Updated: Apr 7
Listening to music can have many benefits to help you learn a language. If you find some music to your taste in the language you’re learning (let’s consider it’s French for this article, but it could be anything), you’ll have an easy way to expose yourself to the language. Then you can really get a passive contact with French at any convenient time, every day.
Paying attention to the lyrics
Just listening to the same songs over and over is already a way to pick up some words, some common phrases, some intonations. At some point you can even look up the lyrics and try to follow what the song is about or, even better, to sing along. The site lyricstraining.com turns it into a game, syncing the lyrics and the song and asking you to find some missing words as the song goes. Why not trying it out with this famous Celine Dion French song?
Where to find easy songs?
I’ve gathered a few titles in a Youtube playlist for my students so they can have a starting point and maybe find French music they like. There’s no way to create a playlist fitting everyone’s taste, so I’ve picked songs with rather easy lyrics that had had some commercial success in France or that some students had told me they liked. If you like any of the songs in the playlist, you can then click Youtube artist’s Mix on the right side menu and listen to similar songs. You’re very welcome to suggest other songs in this post comments, I’ll add them to the playlist!
What about radio stations?
And finally, it’s also good to consider musical radio stations. They usually also tend to have a limited number of songs that they play over and over, which is preferable for language learning purposes. They also have something you might find annoying at first, but that will prove useful as well: commercials! They’re usually really short messages or dialogues said in very fast paced tones, with silly musics and catchphrases. A good challenge for your aural understanding! And since you’re going to hear the same commercials all the time, it won’t be long before you get what they say and you remember the way they say it… For French, you can try MFM Radio that only broadcasts French music; otherwise have a look at TuneIn, a big international radio database that will provide you with all the radios from a specific country or city.