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Explicit Lyrics Warnings on Online Music (21st December, 2011)


 

A new scheme has been put into place online to warn parents of explicit lyrics on music downloads. There has been a similar warning on CDs and DVDs for many years. It is now the turn of songs that are available for purchase on the Internet. Apple's iTunes Store has led the way online for several years by stating whether or not a download contains words unsuitable for children’s ears. It places the word ‘explicit’ next to songs parents need to be warned about. It also puts the logo ‘clean’ next to songs that people might mistake for being explicit. The warning for explicit lyrics will now appear next to music and video files on sites such as Amazon and Napster. This will allow parents to monitor whether their children’s music is too old for them.

The scheme was set up by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). It comes after calls from parents concerned about the increasing volume of songs available online that contain foul, explicit or offensive language. BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “We know that the parental advisory logo on CDs and DVDs has been a useful tool for parents…. We believe that parents need the same guidance when their children are downloading or streaming songs or videos online, so we have extended the logo to digital music services.” Singer Jamelia said she worried about what her two children listen to online and agreed that the logo “gives parents the ability to quickly and easily judge whether a song or music video is right for their child”.


 

WARM-UPS

1. EXPLICIT LYRICS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about explicit lyrics. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

scheme / warning parents /  music downloads / unsuitable / logo / monitor / concerned / foul language / chief executive / streaming songs / agreed / judge

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. BAD LANGUAGE: Complete this table and share what you wrote with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote again.

Bad language from

What would you think?

What would you do?

a 5-year-old

 

 

a 16-year-old

 

 

your mother

 

 

a singer

 

 

a politician

 

 

a shop assistant

 

 

4. EXPLICIT: Students A strongly believe explicit lyrics should not be allowed to be sold on the Internet; Students B strongly believe disagree.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. OFFENSIVE: Which of these do you hate hearing or seeing bad language? Rank them and share your rankings with your partner. Put the worst at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • songs
  • movies
  • newspapers
  • graffiti
  • computer games
  • spam mail
  • documentaries
  • CD covers

6. LYRICS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘lyrics’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Songs containing bad language have been banned from online stores.

T / F

b.

There were warnings on online music before they were on CDs.

T / F

c.

Apple’s iTunes  placed warnings on its songs many years ago.

T / F

d.

The download site Napster has refused to put warnings on its songs.

T / F

e.

The ‘explicit’ warning comes because of complaints from parents.

T / F

f.

An industry spokesman said warnings on CDs had had no effect.

T / F

g.

A singer said she was worried about what her children listened to.

T / F

h.

The singer thinks the ‘explicit’ logo is a good idea.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

scheme

a.

puts

2

explicit

b.

enlarged

3.

suitable

c.

established

4.

places

d.

satisfactory

5.

monitor

e.

graphic

6.

set up

f.

disgusting

7.

concerned

g.

check

8.

offensive

h.

plan

9.

extended

i.

power

10.

ability

j.

worried

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

A new scheme has been

a.

the way

2

There has been a similar

b.

music services

3.

Apple's iTunes Store has led

c.

is too old for them

4.

songs that people might mistake

d.

guidance

5.

monitor whether their children’s music

e.

put into place

6.

the increasing volume

f.

language

7.

foul, explicit or offensive

g.

of songs

8.

parents need the same

h.

warning on CDs

9.

extended the logo to digital

i.

judge

10.

the ability to quickly and easily

j.

for being explicit

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

A new scheme has been put (1) ____________ place online to warn parents of explicit lyrics on music downloads. There has been a (2) ____________ warning on CDs and DVDs for many years. It is now the (3) ____________ of songs that are available for purchase on the Internet. Apple's iTunes Store has led the way online for several years by (4) ____________ whether or not a download contains words unsuitable for children’s ears. It places the word ‘explicit’ next to songs parents (5) ____________ to be warned about. It also puts the logo ‘clean’ next to songs that people might mistake for being explicit. The warning for explicit lyrics will now (6) ____________ next to music and video files on sites such as Amazon and Napster. This will (7) ____________ parents to monitor (8) ____________ their children’s music is too old for them.

 

 

 

turn
appear
whether
into
allow
similar
stating
need

The scheme was set (9) ____________ by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). It comes after (10) ____________ from parents concerned about the increasing volume of songs available online that contain (11) ____________, explicit or offensive language. BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “We know that the parental advisory (12) ____________ on CDs and DVDs has been a useful tool for parents…. We believe that parents need the same guidance when their children are downloading or (13) ____________ songs or videos online, so we have (14) ____________ the logo to digital music services.” Singer Jamelia said she worried about what her two children listen to online and (15) ____________ that the logo “gives parents the ability to quickly and easily (16) ____________ whether a song or music video is right for their child”.

 

 

foul
calls
up
extended
judge
logo
agreed
streaming

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

A new scheme has been put into place online to warn __________________ lyrics on music downloads. There has been a similar warning on CDs and DVDs for many years. It is __________________ songs that are available for purchase on the Internet. Apple's iTunes Store has __________________ for several years by stating whether or not a download contains __________________ for children’s ears. It places the word ‘explicit’ next to songs parents need to be warned about. It also puts the logo ‘clean’ next to songs that people __________________ being explicit. The warning for explicit lyrics will now appear next to music and video files on sites such as Amazon and Napster. This will allow parents __________________ their children’s music is too old for them.

