Eddie Izzard – Learning French

*** Language alert – “f” word ***

Eddie Izzard is playing to an adult audience in America and the fact he can do this routine incorporating French tells us how much our world had changed and how important it is to become at least bilingual and not only do your brain a favour, but create a bit of cultural togetherness. He makes a good point about how school French can be quite useless in a real context. He does that really well . It is something I ensure I don’t do and the clip has reminded me to keep context and authenticity intact in my class. He has also shown that as a British comedian he is prepared to build on his linguistic knowledge to further develop his career but you can see how well it serves him even in an anglophone context.

Extra French

Nice little series which is spoken at a reasonable pace and has captioning to facilitate understanding. This is suitable for senior secondary students. The videos would take half a lesson and so you could do some extra work around them or change the lesson to something completely different.

Bonne Saint-Valentin

The little village of St Pierre-Du-Chemin is very special. It houses and safeguards the relics of St. Valentine. The Vatican has authenticated these relics. They have a traditional festival every year to celebrate St. Valentine’s day and the fact they are the keepers of such a special patron saint

Et en plus , je parle français

Moi aussi! French is very widely spoken throughout the world and the video makes a very valid point . We all haves skills and expertise in so many different areas…and then we speak other languages as well. That is how it is in 2017.

Pronounce French Wines

You no longer have to stumble and mumble through your pronunciation of  French wines at a restaurant.You no longer have to anglicise the sound to make yourself feel comfortable.This video pronounces the most common wines for you, explains the wine regions and if you are really keen you can practise the 200 odd wines on this video. It’s not just about wines, though. It’s about pronunciation and ease of speaking. Learning how to pronounce wines will automatically help you to master sounds and combinations of sounds in French. If you can get Beaujolais right you won’t have much trouble with il est beau, merci beaucoup, Elle est jolie,  frais, il fait frais. The wine pronunciation will make you more at ease with  your pronunciation in French.

French and Spanish teaching resources

agreenmouse.comagreenmouse.com is a site I have used in class and the language tools available for French have been very suitable for my high school students. They have learned happily and effectively with them. The site also offers teaching and learning resources for Spanish. It is not unusual these days for people to be working in two languages and learning two similar languages simultaneously. We have a need for multilingual people because of global connections and the internet. French and Spanish are good languages to learn at the same time. One of the things the site offers is a chance to connect globally with other students learning the same language as you are. You can do that as a student or teacher. Teachers, students or classes can make a video and share it with others to help them learn. it is a great opportunity for authentic learning.

Petit déjeuner français

Nothing like hearing real French people talking about their real French breakfast and seeing it at the same time! Miam! Miam! This way you can learn the vocabulary in context. If you are looking for vocabulary for le  petit déjeuner you can find it on francaisfacile.

La Tartiflette


This recipe made me look good at the weekend. It is one of those classic,  beautiful, simple but very tasty French recipes. The ingredients are easily to source in Australia except the reblochon. That is not so easy to source in South Australia so I used camembert which everyone knows. I did not use the cream and it’s not obligatory to use it. We do not need the extra fat because we live in a warm climate. In the cold, winter climates the cream would help increase your body temperature. I was interested to see on Instagram that you can actually now get Tartiflette pizzas . Makes sense. The ingredients would suit a pizza base.

Le Café des Rêves

My year 10s used to love Le Café des Rêves, so much so we wore out the videos. It is good to see all the episodes are now up on YouTube with the added advantage of the subtitles in French so students can better understand what is being said. It’s an oldie but a goodie. The story is relatively complex but easy to follow and it makes students realise they can understand quite a bit by the time they are getting to the end of their year 10 course. It makes them feel successful. The characters and plot are easy to discuss especially if you use the worksheets which you can find and download here.

Les Tutos de Huito

Les tutos de Huito came up as part of a discussion on the French news programme TFI which comes up on my Facebook feed whether YouTubers were the nextgen Teachers. These sorts of clips encourage independent learning . Personalised learning. Is it a good methodology to teach languages? The students spoke for themselves. Yes. Huito has thought out what he is presenting. He has his explanations in French to allay learner fears and he focuses on small amounts of English which he repeats to ensure there is a linguistic ease and facility for the learner. Bit by bit the learner will get English and then eventually will move on to immersion language videos. The advantage of English speakers watching clips like this is they will feel confident in the language being taught so can then focus on what Huito is saying in French and so learn French! These video clips can work both ways. A bilingual approach will support two languages! Whichever language you are trying to learn, you can learn something from clips like this because it is all spoken very naturally.


The imperfect tense in French is easy to learn because the endings are straight forward. This video  by Vincent explains the complexity of its use well in French and then you need to remember you need to master the difference in usage between the imparfait and the passé composé. Initially it can be a bit confusing for learners but constant practice and paying attention to usage is the way to do it.

