Effectiveness of Songs on ESL Teaching

I teach in an international school (though it’s 95% Thai) as well as with English Gang, Thailand. Thus, I use various teaching tools for my classes, and one of them is English songs. They are effective in reinforcing language to my students. Here are some of the reasons why you should incorporate English songs to your ESL lessons.

Songs have natural and real language.

Most songs do not have difficult or complicated English words, so even beginner students can practice listening to them. However, you need to check the lyrics of the songs to make sure that the grammar is correct and that there are no foul words! For example, I obviously steer away from rap or hip hop songs. With a lot of English songs to choose from, you will definitely not have a hard time finding one that best suits your student.

You can use it to introduce new words.

If you are teaching idioms, vocabulary words, or useful phrases, you can focus on those through songs. English songs have a lot of useful expressions because native speakers are usually the target audience.

English songs are easily available.

Through the vastness of the Internet, you will not have a hard time gathering the songs you opt to use in your class. You can just download files or ask others to give you a copy. For better engagement in class, you can use music videos from YouTube.

You can personalize your lessons.

In some ESL sites, English songs are categorized according to speed of speaking and level of vocabulary used. Therefore, you ought to thoroughly assess your students abilities before selecting a song. For my beginner students, I often use songs by The Beatles because of the simple words used and speed. Aside from learning, you can create a better rapport with your students.

Happy ESL Class

Grammar is learned.

Most of the songs have a story or meaning. Therefore, grammar such as verb tenses can be learned. For instance, for simple present tense lesson, I choose And I Love Her by The Beatles.

You can control how much time you will allot for this approach.

For my online classes at English Gang, I have 25 minutes for each student. Thus, I can use a 3-minute song if I have time at the end of a class. Songs are manageable, so you will not have to rush or panic when using them.

Young students think songs are a fun way to learn English.

Because there is a beat, students enjoy songs. If they know the song, you can encourage your students to sing it. It is also a good idea for you to sing so that they can understand the enunciation of words better. Songs can make the atmosphere of your class light without compromising learning.


I hope you are convinced with how effective songs are in ESL classes. Songs offer a perfect blend of fun and learning at the same time. It is safe to say that English songs are a must for ESL lessons. Happy teaching!

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