Music and Second Language Learning

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Listening to music is a great way to "fix" grammatical structures. On this page, there are many links to songs and their lyrics. There are a number of different supports. On my blog, there are a few songs with gap-fill lyric exercises Music_and_Second_Language_Learning#Blogposts §. These are songs that I have tested on classes at the 5e / 4e level. Similarly, but in real time, lyrics training offers a game that allows you to listen to a video while filling in words "blanked out" from the lyrics. ("to blank out" (here) = erased)

Other links on this page may lead to youtube or daily motion. If ever you want to look for the lyrics of a song, any search engine will accomplish the task... lyrics + "song title"

To return to the notion of "fixing" structures (which does not mean "repairing" them, but making them part of your everyday speech:

Let's take some examples from "Yesterday" by the Beatles:

  • All [my troubles] seemed [so far away]

replace what is in brackets with other expressions (for the first you can substitute any noun phrase, for the second any predicate (substantive: infinitival, substantive // predicate adjective / locative... etc. :

  • All [the deadlines] seemed so far away.
  • All [our client] seemed so [satisfied].
  • All [the accounting] seemed [to be in order].
  • All [our IT people] seemed [to want to change the system].


  • There's [a shadow] [[hanging] over [me]].

which could give:

  • There's [a deadline] hanging over [the project].
  • There's [an intruder] getting into [our internal network]. (getting into = accessing)
  • There's [someone] [trying to get in.] (get in = enter, access)



at Lyrics Training:


Present Perfect

Simple Past

  • Beatles -- "Yesterday" (used to) / nostalgic past (Cf. Proust) (lyrics training)
  • Lauryn Hill -- "I Used to Love Him"







  • Sting, "The Shape of My Heart", (with lyrics @ u2b )

Child Abuse

Equal Rights

  • O'Connor, Sinead -- "War" a capella (Saturday Night Live)
  • Black Eyed Peas + Sting -- "Union"


  • King, Carole -- "You've got a friend" | seasons, have to, got to, have got, wherever. from Tapestry u2b. James Taylor solo version u2b



Hard Times

  • Blacc, Aloe -- "I Need a Dollar" [1] | modals, simple vocab

Holocaust / Shoah

  • "Dance Me to the End of Love" Leonard Cohen


  • Cohen, Leonard, [2]


Love Gone Wrong

Middle Passage / Slavery

Cheer up