How a Teacher’s Rap Inspires Global Learning

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Tell your friends you’re off  to learn irregular verbs for your ESL class, and they are likely to respond with, “Ouch! That sounds really boring.”  Say you’re going to listen to Fluency MC lay down a nifty rap to a toe-tapping beat, and friends may ask if they can join you. The latter scenario is what global learning looks like in Jason LeVine’s classroom and online.

Known as Fluency MC to millions of Youtube viewers and Facebook fans, Levine makes English as a second language, or ESL, something even fluent English speakers can’t wait to learn. Levine’s hip hop Youtube videos play to a gigantic audience, helping the teacher/rapper inspire global learning.

Levine was once a DJ, so integrating music into education comes naturally.

It’s not like I just use hip hop all the time. We work on grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary in many different ways, just like any other teacher. However, learning English cannot just be about repetition nor just about sticking to the communicative approach of conversation. There needs to be a balance between both and hip hop is a way to bridge that gap. My songs and lyrics emphasize repetition but allow learners to hear the collocations rhythmically.Jason Levine, aka FLuency MC

A veteran ESL teacher in New York, Levine has built a significant global learning audience with his Youtube videos and online professional development through WizIQ.

“People ask me who my students are now,” Levine explains in an interview with “My students are mostly online. They are watching my videos and that is great. That makes me feel good.”

Levine brings a progressive, interactive style to the classroom, which makes what can seem routine and repetitive invigorating and fun.

Best of all, Fluency MC is igniting global learning, creating independent English language learners worldwide. In the 21st-century digital world, what could be better than this?

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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