Stromae – Carmen

As part of a unit on the media, I constructed a whole lesson revolving around a French pop song by Belgian recording artist Stromae. The song is called Carmen:

Fill-in-the-Blanks Lyrics

Answer Key

  • First, I hid the music video and made a listening comprehension. Students had to fill in the missing words from the lyrics.
  • Then, I showed the first half of the music video and asked students about their impressions. I asked them to guess how the video will end [after 1:46]. It is always interesting to listen to students’ hypotheses, because the ending is very impactful and meaningful.
  • This leads us to several group discussions and a class debate on the presence and influence of social media in and on our lives. This music videos invites us all to interpret various artistic choices and also makes us reflect on our own consumption of new technologies. Students were supposed to use vocabulary seen in class relating to globalization and the media to structure their ideas.
  • The slideshow with each discussion prompt can be found here:

Powerpoint Presentation for the Activities

  • Later, I expanded on that lesson when a new song was released : “Mon Précieux” by French singer Soprano. This song and music video was a perfect addition to this activity because it deals with smartphone addiction. I let my students guess who is “my precious” in the lyrics before showing them the video, and ask them at the end to compare both songs in terms of message and tone.

Published by Valentin Duquet

PhD student, French Studies; University of Texas at Austin.