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Independent Second Language Exercise #1: Learn the Lyrics

Music and second language learning go together like pb&j. Use it to your advantage. I created this easy and fun exercise in my self study of Spanish.

OBJECTIVE: Increase second language skills through song lyrics.
IDEAL SKILL LEVEL: This exercize can be adapted to any skill level! Music comes at different levels of vocabulary, speed, and complexity.
1) Get a pencil (erasing encouraged) and paper.
2) Select your song. Make sure you can comprehend at least some what is being sung. Listen to it. Get your brain tuned to the language. Make sure you like the song because you’re going to listen to it many times.
2) Start listening to the song. Write down the lyrics as you hear them, leaving a line open in between your writing. Advance the song as you complete your interpretation — don’t listen to the whole thing & start over. Instead, rewind as needed bit by bit. The goal is to create a whole set of lyrics, building as you go. You may come across unfamiliar vocabulary or vowel blending that is confusing. That’s okay. Carry on, write what you hear and don’t leave anything blank. 3) When you’ve finished writing out the lyrics you heard, and you’re confident that it’s as good as it’s gonna get, find the true lyrics online. When your lyrics are complete, look up the real lyrics online. 4) Compare what you have versus what the words really are, using the blank spaces to make corrections. 5) Analyze the lyrics: identify new vocabulary & gain an understanding of the meaning. 6) Listen to the song again, learn the lyrics, sing along! Try to give images to the words in your mind as you sing.
TIP: Don’t worry if you know what you write down isn’t correct. Analyzing those mistakes can help you identify different quirks of what it means to comprehend your second language.
SKILLS PRACTICED: Listening, writing, reading, speaking