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How To Learn English With Songs And Lyrics?

(Last Updated On: February 21, 2023)
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    Although learning English may present some difficulties, it also has the potential to be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Listening to music and learning the words to songs is a great way to boost your English proficiency.

    The power of music to teach you new words and phrases, refine your pronunciation, and sharpen your ear is undeniable. Whether you're just starting out or are already well-versed in the language, you can benefit from using music and lyrics to learn English. 

    There are many methods used by people to master a second language. It's common for people to value grammatical knowledge more highly than they value oral practise and conversation. However, more and more listeners are using songs to pick up a foreign tongue.

    Songs and their lyrics can be a great tool for expanding one's vocabulary and understanding of English grammar and syntax. We'll discuss some best practises for using song lyrics as a tool for language study. Read on for more information.

    Dr Study offers a unique, targeted approach to help students build confidence and competency with the English language.

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    What Role Does Music Play in Language Learning?

    There is a lot of potential in incorporating the tempo and rhythm of ESL songs and music into the classroom. Using songs in the classroom is a great way to get students involved and establish routines.

    Rhythm Makes Language Learning Easier

    All students, regardless of age, benefit from having information presented in a logical order. Take your time in school as an example. Songs were likely used to teach not only the alphabet but also stories and nursery rhymes. Think of how challenging it would be to learn the alphabet if the letters were mixed up all the time. When compared to a speech, we may only hear twice, the lyrics to a song are much more likely to stick in our minds. Why? As a result of the beat and the tune.

    The Audience is Drawn in by the Music

    Not only that, but a catchy tune is a surefire way to capture the attention of English as a Second Language students. Your students will have a hard time paying attention in your lectures as a result. Furthermore, some linguistic concepts you introduce to your students may be beyond their current level of comprehension. Using music and songs in an ESL classroom can help students remember new vocabulary and grammar structures. Where does that leave the rest of the group? Following this, all eyes will be on you.

    How Can Music Be Used in the Classroom?

    Ways to Include Music in Your Instructions

    The word "relevant" stands out as the most crucial part of this phrase: you can and should use music to supplement your ESL lessons. There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding which song to use during your session.

    • How does this relate to what we've been studying so far?
    • Will my students find it less tedious to learn this way?
    • Can students "access" the song or song lyrics?

    You can count on your students to pay closer attention to what you have to say during an engaging activity like this one. Therefore, you should try to work it around the time that many students begin to lose interest in your lecture, which is typically around the halfway point.

    Enhancing Classroom Management and Routines Through the Use of Music

    Another great use for ESL song activities is to help students transition between activities and parts of the daily curriculum. Some of my students, for example, have trouble getting ready for the beginning of class because they are too busy talking, wandering around the room, or doing something else. To get the attention of the students and get them to return to their seats before beginning the lecture, play a well-known tune that they will recognise.

    Tips on How to Work Music Into Your Everyday Life

    Look for tunes with singable lyrics that won't prove too challenging for the class. Play tunes that enhance the process instead of distracting from it. If the first part of the class takes place in the morning, then the appropriate music to play would be one that includes the words "Good morning" and "Welcome to class."

    Your students will have a great start to the lesson if you play this and have them sing along.

    The Benefits Of Listening To Music

    It's common knowledge that the vast majority of ESL learners enjoy musical activities. Therefore, use the last three to five minutes of class time to sing a silly song with the class as a reward for good behaviour. They won't even realise they're improving their English skills, but they'll have a great time, learn the value of good behaviour, and be pleased with the results.

    Suggestions for Using Music as a Motivating Tool

    This tactic works best if you use it occasionally to reward good behaviour during the lesson with "song time." Any songs that the kids know and enjoy singing along to can be used, regardless of whether or not they have anything to do with the lesson's subject matter.

    How to Teach Songs in English? 

