improve English with songs

Can you improve your English with songs?

Yes! It’s actually a brilliant idea to improve your English with songs! There are SO many reasons why this works and can help you to produce real everyday English with natural pronunciation….

Why does it work?

  • Firstly, features of music like rhythm, tone and rhyming help us to memorise chunks of language easily
  • Repetition of the chorus and other lyrics also helps us to memorise words
  • We absorb the pronunciation of new words without trying
  • We learn vocabulary in context so we don’t need to use a dictionary to understand the meaning
  • The story of the song helps the vocabulary to stick in our minds long-term because we connect with the story and relate to it
  • Finally, it’s enjoyable – We always learn more quickly when it’s fun!

So how can you improve your English with songs?

It’s best to choose a song you love as you are then much more likely to be motivated. It doesn’t matter if it’s pop, rock, motown or a childhood nursery rhyme!

  • Find the song online with lyrics (youtube is usually a good place to look).
  • First, listen a couple of times without the lyrics and just enjoy the music.
  • Then see if you can follow the lyrics and sing along in time. (Don’t worry too much if there is some vocabulary you don’t understand.)
  • Finally, pop in your earplugs and see how many times you can listen to the song over the next few days. It should get stuck in your head and you will find yourself singing it in the shower!

If you try that approach, you will absorb the new language and pronunciation without really trying to improve your English. Then soon you will start to notice this language in real-life situations or you will catch yourself using a natural phrase from the song in everyday conversation without even thinking about it 🙂


One more tip before you go!

If you’re not sure which songs might be suitable for your level, check out this fantastic website. You can see which songs it suggests for your level or search by topic. That’s all absolutely free! But, if you subscribe to that website, you will also get exercise worksheets to go with your chosen song.

Which songs would you suggest for other English learners?

Do you think you can improve your English with songs? Have you got any English favourites that you love singing along to? I’d love to hear your top choices! Leave a comment below to inspire other English learners 🙂

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Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

4 thoughts on “Can you improve your English with songs?

  1. I really like old love songs like Frank sinatra or Diana Ross because the music is slow enough for me to hear the words!

    1. Yes, that’s important because you don’t want to feel stressed while you are enjoying the music! Both are great singers too of course! Thanks for your comment Marie 🙂

  2. I’ve always been surprised at how singing seems to smooth out accents. I didn’t realize most of my favorite 80s and 90s rock bands were actually British or Canadian until the Internet came along.

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