Five ways music can help your English
In this week's Premier Skills English podcast, Rich and Jack talk about the latest news from the Premier League as the nominations for the PFA Player of the Year Award are announced. We also speak about football and music this week. What are the most well known football songs in the Premier League? The language focus is on different ways that music can help you when learning English. We also have a new football phrase for you to guess and announce our Player of the Week. Enjoy!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. You can see two examples here:
It's all to play for in the return leg.
Dubious penalty disappoints Leicester.
There were a few more tricky words in the podcast. Can you remember all of them? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words in context. This can really help with understanding.
In this week's podcast, Rich and Jack spoke about music and how songs can help you when learning English. Think about the advice they gave you and what you do when you listen to songs In English. Do you listen to the lyrics? Do you want to understand the song? How do you do this? Look at the five reasons for listening to music in English. Do you think listening to songs can help your English?
Five Ways Music Can Help Your English
- Songs are memorable. Remembering a song helps you remember the lyrics (the words) too.
- Songs give you new vocabulary. Songs are vocabulary rich. Learn new words through songs and use websites like LyricsTraining to help you.
- Songs contain informal language and slang. You will come across many new words in songs that you will rarely find in textbooks.
- Songs help your pronunciation. Songs use lots of contractions (wanna, gonna) and provide lots of natural connected speech that you can repeat and practise.
- Songs are motivating. You listen to your favourite songs again and again. You want to understand the words and the story that a song often tells.
Can you think of any other ways that music can help your language skills? When and where do you listen to music in English?
5 ways that music can help your English
Jack: So, You’ll Never Walk Alone is your favourite football song?
Rich: Football song? Of course. Actually, I think it’s my favourite song. It’s iconic. The best song in football. Nothing beats 50,000 Liverpool fans singing it.
Jack: It’s a good song. It’s probably better than 1-0 to the Arsenal.
Rich: Yes, Arsenal fans haven’t been able to sing that for ages!
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich
Jack: and I’m Jack
Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: What’s happening this week, Rich?
Rich: In this week’s show, we’re going to talk about the latest in the Premier League and we’re going to talk about football songs and how music can help you learn English.
Jack: But first, let’s look at the Premier League headlines.
Rich: PFA Player of the Year nominations announced.
Jack: Who will Premier League players vote their player of the season? The 6 nominees are Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and N’Golo Kante.
Rich: Arsenal fall to defeat at Palace.
Jack: Crystal Palace beat Arsenal 3-0. The result helped Palace’s bid to avoid relegation but did nothing to help Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League. It could be the first time they miss out in 20 years.
Rich: Dubious penalty decision disappoints Leicester.
Jack: Leicester City were defensively brilliant in their Champions League quarter-final against Athletico Madrid. Only one dodgy penalty decision stopped them heading back to Leicester with a draw. It’s all to play for in the return leg.
Rich: Who do you think will win the PFA Player of the Year award?
Jack: For me, it’s got to be Eden Hazard. He’s been brilliant for Chelsea and you have to pick someone from the Champions, don’t you?
Rich: Chelsea haven’t won the title yet, Jack!
Jack: Do you know all the words to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’?
Rich: Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone, you’ll never walk alone.
Jack: Ok, thanks Rich. I believe you. There are lots of famous football songs in the Premier League. You’ll never walk alone was a famous pop song, wasn’t it?
Rich: Yes, it became famous in the 1960s and Liverpool fans have been singing it for over 50 years. Lots of football songs come from old pop songs. I like I’m forever blowing bubbles that they sing at West Ham.
Jack: The fans always sing it at the start of the match and they blow bubbles, too. You can see them on the TV blowing onto the pitch. They’ve been singing this song since the 1940s.
Rich: Blue Moon is another example at Manchester City. It was a pop song from the 1930s so all these football songs have been around for a long time.
Jack: How does it go, Rich?
Rich: Not sure. Blue Moon ba baba baba
Jack: You don’t know the lyrics for this one. The words of the song.
Rich: Nope. Sorry. I don’t go to many Man City matches.
Jack: The lyrics are Blue Moon. You saw me standing alone. Without a dream in my heart. Without a love of my own. Learning songs and song lyrics can be a great way to improve your English.
Rich: It’s true. Learning the words for a football song at your favourite club can be one way but music, in general, can help, too.
Jack: We’re going to tell you five ways how music can help you learn English.
Rich: The first way is melody. Songs are very catchy. Some songs stay in your head. You hear it and you end up singing the song. At first you might just hum but then later you start to understand the words, too.
Jack: So, the tip here is to sing along to your favourite song. Either in your head or in the shower! The second way songs can help your English is with new words.
