Something cool and hip this week... it's a groove-inspiring, fun number that the kids are SURE to get stuck in their heads!

logo for Chanson de dimanche, a weekly blog feature at Teaching FSL
Lynda Thalie who sings Dance your pain away (la tête haute ) is of Algerian descent, and I love taking lots of opportunities to show students that French exists outside of:
1) the classroom walls
2) Québec (even though she really is Québecoise) and
3) France.
This song should go over particularly well if you have students of middle eastern or northern African descent in your classes, and for those who love a catchy tune... the phrase "ear worm" comes to mind.

This site has a great biography of the artist, if you or your students are interested in learning more about her. In fact, I love this description of Lynda taken from this page...
image of quote about Lynda Thalie taken from her biography on her official website
There's also a really cool real life connection to be made if there is any chance of your school having a year end overnight trip in the Ottawa area... browse the "Spectacles" page of her web site and you will see that she's playing in Ottawa in June! Or what about students whose families are taking their own vacations around that time?  What a fantastic chance to have a real life franco-cultural experience!

Here is the official video, and here's a karaoke version that shows the lyrics so that students can sing along or just better understand the lyrics as they hear them by focusing on one line at a time - although they WILL find it a little fast-paced, I'm sure.

I also found this clip on Youtube where Lynda introduces her "new single" for a radio station.  It's a great extended listening opportunity!

Je l'aime à cause des rythmes et car c'est amusant! The title is in English, but that's the only line that is, so I feel like it allows an opportunity for the students to connect to the song in their first language.

This week's free downloadable volume of Chanson de dimanche contains:

  1. Full lyrics
  2. Ready to print activity for students to place the lyrics in order (fairly challenging level)
  3. Lexique to use when discussing and studying the song lyrics 
  4. A cloze passage with 13 simple science-related words removed (wind, earth, pain, day, etc..) - I thought this one might be fun as a change of pace in a lower grade French first language class even! This includes an answer key
  5. Four discussion questions to spark some conversation in the classroom about the song, as well as to practice some critical thinking skills.

    If you'd like me to add further teacher notes around this aspect, please let me know... I've listened to the song so many times by now that it's all pretty clear in my head what I would say to my class and how I'd approach these questions, but sometimes telepathy isn't all it's cracked up to be! LOL
Other suggestions: If you are looking for grammar connections, this song contains lots of examples of the futur simple, inpératif, and several verbes réfléchis.  Another thought I had was that it would be great to have students choreograph a dance with a group to show their comprehension of the song, (or maybe just a part of the song) as a cool reading/listening comprehension activity that integrates the arts into your FSL class.

I'm not generally a fan of lyrics peppered with English words... call me stuffy, but I just feel like it cheapens the effect in the classroom and reinforces the "Why should I learn to speak French? Everyone knows that English will one day rule the world" argument that I inevitably hear at LEAST once annually.  What do you think about lyrics that mix languages together? Share your opinion & thoughts in the comments section below.