MFL: My Dream Lesson - To Paris, with love

16th December 2011 at 00:00
The city of light is the best classroom in the world

If the world was a classroom, Paris would certainly be the master class. Come to Paris to learn about the world. Walk its streets and learn about life, death, love and war - that more or less covers the EBac.

In my ideal field trip, we start in a deliciously overpriced cafe near Etoile with the obligatory croissant and cafe creme, dunked and served with Gallic indifference. After the class order their food and practise the inexorable GCSE jeu de role, I take them for a stroll down the middle of the Champs Elysees. We discuss existentialism and the euro while dodging taxis and les conducteurs de dimanche.

Then I suggest the Eiffel Tower, where I have pupils bungee-jumping off the second floor while reciting irregular French verbs. By now, for those who still have the stomach for it, it is time for lunch. A little bistro near Trocadero is just the ticket, with steak tartar, cuisse de grenouilles, escargots and a juicy horse steak (saignant, of course).

For pudding, we head off to the banks of the Seine on l'Ile de la Cite for a constitutional bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape and a petit doux. Next is a dash to Notre Dame dressed in an understated black number, and a group rendition of Je Ne Regrette Rien at the top while American tourists do their impersonations of Quasimodo around us. Oh, how uncouth tourists can be!

Then it is time for pupil choice: dance the Can Can from Place du Tertre all the way down the hill to the Moulin Rouge, or get on the Metro with an accordion and see how much money you can make by singing La Mer by Charles Trenet on the journey to Opera. There we sing Go Compare on the steps to the opera house.

It's been a busy day, but we still have to think about the plenary. And what better way of winding down the lesson than sitting on the steps of the Sacre Coeur as the sun goes down, watching the city below fade with the light.

Andy Holland is head of faculty at Havelock Academy and is a member of the TES panel for MFL

What else?

Explore the magic of Paris through Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 film Amelie. And try the TES Amelie collection of resources.

Practise the future tense by talking about holiday plans. For some ideas try klembo's colourful PowerPoint. Other resources are available in Spanish, contributed by slaughtj, and German, by mathildesavary.

Find all links and resources at

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