The Global Language Monitor estimates that the English language has almost 1 million words. In addition to this vast sheer depth of the language, English has numerous irregular verbs, idioms and a rich variety of pronunciations. Several techniques can help when fighting your way through this mass of information. Some educators and students advocate the use of music in learning English.
Find a song in English that you know. This will serve as the foundation of your exercises.
Listen to the song repeatedly until you can sing, hum or whistle the melody by heart.
Find the lyrics. You can copy or download the lyrics from the Internet. Many websites offer free lyrics for any popular recorded song. Libraries also have extensive music collections with sheet music containing lyrics and the complete lyrics from many artists' catalogues. Many CDs come with inserts that contain lyrics.
Translate the lyrics. A dictionary that translates your native language into English can help with translating each word. The translation helps in understanding the content of the song and how English words and sentence construction work.
Read the lyrics while listening to the song. Familiarize yourself with the words and their translated meaning.
Sing or speak the words along with the music. Repeat this process until you can do it without looking at the lyrics.
Recite the lyrics without the music from memory. Take time to pronounce each word correctly before moving on to the next word.
Listen to the song frequently to help cement the sounds of the pronounced words.
- World English: How to Learn English
- Musical English Lessons International: Original Index of English Language Practice
- The Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers: Teaching ESL With Music 1
- Isabel's ESL Site: Musical ESL Exercises
- TESOL Courses: TESOL Training Course Articles
- Slate: Word Count - Are There Really 988,968 Words in the English Language?
- Photo Credit music image by Markus GÃ¶tze from Fotolia.com
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