Watching English-language television shows can help learners in more than one way.
Think about a recent commercial you saw on TV.
Maybe it was for cereal, cat food or a fancy car.
Can you remember the exact words that the commercial used?
You probably can’t. Now think about a recent commercial you saw that used a jingle (a fun, catchy song) to sell its product.
It is much easier to remember words when they are in a song, isn’t it?
This is true for other things, not just commercials. Songs are easier to remember than words alone.
We have picked out 11 very helpful English learning songs from YouTube.
Watch these! You might suddenly discover that English grammar rules are your favorite things to learn.
11 Catchy Songs that Teach English Grammar
1. “Unpack Your Adjectives” from “Schoolhouse Rock”
“Schoolhouse Rock” is a cartoon series from the 90’s that teaches about English, math and even politics through the power of music. “Unpack Your Adjectives” is just one of nine excellent musical cartoons that explore the English language in a way that is easy to understand and remember.
If you enjoy learning descriptive words with “Unpack Your Adjectives,” you might also like “Conjunction Junction”—which explains when to use conjunctions like “and,” “but” and “or”—or any of the other classic cartoons from the show.
2. “Word Crimes” by Weird Al Yankovic
You might recognize the music in this song. “Word Crimes” uses the music from Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” Weird Al Yankovic is known for his parodies of popular songs—he imitates popular music with his own funny lyrics.
“Word Crimes” sings about many of the most common English grammar mistakes. You will need to watch it more than once if you want to learn about all of these mistakes. It is a great resource to learn about commonly misused words like “less” and “fewer,” and the music video actually writes out the lyrics and explains the mentioned mistakes really well.
Aside from the “word crimes” that Weird Al lists, there are some other things you can learn from the video, like the words “familiarize” and “nomenclature.” Learn the words and the word crimes described, and you can beat some of the most common mistakes that even native speakers make!
3. “N apostrophe T” from “The Electric Company”
“The Electric Company” is another old educational TV show from the 1970s. That’s even older than “Schoolhouse Rock”!
This show was meant to teach grammar and reading skills to kids, and the songs from the show are still great for learning and remembering English grammar rules.
The video here shows how to turn a verb into its negative form using N apostrophe T (n’t). If you enjoy this video, you can find more on the newly-remade “Electric Company” YouTube channel here!
4. “Onomatopoeia” by Songs For School
Boom! Crash! Pow!
All of these words are examples of onomatopoeia: words that are said the way they sound. It is easier to remember than it is to spell, and this song will help you with both. It uses examples in sentences that you might actually say in everyday conversation. And if you can sing along, you will never forget how to spell onomatopoeia!
5. “Transformations” by Flocabulary
Want to learn more vocabulary words? There are lots of videos about SAT words on YouTube. The SAT is a test that high school kids take when they are applying for college in the United States, and it expects you to know some advanced English vocabulary words.
Flocabulary’s song teaches 40 new SAT words, some of which are not used in everyday language because they are more advanced. They are great words to learn—and some of the definitions can teach you even more new words.
For example, you can learn the word “merit,” which is used in the definition for “meritorious.” You might want to have the dictionary open for this one!
6. “Present Simple ‘To Be’ Lesson” by Tom Simek’s Rockin’ English
The videos on this channel are mostly for teaching simple things to young children, like “left and right,” or when to say “can” or “can’t.”
But this one video can be very useful for English learners who have trouble remembering how to use the verb “to be” correctly. This song will help you remember when to use “are,” “is” and “am.”
7. “Parts of Speech Rap” by Justgo4011
This rap song is a great way to learn the different parts of speech, what they do and how to use them. Do you know what an action word is called? How can you describe that action? This video will tell you.
Even if you already remember the parts of speech, the rap uses a number of words as examples that you might not be familiar with. Just the chorus (the part that is repeated most in a song) has at least two words that are probably new to you: “yearn” and “psyched.” You might have to pause in a few places when you find more new vocabulary words.
8. “The Grammar Song” by Mr. M
Need more practice with parts of speech? Here is another excellent rap song that helps learners remember English parts of speech. This one uses examples and goes into a bit more detail with how to use and write English parts of speech.
The lyrics to the song are shown in the video, but they go a little faster than the rapping. You might need to pause this a few times if you miss things.
9. “Adverb Song” by The Grammarheads
Now that you know the parts of speech, you might want to spend more time on each one so you can learn more about them and get more examples. The Grammarheads are a great resource for that.
The songs on this YouTube channel teach the different parts of speech with cool rock music. “Adverb Song,” for example, explains how to check if a word is an adverb and gives a lot of examples.
10. “StickStuckStuck” by Fluency MC
Fluency MC uses rap to teach English.
He is an English teacher who, instead of just lecturing and telling his lessons, raps them! His videos teach everything from simple grammar rules to more advanced English lessons.
“StickStuckStuck” is a rap that might help you remember irregular English verbs better than if you just try to memorize them. There are plenty of other resources on his YouTube channel, so check them out!
11. “Daily Activities” by ESL Classics
The songs on ESL Classics are clear and pleasant to listen to. Each one teaches about English grammar through everyday examples.
“Daily Activities,” for example, teaches the present tense and can help you learn to speak about your day. Other videos can help you learn other English tenses and prepare for a job interview.
While you are exploring YouTube, here is a bonus video for you: “38 Common Spelling and Grammar Errors” from Mental Floss. He speaks a bit fast and the video is full of pop culture references, but the common mistakes are written down right in the video. It’s not a song but it’s very useful!
It is easy to get a good song stuck in your head.
Get these songs playing inside your head today.
The next time you need to know how to spell onomatopoeia or remember what an adjective is, you will know what to do!
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