Gangnam Style: Korean Pop Video Goes Viral (Intermediate Lesson Plan)

Download the Gangnam Style ESL lesson plan here: Korean-Gangnam-Style-Intermediate-02102012.doc Donate towards our web hosting bill!
(Lesson Plan contributed by James Mansfield)

Reading: Korean Pop Video Goes Viral

Chances are by now you'll either have seen, or know someone who has seen, the video for Gangnam Style by South Korean pop sensation Psy. That's because since its release in mid-July it has gone viral and has been viewed on Youtube more than 330 million times. Gangnam Style has become famous for its colourful and hilarious video and Psy's ''horse riding'' dance moves. It is now the most ''liked'' video in Youtube history.
Back home in South Korea, 34-year-old Psy, is already awell-known artist. He has been singing for 12 years and released six albums.

What is Gangnam?
In the song, Psy is singing about Gangnam, a rich and fashionable district in Korea‘s capital city Seoul.  This is where Psy was born and grew up.
Psy says that Gangnam, which means "south of the river", is like celebrity hotspot Beverly Hills. The song is said to poke fun at Korea's "love/hate relationship" with the area.
The lyrics of Psy’s song give some hints about the Gangnam lifestyle. He raps about “Gangnam man and woman” who are smart and sensible during the day, but turn wild and adventurous at night.   

The video was shot in various Gangnam neighborhoods ― from tourist buses and parks along the Han River to subway platforms and public saunas.
Gangnam projects an image of affluent, fashionable, sophisticated people enjoying a luxurious lifestyle, but the residents of the area also have a negative image such as being vain, obsessed with money and snobbish.

ESL Lesson Plan: Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with the definitions on the right
1)        go viral
2)        release
3)        hilarious
4)        hotspot
5)        lyrics
6)        hints
7)        affluent
8)        poke fun at
9)        vain
10)     snobbish
a)    very funny
b)    suggestions  
c)    arrogant; thinking you are better than others
d)    rich
e)    proud of one's appearance
f)     to make known or available
g)    words to a song
h)    make jokes about
i)     a lively and popular place 
j)     to become very popular, quickly on the internet

1-j, 2-f, 3-a, 4-i, 5-g, 6-b, 7-d, 8-h, 9-e, 10-c

ESL Lesson Plan: Comprehension Questions

1) Where did Psy spend his childhood?
2) How many times has Gangnam Style been seen on Youtube?
— when the article was written?
— now?
3) What record has Gangnam Style broken?

ESL Lesson Plan: Discussion Questions

1) What other videos have 'gone viral' on Youtube?
2) Have you seen any parodies of Gangnam Style? Which is your favourite?
3) Would you like to live in Gangnam?
4) Do you think Gangnam Style will still be popular in a year’s time?

Lesson plan contributed by James Mansfield

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