Chapter published in:Corpus-based Approaches to Register Variation
Edited by Elena Seoane and Douglas Biber
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 103] 2021
► pp. 209–234
A register approach toward pop lyrics in EFL education
The language-educational literature seems to agree on the conversational nature of pop lyrics. Thus, they have been advocated as an authentic, easily accessible and highly motivating resource for EFL learning, especially suitable to introduce conversational features. The present study re-assesses the alleged conversationality of lyrics, which to date has been implicitly assumed rather than empirically tested. It relies on a purpose-built pop lyrics corpus and applies Multidimensional Analysis (MDA) to situate them relatively to other spoken and written registers. The MDA indicates that lyrics constitute a specialized register, aligning with both spoken and written registers. This implies that rather than merely representing a convenient EFL resource for the illustration of spoken features, lyrics should be analysed both in their own right and in contrast to other registers, opening avenues for addressing broader issues such as register and language awareness.
Keywords: lyrics, pop culture, EFL, register awareness, language education, performed language, conversation, mode
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