Chansons pour étudier le français is an educational blog and French song lyric database that provides individuals who are teaching and studying French with audio and video clips of French songs from the 1930's to present day. Clips are grouped by decade, musical genre, theme, difficulty of language, and grammatical content. Each clip is accompanied by a complete transcription of the song's lyrics, as well as a brief historical explanation of the singer and/or time period. Most clips also include a discussion of the song's unique grammar characteristics and/or pronunciation hints which are geared toward students learning French as a second language.
The beginning to advanced French language student will be able to increase his knowledge of French popular culture, and to improve his listening and reading comprehension skills by listening to authentic French music clips and reading the corresponding lyrics. The student will also be able to indirectly improve his speaking skills, as many of the grammar notes to the songs contain explanations of colloquial expressions and uses of the French language which are typically only heard in casual conversation, and which are rarely discussed in a traditional French language textbook.
Target Student Population:
The material is intended for High School, College General Ed, College Lower Division. It can be used for French majors or minors.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
No pre-requisite knowledge is needed in order to enjoy the French music presented on the blog. Songs are grouped by difficulty level so that students who are just beginning their study of French, as well as students who have already reached an advanced level, can benefit from the blog’s material. However, all of the historical information for each song, as well as the grammar and pronunciation notes, are written in French, so beginning students would need an instructor’s assistance to understand the full content of the blog.Basic knowledge of French is needed to understand the description of the content of this material.
Type of Material:
Chansons pour etudier le francais is a collection of French songs audio/video their lyrics, and articles about French music
Chansons pour étudier le français is best used to supplement instruction for traditional, hybrid and online French courses designed for undergraduate and graduate students who are studying the French language and who are seeking additional exposure to authentic French audio material.The material can be used for group learning in class or individually outside the classroom setting.
HTML/web browser, flashplayer (to listen to audio files and view YouTube and DailyMotion video clips)The material works well on Google Chrome
Evaluation and Observation
The content of the material consists of various genres of music from different eras and covering different themes. Since lyrics are available learners can read them while listening and practice pronunciation as well. The site is linked to Facebook and to another pronunciation website (www.prononcer.net) that can be very useful for beginner learners who want to use CHANSONS POUR ETUDIER LE FRANCAIS. Articles that discuss about songs, genres, or eras of French music are available so the learners can get some aspects of the French culture, and learn new . The variety of music which the blog's author has gathered is impressive. Indeed, the audio and video clips span nearly a century of French music! The historical notes and the grammatical explanations not only aid in the comprehension of each song; they also enable one to gain a greater appreciation of French popular culture and linguistic trends.vocabulary from literary French to every French.
Due to the very nature of YouTube and DailyMotion, it is very difficult to maintain a blog in which all of the video links remain active. However, the blog's author has done a remarkable job of keeping his site up-to-date, and visitors to the site are encouraged to report inactive links (of which I encountered only a handful). In addition, the site does not have any interactive activities or grammar exercises for students to complete as they listen to the clips, but such activities (such as cloze paragraphs) could be easily created by an instructor, using the blog's content as a point of departure.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Music is a powerful teaching tool, and this blog will most certainly engage student learning. The blog provides everything that a student may need to know in order to understand each song (lyrics, historical context and grammatical explanations), which eliminates potential frustration, and simply allows the student to enjoy the French language as it is sung.
Through this material, the students will learn while having fun. There are no English versions of the songs available within the material, this can engage the students into seeking the meaning of the song if their really like it. Commenting options are available for articles, this can bring student to practice their writing skills and in the meantime increase their vocabulary.
Instructors will need to provide their own grammar exercises or interactive activities.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The blog is very well-organized, allowing students and teachers to select songs according to decade, musical genre, difficulty of language, theme and grammar content. The blog's author also provides links to additional songs by each artist, and to online merchants who are selling each song, should a student wish to purchase a particular artist's CD.
Other Issues and Comments:
Due to copyright law, only 10% (or 30 seconds) of an audio clip downloaded from the author's personal song collection can be played. Therefore only the beginning of several songs can be heard via the blog, although the songs' complete lyrics are always provided.
I was only able to find 6 songs (rather than the expected 16) in the 2000-2011 time period. It may be that the "16" in the main menu was simply a typo. A greater selection of recent French music would make the blog even more attractive to today's college students.