First Semester Language

We all laugh at these songs that make fun of beginning language classes and the somewhat useless words and phrases we learn. How many times in French have I ever said “Où est la bibliothèque ?” Um, probably never. But these videos also show the poor attempt at language teaching and/or the poor attempt at language learning that is so prevalent in English-speaking schools. Even though I’m laughing on the outside, I’m crying on the inside because I know there are so many students who finish years of study and retain nothing but these stock phrases.

Foo doo fa fa by the Flight of the Conchords

First Semester of Spanish Love Song by RunawayBox

Second Semester of Spanish Love Song (with Erik Estrada!)

Anybody know of songs like these for other languages?

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  • ksam

    i swear, i’m going to scream if i see that damn “fou de fa fa” video one more time!! aagggh!!!!

  • ksam

    i swear, i’m going to scream if i see that damn “fou de fa fa” video one more time!! aagggh!!!!

  • Emeka

    You may criticize language learning in America’s public schools, but as a teacher of 130 public high school French students in an inner city, I would love to hear any recommendations you may have for teaching 45-minute classes of 30+ students. High school language classes are not there for students to become fluent speakers in 1, 2, 3 or even 4 years. They are there for students to become more globally aware of the value of other languages and cultures, to give them tools to communicate in other languages and to perhaps speak their own languages better. Aren’t these silly videos inciting interest in the languages?

  • Emeka

    You may criticize language learning in America’s public schools, but as a teacher of 130 public high school French students in an inner city, I would love to hear any recommendations you may have for teaching 45-minute classes of 30+ students. High school language classes are not there for students to become fluent speakers in 1, 2, 3 or even 4 years. They are there for students to become more globally aware of the value of other languages and cultures, to give them tools to communicate in other languages and to perhaps speak their own languages better. Aren’t these silly videos inciting interest in the languages?

  • http://noemagosa.wordpress.com/ Noelia

    What a laugh! That was very funny, thanks! If I think of any other similar song I’ll let you know!

    Noelias last blog post..Autumn Leaves

  • http://noemagosa.wordpress.com Noelia

    What a laugh! That was very funny, thanks! If I think of any other similar song I’ll let you know!

    Noelias last blog post..Autumn Leaves

  • http://french-state-of-mind.blogspot.com/ Monique

    Ohhhhhh my gosh, while watch the first video (hadn’t scrolled down yet) I was going to leave the link for the one semester of Spanish love song video :) That’s probably my favorite, ever.

    Moniques last blog post..Happy Halloween!

  • http://french-state-of-mind.blogspot.com Monique

    Ohhhhhh my gosh, while watch the first video (hadn’t scrolled down yet) I was going to leave the link for the one semester of Spanish love song video :) That’s probably my favorite, ever.

    Moniques last blog post..Happy Halloween!

  • http://updatesfromsusan.blogspot.com/ Susan in Lille

    I love The Flight of the Concords! I used to watch that show back in the US. Well I can say that I am going to do my best to teach a few 1st year college students Business English starting tomorrow. Have a few books, a 1st lesson plan and am eager to get started. If you have any recommendations for Business English let me know. I am covering Human Resources, Corporate Structure and Marketing throughout the first year. I’m trying to make it as interactive as possible, but with 30 students it’s a challenge! Going to split them up for half the class and see how that works…I’m really focusing on projects and subjects they might run into during the next few years. And current events (business wise) too…

    Susan in Lilles last blog post..The Last Part of my Succes :-)

  • http://updatesfromsusan.blogspot.com Susan in Lille

    I love The Flight of the Concords! I used to watch that show back in the US. Well I can say that I am going to do my best to teach a few 1st year college students Business English starting tomorrow. Have a few books, a 1st lesson plan and am eager to get started. If you have any recommendations for Business English let me know. I am covering Human Resources, Corporate Structure and Marketing throughout the first year. I’m trying to make it as interactive as possible, but with 30 students it’s a challenge! Going to split them up for half the class and see how that works…I’m really focusing on projects and subjects they might run into during the next few years. And current events (business wise) too…

    Susan in Lilles last blog post..The Last Part of my Succes :-)

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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