Open Sidebar
30-Day Challenge

30-Day Challenge: Day #18 – Learn new expressions and solidify your memory with Children’s Songs


Today’s inspiration comes from a guest post at the Everyday Language Learner blog by Susanna Zaraysky. Susanna is a polyglot who speaks 7 languages, has been to more than 50 countries, and has even written a book called Language is Music. Here’s a quote from the article:

The neurological links between language and music are vast but the basic thing to remember is that music activates more parts of the brain than language does, on both the right and left sides of the brain. So if you remember something to a tune, you are more likely to recall the information than if you just read it or heard it spoken.

Here is a summary of her key points (read the full thing – with videos – on the Everday Language Learner blog):

  1. Music makes the puzzle of a foreign language come together. – “Let yourself breathe in the language with music so you can get a rhythmic introduction to the language.”
  2. Music wakes up your brain to remember words. – “Songs are awakening the language capacity of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who suffered brain damage caused by a bullet that passed through the left side of her brain, causing her to lose expressive speech.”


  1. LISTEN first, then talk (I personally started life in Korea ONLY watching Korean TV like Gag Concert and I’m convinced that helped me pick up the language much faster).
  2. Find music that you LIKE, that tells a story, that doesn’t include profanity. (For example, I HATE K-pop but LOVE Korean rock).
  3. Find YouTube videos.
  4. Write the lyrics. 
  5. Make a vocabulary list with the song words.
  6. Sing children’s songs and watch children’s TV shows. (Today’s Challenge)

Today’s Challenge is about utilizing children’s songs and shows to learn Korean. And if you think kid’s songs too simple, consider Susanna’s quote on Sesame Street learning:

If you don’t think that Sesame Street is actually a viable option for anyone over the age of five, think again. The Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California which trains staff from all branches of the United States military in different languages shows Sesame Street in Arabic to its Arabic language students. If GI Joe and GI Jane can learn to speak al- arabi with the Arabic equivalent of the Cookie Monster, then so can you!

The reason we’re starting with children’s songs today (you can sing K-pop tomorrow if you want) is because:

  1. Children’s songs are simpler, slower, and more clearly articulated.
  2. Children’s songs include lower level vocabulary and lots of repetition (to help kids pick them up quickly).
  3. Children’s songs also often include very clear motions or animated images that follow the actions of the lyrics (K-pop dances rarely do that), and the more ways you learn something (audibly, orally, physically) the easier it is to remember.


Remember to choose something fun and that you like or this will be a difficult undertaking.

#18: Choose 1-3 children’s songs listed below to learn. Then record a video of you singing along with the music (on YouTube or elsewhere).

Hashtags today include:

#k2k3018 #kidssongs


어린 송아지 (Baby cow)

어린 송아지가 큰 솥 위에 앉아 울고 있어요. 엄마 엄마 엉덩이가 뜨거워.
어린 송아지가 얼음 위에 앉아 울고 있어요. 아빠 아빠 엉덩이가 차가워.

작은 별 (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)

반짝반짝 작은 별 아름답게 비치네. 동쪽 하늘에서도, 서쪽 하늘에서도, 반짝반짝 작은 별 아름답게 비치네.

나비야 (Butterfly)

나비야 나비야 이리 날아오너라. 노랑나비 흰나비 춤을 추며 오너라. 봄바람에 꽃잎도 방긋방긋 웃으며 참새도 짹짹짹 노래하며 춤춘다.

동물 흉내 (Animal sounds – video lyrics are slightly different)

오리는 꽥꽥 오리는 꽥꽥, 염소 매애 염소 매애, 돼지는 꿀꿀 돼지는 꿀꿀, 소는 음매 소는 음매.

생일 축하합니다 (Happy Birthday to You)

생일 축하합니다, 생일 축하합니다, 사랑하는 당신의 생일 축하합니다.

꿀밤나무 밑에서 (Under the Chestnut tree)

커다란 꿀밤나무 밑에서 친구하고 나하고 정다웁게 얘기합시다 커다란 꿀밤나무 밑에서.

곰 세 마리 (Three Bears)

곰 세 마리가 한 집에 있어. 아빠곰 엄마곰 애기곰. 아빠곰은 뚱뚱해, 엄마곰은 날씬해, 애기 곰은 너무 귀여워. 히쯕히쯕 잘 한다.

That should be enough to get you started at least. There are plenty of links to other children’s song in the YouTube sidebar if you click through any of these the the YouTube website.

Have you ever heard any of these songs before? EVERY Korean knows them. Any other good ones I should know of?

Liked it? Take a second to support Aaron on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Written by




Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

schedule <