You might not think of it as studying but in a sense that’s exactly what you are doing. You listen and repeat, listen and repeat, until the lyrics are permanently implanted in your head. And unlike material gained through books, songs can radiate through your head for days or even weeks before they’re entirely flushed down the drain.
So, what better way to study English than learning it through song? You get to learn vocabulary while hearing its proper pronunciation, though you might want to stay away from rap or anything too modern for now, since colloquialisms are best learned at a more advanced stage, when you can tell the difference between correct and incorrect idiom usage. Below are some quick tips on how to study your lyrics:
- Pick a song that you like but that is not too complex. It’s extremely important that you get the correct lyrics so that you can decipher the right meaning of the song. There are a lot of great sites to get accurate lyrics.
- Read the lyrics in their entirety. You don’t need to understand everything but try to see if you can at least get a good feel for what the song is about. Is it a romantic song? A sad song? A happy song? Is it abstract or literal? Try to compare and contrast the English song to something familiar in your native tongue. It’ll help you see similar and cultural differences from your own.
- Re-read and circle all the words/phrases you don’t know and would like to learn. Sometimes context clues will give you a better understanding of what the word means but if necessary, by all means look up their exact meaning in a dictionary. A dictionary might also be useful in finding other interesting phrases or words.
- Hear the song three to four times before you decide to chime in karaoke style. Read the lyrics a few times right before bed and also try listening to the song while you sleep. Even in your slumber, your brain will still retain the information. Listen and repeat until you got it down.
- Test yourself. There are many websites such as Lyrics Training that are especially designed to help non-English speakers learn the language. As a series of song lyrics run down the screen it's up to you to fill in the missing words. You can choose from a huge selection of contemporary songs in their bank that are divided into easy, medium and hard difficulty levels.