In 20 minutes, learn to incorporate music in language instruction

There has been great response to my first two videos in this series, “Learn to… in 20 minutes”. Allow me to explain my perspective. World Language teachers have learned a lot of different activities as we have transitioned to proficiency. To further the profession, I want to share the best of these ideas with others. I am especially thinking of teachers who don’t have colleagues because their department is just them, teachers who are new to the profession or teachers who want to hone their skills. You will notice that I am publishing a video a month and these videos together are a forming a World Language Tool Box.

I am passionate about using songs as authentic documents to teach language. From this 20 minute video you will understand how I do this with intention and purpose to instruct language.

I share four ideas to use communication around songs:

  • Opinions and reactions
  • Story Scripts
  • Penguin stories
  • Lyrics as a reading

to make input comprehensible while using songs to motivate students.

Think about what you can make your own. Consider adding your next step in the comments to start a conversation with other teachers. I will be sharing about how to get students talking with art in my next video. Until next time!

My students’ favorite French music

My Level 1 French students have songs to recommend.  These are songs where they like the tune and we have listened to them a few times since I introduced them.  The first time I play the song we do Interpretive activities, which you will find below.  Later we listen to the songs while we are working.

Most of these songs I found on TV5 Monde’s Paroles de Clips.   The site has music videos for teaching French and activities which are leveled.  I have found the offerings to be current and carefully chosen.  I collect appropriate French music for teaching on a Music Video Board on Pinterest.


We watch the video as we listen to the song, because the visual gives context and for that reason I especially like videos that tell the story of the song.  Seeing that I teach 7th and 8th graders, the song’s lyrics and its video has to be appropriate for that age.  I have a native speaker at each grade level, so I can’t get away with anything!

Elle me dit de Mika     Activity: Elle me dit

Papaoutai de Stromae     Activity: Papaoutai

En été de La reine des neiges     Activity: En été

Rien à vous dire de Jérôme Minière     Activity: Rien a vous dire

La Seine de Vanessa Paradis et M     Activity: La Seine