Rich: It’s easy to find the lyrics to a favourite song on youtube. Youtube can be your own personal karaoke machine - and you can look up any words you don’t know in an online dictionary.
Jack: Even better is a website called lyricstraining.com. Choose your favourite song and listen to the lyrics. It’s useful and fun, too because there are different levels of difficulty.
Rich: Songs use lots of slang, too. So, you can learn lots of informal English that you often don’t find in English textbooks.
Jack: Here’s an example from a Bruno Mars song called The Lazy Song.
I'll be loungin' on the couch just chillin' in my snuggie
Flip to MTV so they can teach me how to Dougie
'Cause in my castle I'm the freakin' man
Rich: That's really cool, Jack. Lots of slang and informal phrases in that. Not much of a football connection but his backing band are called The Hooligans!
Jack: Have a listen to the song and let us know if you can work out what it means!
Rich: Songs can also help with pronunciation. Songs use lots of contractions. In songs, you won’t hear going to or want to that often. You will hear gonna and wanna.
Jack: And you can try to copy this when you’re speaking. Tell somebody that you’re ‘gonna go home’ not you’re ‘going to go home’ or ‘I wanna new computer’ not ‘I want a new computer’.
Rich: And finally, songs are also motivating. You hear a song that you like, you want to understand the lyrics, too.
Jack: There is often a story, too. Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year so there is often lots of value in learning song lyrics.
Rich: So the five ways that music and songs can help your English are:
Jack: Number one: Songs are memorable or catchy. You can sing along to them.
Rich: Number two: You can learn new words. Choose your favourite song and learn the lyrics on websites like lyricstraining.com
Jack: Number three: Learn some slang. You don’t find this language in textbooks but you can learn it through songs.
Rich: Number four: Pronunciation. Song lyrics use lots of contractions that you can copy in conversations with friends.
Jack: Number five: Songs are motivating. If you like a song it can be very rewarding and satisfying to learn all the words and understand the story.
Rich: What’s your favourite song at the moment, Jack?
Jack: Hmmm... At the moment, I'm really enjoying the Alabama Shakes album Sound and Colour and the second track is called Don't wanna fight.
Rich: I just listen to You’ll never walk alone’!!
Player of the Week
Rich: There were lots of great performances in the Premier League last week.
Jack: Wilfried Zaha played well again for Palace but he was our player of the week last week.
Rich: Dele Alli and Heung Min Son are so consistent for Tottenham. They’re both having great seasons.
Jack: But this week’s Player of the Week is Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso. He scored a great free-kick last weekend.
Rich: It was a great goal and he’s a defender, too! He comes from a really interesting football family. His dad and grandad were both footballers and both won lots of trophies!
Jack: We’ve put a link to the article on the side of this page and it’s on the homepage, too.
Can you work out this week’s football phrase?
Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week?
Jack: Yes, I have, but first, last week’s football phrase. The phrase was ‘to do the double over’ and it means to beat a team twice in a league season. Once at home and another time away from home. I thought it was a difficult phrase.
Rich: Yes, it was but that didn’t stop Liubomyr from Ukraine, Emir from Bosnia, Kwesimanifest from Ghana and Ahmed Adam Mamado from Sudan from getting the right answer. Well done to all of you!
Rich: What’s this week’s phrase?
Jack: This week because we’ve been talking about music I thought I’d change the football phrase a little bit. I want you to complete this famous football chant. You only sing when you’re *******! Sing when you’re *******!
Rich: Nice chanting, Jack! Before we go, we want to point you in the direction of two new sections we have on Premier Skills English.
Jack: The first is our fan of the week section. Each week, we’re going to publish an article from a Premier League fan from around the world.
Rich: Our first fan of the week is Bojan from Montenegro. On the Premier Skills English website, he is called Aragorn1986 and he has been a regular user on the website for a long time.
Jack: If you want to know more about him - head over to the new section in the fans section - there is a link on the side of the page.
Rich: And if you want to be a Fan of the Week, just send us an email or a comment and we will help you put an article together in English.
Jack: We would love to get a Premier League fan from every country in the world!
Rich: We also have a new discussion page for you to enjoy. We would like you to discuss and decide new topics for this podcast.
Jack: That’s right. We’d love to hear about the topics that interest you and things you enjoy learning about and talking about. So head over to this week’s discussion. You can find it in the fans section.
Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week.
Jack: Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
What do you think?
In this week’s podcast, Jack and Rich spoke about football songs and how music can help your English.
Which football songs do you know or have you heard? What's the difference between a football song and a football chant?
Are football songs and chants popular in your country? Can you share one?
Do you enjoy listening to music? What do you listen to? Do you use music to improve your English?
Remember to write your guess at this week's football phrase and the questions above in the comments section below.