To Repeat or not Repeat?

UPDATE: Β Thank you for all your input,Β Vol. 12 is now finished and ready to download!


Whenever I test songs with kids they always seem to go for the ones without any “repeat after me” lines.

But I also know a lot of teachers prefer to have the “repeat after me”s in there.

( I have a feeling this happens if you aren’t using the visuals, just doing the music on a CD player, maybe??)

Anyway, last year we had a version of the Thanksgiving song without any repeats.

And I’ve also been working on a version with each line repeated.

Today’s question is (and it would really help me out if you could answer) Β …. which version do you prefer?

Here’s the original:

And the new one (not a great video but it lets you hear the song!)

(The Japanese teachers here came up with the “hands together” sign for “thankful”, of course you can choose your own gestures)

Anyway, it would really help if you could let me know in the comments which version you’d prefer for the final mix – the sooner I get everything decided the sooner VIP members get your beta test of vol. 12 !

UPDATE: Β Thank you for all your input, Vol. 12 is now finished and ready to download!



Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!

15 Responses to “To Repeat or not Repeat?”

  1. Jaynie

    I think that it depends on the class situation; huge classes or classes you only see every 10 days or so I would be using the repeat.But like in my old school when we had ” English mornings” every Tuesday for about 15 minutes, I would use the original version, they would get so good at the songs:) no need for the repeat!
    Can’t you have both on Vol. 12 ?!
    You usually have the “Bonus tracks” on your CD’s and of course the karaoke version!
    Sorry, I like both. But if I had to choose it would be the repeat!
    Hope this helps……

  2. richard

    Hi Jaynie, two versions might be a good idea, yeah!

    And maybe have the repeat version as the main one and the non-repeat as the “challenge” version maybe??!

  3. Gumby

    Personally I like the flow of the first version.
    Just another option for a repeat. Since the key sentence is a long one and repeated so many times, how about just repeating the last word (ie friend, family, teacher etc)

  4. Ann

    Hi Richard,
    I agree with you and Jaynie; two versions would be a good idea. And I also like your suggestion about having the repeat version as the main one and the non-repeat as the β€œchallenge” version.
    I’m looking forward to using this song soon with my students. The Canadian Thanksgiving is always the second Monday of October.

  5. richard

    Thanks for that Ann, I’d better get my skates on!!

    Thanks Gumby!

  6. Julia

    Hi Richard!

    The case when we are to make a choice between two good things is always a fix. But we have to think about what do we need the songs for. If we want our kids to perform the song in front of their parents, then the non-repeat version is better. But if the kids aim is to remember the structures, then it’s the repeat version that will help them do it better, I think.

    There are many songs with “repeat after me” lines in other volumes, aren’t there? I thought it was one of your constant techniques. Why to refuse it this time? But the song is also nice for being performed at a Thanksgiving party, so I’d prefer the NON-repeat version.

    Be genki!

  7. Dawn

    Hi Richard
    I too agree that the two versions should be on the CD. I is 35-40 student class friendly and the non-repeat as the challenge.

  8. Uli

    I like it better if the phrases are repeated often enough in the song. It is better without the pause for repetition.
    greetings from Germany

  9. Fatima

    yes the flow of the first one is good but i think repetition depends on whom you teach. if you teach in in nursery like me the second one will be needed.
    by the way thank you for everything dear richard

  10. Nena

    I totally agree with Gumby!
    I like the flow of the song.
    Besides using this song for the cultural aspect, the very special American holiday… like this song to review noun groups or categories, such as: family, school related words, toys, food etc.
    I didn’t know Canada celebrated Thanksgiving!!

  11. Janet Gray

    Definitely I prefer the lines being repeated–it’s a great help.

  12. richard

    @Julie: Yeah, “repeat after me” is considered a not very good technique because there is no thinking involved. It’s basically just rote learning (albeit with funky music and pictures!)

    It’s much more beneficial to have the kids thinking e.g. having to recall the order or to form the sentence when seeing the visual on screen.

  13. Tim

    Hey Richard,

    I teach 3-6 year olds in South Korea and they have great difficulty with the non-repeating songs. However, I think if you provided both versions, they might be able to do do it after practicing the repeating version.

  14. villefumade

    I like both versions. The ‘repeat’ one makes it easier to learn (even for the teacher who repeats with the children !)
    It can be used with two groups facing each other, alternating which one says the first line.

    But once the pupils get to know the song better, it may sound a bit slow and not-challenging enough. Then the ‘non-repeated’ version becomes a new step forward.

    However repetition is necessary one way or another. and it has been the basis of all your songs up to now.
    Sorry for not being able to choose !

  15. Foster

    Hi, Richard,

    Personally, when teaching a low level class, repetition version is better. when students are familiar with the song, I would prefer to choose the non-repetition version. Anyway, I like both.

    Thanks for sharing.


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