Learning a new language is not easy. You learn best when studying is fun. There are many methods to study a new language. A very effective way is to use all your senses. Music is the language that everyone speaks and understands. Music stimulates your brain. Songs we have learned in our childhood helped us learn things and we still remember those songs today. Repeating the song will also help you memorize the words, which is easier and more fun than to sit in front of a book and study vocabulary and phrases. Singing and repeating a song in the target language also helps your pronunciation.
Music has a positive effect on learning a new language, but why is that so? Scientists examined the difference in learning a language when the students heard the language beforehand. The experiment clearly demonstrated how important it is to give the brain the opportunity in advance to create the necessary nerve tracts to store the new language. Another research study showed that singing along to songs in the foreign language has a significantly positive effect on learning a foreign language. Singing along was tested against normal speech in the foreign language. The best results were achieved by listening to songs repeatedly and singing along.
Holistic learning: When learning with music, both parts of the brain are active. Because of that the information is ranked as more important and is saved more efficiently. That means that we can also access this information easier.
The sound of the language: if you start learning a new language and the sound of the language is still unfamiliar it is often difficult to understand the beginning and end of individual words. Music can be very helpful due to the sometimes overly clear emphasis and the assignment of the musical notes to individual words.
Subtleties of language use: Consider the situation where you say a grammatically correct sentence, but the other person has a smile on their lips because it’s phrased differently in native conversation. That kind of everyday language or colloquial language isn’t typically learned from books or in language school. Music, on the other hand, often uses casual jargon or culturally conditioned idioms and dialects. You can learn the language and phrases that are actually spoken.
Interesting content: A common problem with some language courses is that the content can sometimes be boring. On the other hand, if you use music you enjoy, it will be exciting to learn and understand the actual meaning of the song.
Frequent repetition: And then when you’ve learned the song, it will be easy and a pleasure to listen the song frequently.
Depending on your personal language level, you should approach learning with music differently.
Beginners should choose a song that is as quiet as possible. Ballads are good because they speak slowly and usually clearly.
While beginners are more concerned with translating, advanced language learners should focus more on listening to the lyrics and writing them down. Again, slower songs are usually better. Later you can switch to faster songs.
Are you convinced? Then move ahead with the following steps:
1. Pick a Song You Like
Here are five authentic German songs that will help you learn the language:
- Da, da, da by Trio. This song is great for beginners. It has simple lyrics and a frequently reoccurring line.
- Der, die, das by Sesamstrasse This is a children's song that is great for beginners. The song helps you remember the basic of German articles and question words.
- 99 Luftballons by Nena A song for intermediate and advanced students, this is an anti-war protest song which became an international hit in the 80s.
- Lili Marlen by Marlene Dietrich This song is for advanced students. It is a German love song which was very popular during WWII.
- Ich war noch niemals in NY by Udo Juergens Another song for advanced students, this song is about a man’s desire on a quick trip to get some cigarettes and escape his current life and go to NY.
2. Listen, Enjoy, and Sing Along
As you are listening for the first time, you do not need to worry about reading the words. Just sit back and enjoy. Maybe even join in singing along.
3. Find the Lyrics and Translate Them
You can also find original music videos. The site Lyrics Training lets you fill in the gaps to the lyrics as you listen and sing karaoke to your favorite songs.
4. Listen to the Song and Read the Lyrics
You can divide the song into smaller parts and learn one part at a time.
5. Repeat the Song Over and Over Again
The melody makes learning new words easy, even those that might otherwise feel difficult to memorize or to pronounce.