The usage of songs while learning a foreign language can be a very useful tool. It can help us avoid daily routine of grammar rules and boring exercises, it can become a great motivator for those students who are not that brilliant at mastering the barren language. Remember yourself muttering a line or two from a popular song no matter what language it is in. You copy the rhythm, the melody and the words just as you’ve heard them. What if you make an effort and find the lyrics, learn the lines and try to understand what the song is about? No doubt your language skills will only benefit from this. You can acquire new vocabulary, identify familiar grammar constructions and of course while repeating you practise your pronunciation.
However, there are several pitfalls which you should be aware of: vocabulary used in songs isn’t always of everyday use, you should keep in mind that lyrics are in the first place poetry and you know those poets! It’s difficult to define who or what they mean when they rhyme the word “love” with a “dove” – if it is a bird, a beautiful woman or a political leader.
English is not only an international language of business and travel, it also plays an important role in music – many singers try to release albums in English to be recognized all over the world. So, be wary of singers who come from countries where English isn’t a mother tongue. Their pronunciation sometimes leaves much to be desired.
And one more drawback which often discourages teachers of English from using songs at their lessons is faulty grammar. For example, we were strictly warned against usage of double negation in the sentence. Still, this phenomenon comes in many songs –“We don’t need no Education” (Pink Floyd).
Now I would like to introduce Sting’s Shape of My Heart to you.
That's not the shape, the shape of my heart
So, with this song we got acquainted with some of the cards vocabulary. Let’s revise:
- the hearts
- the clubs
- the diamonds
- the spades
Now, can you name these:
More enjoyable songs: