You have probably heard that one great way to practice English is to listen to music. Most people in the world like to listen to music, so this seems like a no-brainer, right? And lucky for you, English is one of the most common languages used in popular music that we can easily find on the internet or hear on the radio. But how does it REALLY make a difference in your language learning experience?
Why It Works:
Becoming familiar. Especially with beginners, songs can help learners become familiar with the sound of the language, the rhythm and the tone. For true beginners, children’s songs are perfect for picking up basic vocabulary. For false beginners or intermediate students, popular rock songs or love songs are great to use for sentence structure, vocabulary, and many other elements.
Repetition. When you hear the refrain over and over in a song, it is reinforcing the language to your brain each time. It’s easier to understand something when it is spoken in rhythm to a beat, repetitively.
Slang. Songs are a great way to learn cultural expressions and slang, as they are often used in the lyrics to popular music!
Pronunciation. When you learn to sing along with a song, you will automatically improve your pronunciation.
It gets stuck in your head! We all know how annoying it can be to have a pop song or a children’s song stuck in our heads. Well if that song is in a foreign language, you’ve just learned it!
Emotions and experiences. Languages are much easier to learn when we link it to emotions or experiences that help us remember and make a personal connection. Music is very emotional, and can evoke many memories or moods that will help us remember the words. Songs with lyrics that we can relate to are very effective tools for learning a language.
Culture. Songs from a culture can always teach you something about the way people think and act in that culture, as well as the things that matter to them. You can also see that many themes for songs are universal, and we see that we have things in common with other cultures as well!
Here are 6 Tips for Using Music to Improve Your English:
The great thing about using music to learn a language is that you can do it all by yourself. If you are a teacher, music is easy and fun to implement into your lessons, and students love it! Give it a try!
Have you ever used singing to improve your English?
Do you think music could be an effective tool to learn a language?
Why or why not? Leave a comment!