Using Music and Rhymes to Help You Pick Up Vocabulary

Studying vocabulary, while fun, can also be exasperating. In fact, after doing it for extended periods, you can feel like you’re performing a chore instead of enjoying the process. As such, it isn’t uncommon to try and find ways to spice it up a bit, in order to keep it interesting.

One of the things I frequently do to kick things up a tad is to play with words by using music and rhymes. Put in that context, new phrases just become easier to remember, often staying in my head even when I’d rather not have it linger endlessly.

As such, songs and poetry, especially ones with memorable rhymes punctuating them are among the most effective ways to integrate a new vocabulary into your arsenal. In fact, I’ve seen some language classes done exactly with that, incorporating creative songs and poetry to craftily engage the students into learning.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this technique explored much in terms of educational products such as language learning software. For the most part, it is considered largely childish – as if it is more professional to learn language by being totally serious using a boring audio book. If you can find language learning materials especially for kids, I’m almost 100% certain they incorporate some form of songs and rhymes, so you may want to look at that option as well.

Alternatively, you can do what I do: I sing my vocabulary lessons along to my favorite songs on the radio (e.g. I just replace the lyrics with the words I’m trying to memorize, even if they have absolutely no relation to the song). I wouldn’t be caught dead doing it just because it’s so weird, but it’s almost been a staple activity every time I study on my own.

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