Do you play mainstream French music in your classroom?
Looking for some new songs to add to your Youtube playlist?
As you may know, I teach in a francophone school. We are in rural Nova Scotia, in a minority community – French is rarely spoken in our community and many students only experience French at school/school activities and sometimes at home. A HUGE part of our students’ education involves helping them learn to become proud of their heritage and their “francophonie.”
My school hosts many concerts and events to help students celebrate their culture and feel pride that they are francophone, and we are expected within our classrooms to provide students with as many opportunities to learn about and experience French and Acadian culture as much as possible. One way that we can do this is by playing mainstream music in our classrooms – students may not always have the opportunity to listen to the radio in French at home.
Even if you teach immersion and not at a francophone school, I still feel that mainstream music is equally important for your students to hear! Music is fun, and it is wonderful for young students to see and hear examples of French celebrities and learn to sing along in their second language. They will be exposed to new vocabulary, and you will probably catch them singing along to a French song stuck in their head throughout the day. Being bilingual (or on their way to being bilingual) is very special! It is important to provide our students with opportunities to celebrate and appreciate their language-learning. They may even find a new favourite song!
I aim to play some mainstream music in my classroom every day – usually during Free Play, snack time, or when they are working on a quick worksheet. Generally, I play it during times it is okay to talk with our neighbours (I do play other types of music throughout the day, as well – instrumental music during writing time (or any time I want them especially quiet and focused), and we do comptines/nursery rhymes in the mornings during our morning meeting). I always try to carve out some time to play mainstream music each day!
Since they are usually working or playing when I am playing mainstream music, I usually do not show the video (even though I use Youtube) along with the audio. Some parents may also not deem certain videos appropriate for their age – everyone is different and has different beliefs and values, so this helps avoid that problem. I will occasionally show a video during snack time, or if we are playing a game that involves music.
We listen to lots of different stuff, but we have a few songs that we seem to come back to again and again. Here are 10 of my and my students’ favourite artists/songs!
Raffy came and played a concert at our school this year, so they are currently very popular with our students! Their songs are catchy and easy to understand and sing along with. This one is my favourite!
This song is soooooo old. I remember watching it on French Kiss on Much Music when I was little!
However, it is a student favourite year after year.