What Language Aspects can be Learned through Songs? Indonesia Context!

In linguistics, there exist the discussion of language aspects that include phonological, syntactic, morphemic, syntactic, and pragmatic knowledge. Each knowledge is essential that each can become the basis of any foreign language learning. From those five aspects, which can be learned through songs?

Five Language Aspects

If the five language aspects are to described simply, then we got morphem that refers to knowledge of word structure, phonology that refers to sound - symbol relation and sound patterns, semantic which informs word meaning and labels, syntax that discusses how words are combined, and pragmatic that discusses when to use any particular expression.

Is Foreign Language Learning through Song Effective?

Here, I am straight to the point that in my point of view, I do not fully suggest learning any foreign language through songs because of some reasons. Note that I do not judge learning through songs as a mistake. It is just less effective. But it is possible to be noth adopted and adapted.


First, song is literary work that sometimes obey the rule for the sake of the work (literary beauty) - it is known as ‘literary license’ or ‘poetic license’.

She’s got a ticket to ride

She’s hot a ticket to ride

But she don’t care”

If you are not familiar with the snippets above, those lines are quoted from a song entittled “She’s Got a Ticket to Ride” from The Beatles. You must notice the last line that subject ‘she’ must be paired with ‘does not’ instead of ‘do not’. But, is that line grammatically incorrect? Of course the aswer is no. 

Again, the term so called literary or poetic license enables anyone not to obey grammatical rule for the sake of the literary work. For advanced learners, that might be understandable. But for beginner level of foreign language learners, that might lead them into belief that the line written by native speaker is correct, they take it as valid resource, and they apply it.

I’m not a perfect person, there’s many things I wish I didn’t do

There is many things, of course should be there are many things.

What about Indonesian songs?

Dan kau hadir merubah segalanya menjadi lebih indah...

In the above snippets, a lyric from Indonesian song, there exist ungrammatical word - “merubah” which should be “mengubah”.

Kau boleh acuhkan diriku dan anggapku tak ada...

In the above snippets, the word “acuhkan” should be “tak acuhkan” or “tidak mengacuhkan”. The word acuhkan is derived from word “acuh” which means “care”. By its meaning, it sounds illogical when word “acuhkan” is used.

Hidden Message & Meaning

Second, learning foreign language through songs becomes less effective, especially for beginners, because pragmatical meaning as well as hidden message contained in the lyric which do not always mean as what it says. It might be caused by cultural diversity, that causes the lyric can only be understood by certain community only.

You can certainly find the meaning of every line in a song. However, when hidden message contains on words in a line could not be understood, the learning would become less effective - in my opinion.


To what reference refers to also matters. It is little bit difficult to understand any song if learners are to guess, let’s say a particular place which never exist in their mind. That’s why “authentic materials” is introduced in foreign language learning.

Berandal, berandal poppies dua...

Do you know the meaning of that line in English? Find it on Google.

Take the drive baby up the coast yeah Highway 101

I’ll pass Ventura Santa Barbara too...

For sure, Americans know them well. But for sure, not all Americans.

Buy me a coffee
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