Les jeux olympiques de Rio en 2016

The video introduces the Rio games very nicely in French so that students will get an idea of the vocabulary. You can find a fiche pédagogique here. If you go on Pinterest and search you will find boards like these ones which will give you plenty of ideas and activities. You can top it off with the official brochure here.

Folle, folle ,folle

Great song to do with students when you are doing the weather. Very few words, clear  pronunciation and a tune which has them singing along easily. Une pluine est une petite pluie – that misty rain you get sometimes. The song and lyrics are very atmospheric! You can find the lyrics here.

Aux Champs Elysées

Aux Champs Elysées has been a perennial favourite with my students. They love to sing along. They can when the lyrics are right there in front of them and Joe Dassin sings so clearly. It’s a great way to learn a language naturally.

Barbe bleue

Barbe Bleue is a fairytale by Charles Perrault. These days it is probably not suitable for children . Listening to tales , though, is a very good way to learn a language and improve pronunciation. Pierre reads it really clearly and there is the text , podcast and an exercise on his site français avec Pierre. All of this supports language learning.

If you prefer something lighter then you can try La Princesse au Petit Pois on the Lire et Récréer site.

Pourquoi apprendre le français?

My students have always enjoyed using PowToon. The free version is not at all limiting. To find this video created in PowToon about the benefits of learning French shows you how versatile and useful PowToon can be.

Prononciation de la voyelle française / ø /


frenchsounds explains carefully and clearly in French how to pronounce particular French sounds. The phonetic ø represents the sound in ceux, peu, yeux, bœuf  and so on. It can be a hard sound for some people to master. Not this way! You can hear it. You can see how the mouth is shaped and you can practise like a French person! Felipe P speaks very clearly and well so I do not think you will have trouble getting the sound right.

How to pronounce the French R


Alexa is a lovely French woman who has produced a number of videos and podcasts to help people learn French. She loves teaching her own language to others. This video about the French R is very important. It is a sound which so many people have to master in French. Alexa shows how to do it and then gives it plenty of practice so that by the end of the video there should be a feeling of achievement. Once you get it , you don’t forget it. Getting it takes time for some people but they will get it. I have always spent lesson time practising the French R and it has always been one of the fun things to do in a spare 5 minutes. The more you do it , the better you get. Alexa gives you a sound amount of 5 minute practice. The other thing I like about this video is you can see very clearly how Alexa is moving her face and mouth to pronounce the sounds. That is so important.

Etre Acadien

This young man, who is now 6 years older, is a strong and eloquent advocate for his language and heritage. He explains clearly what it means to be Acadien and why he values his language and heritage. Acdiens speak chiac which is a mix of French and English and they are Acadiens before they are Canadiens. Historically it is interesting and you can find out more about their language and culture here.

Test your French Level

This French test is prepared by the site French avec nous where Pierre and his wife help you to learn French. The You Tube channel supports that site. French avec nous is designed as a site to help English speakers in particular learn French. Pierre also has a site:

Français avec Pierre

which is designed to help those who have already some knowledge of French.

Heureux 1er mai

It’s good to have a video explaining 1er mai. La fête du travail is very special and different .To see all that muguet is surprising and makes you wonder. When you understand it is a lovely way to celebrate then you appreciate more what the French culture is doing for its people. Like Labour Day in Australia it is a public holiday.

Qui est là?

Good way to teach French and personal safety! You surely wouldn’t just invite  in a random person who says they are a postman?! Using little teaching snippets like this not only improves knowledge of and facility with French it can be a nice way to teach social skills and have a laugh at the same time. The expressions are useful and can be repeated . The video repeats them a number of times but so cn the teacher. In 10 minutes students would be able to say something useful in French without too much trouble.

Papa Wemba

Papa Wemba s’est évanoui après avoir été victime d’un malaise sur scène le 22 avril. Le monde de la musique congolaise est en deuil et est dévasté . Il faisait partie d’une génération de musiciens congolais surnommés “Les rois de la sape.” Il était beaucoup respecté, admiré , aimé et c’est une grosse perte. Repose en paix Papa Wemba , la rumba congolaise perd une de ses plus belles étoiles.


Mon moi du futur

I have just created this Powerpoint so that I can run the topic Mon moi du futur from a smartboard. It has everything I need – videos, grammar, exercises. I can tailor it to the classes I have.  It is for more advanced students. You can download mon moi du futur by clicking on link. It means the students can have a copy too to revise their knowledge or learn it in their own way and in their own time.  The test in the middle orange tile is easy and a fun thing to do. mon moi du futur

160 dialogues en français

This is such a good idea for building confidence in speaking conversational French. Each slide focuses on one thing and then several slides make a logical conversation. The French is good quality as is the sound and so you can tailor the amount of content to the class you have or the amount of French you can learn in one go. So helpful to hear French in context at normal spoken speed.

