Beginning French Songs and Videos

Learning French

I am teaching beginning French this semester and since all of the classrooms are equipped with computers and projectors, I have been delighting my students with weird songs and videos to reinforce the vocabulary they are learning. So for beginning learners of French or other French teachers who want to use videos in class, here are some examples of what I’ve been using:


A bonus in this video is showing how the French count on their hands, starting with the thumb.

What is your name?

Français Interactif’s chansons français has PDF exercises you can download.

I believe I will also introduce them to the love of my life, Pierre Capretz.

But I haven’t decided yet if I will terrify them with Téléfrançais or not.

I use the site to download the videos so I don’t have to rely on a working internet connection in the classroom. Windows Live Movie Maker and VirtualDub are free and easy to use programs for editing the videos if you want to cut some parts out or repeat certain sections.

  • AndreaClaire

    Oh Téléfrançais! It’s a badge of honour amongst anglophone Canadians when we can slip “je suis un ananas” into a conversation about how little French we speak!

    • Jennie Wagner

      Haha that is great! I love that it is an official program from BC.

  • Katie Pausch

    Formidable!  I teach French I and II at a high school in Chicago, and would show the Capretz videos on days with odd scheduling, when some periods would have ten extra minutes… it didn’t resonate as I had hoped- I guess part of my love of the series stems from nostalgia from the 80s which my students (born around 1997-1998) just don’t have!  I also showed some of the Téléfrançais videos, which most of them loved, since they’re so ridiculous.  I even had a terrible student who stopped after French I stop by the other week and ask for the name of the series, since he wanted to watch them on YouTube!

    • Jennie Wagner

      Most of my students are 18 but I do have a couple near 30 so I hope a few of them will love FIA or at least appreciate how quirky it is. And I think I will have to use Téléfrançais just because it is so darn hilarious. I love les squelettes!

  • Andrew

    Fantastic, Jennie, I love using fun kids stuff like that–children’s books, cartoons, comics, etc. are FANTASTIC for language-learners because the media in question is specifically designed for people with a basic command of the language and a limited vocabulary which happens to include not only children but beginning/intermediate language-learners as well.

    How old are these students? I know you’re a PhD candidate now so I presume you’re teaching undergrads?  You know how much I like using music videos, they (or at least the guys) might appreciate my favorite French music video if you’d like to try it:



    • Jennie Wagner

      I love Alizée!!! That song was already on my list. :)

      Yes, I am teaching undergrads in first semester French and I do have a whole 4 boys in my class (compared to like 14 girls). We have 4 hours together each week, and the last hour we are in the computer lab so I let them re-watch the videos that I showed earlier on. I’m sure some of the boys will love to re-watch Alizée.

  • Cynthia in the French Alps

    How come my teachers never used any of these? I might have learned more!

  • Lisa

    Ha ha, wow, I know you said they would be weird but those were quite weird!  I like Mathieu Boogeart’s songs but I had never watched a video before.  …interesting and entertaining, for sure.

  • mzarita

    I like this song a lot