of a song can teach much about a culture. We’ve been dancing the cupid shuffle, and then comparing it to the cha-cha slide – lots of cultural references in there! :)

  2. Here I thought it would be a lesson on directions!

  3. Pingback: Ideas for E.L.L.'s | The Real Harlem Shake, Mapping Memories and More - NYTimes.com

  4. We made a Harlem Shake video in my ESL class on Friday. It was so much fun! The best part was seeing kids that normally seem so shy going crazy and having fun! The video is posted on our class blog http://echhsesl.blogspot.com/2013/03/harlem-shake-esl-style.html

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