Hier matin

This is the first of a trilogy of videos where you hear real French people talking about what they did – yesterday, at the weekend and then what they did on holidays. The third video doesn’t have such good sound but the first two are clear and would reinforce very easily the things you learn and teach in class. Talking about what you did is fundamental to general conversation and how you engage naturally with others.

Mon application Rappels

RappelsRappels is an iOS application which I run on my MacBook. My MacBook is running in French so Rappels is running in French. I don’t use it as a reminder application. I use it to teach what the students don’t know. When they want to know how to spell or say something I put it in Rappels.  I can then bring up a whole list of what they needed to know . I can then practice it , make a little test, use the vocabulary in some other way. It really helps teaching according to student needs and to have customised , current learning lists.

se présenter

se presenterMy year 9s and my Year 10s loved doing this. You start off easily by using their name as in the picture left. I then got them to add pictures to it so the year 10s could then put it on their blogs. With the year 9s we moved onto the carte d’identité which refreshed  a lot of the vocabulary we had learned this year. The year 10s we moved onto a biography or autobiography using Le questionnaire de Proust  which they got involved with very easily. There some other useful ideas and exercises here and here  and on francaisfacile.


attaques parisEncore? La première fois était juste après les fêtes de fin d’année 2014. Cette fois c’est juste avant les fêtes de fin d’année 2015. C’est cruel. Je rends hommage à tous ceux qui ont perdu leur vie, à ceux qui étaient ciblés et à tous les Français. Des lâches avec des armes. Que dire? Grosse pensée pour tous les Français. C’est difficile et pénible. Courage.

Demander son chemin

This video teachers all the vocabulary for asking your way and the Japanese subtitles are useful in my classrooms because because our other main language is Japanese. All good. Captioning is a great way to support language development and using the stronger language to support the learning  and awareness of others is good too.  Everything is pronounced clearly and well. I then plan to use the dialogue on podcastfrancaisfacile for practice which is supported by a helpful video too.

Chez le médecin

chez le docteur

Image : Le blog du JAIME français

There are so many online resources now for learning vocabulary to do with being ill. It is critical to learn   about that in any language but for learning French at school it has always been a topic which makes the students enjoy what they are learning. They love learning about being ill and creating dialogues and videos around that topic. I have gathered some resources here for my own classes and use and for yours.

Le wiki de mademoiselle Williams

Chez le docteur – example conversations

Chez le médecin – text with sound

Chez le docteur – dialogue with sound







Demander son chemin

demander son cheminThere is a good audio of Demander son chemin on podcastfrancaisfacile. Every aspect of finding your way can be heard and read. There is an excellent vocab list of places you are likely to need to find. You  can then follow it up with further practice on the francaisfacile site.

Le château de Versailles


This official clip of Versailles is just enough for students to see what it looks like, what the atmosphere is like and it helps  the imagining when we are learning simple things in French about Marie-Antoinette in year 9 French . It also creates a backdrop for our archiduchesse assignment where we look the daily routine of the archiduchesse.

La Grande Barrière de Corail

We are doing climate change in French and so we have been looking at Ningaloo off the West Australian coast and the Great Barrier Reef. This video is a perfect starter because the french is accessibel to the year 11s and the video is not too long. Learning vocabulary in a suitable context is always the best way.


Un séjour dans les Alpes

En dix phrases?

  1. La neige était si belle.
  2. Mon gîte était très confortable.
  3. Il faisait beau mais froid.
  4. J’ai fait de nouveaux amis.
  5. Je me suis très bien amusé.
  6. J’aime faire du ski.
  7. J’ai mangé très bien le soir car j’avais toujours faim.
  8. Les montagnes étaient si pittoreques.
  9. Le ciel était  toujours bleu.
  10. Je suis maintenant en pleine forme

La classe de Bilou

la classe de bilou

Image: La classe de Bilou

La classe de Bilou is a good french teachers’ blog where you can find things to help you teach French the way the French do. One of the useful things is Le Cahier de la Maitresse which is an electronic version of a teachers’ journal with all sorts of helpful additions and pages to enable you to run your class and year effectively in French and electronically. The French school year is different from ours so this is a 2014/2015 version.


A number of my French students love anime and it is good to know that they can watch these episodes in French with English subtitles. We do the French -Japanese connection as a research topic in Semester 1 in Year 11 and so access to these videos will allow students to see one of the authentic links between Japan and France.


Découvrir Québec

This little video shows you all about the app Découvrir Québec. It is an information rich , multimedia app just perfect for the classroom and iPads. It has videos, maps, 3D renditions and all sorts of things to involve students in their learning. My Year 9 class loved it when they could investigate it after the download. You need room on the iPad but that is easy with cloud back up and storage. It runs in French and English. It is also free!