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Ethiopian students celebrate Dave Grohl’s birthday by learning to sing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” — watch

on January 13, 2016, 10:51am

Peace Corps member Matt Westerberg has discovered an efficient and incredibly fun way to teach English to his 9th grade students in Ethiopia: ’90s alt rock anthems.

Back in September, we saw him base one of his lessons around Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow”. “I thought it would be funny to have the kids try and learn it,” he said at the time. “They laughed their way through it. The next day, they demanded to try it again.”

Westerberg added, “After a while we went through most of the song day by day as a motivational tool. At first it was all just a joke, but after awhile, the students began to really build confidence through learning the song.”

Now, in celebration of Dave Grohl’s 47th birthday tomorrow, Westerberg has taught his class how to sing “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. From vocalizing the Nirvana classic’s opening riffs, to imitating Grohl’s expert drumming parts, to “stage-diving” off big boulders, the 9th graders rock out with a thrill both contagious and heartwarming.

“Special birthday wishes to legendary drummer Dave Grohl,” reads a message accompanying the YouTube video. Somewhere, the Foo Fighter has got to be feeling pretty humbled and honored.

Watch their cover below.