The best music for learning English is clear, lyrical, and catchy.
Listening to music is an excellent way to improve your English. Falling asleep to English lyrics, in particular, is an ideal way to learn a new language. In fact, research from Switzerland’s University of Bern demonstrates you can learned new words during deep levels of sleep.
Music to help you learn English
Encourage your students to learn English by listening to Disney soundtracks. If you’ve ever watched Encanto, you know how catchy those tunes can be.
Here are some other top Disney soundtracks your students will love.
Disney movie sounds tracks are often midfreqency music and mid frequency music is excellent for learning English. Singing songs in mid frequency tones activates your vagus nerve*. When you are calm and your vagus nerve is activated, you can learn more. “When ew are in. Place of safety and security, our voices sound different add we hear a wider range of tones, especially in human voices”. This creates a sense of calmness. Listening to midfrequency music opens up our middle ear muscles, which are the same muscles that are activated when we are in the happy place of social engagement. *
Lyric heavy music
- Elvis Presley
- Frank Sinatra
- Leonard Cohen
- The Beatles
- The Kinks
- Johnny Cash
- Mountain Goats
- Taylor Swift
- Fiona Apple
- Lisa Loeb
If you are interested in using music to teach English, here are some more tips.
Try Lyrics Training
Lyrics Training is an app for iOS | Android that lets students to fill in missing lyrics to their favorite songs in real-time.
It is an especially helpful tool to connect with lower-level students. Many beginning English speakers know the lyrics to whole songs in English before they even completely understand the songs, which is excellent. This is how children learn languages, too. Music is a great immersive teacher.
To teach the lyrics to a class as a whole, you can use the website as a projector. Or, you can teach students individually using headphones. Get creative with it!
Best music with English lyrics by genre
- Joni Mitchell
- Elliot Smith
- Lisa Loeb
- Taylor Swift
- Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes)
- Phoebe Bridgers
- Shania Twain
Yes, rap can help you learn English. Here are some artists that craft intelligent lyrics that could help you improve your conversational language skills.
- Aesop Rock
- The Pharcyde
- Wu-Tang Clan
- The Roots
- Sage Francis
There are lots of poop songs with witty, intelligent lyrics. The best music for learning English to is music that has easy, repetitive lyrics that are natural phrases that will stick in your mind and be easy for you to replicate. Pop music is perfect for this. Try listening to these pop stars:
- Taylor Swift
- Katy Perry
Encourage students to listen to music in their sleep to learn English
You might be familiar with the idea that listening to a language while you sleep can help you learn it. Your brain establishes links between words in two languages while you’re asleep. so it is a great idea to listen to music with lots of English lyrics while you sleep. Listen to music with lots of English lyrics as you fall asleep and watch your English skills expand considerably!
More tips to create English Immersion
To keep learning English further, I also suggest the following:
- Audiobooks. Be sure to listen and read along with the captions. There are some great free youtube channels, like Learn English Through Stories, with books you can read and speak along to.
- Talk to people online. Consider signing up for online video gaming or Discords or Reddit groups that interest you. This way, you can practice writing and chat in English in a casual, recurring setting. Also, for more structured practice, sign up for Cambly for some speaking practice. It is the cheapest way to practice conversational English.
- Read out loud. The Project Gutenberg texts are free and you can read them out loud to improve your grammar.
*As noted in, “How to do the work” on page 102
* citation (Porges, S. (2007). The polyvaagal perspective. Biological Psychology, 74.
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