A Toolbox for all Language Educators
A Toolbox for all Language Educators

Mixtape: Music Video Show and Tell

 

The following activity is great for all language levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

  • Choose a song in the target language
  • Create a handout with lyrics (leaving easily identifiable blanks to be filled in by the student) and a glossary of new vocab
  • Begin the lesson with pronunciation instruction for the new vocab
  • Show video 2x
  • Assign for students to replicate what you’ve done with a song of their choosing

Songs can easily be related to the material you’re covering, either by grammar points or topics covered in the lyrics. I introduced “Tout Oublier” by Angèle and Roméo Elvis in my French 101 course after we had learned family members because the two musicians collaborating on this song are brother and sister. The opening shot features a framed photo of Baudelaire so I took this moment to introduce the students to the French poet and his concept of spleen, which is used in the refrain. This song has the benefit of being very catchy and multiple students told me it got stuck in their heads–success!

As Elizabeth Kissling demonstrates in her recent article in the Modern Language Journal, “Language Learning Great and Small: Environmental Support Structures and Learning Opportunities in a Sociocognitive Approach to Second Language Acquisition/Teaching,” listening comprehension is greatly improved when preceded by pronunciation instruction. For this reason, take the time to go through the glossary words before showing the music clip. Show the music clip 2 times. The first time, the students are free to enjoy the video, the second time, they should look at the handout and try to follow along with the lyrics. This is also when they’ll fill in the blanks that you have left in the lyrics. Ask some follow-up questions about the song. Not only about their reaction but about their comprehension of the material.

Next, explain to the students that their assignment is to do just as you have done: choose a song, create a document with the lyrics and a glossary of unknown words. This step exposes students to material that necessarily exceeds their comprehension level, as opposed to the majority of materials we give them which are specifically tailored to their level. The creation of a glossary forces them to sort between the words they know and those that are new. It’s up to you whether you’d like them to include fill-in-the-blanks or not.

If students are stumped about finding a song in the target language, you can provide a few examples, make your own playlist, or use one from a previous class to get them started.

French song playlists available here and here.   

Ask your students to email you their submissions so you can both preview them before class and create a youtube playlist where they can see their classmates’ submissions. You may also print out the lyric sheets of the songs you choose to show in class.

If you don’t have time to show each student’s chosen video, or would prefer to avoid showing one or more of them due to content issues, inform the class that you will make a selection and that the students whose songs you chose will receive extra-credit. Their submission will still be included in the class playlist. You may choose to create a file to gather and share their lyrics with glossaries, as well.  

As a follow-up, you can ask students to listen to the playlist and to pick their 3 favorite songs and ask what they like about them.

This activity is fun for you as well and you will likely discover new songs yourself. You can use these the next time!

Angèle feat. Roméo Elvis – Tout Oublier

Glossaire:
Sembler- to seam
Le bonheur- happiness
Plaire- to please
Je veux- I want
Vraiment- really
Rêver- to dream
Parfois- sometimes
Je me sens- I feel
à la mode- in style
Croire- to believe
J’aurai- I will have
Pleine- full
Sentiments- feelings
L’ennui- boredom
Ressentir- to feel
Le malaise- discomfort
Seul- alone
l’ADSL- broadband
Délaisser- to abandon
Les soldes- sales

N’existe pas sans son contraire qui lui semble facile à trouver
Le bonheur n’existe que pour plaire, je le veux
Enfin, je commence à douter d’en avoir vraiment rêvé
Est-ce une envie? Parfois, j’me (je me) sens obligée
Le spleen n’est plus à la mode, c’est pas compliqué d’être heureux
Le spleen n’est plus à la mode, c’est pas compliqué
Tout, il faudrait tout oublier
Pour y croire, il faudrait tout oublier
On joue, mais là, j’ai trop joué
Ce bonheur, si je le veux, je l’aurai
N’existe pas sans son contraire, une jeunesse pleine de sentiments
L’ennui est inconditionnel, je peux ressentir le malaise des gens qui dansent
Essaie d’oublier que tu es seul, vieux souvenir comme l’ADSL
Et si tout l’monde t’a délaissé, ça s’est passé après les soldes
Tout, il faudrait tout __________
Pour y croire, il faudrait tout oublier
_________, mais là, j’ai trop joué
Ce bonheur, si je le veux, je l’aurai
Le spleen n’est plus à la mode, c’est pas compliqué d’être heureux
Le spleen n’est plus à la mode, c’est pas compliqué
Le spleen n’est plus à la mode, c’est pas _________________________
C’est simple, sois juste heureux, si tu l’voulais (le voulais), tu le s’rais (serais)
Ferme les yeux, oublie que tu es toujours seul
Oublie qu’elle t’a blessé, oublie qu’il t’a trompé
Oublie que t’as perdu tout ce que t’avais (tu avais)
C’est simple, sois juste heureux, si tu l’voulais, tu le s’rais
Tout, il faudrait tout oublier
Pour y croire, il faudrait tout oublier
On joue, mais là, j’ai trop joué
Ce bonheur, si je le veux, je l’aurai
Tout, il faudrait tout oublier
Pour y croire, il faudrait tout oublier
On joue, mais là, j’ai trop joué
Ce bonheur, si je le veux, je l’aurai

Le spleen n’est plus à la mode, c’est pas compliqué d’être heureux
Le spleen n’est plus à la mode, c’est pas compliqué
Le spleen n’est plus à la mode, c’est pas compliqué d’être
C’est simple, sois juste heureux, si tu l’voulais, tu le s’rais

Reference:
Elizabeth Kissling, “Language Learning Great and Small: Environmental Support Structures and Learning Opportunities in a Sociocognitive Approach to Second Language
Acquisition/Teaching,” Modern Language Journal, Volume 102, Issue 4, Winter 2018, pp.
653-675.

By Rebecca Raitses

 

 

 

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