Are you looking to improve your English skills? One good way to do that is through music. Music, as they say, is the universal language. A fun melody can get stuck in the head even if the words don’t make any sense to you. That is why a catchy song can be a good way to learn some English words.
What follows is a list of 15 songs to learn English. The advantage of using pop songs to learn English is that you will also be learning something about English speaking culture, which could come in handy. A friendship with a new English-speaking friend could start over sharing the same favorite song.
1. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
This is a hit song from five years ago. Taylor Swift is an incredibly popular artist who came from the country genre. This particular song is about not giving in to negativity when people try to criticize you. It is about knowing that you can stay positive even under challenging situations. This makes it a perfect anthem for tackling the problem of learning a new language.
2. The Beatles – Yellow Submarine
This song is about community. The singer and all of his friends are living together aboard the submarine. This song is a good pick because The Beatles played a huge role in shaping English speaking music culture. Although not enough young people today know who they are, they are still a very relevant part of music history.
3. Ed Sheeran – Perfect
This song is relatable because it talks about a topic important to almost all: love. The male singer met his love when they were young, and their love continued to blossom into adulthood. The helpful part of this song for learning English is that he is pronouncing the words relatively slowly, making them easier to understand.
4. U2 – Beautiful Day
These inspiring song lyrics remind us to see the beauty around us, even when our mood gets low because of challenges we face. This is another example of a motivational song to keep your spirits high while you tackle learning how to conjugate that next English verb.
5. Cindi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Here is a song that many girls can probably relate to. The singer’s parents are trying to get her to worry about where her future is going. Instead, the singer wants to focus on enjoying life right now. The catchy chorus of this song is a simple sentence that can help to learn English because it is an easy sentence structure. “Girls just want to have fun”.
6. Justin Bieber – Sorry
Justin Bieber has been a pop culture sensation for awhile. He made it famous by recording a YouTube video. This song will help to learn English because it offers a contrast in the speed of the lyrics. The verses have him singing quickly, giving you a chance to learn how to pick out words quick. During the choruses, he pronounces a little slower so that you can gain back your confidence with some easy-to-comprehend words.
7. Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop This Feeling
Timberlake has been on the radio and in movies. This is another good learning song because he alternates from pronouncing his words slow at times to fast at other times. This can help you practice your comprehension for when people get excited and start talking faster.
8. Hoobastank – The Reason
The singer in this song treated the person he is singing to poorly. However, he has come to a new realization about himself and his need to change his ways for the better. He sings the words so it makes it easier to follow his lyrics.
9. Shawn Mendes – Treat You Better
Here we have a universal theme of a guy who is upset with the girl for choosing the other guy over him. In this song, he invites her to change her mind and come back to him. Also, he sings slowly enough to be easily understood.
10. The Police – Every Breath You Take
The singer in this song is determined to win over a woman. He is willing to follow that person anywhere. As an English learner, these lyrics can help sharpen your skills because of so many words that rhyme. You’ll have the chance to differentiate the meaning behind very similar sentence structures that only sound a little bit different.
11. Europe – The Final Countdown
Here we have a song about going on a rocket ship to Venus. The rocket is about to blast off, so they are counting down the moments until that happens. The repetition of the phrase “final countdown” should build your confidence. Also, it can help reinforce the norm of having adjectives come before nouns, which may be different in your native language.
12. Michael Jackson – Beat It
In this song Michael advises people to stay away from violence. The singer cautions that people who are trying to “look tough” can let their pride steer them into danger. This song is a good one to learn English because it’s so catchy.
13. Lady Gaga – Shallow
This is a song from the recent popular movie “A Star is Born.” It captures that moment in a romantic relationship where the emotions take on a whole new level of depth. Catch some of the slow words from the verse on the first few listens, then understand the faster chorus words as you repeat.
14. Adele – Someone Like You
This song is about trying to move on after a very meaningful romantic relationship. The singer sees her old love with a new lover, and tries to console herself with the fact that she might also find someone else to love. This song has a very catchy melody which will help it work its way into your head and teach you English.
15. Chainsmokers – Closer
This catchy song recounts the story of lovers who were separated, but found their way back to each other. This one is really going to test your English skills because he is almost rapping at some points. When you get to the point where you understand the words, you are going to have a sense of accomplishment knowing your skills have really improved.
There you have fifteen songs that will teach you English and expand your cultural knowledge at the same time. The songs come from different decades, so you will also be getting a bit of a music history lesson. Prepare yourself for some toe-tapping learning fun.