Love it or hate it. The Eurovision Song Contest has something to offer to language learners in some way or other. Such as songs being in your target language (even you don’t like it I’m sure you can still learn something from it!) or the individual country’s TV show that sends their entry to the Eurovision song contest.
For example: Sweden is about to choose their singer this week so if you’re learning Swedish, you could use this as an opportunity to immerse yourself in Swedish!
How Can I Effectively Use This To Learn My Target Language?
Check the country or countries of your target language that are participating and look for anything that includes native language subtitles (ie: For the hearing impaired). If they are available, watch the programme while reading the subtitles at the same time. This is a great way to boost your input while enjoying a local TV show as well.
Look up the lyrics to the songs (in your target language of course) and use the lyrics to reinforce new vocabulary or phrases that maybe useful later on. You can add these new words and phrases to an SRS like Anki, Mnemosyne, or even Memrise! It also gives you insight into how to write songs in your target language, slang, different dialects, political situations, vital grammatical point and even a little bit about their own culture.
Songs can not only motivate you but also help with retaining what you’ve learnt too. Especially if it’s a useful grammar rule that can help you construct sentences better than you were able to prior to learning the lyrics of that particular band or just from reading subtitles of that country’s Finale. Either way it could help improve your ability in your new language.
You can even (assuming there’s no geographical block of course) watch the Eurovision Song Contest with commentary in your target language. How cool is that?
While it doesn’t officially start until May you can still use this time to watch the Semi-Finals and Finale of the country or countries that speak your target language to help build up your listening comprehension while discovering new music you wouldn’t have found if you only watch Eurovision itself.
Am I A Eurovision Fan?
No. I actually don’t like the Eurovision but I do enjoy watching Melodifestivalen and Melodi Grand Prix (Denmark). Although I will admit that is it a guilty pleasure for me to watch just to see who wins and will be hosting. The previous two years were held in both of my countries: Denmark and Sweden. Very rarely do I find a Eurovision song that I actually do like. So who know? Maybe I’ll find a song I like this year. If not, it’s not a loss for me anyway.
What do you think? Are you a Eurovision fan? If so, which country do you want to win this year and why? If not, do you think you would still watch the qualifying shows for the language immersion? I’d love to hear from you!