Who is your favorite pop artist?
Beyonce? Ed Sheeran? Bruno Mars?
Guess what—now they are your favorite English teacher, too.
You can learn English directly from these superstars (and many others) with music video English lessons.
How so? There are several addictive websites that transform English music videos into language learning tools.
Below, we will show you the six best sites for learning English with music videos.
But first—does this really work?
Why Learn English with Music Videos?
Research indicates that certain types of videos are best for students to learn from. They should be brief, interactive, informal and have both audio and visual features. Luckily for us, that describes the videos on all of the language learning sites we will show you below!
Further, are you the type of student who gets uncomfortable speaking English in a formal setting? Music videos give you a low-stress, fun way to learn. They can motivate you and make you feel more confident in your English skills.
As you listen to the song, you will improve pronunciation and intonation, while learning new words and phrases. The visuals of the music video will give context to the lyrics and make the language more memorable.
And when you watch music videos with your friends, you build up teamwork and communication abilities while you are having fun.
How to Learn English with Music Videos
You can spend all day every day collecting and finding the best English music videos in the entire world.
Do you know what that will get you?
Probably the most epic party playlist ever made. But nothing much useful to learn English.
The first step you should take is figuring out what to do with all the music videos you will have after reading this article.
Here are a few ideas:
- Start a karaoke night with your friends! Sing along and enjoy your favorite music videos as you learn.
- Start an epic rap battle! Add your own lyrics to your favorite songs. Engage in some—healthy—competition with your friends to see who is the fastest and best!
- Fill in the blank! You can try to complete music video lyrics online. You can also print the lyrics out and do this exercise while you listen.
Review your mistakes afterwards by checking the complete lyrics.
- Try to get ahead of the music and guess the next words while listening to music videos.
6 Rockin’ Sites to Learn English with Music Videos
Here you can find plenty of music videos lessons like this one using Taylor Swift’s hit song “Breathe.” You might know this song from hearing it in the famous “Twilight” movies.
Every lesson-based music video comes with several exercises using the lyrics from the song. There are quizzes to challenge and evaluate yourself and even some background information on the music videos and songs they use.
The best part? You can check your answer after each exercise and see which ones you got right and wrong!
EnglishClass101 has an entire section focused on English music videos. You can choose from several lessons based on famous songs and learn English words and phrases as you read, watch or even sing along with each one.
I went with the music video “Danny Boy” performed by Taryn Brady. I found I could watch and learn new words with their definitions as the video was playing!
The website also provides you with some cultural insights and lesson notes for every single lesson and keeps track of your progress.
Let me give you an example of how it looks:
If you enjoy this method of language learning, there's plenty more from the people behind EnglishClass101! There are thousands of audio and video podcasts for English learners to explore.
The podcasts are developed by experts but designed to be entertaining. You also get PDF lesson notes, flashcards and more.
For a truly personalized learning experience, you will definitely want to check out the music videos on FluentU.
After you watch a video, FluentU offers flashcards and exercises to make sure you remember the vocabulary from the video.
There are videos for all learners, from beginner to advanced. FluentU provides built-in progress tracking tools, to make sure you always move forward in your learning.
Plus, it remembers what you have already watched and suggests more videos based on that information. It is like having a little language coach all to yourself!
LyricsTraining is a website that teaches you English words and phrases by following along with the lyrics of your favorite songs.
After choosing a music video, you choose your level (beginner, intermediate, advanced or expert). As soon as the music video starts you have to complete the lyrics by typing them in.
The video will automatically stop until you complete the lyrics—it will not even register any other letters than the ones needed to complete the lyrics! Afterwards, the video will loop back to the same part so you can listen, review and then continue.
I spent hours playing with Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.”
ESOL Courses is a free online learning website. It publishes self-study lessons and classroom resources for English teachers and students.
They also have plenty of free music video lessons for you to practice! I used the music video “Waterloo Sunset” to practice my general listening skills, as well as learn some new words and commonly used expressions.
Each lesson comes with a popular music video and several tasks based on it to help you practice. After watching the video, you can do a quiz, learn the story behind the lyrics and see the definitions of the most uncommon words and expressions in the lyrics.
What I liked the most about this website is that they are constantly working on updating and changing their exercises.
You can see how in their earlier videos there are just a few exercises for completing the lyrics, while in the latest video you have complex questions about the song and its meaning.
Finally, Multimedia-English has an outstanding collection of music video lessons. Each video comes with:
- A brief description to get your attention
- A transcript of the lyrics
- Activities and games
- Explanations for the most unused and rare words and phrases
- An explanation of the overall meaning of the lyrics
- Even some karaoke versions!
I spent a lot of time learning and practicing with this music video for Sia’s “Cheap Thrills.”
What I enjoyed the most about this website is that plenty of the music videos are popular hits from recent years. So you can learn and also be cool about it!
There you go, enough free lessons and exercises to learn English with music videos and get you dancing, singing, learning and having fun.
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app and website 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 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? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It recommends examples and videos to you based on the words you’ve already learned. You'll have a truly personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.