American music has deeply integrated into many nations. It is famous worldwide and probably its popularity is one of the not many things that unite different countries. Whether you like it or not, this is a way of passive English learning. Even people, who have no intention of getting a deeper understanding of this language, getting familiar with a few English words or even phrases by simply listening to the music in the background. Then in such a case why not turn this activity into a comprehensive way of learning English?
What Are The Benefits of Learning English Through Songs?
If you take a closer look at the learning methodologies for small kids, you will notice that they mostly sing in classes. These simple lyrics with rhymes work with children very well. It is much easier for them to remember the words and to recall them as needed. The same technique works with adults, so listening to music can be helpful in many ways.
- Let’s start with the obvious, it helps to develop listening skills. Even if you are talking for hours with your language teacher or tutor, it will not make that huge progress in your listening perception. But understanding a song is considered as an understanding of a native speaker.
- If you recognize at least 75% of the song you hear for the first time, be sure you will pass the listening part of your exam with a high score. Try this simple dictation exercise to check your understanding. Turn on the song and try to write the lyrics down. Then just use spelling check services to see how well you get the language, what grammar gaps you have, and what kind of words are misspelled.
- This is a perfect way to enlarge the vocabulary. Language is a live system. Some words are dying and nobody uses them, some are getting created. Songs are the perfect way to feel these vibes and get acquainted with new slang or the words typical for a certain region or a group of people.
- Songs are helping to get the feeling of the language. It becomes clear how to apply certain words, in which context, and what other meanings they may have.
- If singing along is your story, then use this chance to improve the pronunciation.
- It also helps to catch the cultural background, and understanding of the environment, social context and values is a part of learning the language.
What Are They Singing About?
How many jokes and awkward situations have happened because of wrong lyrics interpretation? Sometimes it is a challenging task even for native speakers to understand what this or that song is about. It may be connected with the voice timbre, tempo, or music genre. If you want to make use of it, you should make some efforts in interpretation, and check out these tips for assistance:
- Curiosity is the only mechanism that drives you to find out that your favorite love song is actually about love, not about food. Google the lyrics, read them and translate. Yes, it definitely needs time investment but isn’t it nice to sing along with a clear understanding of what you are actually singing about.
- There are some people, who have already done the job with interpretation for you. Check dedicated Instagram accounts and you will be surprised how many people develop their English studying blog on working with songs and lyrics. They sort the lyrics into details and explain some interesting phrases, idioms, or slang.
- If you use YouTube for music videos then subtitles will be a great help in understanding the English songs.
- Pronunciation can be confusing when listening to the song. Even simple words may sound differently from singers. Only regular listening to English content will help you to overcome this gap.
- Find out the meaning of the abbreviation. Modern English is full of acronyms and this is something you don’t get to know in English class. Figure out the meaning of the acronym as this is an important part of casual written English. This will positively reflect on your communication in general, not just on song understanding.
Music is Funky Way To Learn Serious Stuff
Learning English by songs is a very enjoyable and entertaining process. It doesn’t put any stress on a learner as in most cases this is just a side effect from listening to music, often even in the background. Usually, lyrics are not too long or complicated, which allows getting the general meaning of the song and there is no need to struggle for hours with translation.
Generally, it feels like a unification, when you understand that some other person on another and of the Earth sings the same song and puts the same sense in it. For some people, the desire to understand the song’s meaning is the motivation to learn English itself.
Learning English by song is fun entertainment, which brings huge benefits to language learning, so keep singing!