Do your students struggle to use French structures correctly? You are not alone! I wanted to share with you some resources that I find extra-helpful. I have used them in class and with my son at home and they have been a huge hit with all of the kids! What's even better than kids loving a resource? When that resource helps kids transfer the information into long-term memory. So, how do you do it?
If you're familiar with my resources and my teaching, you know that I love to have students speak and listen as much or more than they read and write. Why? Because you want to hit all of the four areas of language proficiency : speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Plus, because all students learn differently, our job is to provide adequate practice for all learning types.
Using music activities is wonderful, because students hear it, see it, and write it. I took the vocabulary learned through these songs and extended by adding a speaking element. You can see my speaking activities here:
So, what is this resource that I am so excited about?
I have found a French teacher named Franck Brichet who has written grammar songs that he sings in class with his students. In the past, I have bought some grammar CDs with music that I hoped would meet my needs. Sadly, I really didn't like the music, and neither did my students. The CDs might have had good content, but my students groaned when I played the songs. So... I would say that it wasn't effective, because we couldn't even hear the music for the complaining. However, these songs are sung by a native speaker, they have catchy lyrics, and the music is really nice.
I first used one of the songs on a gross and cold February day. Everyone was in that kind of a mood. You know it : no one wants to work. Everyone wants a day off. It's cold. Half of the kids have some sort of illness that makes them want to just sit there passively. I needed help finding a way to motivate kids! And worst of all, we were pretty deep into French grammar. What a time to try and find some fun! Luckily, I found a song about the imparfait, so I printed the activities, and gave it to my students. You can see a preview of the song here:
Within minutes, I heard their sweet little voices (6th grade, so still pretty little) singing along. The song ended and they BEGGED me to play it again. So, I did, and they sang along again. It totally lifted my spirits.
I taught the same lesson 5 times that day, so you'd think I would have been sick of the song, but I wasn't. Even better, they totally rocked their conjugation quiz that week. I could see their heads bobbing while taking the quiz, because they all had the song in their heads. :)
He also has made videos if you prefer to offer the visual. Here's an excerpt from one of my favorites about teaching -er verbs. It's really catchy!
It doesn't really matter what age or level you teach. Franck has songs that teach colors, days of the week, -er verbs, the passé composé, the imparfait, and many more topics. My students love them and my little one (in first grade) asks to listen to them all the time on the way to school. His favorite is the colors song. Here's a video I found of Franck showing the song and how to use it in class.
You can check out his Teachers Pay Teachers store here for some great songs and activities. He also has a website where you can find his videos and learn more about his resources. Click on the image below to visit that site. I hope you love them as much as I do!
What do you think? Is music a helpful tool for language learning? Please comment below!