To thoroughly learn a new language, one must begin to fully understand the culture of the language. Too many times people think that language learning is simply studying repetitious grammar exercises and tedious memorization. The problem with this approach to language learning is that it is rather annoying and also very boring.
People get quite bored easily while learning a new language, and boredom coupled with frustration is a recipe for disaster. With this article, I will teach you to stay enthused and immersed in a foreign language through cultural means such as music. Humans no longer have to be held back by the tower of Babel (a biblical story that tells how people began to speak different languages).
If you can remember (you probably can't) when you began to learn your native tongue, it was through media and socialization. People do not naturally learn a language without being immersed in its culture. Television and films are great ways to learn a language, but the key of really dissecting a new language is through the music. When listening to music a different part of your brain is working than when you simply try to memorize something. If you enjoy the song you are listening to, you begin to associate foreign vocabulary words with feelings of pleasure and enjoyment. Also, artists are known to use many puns and figurative language to better equip you for every day conversation. This includes understanding idioms and phrases.
In English, we use something called slang for informal situations. A lot of slang words have blended into our everyday lives as English speakers. This is also something you can learn through music. You can learn about certain regions by listening and reading lyrics from songs you like. The great thing too is if you are a music fanatic like myself and have not explored music in your new language, you have lifetimes of new material to start listening to.
Learning a new language is like growing up for a second time. There is a new name for everything and you can enjoy learning through music. I recommend listening to songs and attempting to write out the lyrics. After this you should look up the lyrics to see if what you thought you heard in the song is consistent with the correct words. This will help exponentially with your listening and comprehension. For any words you are unsure about, find the definition and sing along with your songs as much as possible. This will also help you to perfect your accent.
If you have a talent for music, you should try to write songs in your target language. As I said before, culture is very important in language learning. So while writing, you should attempt to use puns and witty types of speech in your target language. If you do not attempt to write songs, writing poetry can also be just as beneficial.
Also, due to the availability of people on italki to correct errors you may have made, you will be ready and well equipped to write your song or poem. While enjoying your favorite songs you can also try to rewrite them to make them convey a different meaning. It is up to you as to how exactly you want to play with this, but I guarantee it will be more interesting than simply studying.
When listening to music, it won't even feel like you are actually studying. You can drive and have a playlist of your favorite songs in your target language and just continuously soak up all the new knowledge. Soon these songs will become a part of your life, and just as in your native language, you will always be looking for new songs that you can enjoy. This acclimates you to the culture and language you are trying to become a part of and leaves you with a thirst for more.
Additionally, you can share your new favorite songs with family members without them getting too annoyed. I know how it can be having a family and trying to learn a whole new language by immersing yourself. Often times it can even be annoying for the learner to continuously watch and listen to a foreign language, so imagine the toll it can take on one's family. The great thing with this is that the family will enjoy good music and may even begin to listen to it themselves.
Music is one of the few things that breaks all barriers. Even during times of segregation of class status or race, music was always able to bring people together. It is something I believe was given to us by the heavens. Music is an aspect of culture that simply cannot and should not be ignored while learning a new language. It is a great tool for anyone trying to get to know another culture. Also, once you have memorized songs of your target language, you can sing along at concerts or parties in foreign countries that speak that language. This will surely be a conversation starter!