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Genres: A Modern Music Textbook

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What is Genres?

Genres is a textbook that discusses of 34 popular Western music genres spanning over 100 years. It is a language learning textbook for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese learners but can also be used by native English speakers to simply learn more about music. Although it is mainly an intermediate to high level multi-skill English language textbook, the materials are so engaging that native speakers can even enjoy and learn from its contents. In addition to discussing each style of music, Genres also recommends songs and albums as well. Included are approximately 500 song recommendations, hand-picked by a well-versed music enthusiast to best represent the genres discussed. Genres also recommends a number of films to help learners understand the genre in more depth.

Genres aims to not only teach about music, but also to teach specific language skills. It is designed to teach language features in the most efficient way possible: formulaically. Included are 170 useful key phrases along with Japanese, Chinese and Korean translations for students to focus on and master. Through these, learners can practice not only vocabulary, but also common collocations and grammar. This textbook is also very flexible, in that can be used to practice reading, writing, speaking and listening in a variety of ways. Also includes are over 3 hours of audio files to practice listening in English with.

About the Author

James Rogers is a university professor in Japan with over 10 years of language teaching experience. He is a PhD candidate who has done research under the guidance of famous ESL researchers such as Victoria University’s Paul Nation. James has published a number of research articles related to language learning over the years, particularly focusing on various aspects of vocabulary acquisition.

Music has always played a central role in James’ life from an early age. He is still an avid music enthusiast and even enjoys creating music himself in his free time as well. He believes that music has the power to heal, inspire, and bring people together beyond borders, and believes that musical education is something every person should have access to.

Making Genres into not only an engaging textbook, but also a textbook that helps students learn language faster could not have been accomplished without the help of its translation team:

Harue Usui (Japanese)
Qinhan Chen (Chinese)
Jiyoung Kim (Korean)

Their amazing translation ability has helped to make Genres into a truly efficient language learning aid.

How to Use Genres

Genres is quite a flexible textbook, so it can be used with students from a wide range of proficiency levels. Learners at an intermediate level of proficiency (TOEFL 350-450) is an ideal target, but certainly not a strict limitation.

Through the 500 songs recommended, teachers can also easily provide students with listening practice by choosing a particular song to make a cloze exercise from its lyrics. Not only is this a great way to hone one’s listening skills, but it also serves to increase motivation as simply listening to music is an enjoyable experience. Students can also practice speaking by discussing what they think certain song’s lyrics mean, and also via pre-reading discussions of what students already know about a particular genre.

While every learning situation is unique, it is estimated that Genres can provide enough content to fill an entire semester of a typical university course (thirty 90 minute classes). In addition to the textbook, teachers can contact the creator of GENRES to obtain a huge database of cloze questions for each of the 170 key terms taught. Furthermore, teachers can also obtain three reading comprehension questions for each of the 34 music genre chapters that can also be easily used for creating quizzes, mid-term and final exams.