    Here are some creative ways to help your students improve their English skills and keep their attention. From simple exercises in pronouncing words to in-depth analyses of grammatical constructions, these concepts cover the gamut of language study. The activities are categorised as being appropriate for teaching elementary school students and high school students, but can easily be adapted to meet the needs of any age group.

    Sing-Along (Kids & Teens Or Adults)

    This may seem like a lot of fun, but before you jump in, you should think about a few things.

    Each student should be given a printed copy of the song's lyrics, and then the instructor can play the song several times while the students read the words and sing along.

    Students are free to sing along, but you may want to consider playing a lyric video instead, depending on their age and musical experience. It's an efficient way to prevent advanced students from cheating and instead relying on reading the lyrics.

    Afterwards, have your students discuss the song, highlighting both the parts of the language they understood and those they struggled with.

    Fill In The Lyrics (Children)

    This exciting activity is perfect for putting your ESL students' vocabulary to the test.

    Distribute to each student a sheet of paper on which the bulk of the lyrics to a song has been written out, but where certain keywords have been left blank. To show that you have a sufficient vocabulary, you should be able to fill in about six of the blanks, give or take one.

    The student's task is to listen to the song and try to guess which words belong in the blanks.

    A word bank (a list of possible answers) could be useful if the student's reading level is low.

    Students at a higher academic level who do not have access to a word bank may attempt to fill in the blanks before hearing the song, which will test not only their reading and comprehension skills but also their ability to use clues from the context.

    Draw The Song (Children)

    An essential part of any classroom is having students demonstrate their comprehension of the material, but this can be challenging to implement in ESL classes. Many students find that making visual representations of their knowledge is the most effective way to show off their understanding. Taking part in "Draw the Song" is a fun way to break up the monotony of the school day, and the end result is an abundance of new artwork that can be displayed around the classroom.

    Playing and singing along with the same song over and over is a good exercise. The next step is to give students carte blanche to draw whatever they feel best expresses their understanding of the music or their interpretation of it. Students could give presentations to the group sharing their insights.

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    Read-Along (Teens Or Adults)

    Read-along activities with an ESL song, as was previously mentioned, are nearly identical to sing-along activities, with the exception of a more complex conclusion. However, it does aid in improving students' overall understanding. Just pretend the song is a story and approach it like one.

    Song lyrics should be printed out for each student, and the song should be played multiple times while the students read the lyrics and sing along with the instructor.

    The class can have a "story-time" and then discuss how well they understood the story being told in the song before collecting their feedback.

    Pose queries like the following: "Whose side did you fall on—the song or the story? Defend your position, please." Asking, "What part did you like best?" "What do you think that meant if anything?" "Does this remind you of any other tune or story?"

    Rewrite The Song (Teens Or Adults)

    No matter how much exposure they may have had to the language before, older students studying English as a second language will need to take a more challenging test. The next step in the process requires that the students have a firm grasp of the source music being covered. After that, it will be up to each individual student to reimagine the tune from the ground up.

    Many students will simply replace the song's keywords with generic equivalents, but more advanced students may rewrite the lyrics almost word for word while keeping the song's meaning and theme intact. It's important to give everyone a chance to share their work with the group.

    Why Should You Use Lyrics and Songs to Learn English?

    In what ways can songs sung in English be used as a tool for language acquisition?

    Music Has a Positive Effect on the Mind

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    Listening to music, for instance, has been shown in a large body of scientific research to help students of foreign languages improve their spelling, grammar, and vocabulary. Also, there's the "Mozart Effect," the theory that listening to classical music while doing mental work like studying improves performance.

    In the first few moments after hearing a new song, you may find yourself captivated by the music and lyrics, and then the song may become stuck in your head. Song lyrics and grammatical context can be studied together. Due to your repeated exposure to these linguistic patterns in a musical setting, you will find that you can incorporate them into your own writing.

    You'll Hear Common Language And Colloquial Speech

    The music of the English language often contains a wealth of useful vocabulary, phrases, and expressions. Furthermore, because it is assumed that the audience is composed entirely of native speakers, the lyrics to the songs and music make extensive use of slang and other forms of contemporary language.

