Learning French isn’t easy. During French lessons at the Centre International d’Antibes, however, teachers regularly use a method which will help you to make progress with oral comprehension, enrich your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation in the language. And all in a lively and enjoyable way. What exactly am I talking about? Well, songs, of course!
When you listen to a song, you are training your ear in the rhythm of the French language and becoming familiar with the various tones. In addition, since you can now very easily find the lyrics on the Internet, you can use these to improve your written comprehension skills. Don’t forget that a song is an example of what teachers call an ‘authentic document’ – in other words, it’s a document which illustrates the language as it is spoken by French people on an everyday basis. A song is also the perfect way to enrich your vocabulary, particularly when it comes to informal speech and various types of slang. Your teacher may also ask you to complete the lyrics or to compose a verse yourself. In addition, there’s a song for every (or nearly every) grammatical concept. Finally, thanks to the chorus, you will re-hear everything you’ve just heard, plus rhymes help you to remember words.
You’ve no doubt already listened to some songs performed by artists such as Francis Cabrel, Grégoire, Zaz or Edith Piaf. And who hasn’t hummed along to Joe Dassin’s Champs Elysées? By studying songs, we gain a better insight into people’s mind-sets and desires... Music is a universal language in which can be found the social and political concerns of a society. Rap provides a vehicle to express the problems young people experience in deprived areas, for example. When you listen to a song in French, it’s also an opportunity to learn about other French-speaking countries and artists. Don’t forget that Stromae is Belgian and Céline Dion is from Quebec. So for all of these reasons, let’s listen to some songs in French!