The presence of a separate karaoke course in modern language centres is common. For example, the Miami language school EnglishSpot has been using singing as an additional practice in teaching Spanish, Portuguese and English for several years. The combination of learning and fun helps to simultaneously enhance English language skills and provides great fun while the student sings on stage or listens in the room. The difference from the traditional method is that not only a tutor works with the students, but also a vocal coach, who chooses the right tone and lexical content.
There’s no big secret about karaoke training. By and large, all learning is based on better memorizing rhymed lines, their singing, imitating the voice of the performer and the emotions associated with the singing process. For a long time scientists have said that emotions help our brains to remember new information more efficiently and more naturally. In contrast to memorization, which can be compared to violence to a certain extent, in which the brain, at its first opportunity, discards what it believes is unnecessary knowledge in a landfill. Don’t you believe it? Try to remember the physics course in 8th grade. You will easily learn from the memories of truancy and brawls, funny incidents in the classroom, first love, friends, music, movies, but the formulas that have been cramming for weeks and weeks have always remained buried in the depths of mind.
What specific benefits can karaoke bring to the learning process?
– Improved pronunciation. How many times have you faced with the wrong pronunciation, blurred words and lost endings? Karaoke will teach you to speak properly.
– It is easier to remember phrases and individual words. Try an experiment: ask a friend to name famous songs or turn on karaoke tracks, and you will try to remember a couple of lines. You’d be surprised how much you remember.
– Speaking practice. Yes, it’s not the same as a casual conversation with a native speaker, but it’s much more efficient to watch a series in English with subtitles.
– Improving the vocabulary. Some songs may not teach you anything good, but “these” words need to be known. You’ll hear how and when specific phrases are used. Songs are live speech translated into the language of music.
– Speech understanding. Unlike the audio courses offered in language centres, performers do not sing with clear voices and with perfect pronunciation. On the contrary, performers emphasize their individuality, including in their voices. You get a unique opportunity to hear an Australian accent or West London talk.
– Immersion in culture. Each song bears the imprint of a different culture, a different worldview, different experiences and context that are lacking in the typing of a textbook.
Don’t forget about the kids. Karaoke is probably out of the question if we want to teach a child to hear foreign language and give a powerful push to further learning. In particular, singing is used and recommended by a well-known language center such as Cambridge English with branches in 130 countries. Their accredited program “Sing and Learn” successfully helps children to learn, remember and start using a new language.
What’s the right way to learn with karaoke?
– Listen to the original song several times. Pay attention to the pauses that the performer makes, to the pronunciation, to the articulation.
– Translate the lyrics of the song or find the translations online. There are a lot of sites and platforms on the Internet that specialize in translating lyrics and most likely your song is already there.
– Sing the song several times in karaoke until your performance is close to the original. We recommend you to use the recording function in the X-STAR karaoke console – in one click you can set the recorder and then hear the result.
– Gradually expand the song repertoire, trying to learn more foreign vocabulary. Choose the songs that you really like and that you will definitely sing in the bathroom or while driving.
– Don’t try to reduce it to some strict academic system. Karaoke is fun, not a lesson in a class. If you’re tired and you aren’t willing to sing, take a break, watch a series or go to a fitness club.
All of the above does not mean that karaoke is the best or only way to learn a foreign language. Without traditional teaching methods, grammar, speaking practices with native speakers, singing will not have much effect. Although karaoke gives an excellent start and the necessary speaking practice, its main task is to motivate further learning, to show that English or any other new language is not faceless letters on paper, but sincere feelings full of shades, nuances and sounds.