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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.