Yes! Every single English teacher you’ve had throughout your lifetime has told you this. And yes, I totally include myself, no shame at all in doing so! Songs are a great way of practicing your English. They help you improve your pronunciation, vocabulary, and fluency, among others. Now, are all songs good for this? The answer to this question is debatable (what isn’t debatable, though?).
Listening to songs is a great way to improve English language skills. However, it is very important to recur to useful songs that are not confusing. Depending on the level, some songs are more suitable than others. Following the lyrics and singing along is also a great method to apply.
Music is a concept that adapts to everyone’s taste. Whatever your interests may be, you will always find a band, singer, or song that will meet your state of mind and mood. As the offer is infinite, it becomes a practice method that works for any English language learner. If you want to improve your English skills with music, in this article we will list a recommendation of 5 good songs that you can use to do so.
Listening to music as a means of improving your English language skills has been a never-ending recommendation from teachers and native speakers. But, why is this? The answer is pretty simple: it is one of the best ways (if not the best of all) to listen to English speakers while doing something you enjoy. What’s best, you can do it wherever you want!
With this, I don’t mean that listening to your English teacher is not an enjoyable activity (I’m, in fact, a former English teacher, so beware what you say, comment, do, and even think!). What I mean is that you can choose what you want to listen to. And, once you learn the lyrics, you can do it yourself while performing your everyday tasks. It’s practicing without even noticing you’re doing so!
So, why having a list of 5 good songs to improve your English skills if music is a great tool per se? Well, some songs are better than others depending on your English level. For example, imagine you are in your first year of English lessons. You learn the verb “to be”, some vocabulary on numbers, family, and professions. Would you think of Eminem (sorry, Eminem, but I had to use you as a drastic example to make a point) as a good option? I don’t think so!
When using music to improve your English skills, it is very important to know what songs adjust to your level. Of course, as you move on, you can go into more complex genres and singers. The key is to find friendly vocabulary, good pronunciation, and useful idioms within them. So, without further ado (oh, what a sophisticated person I am), let’s go to our recommendation of 5 songs to practice your English.
Oh, yes. Michael Jackson keeps on being trendy nowadays. And we’re talking about young Michael and his siblings. The Jackson 5 band has been a hit during their peak days and got many of their songs in top rankings for years.
This song is great for practicing and improving your English skills because it’s very clear. It contains simple vocabulary and it’s easy to follow and sing along. Try it out, and I dare you not to dance to its tune while doing so!
This is no classic song but still got its good rankings. Ed Sheeran presents a love song dedicated to the love of his life. A nice song with a story within, it tells you how he fell in love with a friend of his from a young age.
Ed Sheeran’s Perfect has a very clear pronunciation and a slow pace. An easy song to learn and follow while listening to it or singing along. It may sound a bit cheesy, but in my personal opinion, it’s both a great way of practicing English and a fantastic song, too. Get your tissues ready!
Let’s get some faster pace with Bruno Mars’ Just the Way You Are. A catchy song, very easy to understand and follow. Mars’ song is also dedicated to a love of his. He explains why he thinks this person is the right one for him. Just as the name reads, he considers her amazing, just the way she is.
Just the Way You Are has content of all kinds. Besides having a clear pronunciation, Mars doesn’t have a difficult-to-understand accent. The vocabulary is quite simple, and it’s a great song to practice Simple Present if you are a new English learner. However, the lyrics also include other aspects, such as future and conditional structures.
This is another great choice if you want to use music as a means to improve your English skills. A song by Swedish DJ and record producer Avicii, Wake Me Up has peaked as number one in many parts of Europe.
This song may be a little repetitive sometimes. However, it contains many metaphors that you can easily deduce or even search online (make an effort first!). I would recommend it to more advanced learners. The song may not be as easy to follow as others in this list. Still, it’s a good way of improving your listening skills!
Hooked on a Feeling has been one of the greatest songs included in the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. A fantastic song that will never get too old to listen to. It contains a metaphoric description of a girl who has the singer, well, “hooked on a feeling”.
Well, I’m going to be straight with the choice of this song. While it does include metaphors, clear lyrics, and great vocabulary, it’s also one of my favorites songs! Besides, the words in the lyrics are not shortened in any way looking for poetic harmony. This means that you’re not going to find expressions such as gonna, wanna, or ain’t.
So, once we have introduced our top 5 songs to listen to and practice your English skills, we still have one little (yet important, so don’t close this window!) tip. Remember that singers look for, as we mentioned before, something called poetic harmony. This is a resource that allows artists to twist language to make words fit following a verse. Pay attention to that as you look for other songs, because you may hear some things that are not grammatically correct!
Have you ever used songs to improve your English? How did that work for you? What about our list? Have you tried them? Feel free to share your thoughts and other ideas. Remember to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive news, tips, and updates on the English language. Thanks for reading, and see you next time!