Saturday night at the bar, singing your favorite song.
Giggling at each other’s voices as you sing at a party.
Visiting a karaoke lounge with friends or family.
If karaoke isn’t something you do regularly, you’re missing out! You sing in the shower or when you’re alone in the car anyway, why not showcase that talent to the world? And you already know the words to that one pop song by heart (don’t deny it!).
Karaoke (pronounced kah-rah-oh-keh in Japanese) first started in Japan in the 1970s and quickly became a phenomenon around the world.
Sometimes karaoke can be a competitive event, where talented singers can show off. Other times, it can be a leisure activity, where you accidentally forget the lyrics or sing terribly on purpose.
While karaoke is usually just for entertainment, it can also be a musical way to improve your English!
How Can Karaoke Help You Learn English?
Music affects the way you learn and can help you improve your English fluency. In particular, lyrics are a great way to learn new vocabulary and familiarize yourself with English grammar.
In fact, as pointed out by this video on FluentU’s YouTube channel, what starts out as just a catchy tune will become something you remember throughout your language learning journey.
A certain song may get your attention and then get stuck in your head, repeating the lyrics over and over. This helps you learn the words to the song and grammar that goes along with it. Later, you’ll find that you’ll be able to actually use these words and grammar constructions because you’ve heard them so much in a song!
Check out other videos like this one on FluentU’s YouTube channel for more tips on improving your English skills.
Karaoke is a little different than just listening to a song or lyrics, though. Because there are no vocals included, you’re forced to sing the lyrics yourself. This is more of a challenge because you won’t have the singer’s voice as an example.
You also have to make sure you’re pronouncing and saying words correctly. Because of this, you’ll want to choose songs you already know.
Pick a song where you have the lyrics and rhythm memorized. This way, you won’t depend on reading the lyrics. It’ll still be a challenge, but you’ll be more prepared.
While you’re focused on learning the lyrics and singing properly, you’ll also be practicing your English!
Use These 9 Awesome Resources to Learn English Through Karaoke
Sing King Karaoke
Do you like singing along with your favorite songs on the radio? If you want to practice karaoke with some of these popular tunes, check out Sing King Karaoke on YouTube.
This channel is always being updated with karaoke versions of the latest hits. It also makes awesome and creative karaoke covers, such as acoustic or piano versions of songs. A well-known song you can sing along to on the channel is “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran.
The KARAOKE Channel
This is another great YouTube channel. It literally has thousands of videos and songs to choose from. Besides the YouTube channel, this service also has a website with even more karaoke resources.
You can use it on your phone, television and or download the songs onto your computer! Browse around the channel and other resources to find yourself some great karaoke versions of newer songs or maybe some classic hit by bands like the Beatles.
This website has a huge database of karaoke songs and lets you search for songs that go all the way back to the 1950s and beyond! It has newer hit songs like “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake and a wide variety of popular older songs, such as the classic anthem “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.
The website offers multiple versions of each song. You can buy a version with backup vocals or no backup vocals. They also have cover versions of the songs, as well as ones that only have the drum track or guitars. It’s a great resource for karaoke and maybe even making your own rendition (version) of a song.
Download each version and experiment until you’ve learned the song or maybe made your own cool cover!
Do you want to try recording yourself singing karaoke, but feel too embarrassed to see yourself on camera? Sing Snap is another karaoke website that provides instrumental versions of songs so you can record yourself singing. However, the site only records your voice, which is good if you feel uncomfortable watching yourself or having others watch you on video.
Listening to yourself sing may still be embarrassing, but it can be very useful for trying to improve your English because you’ll be able to hear the mistakes you make. Sing Song has a huge selection to practice with and has all kinds of songs and artists, new and old. For example, if you’re a huge Rihanna fan, you can choose from some of Rihanna’s most popular songs from over the course of her musical career.
Red Karaoke is a popular karaoke app that you can download onto your smartphone or tablet or computer. Red Karaoke offers karaoke versions and the lyrics of many songs. It even has the infamous song “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen.” Now you can practice and learn the song that took over the internet (and elementary schools worldwide) a couple years ago.
Red Karaoke provides two versions of songs: a sing-along version and a karaoke version. In the sing-along version, you sing along with the original song and lyrics. This is a good resource because you can learn the song and lyrics first before you start the karaoke version. For the karaoke version, you’re given the lyrics but no vocals.
No matter what version you choose, the app will record a video of you singing the song. This may be embarrassing, but once you feel comfortable enough, it’s a good way to watch yourself and see how your mouth and tongue move when you’re speaking or singing.
This is a website that lets you play with lyrics! The site shows you a music video and the lyrics appear at the bottom of the screen. However, some of the lyrics will be missing and it’s your job to fill in the missing words. It’s a fun way to learn a song and practice your English. The site also provides karaoke versions of its lyrics games!
Like many of the other sites, it has both new songs and classic hits. Lorde, grammy winner and popular artist, just came out with a new album. You can practice your English with her song “Perfect Places.” If that’s not your style, a classic pop song from the early 2000s you might enjoy is “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera.
What’s awesome about this app is that it is very focused on community. You can post your karaoke videos online and meet people who enjoy the same type of music as you. There are even karaoke singing competitions with prizes!
That means you can get feedback on both your English pronunciation and your singing skills in one place. There are tons of songs available and even fun features like audio effects.
If you subscribe for a VIP membership ($16.99 for one month or $39.99 for three months) you will get new songs weekly.
Smule is another app that allows you to sing karaoke by yourself or with a friend. The app can record a video of you and another person at the same time, even if they live on the other side of the world. The app is very popular, and there are lots of opportunities to socialize and meet new people! So make some friends or find a singing partner, and they might just be able to help you improve your English.
Some hit songs you might start with are “Rockabye” by Clean Bandit and “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendez.
But there’s more! On top of this, the company has made other musical apps that can make practicing English fun. For example, they have an Auto Rap app for iOS and Android devices that turns your regular spoken speech into an awesome rap!
FluentU isn’t a karaoke service, but it does have a huge selection of music videos. The app is designed to teach new languages, so its music videos will help you do just that!
The lyrics will play as you watch, and you can also hover over the words. When do you this, it will provide a definition of the word, which the other apps mentioned here don’t do. It’s an easy and fun way to learn the lyrics of a song, as well as new vocabulary words.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Unlike traditional language learning sites, FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.
FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:
FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you'll see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It even reminds you when it’s time to review! Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.
You can start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
If you love to sing or just love to have a good time, karaoke is a great way to practice your English. It’s something that you can start out doing by yourself if you feel shy or embarrassed.
But when you feel more confident, grab some friends and have a karaoke party using these resources! You’ll have a great time and practice your English while you’re at it.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.