6 French singers you must listen to now

OrelSan

OrelSanRight now, OrelSan has no less than 9 singles in the Top 50 charts. That makes him one of the hottest contemporary French singers right now. OrelSan is a French rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor and film director. Being a white rapper, but also because of his musical style, pundits have compared him to American rap legend Eminem. Perhaps a lazy comparison? Look out for his latest hit featuring Stromae, called La pluie (lyrics here).

French TV channel TV5 Monde has produced some educational resources using one of OrelSan’s songs, Plus rien de m’étonne.

Zaz

ZazIsabelle Geffroy, better known by the nickname Zaz, is a French singer-songwriter. She mixes jazzy styles, French variety, soul and acoustic for a unique sound. Isabelle became famous with her hit Je veux (lyrics here), taken from her eponymous debut album. Furthermore, she has sold over 3.4 million albums worldwide. As a result, she is amongst the best-known French singers in the world. Just google her name and you will find tons of ready-made resources to exploit her songs in class.

Soprano

SopranoSoprano is a French singer and rapper of Comorian descent living in Marseille. And he is one of the only rappers who raps without cursing. His latest hit, Mon précieux (lyrics here), describes the special relationship he has… with his mobile phone! Consequently, this can be a very interesting song to study in a French lesson. The song is part of his latest album, L’Everest.

Ready-made educational resources for several of his other songs are available on the TV5 Monde website.

Tété

TétéTété is a self-taught French musician born in Dakar, Senegal. He moved to France as a 2-year-old after his mother, from Martinique, and his father, from Senegal, divorced. Described as a French Jeff Buckley, his intimate music style combines blues, folk and pop. He blends influences including the Delta Blues, Lenny Kravitz, The Beatles and Bob Dylan.

Educational resources for his song Mon trésor (from his Le sacre des Lemmings er autres contes de la lisière album) are available on the TV5 Monde website. Also, check out the video clip for Le Magicien, in which Tété holds handy cue cards with words from the song – ideal for language learners!

 

Lescop

LescopMathieu Peudupin, known as Lescop, is a French cold-wave singer who has been described as “the perfect mix between Etienne Daho and New Order”. His poetic lyrics have also drawn comparisons with Gainsbourg’s songs. Lescop’s eponymous debut album opens with La forêt (lyrics here), a song which explores the moments before someone is shot; this evokes Camus’ L’Étranger, as some critics have pointed out. His songs’ lyrics are extremely rich and evocative, making them ideal for language lesson use.

ArchiPol

ArchiPolArchipol, Breton singer-songwriter-poet conjures up a world where the barrier between the digital and the human can be porous. How many other writers could adopt the personalities of a critical supermarket trolley, a (female) satnav voice who falls for her charge or a street convinced of its generosity in providing a bed for the homeless on its pavements?

Archipol and his co-artists lyrically and ironically reproduce the frustrated love affairs and paradoxes of a technological world to appeal to a teenage audience. The underlying aim-to encourage us all to maintain our humanity and rise above the virtual chasm by asserting our individuality. Enjoyable works of art in their own right, the songs from his latest album Drôle de monde are ideal for developing a range of language skills in the context of relevant vocabulary, structures and grammar. What’s more, Linguascope has developed a handy photocopiable workbook with everything you need to exploit the songs. Sample pages can be downloaded here.

5 French TV shows you can watch for free online

Kaamelot, a French TV seriesKaamelott

Kaamelott is a satirical interpretation of the King Arthur legend and his Knights of the Round Table. This French TV series explores the comical reality behind the legend, with grotesque characters and absurd situations.

Watch online or get the DVD

Fais pas çi, fais pas çaFais pas çi, fais pas ça

Fais pas çi, fais pas ça gives an insight into two modern French families with radically different visions of education. The Lepic parents try to uphold their traditional Catholic bourgeois values while raising their 4 children, whereas the more liberated Boulay parents try to redefine parenthood, seemingly making it up as they go along.

Watch online or get the DVD

Un gars, une fille

Un gars, une filleUn gars, une fille is a French comedy television series starring Jean Dujardin and Alexandra Lamy, who met during the audition for the series, and started a real-life relationship during the last year of the show. Each 7-minute-long episode depicts the daily life a young couple named Jean and Alex. The pair, nicknamed “Chouchou” and “Loulou”, face an array of hilarious everyday situations. This highly successful French TV series, which gathered 5 million viewers each day, consists of 5 seasons for a total of 486 episodes.

Watch online or get the DVD

Bref

Bref

An anonymous 30-year-old Parisian, unemployed and single, talks about his daily life and ongoing failures. Unlucky in love, he keeps going to lots of parties to meet girls, and learns the guitar to increase his chances. His numerous attempts at finding a job are just as unsuccessful, and he ends up working for a copying machine company despite a disastrous interview. Much to his dismay, his father comes to live with him after getting divorced as a result of an affair with a student.
Bref… you get the idea!

Watch online or get the DVD

Samantha oups !

Samantha OupsThe series deals with the life of a blonde young woman, Samantha, and her brunette best friend, Chantal. As part of the comedic nature of the series, men play both roles. The series is presented in a “shortcom” (short sitcom) format, with each episode generally running for approximately 5 minutes each. Each episode features Samantha and Chantal attempting various activities or careers, with varying, comedic results.

Watch online or get the DVD

7 tried and tested fundraising ideas

Looking for fun ideas to fund a school trip, pay for a piece of equipment or your Linguascope subscription? Budgets are tight at the moment and many teachers feel they don’t have the support they need from their SMT. Then why not take things into your own hands? Fundraising is a great way to bring some extra cash to your departmental budget, and it really doesn’t have to be a headache. Here are some fun ideas that are guaranteed to work every time:

Fundraising with cakes!Cake Sale

It’s an obvious one, but we use the idiom “sells like hot cakes” for a reason. Cakes definitely sell! Ask your students to bring some homemade cakes (possibly with a prize incentive for the best decorated one) and set up a stand at breaktime – in the playground or the staffroom. Ideally, you should choose a festive time of the year or the end of a term as you are likely to sell more then.

Charity Car Wash

Again, not a very novel idea, but there is no shortage of cars to clean in the staff car park. Advertise the car wash in the school newsletter and invite parents to bring their car too!

Foreign Film Night

Kill two birds with one stone: Instil some culture and raise some money! Simply get your hands on a projector and have a movie night with a subtitled film. Fundraise via entry donations and/or selling movie snacks (popcorn, sweets and drinks).

Grow your ownGrow your own

Buy a packet of seeds, plant them and let them grow. Then sell the plants to staff and parents. It’s a fun, purposeful fundraising activity and the whole class can join in.

Book Sale

A book sale is not only a great way to raise money, but it also has the advantage of encouraging reading. Ask students and parents to donate books they have already read and sell them. Any books that aren’t sold could then be used in the school library.

Guess the amount

Fill a glass jar full of sweets and get students (and teachers!) to guess the amount or weight. Each participant gives a small donation and the one with the closest guess wins the content.

Sell language resources

If you’re a Linguascope subscriber, you are entitled to a 50% discount on ALL product orders from the Linguascope catalogue (log in to the Staffroom section of the website to find your exclusive discount code). Why not buy some resources and resell them to your students at the standard price? Products such as verb wheels or vocabulary books are extremely popular with students and they are affordable. You could also consider the Linguascope mouse mats, pencils, the Talking Dice Essentials or the C’est comique graphic novel as part of your fundraising arsenal.