I'm not a native English speaker but I almost every day listen to English music because of their attractive vocals and good rhythms. Unfortunately I don't understand completely what the singer says and I mostly enjoy the music itself instead of meaning of what is said.

Now my question would be, Has listening to music without paying attention to what are being said, a bad effect on English listening skill?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jason Melançon, Glorfindel, M.A.R., Kreiri, user3169 Aug 2 '15 at 18:55

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I wouldn't think so, but that's just my opinion -- which is why this question is off-topic. (By the way, "music" is uncountable, like "air," so you shouldn't pluralize it.) – Jason Melançon Aug 2 '15 at 15:54
  • 1
    Some English songs use a pretty weird language/slanguage, along with their weird intonations and/or dialectal pronunciations, and as if that wasn't enough already, the words are drown in a sea of onomatopoeia use/misuse. On one aspect, listening to any English is good for listening. I've never heard ignoring what is being said is bad in any ways. It's actually beneficial. After all of that self-thoughts, I conclude this question is unfortunately rightfully VTC'd as "primarily opinion-based". You might go to English Language Learners Chat and discuss it though. You'll be highly welcome there! – M.A.R. Aug 2 '15 at 15:59
  • I think you can get some benefits from just hearing without paying specific attention. Even if you don't understand all the words, you can get a feel for speech rhythm and pronunciation in general. But why stop there, I don't understand your goal here. Beyond that, find a genre of music that would have lyrics that interest you (and where the lyrics are not buried in the music), listen many times to understand as much as you can, then find the lyrics and sing along (if you dare) until you get all the words. I have heard that learning this way is complementary to just learning from speech. – user3169 Aug 2 '15 at 18:49
  • If you're not paying attention, you're not getting any benefit in terms of language learning. Passive learning doesn't work, as much as lots and lots of people would like it to. – snailcar Aug 3 '15 at 1:06

I highly doubt that it would have a negative effect on your listening skills. Even without listening attentively to the lyrics, you will most likely improve. However, listening to songs should not be the only thing you do to improve. As mentioned in the comments on your question, songs often contain slang. They can also contain wrong stress patterns in order to fit into the music.

So, listening to music is not the only thing you should do to improve your listening skills. In addition, you could watch tv series or films. Those will contain more correct uses of English, depending on what type of character is being played.

Your best source for well-spoken English is probably the news. News anchors are trained people who are required to speak eloquently and correctly. Other than improving your listening skills, this will also provide you with knowledge of what is happening around the world.

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