Learning Exercise

La Marseillaise- Q&A

This exercise introduces the student to the French national anthem, its themes and its historical significance. Part one is a simple question and answer exercise on the Marseillaise using the Symboles de la Republique site. This part provides the historical background. Part two consists of a deeper investigation of the characteristics of cultural icons and challenges the student to think more deeply about the topic. Part two questions can be answered in a discussion forum for greater interactivity.
Course: Second year French and above

All of the French national symbols in a site useful for French language and civilization courses. There is a MERLOT... see more


French Cultural Icons:
La Marseillaise

Assignment Overview

This assignment, based on
the Symboles
de la République web site,
will give you cultural and historical
insights on the famous French national anthem, La Marseillaise. The whole world
knows the tune whether by hearing it at Olympic award ceremonies or by recalling
the famous scene where it is sung in the movie Casablanca.
However, you may not know why it is called the Marseillaise to begin with or
why it has been the subject of fame and even controversy throughout the years.
This exercise will increase your factual knowledge as well as challenge you
to think more deeply of the role of national anthems. It will also help you
practice your French.

Part One

This part of the
assignment will give you some historical background. Follow the directions below.

On the Symboles
de la République
page, click on the Marseillaise graphic.

2. Read the accompanying text. (Need
a dictionary?)

3. Listen to the Marseillaise by
clicking on the link at the end of the Symboles web page.

4. Read the lyrics of the Marseillaise.
Look up unfamiliar vocabulary.

5.Answer the following questions
and send/deliver them to your instructor.

a. Avant d'etre l'hymne national,
quel etait le role de la Marseillaise?

b. De nos jours, ou peut-on entendre
la Marseillaise?

c. Qui a compose la Marseillaise
et quelle etait sa profession a l'epoque?

d. Quel grand compositeur a fait
une orchestration de la Marseillaise en 1830?

e. Quand la Marseillaise a-t-elle
ete adoptee comme l'hymne national de la France?Quelle est l'importance de cette

f. Quand la Marseillaise a-t-elle
ete interdite et quand a-t-elle ete remise a l'honneur comme l'hymne national
de la France?

Part Two

These questions may be
the subject of an online discussion forum or may be used in class:

1. Analysez les verbes et les adjectifs
de la première strophe. Quel est le ton de la Marseillaise?

2. Comparez la Marseillaise à
l'hymne national de votre pays. Ont-ils des idées en commun?

3. Pourquoi joue-t-on les hymnes
nationaux aux événements sportifs? Quel est le rapport entre les
chants militaires et patriotiques et le sport?

Pour en savoir plus

Visit this comprehensive site
on the Marseillaise.




Second year college French. Intermediate reading proficiency.


French culture, history and civilization. Crosscultural comparisons.

Learning Objectives

To develop awareness of French cultural icons, particularly la Marseillaise.

To learn the historical significance of the French national anthem.

To practice reading and writing skills in French, using authentic materials.

To make cross-cultural comparisons.