How To Learn English with Pop Music

Photo Of A Woman Singing - American Language Communication CenterTo learn English, a student must develop a study schedule and incorporate it into their daily routine. Textbooks, workbooks, listening exercises, and other traditional learning methods are helpful, but they can also be dull. For those wanting to spice up their daily practice, finding a new resource that helps develop English skills is as easy as turning on the radio. By closely listening to popular music sung in English, any ESL student can sharpen his or her pronunciation and discover fun, informal phrases.

The Right Song For a Singable Routine

When choosing a song to compliment a language routine, it’s important for students to keep their skill level in mind. While pop music provides a catchy and easy to remember framework for a practice session, many pop songs are too fast paced. It is recommended that ESL students listen to slower songs with lyrics that are easy to understand. Students should also take note of song length. Most popular American songs are no longer than about three minutes, allowing practice sessions to be broken up into workable three-minute sessions.

Read for Vocabulary

To learn English, an ESL student should listen to the song several times, as repetition is key to retention. First, the student should listen to the song without looking at the lyrics, writing down any new vocabulary words. Next, the student should listen a second time while reading the lyrics. He or she can underline unfamiliar words or phrases, which can be defined before the next listen. This vocabulary list serves as a homemade lesson plan, full of natural or informal phrases that might not be found in traditional textbooks.

Sing-along Time!

To end this lesson, the ESL student should practice all those new words and phrases during a sing-along. This is a great way to practice and learn English pronunciation from a native speaker. If the first round of singing was challenging, the student can easily go back and retry as many times as needed.

Learning is always a little easier with a little bit of fun. For those interested, “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley, “California Dreamin'” by the Mama’s and the Papa’s, and “Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas are all songs that are perfect for learning English and tapping toes.

Photo Credit: Dave

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