The play revolution part 1 – Using songs to learn French


Very often, people learn a language, and particularly French, to understand the culture of the country. Music has always been an integral part of the French culture and a fabulous source for new vocabulary and expressions. As a teacher I love to use songs to teach a specific theme and it’s works very well for intermediate and advanced learners.

Songs often stick with you for a very long time because they use another part of our brain than the written language. And you would also agree it’s much more pleasant to repeat a song than a list of verbs at the imperfect tense. We all know that learning and having fun is more pleasant and certainly more useful.

Here are two examples of singers who will help you to get an insight in the French music world and learn some interesting vocabulary at the same time.

  • Francis Cabrel –  some of his most popular songs were written in the 90s and French teachers absolutely love to use them because the lyrics are very simple and the melody is really slow. You probably learned the song “je t’aimais, je t’aime et je t’aimeraiwhich is a great way to revise the present, past and future tense! If you don’t know this singer, I highly recommend to have a look at his lyrics.
  • For more advanced learners, Renaud is one of my personal favorite. He uses very colorful slang and beautiful lyrics. “Mistral gagnant”is a beautiful song with a rich vocabulary and many cultural references.

Let me know if you have some favorite French songs and if it helped you to learn the language.

Happy learning!

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