If you answered yes to these three questions above, then we need your help to connect and inspire people from all around the world to learn English, and at the same time share our world views and cultural traits.
As we have mentioned before in many articles, music can help our English in many ways. We learn a lot of new vocabulary and expressions through music, we can practice our pronunciation by singing along with the song, music provokes creativity by forcing us to interpret the song in our own way, and music gives us a lot of insight into many different cultures.
Although many of my students and English learners that I talk to really believe this and realize it’s a very valuable tool for learning English, most of them don’t know how and/or where to begin.
This is where you can help. If you are reading this then you are one of those special people that understand how important and helpful music is for language learning and want to help others.
Complete the following “6 steps to making the most of music to learn English” and at the end of this article, I am going to show you how you can use this simple and fun exercise to help the world.
5 Steps to Making the Most of Music to Learn English
1. Choosing the right song
The first and most important step is choosing the right song. I want you to think of a song that you really love that would be great for English learners.
Think about what the song represents, how it makes you feel, the cultural references, the vocabulary and expression they use, and of course the quality of the song. Does this song move you? Is it inspiring? Or maybe it just makes you feel happy when you listen and sing along.
Task #1 – Open up a word document (or any other program) and write a paragraph explaining why this song is so good (For an example of this, take a look at this article where I have done the same thing).
2. Find the lyrics and sing out loud
Now that you have found your awesome song and philosophized about it a little, it’s time to sing it out loud and start to experience the music.
Find the lyrics online, play the CD or find the song on youtube, then take 5 minutes out of your busy day to sit back (sit down and relax) and sing it. Whether you have a good voice or not isn’t important. The most important fact is that you are singing a song in another language out loud, which is going to really help your confidence and pronunciation. One of the biggest obstacles all language learners have is confidence. DON’T FEEL ASHAMED TO SPEAK ENGLISH.
Task #2 – Copy and paste the lyrics of your song in the same document under the explanation you wrote in task 1.
3. List all the new words and expressions in the song
After singing the song out loud you have probably found many words and expressions that are new to you. Now it’s time to make a list with all of this new vocabulary.
When you are making the list, separate the words and expressions into separate categories. List them as slang, phrasal verbs, idiomatic expressions, abbreviations or any other category you think of.
Task #3 – Under the lyrics of your document, make lists of new words and expressions from your awesome song. (For an example of this, take a look at this article where I have done the same thing).
4. Analyze grammar
Now that you have listed and analyzed all of the new vocabulary, it’s time to take a quick grammatical approach, which will help you with the structural side of the language.
Even though learning through music is not grammatically focused, analyzing verb tenses is going to help you understand these more fundamental parts of the language, but in a very fun and relaxed way. You will also notice how often people break grammar rules in real spoken English, which is even more prominent with music.
Task #4 – Under the lists of new expressions, make another list of at least 5 to 10 examples of different ways the verbs have been conjugated in the song. If you can, make a note of the verb tense they are using. E.g. present simple, present continuous. To learn more about this click here. (link article)
5. Share it with the world and help others
Congratulations!! I’m sure you have just learned a lot of new things with a song that you love. How do you feel? Now sing it–in the car, in the shower, at karaoke night, whenever you have the chance! It’ll really help your pronunciation and boost you confidence.
Would you like to feel even better by sharing this exercise and helping other people just like yourself from all around the world to learn English?
Task #5 – Save your document with your name and a personal message for English learners and music lovers from all around the world, then send it to me: [email protected]
What happens now?
With all of the amazing songs I receive, we are going to collect all of these songs and make them into a downloadable Real Life English Music Book, which is going to be available to people from all around the world for FREE! This Real Life English Music book will be distributed throughout the Real Life English community to all of the 80+ countries which have participants in the groups.
We truly believe that music can bring people together in a way that is more powerful than words, it connects us through feelings and emotions. I am really excited to hear from all of you and learn a lot more than just English from this amazing project.
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