La rentrée, 2è partie - Pourquoi le français ?

Last week, I blogged about some of the back-to-school decor in my classroom.  One thing I intentionally left out is the bulletin board up above.  It's pretty simple, but I think it's effective.  Each year I hang up posters for popular movies in French.  At least two of them are from that year and the others are from recent years.  Students when they see this board are able to make a connection to their personal lives.  I know the argument could be made that these movies aren't "authentic" and that I should be putting up actual francophone movies, but I do feel these movies are authentic.  These movies are released in francophone countries with these titles and francophone teens enjoy them.  Not only that, but so do many of my students, so they're drawn in.

Since I teach first year students, at the beginning of the school year, I show a video explaining why French is important.  Here are the main components of the video:

-Scenes of France
-Where French is spoken
-People sharing why they learned French
-Clips from francophone music videos and TV shows
-Clips of celebrities (that my students would know) speaking French
-Clips of movies (that my students would know) in French - this ties into the bulletin board
-Clips from our high school's French Night (a musical lip sync extravaganza), so students can see what they can do with the language down the road

Due to the ever-changing nature of what celebrities and movies are popular, I update this video nearly every year.  This year I really gave it a makeover, and made a PowToon for the part about where French is spoken, putting in personal bits about our own school and classroom to make it more relevant.  I also put some of my photographs of France in the beginning (if you'd like to see more of my work, visit my Flickr Photostream).  I will address PowToon, as well as a similar tool called Sparkol Videoscribe, in a future post).

Update August 2019:  Here is version 5:

After the video, we have a class discussion about what they understood, what they saw, and what they learned.  Their homework is to discuss these points with their parents, and leave an optional comment on the blog.  They can watch the video at home as well.

You will note the use of copyrighted material in this video.  Both United States and French copyright law allow for the use of small portions of copyrighted work for educational purposes with credit given to the creator.  Any copyrighted works used in the above video are believed in good faith to be acceptable uses and are credited at the end of the video.


  1. Awesome video! Une très bonne idée pour commencer l'année.

  2. I love this video for the start of the school year to hook them in and thanks for turning me on to PowToon! Could you tell me the name of the French songs or artists that you included in the video? I really enjoyed those video clips and would like to look them up. Merci mille fois!

    1. Thank you! The artists and songs are all named in the credits at the very end of the video.

    2. oh my, bien sur they are listed at the end of the video, don't know how I missed that! I really enjoy your blog and hope you have a great school year;)

  3. I love this video but the sound doesn't seem to work for 3/4 of the video... Is there something wrong with it or that I'm missing?

    1. No, you are right, there was a problem. I tried to replace the song at the beginning of the video, and it ended up erasing the audio for the rest of the video. I have fixed it now, so it should work.


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