The scheme __________________ the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). It comes after calls from parents concerned about the __________________ of songs available online that contain foul, explicit or offensive language. BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “We know that the __________________ logo on CDs and DVDs has been a useful tool for parents…. We believe that parents need the __________________ when their children are downloading or __________________ or videos online, so we have extended the logo to digital music services.” Singer Jamelia said she worried about what her two children listen to online and agreed that the logo “gives parents the ability to quickly ___________________ whether a song or music video is right for their child”.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘foul’ and ‘language’.

foul

language

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • place
  • turn
  • way
  • ears
  • mistake
  • old
  • set
  • volume
  • foul
  • tool
  • extended
  • child

STUDENT EXPLICIT LYRICS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about explicit lyrics in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

EXPLICIT LYRICS DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘explicit’?

c)

What do you think about what you read?

d)

What are your thoughts on explicit lyrics?

e)

Do you think lyrics can be too explicit?

f)

Do you agree with the ‘explicit’ warning on online music?

g)

Do you think the warning will have any effect?

h)

Do you think explicit lyrics encourage bad behaviour?

i)

Why do so many songs nowadays contain bad language (compared to the past)?

j)

Is explicit language a sign of artistic development?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think there’s a need for lyrics to be explicit?

c)

Won’t kids download the song because it has ‘explicit’ next to it?

d)

People can get arrested for using bad language in public, but singers can use it in their songs. Is this OK?

e)

What do you think of foul language?

f)

Do you use foul language?

g)

Can parents really monitor what’s on their children’s iPod?

h)

Do you think bad words in English are bad?

i)

Do you agree with the BPI that parents also need guidance?

j)

What questions would you like to ask a songwriter who uses bad words?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

A new scheme has been put (1) ____ place online to warn parents of explicit lyrics on music downloads. There has been a similar warning on CDs and DVDs for many years. It is now the (2) ____ of songs that are available for purchase on the Internet. Apple's iTunes Store has led the (3) ____ online for several years by stating whether or not a download contains words unsuitable for (4) ____ ears. It places the word ‘explicit’ next to songs parents need to be warned about. It also puts the logo ‘clean’ next to songs that people might mistake (5) ____ being explicit. The warning for explicit lyrics will now appear next to music and video files on sites such as Amazon and Napster. This will allow parents to monitor whether their children’s music is too old for (6) ____.

The scheme was (7) ____ up by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). It comes after (8) ____ from parents concerned about the increasing volume of songs available online that contain (9) ____, explicit or offensive language. BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “We know that the parental advisory logo on CDs and DVDs has been a useful tool for parents…. We believe that parents need the same (10) ____ when their children are downloading or streaming songs or videos online, so we have extended the logo to digital music services.” Singer Jamelia said she worried about what her two children listen to online and (11) ____ that the logo “gives parents the ability to quickly and easily (12) ____ whether a song or music video is right for their child”.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

at

(b)

by

(c)

with

(d)

into

2.

(a)

timetable

(b)

turn

(c)

turntable

(d)

turning

3.

(a)

way

(b)

how

(c)

why

(d)

which

4.

(a)

childrens’

(b)

childrens

(c)

children’s

(d)

child’s

5.

(a)

from

(b)

of

(c)

for

(d)

far

6.

(a)

it

(b)

them

(c)

theirs

(d)

they

7.

(a)

set

(b)

sat

(c)

sit

(d)

site

8.

(a)

screams

(b)

whispers

(c)

phones

(d)

calls

9.

(a)

fool

(b)

foul

(c)

fall

(d)

fail

10.

(a)

guided

(b)

guarded

(c)

gradient

(d)

guidance

11.

(a)

agreeable

(b)

agree

(c)

agreed

(d)

aggrieved

12.

(a)

judge

(b)

juror

(c)

clerk

(d)

accused


 
 

WRITING

Write about explicit lyrics for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about online music. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. GUIDELINES: Make a poster with guidelines for parents about their children, online music, and explicit lyrics. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. EXPLICIT LYRICS: Write a magazine article about explicit lyrics. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to a music company boss. Ask him/her three questions about explicit lyrics. Give him/her three of your opinions on them. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

F

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

scheme

a.

plan

2

explicit

b.

graphic

3.

suitable

c.

satisfactory

4.

places

d.

puts

5.

monitor

e.

check

6.

set up

f.

established

7.

concerned

g.

worried

8.

offensive

h.

disgusting

9.

extended

i.

enlarged

10.

ability

j.

power

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

A new scheme has been

a.

put into place

2

There has been a similar

b.

warning on CDs

3.

Apple's iTunes Store has led

c.

the way

4.

songs that people might mistake

d.

for being explicit

5.

monitor whether their children’s music

e.

is too old for them

6.

the increasing volume

f.

of songs

7.

foul, explicit or offensive

g.

language

8.

parents need the same

h.

guidance

9.

extended the logo to digital

i.

music services

10.

the ability to quickly and easily

j.

judge

GAP FILL:

Explicit lyrics warnings on online music

A new scheme has been put (1) into place online to warn parents of explicit lyrics on music downloads. There has been a (2) similar warning on CDs and DVDs for many years. It is now the (3) turn of songs that are available for purchase on the Internet. Apple's iTunes Store has led the way online for several years by (4) stating whether or not a download contains words unsuitable for children’s ears. It places the word ‘explicit’ next to songs parents (5) need to be warned about. It also puts the logo ‘clean’ next to songs that people might mistake for being explicit. The warning for explicit lyrics will now (6) appear next to music and video files on sites such as Amazon and Napster. This will (7) allow parents to monitor (8) whether their children’s music is too old for them.

The scheme was set (9) up by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). It comes after (10) calls from parents concerned about the increasing volume of songs available online that contain (11) foul, explicit or offensive language. BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “We know that the parental advisory (12) logo on CDs and DVDs has been a useful tool for parents…. We believe that parents need the same guidance when their children are downloading or (13) streaming songs or videos online, so we have (14) extended the logo to digital music services.” Singer Jamelia said she worried about what her two children listen to online and (15) agreed that the logo “gives parents the ability to quickly and easily (16) judge whether a song or music video is right for their child”.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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