An activity to help you get the most out of songs (30 minutes)
Choose a song you want to understand from your own collection or online (e.g. YouTube).
Listen to the song twice and as you listen write down some of the words or phrases you hear (or think you hear).
Find the lyrics of the song (search for example “dancing queen lyrics”).
Listen again to the song and follow the lyrics. Check to see if what you wrote is correct.
Read carefully through the lyrics and use a dictionary or Google translator to understand the words you don’t know. You may find a translation of the lyrics into your language. If so, use that to help you. Make a note in your vocab document or vocab book of words you think are useful for you to learn.
(Optional) On YouTube you can post a short comment about the song. Respond to something someone else has posted or simply say why you like the song or the band.
Top tips for listening to songs
- Listen to songs you like.
- Start with songs you think will be easier to understand.
- Don’t worry if the vocals are not always clear. Native speakers find it hard to catch all the words of a song when they hear it.
- Use the written lyrics and a translation if there is one available to help you understand.
- Listen a couple of times without the lyrics to give yourself an opportunity to understand and practise your listening skills.