It’s a well-known fact that music can be an effective tool for learning a foreign language. Like original-version films, song lyrics are a good source of vocabulary and expressions that you can memorize—and have fun doing so. Furthermore, listening to or humming foreign songs helps you improve your pronunciation.
Learning a language while listening to music: How to get better results?
When listening to a foreign-language song, we too often don’t pay enough attention to the lyrics (passive listening). Consequently, this doesn’t help us improve our level of language. Here are 5 steps to optimizing your learning with music and enjoying yourself at the same time:
1. Choose a song that you like
You don’t have to go out of your way to find music to listen to. Instead, you should start with songs that you already listen to. Then, look up the lyrics to the songs you like.
2. Try to sing or hum the song without looking
If you want to improve your pronunciation, you should sing the song—trying your best to pronounce the words properly—without reading the lyrics. In fact, as soon as you try to sing the song by reading the lyrics, you’ll pick back up your bad pronunciation habits. It’s O.K. if you don’t understand the meaning of what you’re singing: The point of this step is to pronounce the words well.
3. Look up the lyrics
Next, you can look up the lyrics on the Internet. To do this, Google “lyrics Name of Song” (or letras = “lyrics” in Spanish, or paroles in French). If you need a translation, search “translation lyrics Name of Song” to find what you’re looking for in just a few clicks.
接下来你就可以在网上查阅歌词了。用谷歌中搜索“lyrics(歌词) 曲名”(西班牙语的歌词输“letras”，法语歌词输“paroles”)。如果需要歌词的译文，可以搜索“translation lyrics(歌词翻译) 曲名”，这样轻点鼠标，即得所需。
4. Listen to the song while reading the lyrics
When you actually listen to the music with the lyrics, you’ll be surprised at how many words and phrases you already knew, but just hadn’t realized until now. (It’s not always easy to understand the lyrics of a foreign-language song on your own.)
5. Listen to the song again and sing along
Now that you know the words and have grasped the general meaning of the song, you can continue to listen to the song while singing along. Once you’re fixed on your favorite song, you’ll certainly want to sing it while driving or taking a shower, before you know it, you’ll have memorized the song!
Repetition is one of the fundamental pillars of memorization. If you follow these 5 steps, I can guarantee that you’ll significantly improve. Learning a language with music is fun and takes minimal effort.