My first-ever ELT publication was a collection of English teaching songs called Mister Monday. We recorded the songs in London in February 1971, and the album appeared in ELT bookstores a few months later.
It was actually released on vinyl – how on EARTH did teachers use a vinyl disc in the classroom??? Later it was released on cassette and now some of the songs are available for free via box.net here on my blog.
This is what the cover looked like.
I can’t believe I thought a moustache was a good idea. The best thing about that photo is that it was taken the day after Dede and I secretly got married.
Of all the materials I’ve ever written, Mister Monday caused the most diverse reactions – huge criticism (mainly from native speaker teachers in the UK) and massive delight (mainly from non-native speaker teachers, and especially in Latin America).
Under normal circumstances, I would let the album rest with its contemporary ELT materials on the dusty shelves of our memories, but this year, three comments were posted on my blog, all from people in Argentina, who remember either Mister Monday or a later collection of my ELT songs Spotlight.
I hope you don’t mind me publishing them just before Christmas.
Dear (because I owe you more than you can imagine) Mr. Wilson or should I call you Mr. Monday?
I am from Argentina. When I was in High School my English Teacher introduced me to the famous Mr. Monday record. I loved it. By that time, I was 17 years old (1973). Since I was the only one in my class that could converse in English, I could borrow the record!!!!. I kept forgetting on taking it back to school, so I still have it.
It opened my world to verbs and how to use them. Today I live in USA and I use your songs (correct tense of verbs) in every second of my life. I had learned to talk fluently by listening to songs in English, again and again and again (most of them were from the group The Carpenters).
I put a tape recorder in front of me, a copy book and a English/Spanish dictionary. I listened to them and went right away to the dictionary to find out which word belonged to that sound. So many songs…
Today I can understand anybody talking, anything, and I still cannot believe what I do! I learned in a different way than the normal: First the sound then the letters.
As you can see “MY ENGLISH TEACHERS” were and are “very famous”. Some times I think how much would cost to be privately taught by “these people”, hundreds and hundreds of dollars, I had it for free!!!!.
This is my “learning English story”. I did it every day for three hours during at least four or five years. I started with The Carpenters and you were the cherry of the dessert.
THANK SO MUCH FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!!
Mirta Diana Martinez
Ken Wilson, I want to thank you for creating those beautiful songs of Mr. Monday that I listened to in Argentina when I was a child. I think that it would be great to have new copies of Mr. Monday. I have the old cassette but it is worn out now. I enjoyed it in the past. And I like them now: the lyrics and the music. To conclude, I strongly believe that it would be a good material for a class, because it’s high quality material and therefore timeless.
Thank you again.
María Esther Gil
Greetings from Argentina!
I remember having learnt English with Spotlight, Songs and Sketches for the Language Classroom, and luckily I have found the book, but the listenings are missing here!
Have you got any idea of how can I get them?
Thanks in advance!