WATCH IT | Mash-up: Ethiopian Students Learn English by Learning & Singing Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow”

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Anyone who sang along to “Frère Jacques” (or any other imported sing-along) as a kid gets the global impact music has on language. In an especially endearing case, Peace Corps teacher Matt Westerberg decided to use Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow” to help teach his 9th grade English students in Northern Ethiopia. “After class one day I jokingly wrote the chorus line to Pearl Jam’s ‘Even Flow’ on the chalkboard,” he explained to Alternative Nation. “I thought it would be funny to have the kids try and learn it. They laughed their way through it. The next day, they demanded to try it again. After a while we went through most of the song day by day as a motivational tool.” As a huge fan of Pearl Jam and 90’s rock, Westerberg thought it was a fun way to introduce his students to grunge music and the English language. “At first it was all just a joke, but after awhile, the students began to really build confidence through learning the song,” said Westerberg.

August 24, 2016 by Robert Cordero