How many of you think that learning English costs a lot of money? Well, I have some good news for you: that’s not true. There are numerous free ways to learn English – free and pleasant, let me add. Take a browse through this article to find out how to use YouTube videos with lyrics to improve your English.
Why is learning through listening to songs such a good way of learning a new language? The answer is simple: it is a lot easier for you to remember words or phrases if you associate it with a specific song. Top tip: to avoid making lyrics up (we all remember “Ken Lee”, don’t we?), make sure you memorize them the way they are sung by the artist. YouTube videos with lyrics will help you with that.
You can choose whatever videos you like, however, the more you like the song, the more eager you’ll be to listen to it again and again, ensuring that the lyrics stay in your head forever (or at least the best part of). I still remember the lyrics of songs I learned by heart when I was a kid and I’m sure you could come up with a couple of examples as well. It only proves how efficient that way of learning can be! In case you need an inspiration, I’m going to suggest songs that I found most useful when learning English.
FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE
Even though “Friday I’m In Love” by The Cure was released in 1992, it’s still a fairly recognizable song. It is not only catchy, its lyrics also contain quite a lot of useful English expressions and references to remarkable events (so you can actually learn something by “decoding” the lyrics – that’s always an advantage). Blue Monday is a name given to the most depressing day of the year. Black Monday, on the other hand, refers to one specific Monday on October 19, 1987, when stock markets all over the world crashed. Then you have a bunch of expressions and interesting words like “I’m in love” (you feel romantically attracted to someone or something), “fall apart” (= disintegrate), “break my heart” (= make me very sad) or “hesitates” (= pause in indecision). Are you curious what other phrases are there in the lyrics? Check it out on your own!
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
“Stairway To Heaven” is probably one of the greatest songs of all time. Written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, the song is about making the right choices in life. It’s so beautiful that listening to it is a pure pleasure, but why have just one advantage if you can have two? Follow the lyrics and improve your English. For example, in the first line, you’ll hear “There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold”, which is an inverted version of a popular saying “all that glitters is not gold”, meaning that not everything that looks precious is of a great value. The silly lady didn’t know such obvious things!
ALWAYS ON MY MIND
Although Elvis Presley was not the first one to perform “Always On My Mind”, most people associate the song with him. Have you ever considered using it to practice your English? If not, then maybe you should start! English grammar can be quite tricky and sometimes it takes a while to remember all the structures. “Always On My Mind” might actually help you with that – the lyrics contain sentences with past modal verbs. So next time you’re not sure how to use past modal verbs, just think of the King of Rock and Roll and this charming love song. Also, the title itself is an idiom – “on someone’s mind” means that someone is thinking about someone or something.
EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE
“Every Breath You Take” is one of the most famous songs by English band, The Police. Written by Sting, it seems like another song about being deeply in love, but if you listen to it carefully, it becomes more complex – the lyrical subject is possessive and wants to have an absolute control over the loved person. That’s another song that will help you remember the structure of tenses. You’ll find examples of future continuous, present simple and present perfect there. Just listen to it and associate specific lyrics with the correct tense. See? It’s easy to use YouTube videos with lyrics to improve your English!
“Our House” is a cheerful song by English band, called Madness. The lyrics are quite simple meaning they’ll be easier to remember. The song is also very catchy. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like dancing when listening to it! The lyrics are basically a list of various activities done by family members, which is a useful vocabulary list that you will get to practice every day. The song will also help you remember how to pronounce the word “iron”. You would be surprised how many non-native speakers pronounce it wrong! Even when they speak about Iron Maiden…
ALWAYS LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE
“Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” by Eric Idle, a Monty Python member, is one of the songs that always make me smile. It’s so positive! (Even if it’s also ironic, but what else would you expect from Monty Python?) If you study the lyrics, you might find some interesting words, such as “grin” (= a wide smile), “chump” (= a foolish or easily deceived person), “bow” (= to bend your head or body forward), “cheer up” (= cause somebody to feel happier), “look on the bright side” (= be optimistic), or “make money” (= earn).
Now when you know how to use YouTube videos with lyrics to improve your English, it’s time for some practice! This week, listen to some songs on YouTube that have the lyrics included. You can use some of my examples or choose your own. Leave a comment and tell me what you’ve learned!
Check out this article for more tips to improve your English skills.