I have always felt that music is one of the best ways to work on your pronunciation. However, you must be careful about what music you use to practice your language skills! Personally, I think that there are certain genres (categories, types) that are better than others if you’re looking to improve your English. For example, it’s a lot easier to understand a classic rock song than a screamcore song! I think that country and classic rock are the best types of music to use if you want to study. Why? Both genres are usually quite easy to understand. Heavy metal, rap, hip hop, and modern pop can be quite difficult to understand.
How can you practice your English by listening to music? First, find a song you like that you think you might understand. Search for the song on YouTube, Spotify, or any other streaming service. Then, search for “Lyrics + song title” on your favorite search engine. Ojo: si hablas español, recuerda que “la letra de una canción” es “lyrics” en inglés.
What are my suggestions? Here are a few thoughts:
- Past Simple and Questions: “Where did you go?” – Mighty Mighty Bosstones
- Past Simple and Present Simple: “Ring of Fire” – Johnny Cash
- Primary and Modal Auxiliary Verbs: “With a Little Help from My Friends” – The Beatles (Bonus: the phrasal verb – “get by”!)
There are a lot of websites that offer suggestions about which songs to use in order to practice your English skills. Here are two that I think are great:
- http://www.musicalenglishlessons.org/index-ex.htm: The songs are grouped into grammar points. You don’t need to do the activities they have on the page, but they have some great suggestions!
- http://www.tefltunes.com/grammarsongs.aspx: This is a great resource for both learners and teachers! Again, you don’t need to do the activities they offer. Use the songs they suggest to practice on your own.
Finally, as I was about to post this article on Twitter, I saw this article from The Guardian come across my feed: “Saved by song: can singing improve your language skills?” I totally agree with the author. I learned the infamous Spanish “rr” through singing along with my favorite songs!
Do you have a favorite song in English? What is it? Does it help you practice a specific grammar subject or does it simply help you with pronunciation? Leave us a comment sharing your favorite(s) with us!