    The language used in songs is common and relevant if you listen to the right kind of music.

    You'll Become More Accustomed To The English Sound System

    Listening to music can help you focus on learning English's rhythm, tone, and beat, which will help you with pronunciation and understanding.

    English Will Get Ingrained in Your Mind

    It's much easier to remember the lyrics and melodies to songs after hearing them once because of the repetition that characterises both. Likely you are already familiar with this. Somehow, music has the uncanny ability to stick in our heads. It's not uncommon for songs and their lyrics to sneak into our minds and play endlessly in the background. With these aids, learning English through music will be a breeze, and you'll be able to ace those vocabulary and phrase tests in no time. Actually, you'll have a hard time putting them out of your mind for quite some time.

    Songs Are Filled With Feelings

    Our emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being are all profoundly enriched by our connection to music. It can be used to gain insight into our emotions, influence our mental states, and promote health on multiple levels. When we have a personal investment in a memory, we are more likely to call it to mind.

    Making A Regular Practice Of Listening To Music Is Simple

    Most people don't have a lot of free time to devote to learning, so it can be difficult for them to pick up a second language. But if you choose to study English by listening to songs, you won't need to set aside a large block of time because you can bring the music with you anywhere and listen to it whenever you want to practise your English.

    You are welcome to play music in English in any room of the house, including the car, the kitchen, and the bathroom. Playing the same songs over and over again won't get old if you're listening to music that you enjoy.

    You Can Learn English Culture Through Music

    A wide range of skills, not just language proficiency, can be acquired through the study of English through music. Music provides a window into the minds and hearts of English-speaking societies, allowing us to learn about them through their musical preferences. Understanding current music and artists will give you something to talk about with your English-speaking friends.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    English music improves your listening skills and increases your vocabulary. Music even helps your pronunciation. You will be exposed to new English words as you listen to the lyrics.

    Practice identifying chords, scales, and notes that you hear. It is a part of learning music theory called "ear training." First, listen to a single note, a chord, or a few seconds of playing a musical instrument. Then, try to name the note or notes being played just by listening to them.

    The use of English songs can improve the quality of vocabulary in the teaching-learning process. It happened because a song can stimulate the students to achieve the new words they had already listened to. 

    Whether you're a karaoke hero or sing secretly in the shower, singing is a great way to improve your language skills. Here's why: It's great for pronunciation. Of course, we can do this through speaking, but we need to make each sound a lot clearer and louder when we sing.

    • Listen. Check out different versions of the song you want to learn.
    • Choose a Key. If you are singing the song, you'll want to find a good key for your voice. 
    • Break It Down. Once you have a key you like, it's time to dig into learning the song.
    • Play it to a Click Track.
    • Memorising.

    Conclusion

    Music and lyrics can improve English-language education. Rhythm makes learning easier, music engages audiences, and songs help students remember new vocabulary and grammar structures. Music can help students transition between activities and curriculum, improve classroom management and routines, and reward good behaviour. From word pronunciation to grammatical analysis, ESL activities can help students learn English and stay focused.

    Music improves spelling, grammar, and vocabulary and helps students learn the language. Music is a fun way to learn English and understand emotions, mental states, and health.

