[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
Celine Dion, Britney Spears, and Michael Jackson are my favorite musicians of all time. I was introduced to a foreign language at a young age since I grew up listening to their songs. I can honestly say that, aside from watching movies, learning a language through songs was the best way for me to spend my youth.
I pick up some Chinese, Japanese, and Korean by listening to songs. Plus, popular songs will be well-known in their countries of origin, giving you another connection to local culture. This not only helps you feel more like a part of the community, but it also gives you a wonderful conversation topic when you meet locals. Even better, talk to your language exchange partner about your favorite songs.
Songs are very simple to memorize, so you can use them to help you remember vocabulary and grammar standards. Songs are much easier to recall when the melody and the lyrics are combined than when the words are alone. As a result, they serve as excellent study aids for words and grammar rules that you may otherwise forget.
Music is also easy to have with you wherever you are. Music is one of the most portable language-learning tools imaginable. It’s easy to load onto your phone and listen to it in your car, on a plane, or anywhere you are when the desire to practice your target language strikes. I like to connect my Spotify to my car’s Bluetooth and sing along on the long journey to my hometown.
Learning with music is a fun way to break up your study session without halting your learning. While traditional study methods are helpful, they might drain your energy. You’ll eventually require a short break to recharge. While still improving your language abilities, listening to music in your target language might provide a welcome change of pace from your usual study methods.
Learning a Language Through Songs
Songs use repetition, which is great for reinforcing vocabulary. Songs are inherently repetitive, particularly the choruses. Because repetition is often the key to language learning, music and learning seem like a natural fit.
Pick the right song
The secret to success is picking the correct song. It isn’t as simple as picking any song from your favorite artist’s collection and starting to listen, though. In its place, there are some essential things to think about.
The first thing to think about is how much you like the song. Choose a song that you actually enjoy listening to. You’re more likely to listen to something you enjoy if you like it more. You are more likely to learn from it if you listen to it more frequently.
The song’s level-appropriateness should also be taken into account. But if a song is too challenging, like a rap piece, everything can get lost in the mix, and you won’t learn much. The song is probably at a suitable level if you can understand some but not all of it the first time you hear it.
Keep your chosen song handy
It is simpler to fit in a quick study session if you always have your chosen song with you. Being able to listen whenever the mood strikes can boost your learning ability because music education involves repetition. Keep the song on your computer, phone, and wherever else you might enjoy listening to music.
Not only can you listen to some of your favorite songs on Spotify, you could even craft your own learning playlist! Foreign language learners can find and enjoy fantastic music in their target languages by using one of the many current foreign language playlists.
Use the lyrics for added support
The lyrics in songs are sometimes difficult to grasp, even for native speakers. While misheard lyrics might be amusing, they can also give language learners headaches.
There’s no shame in using the lyrics for added support when learning a language through songs. You can use them to study even if you aren’t listening to your favorite song because they not only help you distinguish between individual words. It’s easy to look up and use new language by referring to the lyrics while still listening to your favorite song.
Look up new vocabulary words
Even if you mostly understand the song you’re trying to learn, expanding your vocabulary and making sure you truly understand the music can both be accomplished by looking up words you don’t understand or have never heard before. I practice this because, when working on transcription projects, I have to carefully listen to an interview, presentation, or other audio format and accurately transcribe the dialogue into text.
It’s easy to look up new vocabulary words while using printed lyrics. Simply go through the song’s lyrics, make a note of any unfamiliar words, and then look them up. When you are learning a language through songs, you can better understand it by studying it in greater detail.
You have finally found the excuse for singing loudly! There is so much more to singing along than just having fun. You can practice your pronunciation and repeat the words you’ve learned from the song while singing along in your native tongue.
Not confident yet? Try lip-syncing. You will get used to anticipating the next line of words, and it may ease the transition to passionate singing. It is even better if you have friends who are studying the same language. On your next road trip, have a language study binge or get together and have sing-offs.
Try these tips to get started if learning a language through songs seems like music to you! There isn’t a trendier method to study a foreign language.