I love listening to Taylor Swift, Bon Iver, and Tame Impala as much as the next person. For years, I listened to every single one of their songs every chance I got. Yes, that includes Taylor Swift’s unreleased “Dark Blue Tennessee”. While English is important, there’s more to life than just English books, music, news, and the English language itself. I am a native English speaker and in 2020, I completely stopped listening to music in English. The only time I find myself listening to English music is when I’m in the car and the radio is on, or if music is playing over an intercom in a store, typically at an outlet or mall. For me, English has seemingly gotten — well — boring. But that’s not a sole reason to just drop your favorite artists like they’re a bag of hot potatoes.
English is used all over the world. Every day, we are left with no choice. We are consumed with the English language. We’re either speaking, reading, texting, or listening to the language at any given point of the day. According to a 2021 study by Statista, English was the number one most spoken language worldwide with a total of 1.35 billion speakers who are either native speakers or speak English as a second language. Mandarin Chinese came in a close second with 1.12 billion speakers worldwide.
From Casual Listener to Life-Changing
Starting in 2011 when I was learning French in middle school, I would occasionally listen to Mika, an English/French pop singer. In 2017, there were times when my mostly English music playlist had French, Russian, Ukrainian, and Icelandic songs as well. There were only about 20–30 songs in a language other than English out of the hundreds of songs. Attempting to sing in another language, even when I didn’t really study it vigorously, would always be quite a fun challenge.
When I started to learn Spanish in August of 2020, English music was nowhere to be seen. Things were about to get serious. It was a clean slate playlist and I was starting from scratch. I was obsessed with the idea of finding Spanish media to absorb vocabulary like a sponge. As I ventured into my studies…