9:31 AM 21st March 2023

World Poetry Day: How Poetry Can Help You Learn Another Language

Image by RachH from Pixabay
Image by RachH from Pixabay
From the great fall of Humpty Dumpty to the beautiful collection of written words by T.S. Eliot, poetry certainly does hold a significant place in the world of English literacy.

To mark World Poetry Day today, Daniele Saccardi, a language expert at Preply, has highlighted five ways of how immersing yourself in poetry can help you learn a new language.

Encourages engagement and self-awareness

With devices such as alliteration and rhyming being used in a typical piece of poetry, this makes it easier for the reader to internalise key words and phrases in a way that is accessible and easy to digest.

As well as this, poems tell a story. This allows the reader to feel more engaged with the context of the story and more self-aware of the vocabulary choices being used to craft the poem.

Helps expand vocabulary range

When a poem is so engaging, the reader can escape their current surroundings and become immersed in the story. This helps to give them the platform to pay explicit attention to the vocabulary that is being used.

When it comes to a particularly descriptive poem, readers may come across certain words they have not heard of before.

The beauty of coming across an unfamiliar word gives the reader the opportunity to then research the meaning and origin of that particular word - expanding their vocabulary knowledge.

Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash
Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash
Helps with pronunciation

Not only do poems help readers expand their vocabulary range, but they also help to develop the pronunciation of words.

This is because of rhyming structures, and which effectively allow the reader to pick up on how words are supposed to be said.

Teaches the reader about language devices

Similarly, poems can expand your knowledge of the power of linguistic devices to evoke meaning.

For example, the use of metaphors allows the reader to draw comparisons and learn about language association. Likewise, devices such as personification and pathetic fallacy allow the reader to draw comparisons between inanimate objects and living things.

Allows for cultural immersion

Finally, a key aspect of language learning is immersing yourself into different cultural origins associated with languages around the world

When exploring poetry from different cultures, readers have an insight into social cues and ways of expression. After all, every language is tied to a history and the beauty of language learning is exploring it.