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. These links lead various places. On my blog, there are a few songs with gap-fill lyric exercises §. 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 missing from the lyrics.

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)</p>



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