In this song John Legend uses opposite meanings to convey how he feels about his wife. It is a very ‘honest’ love song. I think it reflects real life rather than a fairytale version of a relationship.
This provides a good opportunity for students to discuss love songs, identify the opposite meanings and then interpret what the songwriter really means. Students then use what they have learned to talk about their own loved ones.
Level: Upper Intermediate + adults
- Warmer– Students discuss love songs. Questions on slide 2.
- Prediction– Students predict what song is about based on title and discuss whether love songs are honest and if they reflect reality. Questions on slide 3. Good opportunity to clarify the difference between literal and metaphorical lyrics.
- First listen– Slide 4. Students listen and think about the questions they discussed on slide 3.
- Focus on lexis– Introduce idea that songwriter uses opposites meanings to convey meaning on slide 5. Cut up slide 6 and students match opposite meanings.
- Second listen– Listen again to check answers.
- Lyrics Analysis 1– Hand out worksheet with lyrics and no explanations. Students work together to work out meanings of each part of the song.
- Lyrics Analysis 2– Cut out explanations provided on work sheet and stick these up around the room. Students walk around and compare their explanations.
- Discussion– Students discuss interpretations. Questions on slide 10.
- Opposite Meanings– Show slide 11. Concept check. Show lines with contrasting ideas on slide 12 and students try to fill in the missing words. Answers are in the notes sections of this slide.
Personalise– Show slide 13. Students think of how they feel about a loved one and explain how they feel about them using opposite meanings.
Do you teach IELTS? Are your students struggling with IELTS Writing Task 2? Check out our sister site IELTS Advantage for lots of articles on IELTS Writing Task 2 skills, sample essays and full lessons.