If you imagine a world where speaking and reading are chores, you’ve got a good idea of what most language classes prepare you for. Learning a new language should be fun and it should never be lost on the students that they’re learning something that most people never bother to take on. One way to make it a lot more fun to listen and learn French is to introduce music. Art and music are hugely important in the French culture and language classes should teach appreciation for the culture as well as the language.
Helping students to learn French fast sometimes means you have to give them a significant challenge to keep their brains engaged. French songs are a great way to do this. Songs, being poetry set to music, encourage students to grasp the imaginative and expressive capacities of the language they’re learning, which helps them to appreciate its value more than they would otherwise. When students learn French in classroom settings, they too often engage in what amounts to word games rather than actually learning to embrace, appreciate and use a new way of speaking and understanding the world.
Songs in the French classroom do not have to be entirely made up of old folk songs or silly songs that aren’t catchy. Musical storytelling is common to the vast majority of cultures and is something that people understand instinctively. There are materials that are written in this format and that are designed to provide students with an excellent foundation in French. These materials oftentimes include challenging activities that are interwoven with fun diversions. This allows students to get a break from the hard work of mental translation and to enjoy a musical aside that still teaches them valuable skills.
If you want to teach children to learn French songs, put away the sheet music. Listening is the most important skill where learning a new language is concerned. After all, everyone speaks far more than they read and being able to understand what’s being said to you is the first part of acquiring fluency. For students who tackle this hurdle early on in their learning experience, the rest of the language skills they’ll need come much more quickly. This makes it more fun and productive to learn a language and, in the end, results in more fluent speakers being sent out into the world.
About the Author
Dr.Dennis Dunham has over 25 years in international education experience and is a co-creator of LanguageandLyrics.com, a website designed to help you learn French the right way. If you’ve tried every language product out there and haven’t made progress, visit LanguageandLyrics.com to see how learning French can be easy and fun.