    Content Summary

    • Listening to music and learning the words to songs is a great way to boost your English proficiency.
    • Whether you're just starting out or are already well-versed in the language, you can benefit from using music and lyrics to learn English.
    • There are many methods used by people to master a second language.
    • Songs and their lyrics can be a great tool for expanding one's vocabulary and understanding of English grammar and syntax.
    • There is a lot of potential in incorporating the tempo and rhythm of ESL songs and music into the classroom.
    • Using songs in the classroom is a great way to get students involved and establish routines.
    • You can count on your students to pay closer attention to what you have to say during an engaging activity like this one.
    • Therefore, you should try to work it around the time that many students begin to lose interest in your lecture, which is typically around the halfway point.
    • To get the attention of the students and get them to return to their seats before beginning the lecture, play a well-known tune that they will recognise.
    • Play tunes that enhance the process instead of distracting from it.
    • If the first part of the class takes place in the morning, then the appropriate music to play would be one that includes the words "Good morning" and "Welcome to class."
    • Your students will have a great start to the lesson if you play this and have them sing along.
    • Any songs that the kids know and enjoy singing along to can be used, regardless of whether or not they have anything to do with the lesson's subject matter.
    • From simple exercises in pronouncing words to in-depth analyses of grammatical constructions, these concepts cover the gamut of language study.
    • Each student should be given a printed copy of the song's lyrics, and then the instructor can play the song several times while the students read the words and sing along.
    • It's an efficient way to prevent advanced students from cheating and instead relying on reading the lyrics.
    • Afterwards, have your students discuss the song, highlighting both the parts of the language they understood and those they struggled with.
    • To show that you have a sufficient vocabulary, you should be able to fill in about six of the blanks, give or take one.
    • The student's task is to listen to the song and try to guess which words belong in the blanks.
    • Students at a higher academic level who do not have access to a word bank may attempt to fill in the blanks before hearing the song, which will test not only their reading and comprehension skills but also their ability to use clues from the context.
    • An essential part of any classroom is having students demonstrate their comprehension of the material, which can be challenging to implement in ESL classes.
    • Many students find that making visual representations of their knowledge is the most effective way to show off their understanding.
    • Playing and singing along with the same song over and over is good exercise.
    • The next step is to give students carte blanche to draw whatever they feel best expresses their understanding of the music or their interpretation of it.
    • Song lyrics should be printed out for each student, and the song should be played multiple times while the students read the lyrics and sing along with the instructor.
    • Many students will simply replace the song's keywords with generic equivalents, but more advanced students may rewrite the lyrics almost word for word while keeping the song's meaning and theme intact.
    • Listening to music, for instance, has been shown in a large body of scientific research to help students of foreign languages improve their spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.
    • In the first few moments after hearing a new song, you may find yourself captivated by the music and lyrics, and then the song may become stuck in your head.
    • Due to your repeated exposure to these linguistic patterns in a musical setting, you will find that you can incorporate them into your own writing.
    • The language used in songs is common and relevant if you listen to the right kind of music.
    • Listening to music can help you focus on learning English's rhythm, tone, and beat, which will help you with pronunciation and understanding.
    • It's much easier to remember the lyrics and melodies to songs after hearing them once because of the repetition that characterises both.
    • Likely you are already familiar with this.
    • Music has the uncanny ability to stick in our heads.
    • With these aids, learning English through music will be a breeze, and you'll be able to ace those vocabulary and phrase tests quickly.
    • Our emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being are all profoundly enriched by our connection to music.
    • Most people don't have much free time to devote to learning, so it can be difficult for them to pick up a second language.
    • But if you choose to study English by listening to songs, you won't need to set aside a long time because you can bring the music with you anywhere and listen to it whenever you want to practise your English.
    • You are welcome to play music in English in any room of the house, including the car, the kitchen, and the bathroom.
    • Playing the same songs over and over again won't get old if you're listening to music that you enjoy.
    • A wide range of skills, not just language proficiency, can be acquired through the study of English through music.
    • Music provides a window into the minds and hearts of English-speaking societies, allowing us to learn about them through their musical preferences.
    • Understanding current music and artists will give you something to talk about with your English-speaking friends.

     

    Author

    • Dr. Olga Abeysekera

      Olga has a PhD in Management from Monash University. Her research focused on how personal differences and social networking impact creativity in the tech industry. She has extensive teaching experience at universities and private tutoring centers, praised for her engaging methods and clear insights. Olga also writes for top academic journals and creates innovative programs that enhance skills and consulting methods. She believes in the power of education to inspire ongoing growth in both studies and careers.

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