“WHY SONGS ARE SO EFFECTIVE WHEN LEARNING SPANISH”
Memorizing the sounds of songs, even if we cannot pronounce them well at first, is a process that the human brain can assimilate naturally without spending a bunch of energy.
Music activates brain mechanisms that are connected to our auditory and rhythmic sense, which makes it easier that each sound that we perceive during that pleasant sensation that a song of 3, 4, or 5 minutes offers us can remain in our long-term memory for much longer according to experts in neurology.
Music is powerful even for Spanish learners or any other language, we firmly believe that if you chose the type of music you like the most and start using it as a tool to improve your skills you’ll be able to see the results as a good + while you have fun.
The specialized advertising agencies know well the power that lyrics and the sounds of music have to remain in our brains. The jingles we can hear on TV, radio, and the internet are not a coincidence or a random act, in fact, there are scientific studies that confirm that exposure to these sounds naturally and spontaneously makes our brain quickly familiar with the words.
That is why, if a student can use this same hack to their benefit when studying, practicing, and learning Spanish, it can be beneficial for their learning since our brain has the ability to remember sounds even if they are not in our mother tongue.
Some of the reasons why songs are so effective when learning Spanish are
- The student will want to know how the words he is repeating are written: this is important because it has a positive impact on the student’s spelling, in this way, every time the student sees a word there won’t be any doubt about its meaning.
- Students will want to know the meaning of the words that they don’t understand yet: this will benefit the students by adding new words to their background of vocabulary.
- Students will improve the pronunciation of every written word on the lyrics they are singing: this exercise is excellent because it helps the natural pronunciation of words and even some consonants that can be a challenge for English speakers such as the “R”
- Idioms and slang: there are a lot of words and expressions that surely people who learn Spanish through music will want to learn. In that process, they usually start to think “in which way or which context they could use them”, which generates an interesting self-challenge in their minds and a bunch of creativity.
- Students will try to analyze the lyrics of the song on intermediate and advanced levels: this is positive because students start thinking in critical and analytical ways about the language they are acquiring.
- For fun: learning Spanish through the repetition of sounds is much more fun than reading a dictionary, a book or just being in a classroom for hours with a bored teacher.
- Culture: we are sure that learning Spanish with this method makes students feel a particular interest in Hispanic and Latino culture.
- Arouse interest in specific topics: learning Spanish through music makes the student be attracted to topics of interest such as love, urban cultures, social problems, etc.
As we have already said before, the sounds that we can find in Spanish or any other language songs will help us to internalize the information they contain, and almost without realizing it we will be singing and repeating those sounds spontaneously.
After having expressed some of the reasons why Spanish Plus Web considers that music is an effective mechanism for learning Spanish or any other language, we also have to talk about some of the things you could do to benefit from this particular and fun method.
Hacks to learn Spanish through music
- Choose the correct song: this applies mainly to those people who are having recent contact with the Spanish language. Very fast and slang-filled songs like Reggaeton are often a headache even for native Spanish speakers. The most recommended songs are pop-rock ones and also pop where the lyrics are usually clear and slower.
- Choose songs from the Spanish dialect you are learning: this is particularly important because it will be easier to create a relationship between the new words with the ones you have in your background; in other words, it wouldn’t make sense if you are focused on learning spoken Spanish from Colombia and you try to understand the music from Spain; although in essence, the Spanish language is only one, it has some variations that can make it different in some cases.
- Imagine in which contexts you can use the words taken from a song: this is a mental exercise that you can use anywhere and at any time of the day to think in which contexts you could use the new words or expressions you have learned.
- Choose the familiar sounds you like the most: remember, if there are no “feelings” that produce a sensation of connection with music, just move on to the next song to avoid discomfort and frustration.
- Set a daily goal: a daily goal can be one or two songs a day, the important thing is not the quantity, but the quality, please do not saturate your mind with information that can be lost through abuse of time, the important thing is to make it easy and fun.
At this point, we want to show you a couple of examples that we took from our profiles on LinkedIn and our study group on Facebook, where we have posted a couple of pedagogical exercises based on two Pop rock songs by popular artists from Mexico and Spain.
- Click here LinkedIn profile and download the PDF document that contains a pedagogical exercise based on the song “Los inmortales” by the Spanish singer Enrique Bunbury.
- Click here Facebook study group and download the PDF document that contains a pedagogical exercise based on the song “Mariposa traicionera” by the Mexican band Maná.
Each exercise can be downloaded for free; these guides are tailored for the students at any level so they can complete the items according to their current Spanish skills.
The two songs that we have proposed in this article about “WHY SONGS ARE SO EFFECTIVE WHEN LEARNING SPANISH” are random songs that we have found in the Rock Pop genre and they talk about topics related to love and personal introspection and fantasy.
The main idea through this method is that people feel good and comfortable when learning this beautiful and useful language when listening to music they like the most.
Of course, we understand that music will not answer your questions about topics related to Spanish grammar, “that is clear”, for this reason, we recommend you to visit our Spanish Plus Web site and see the teaching options we have for you.
Our suggestion for the use of music during your learning process is focused on the non-academic and fun part of language acquisition.
According to a scientific study by French Daniel Schön, human beings can benefit from music to learn a language. According to his research, two groups of 26 people were subjected to an experiment in which 6 random words without specific meaning, were reproduced in audio along with a large number of syllables. One of these recordings had a “musical background”
The results of the experiment were as follows.
Group 1: The subjects of the first group were asked to identify the same words that they heard in the audio within a list that contained those expressions, however, the number of words they could remember was very low, similar to that of someone who guesses stuff. For that reason, it could be said that their brains received the information but didn’t keep it for long.
Group 2: The subjects of the second group were asked to identify the same list of words that they heard with a musical background, and the result was 64% higher respecting the first group.
The result of Schön’s research indicates that music has a positive effect and impact during the process of acquisition of a foreign language.
It is clear that not all people learn the same way because there are multiple intelligences, however, we recommend this method as an alternative, complementary and fun strategy to put into practice your comprehension, listening, and even writing skills.
Music is a channel through which human beings often find an escape valve to the daily routine in life, no one listens to songs to feel bad, on the contrary, people often do this to find a moment of relaxation and wellness; if you add to this the strategy of learning the language you like the most, you will surely find a very interesting + during the time you are investing to learn the Cervantes language.
Do you think the songs are effective when learning Spanish? we’ll be pleased to read your opinions about this interesting article, you can also read the ones about “Most Significant Advantages of Learning Spanish Online” and “Learning Spanish Online vs. Learning Spanish in Traditional Classrooms”
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