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Monday, June 11, 2012

3 Great iPhone apps to learn English through music

While most people go to school to take several semesters of formal education in order to become fluent in a foreign language, Shakira, the famous 35-year-old singer from Colombia, learned how to speak English in a much unconventional way: through music. Shakira has told the media on numerous accounts that she began teaching herself English at the young age of 8 by listening to the famous Bob Dylan's music.

She would play her favorite songs over and over again and then would carefully study the lyrics until she understood what was being said. In fact, many people claim that learning English through this medium is often preferred. It's understandable too, music is fun, videos are open for interpretation/help build a story, and no tests are needed. If you would like to see if listening to music can help you learn English as well, check out some of these musically-inclined apps for the iPhone.

iHeart Radio
iHeart Radio

This iPhone app, which has been around for quite some time essentially gives its users access to more than 800 radio streaming stations across the United States, from L.A. to New York. Not only are the broadcasts commercial free, but the app is completely free too. It's great for learners who want to have a larger selection of music to choose from and want to get a better taste of the different styles of music and genre found in the U.S.

Download iHeart Radio on iTunes


This app is the iPhone's condensed version of the personalized radio station found on the web. How it works: you select a genre of music or an artist and Pandora will give you a list of other artists that seem to fit your likes and interests. If you choose to skip a song that is selected for you, it will store that information and program so that that particular song never crosses your path on the app again. It's a really great way to discover what kind of music you like. This app is also free.

Download Pandora on iTunes


Last but not least is Shazam. It works a little differently than the other apps listed above. How so? Well instead of playing music for you, what it does is identify songs that might be on the radio or playing at the restaurant that you're eating at. It tells you the name of the song as well as the artist and album it is featured on. It's a really neat app and can help you find that English song you like so much.

Download Shazam on iTunes

While it's still recommended to practice vocabulary and verbs, listening to music can be a really fun approach at learning English.

Would you like to read more about how to use music to learn English? Check out our article about how to learn English from scratch with the help of music.

The author of this guest post, Mariana Ashley, writes online colleges news and commentary for various websites and is happy to receive your responses at

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Mustofa said...

Wow, that sounds interesting...It can improve our english

Online English Teacher said...

I'm of two minds about learning English with music. Sure, it was valuable for Shakira- because she's a singer.

But for students who want to get a good score on IELTS or TOEFL, I'm not so sure that it's useful. You're probably not going to answer an IELTS examiner's question with, "Yea... Baby I loooove you so muuuch..."

The problems with learning English with music: it's not conversational, it's one-way; the vocabulary is limited; it's poetic and lyrical, not normal spoken English; there is a lot of slang and sexual content... I could go on.

It's great if you want to relax for awhile and learn some English from music. But I wouldn't recommend it for the focus of English study- unless you're going to be a pop singer.

teaching english online said...

Nice post and i-phone application and music made it easy to take lessons without spending time in classroom and easy to access any time.

speak english fluently said...

it would be great to learn english in such a cool way. nowadays people finds to learn something through fun and entertainment......

good job!



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