ANNOUNCER: Alors, bonsoir, on vous remerci d'être venus. Es ce que des gens ici on déja participe á un karaoke?
AMINA: My name is Amina. Amina Agams. I am a big francophone, so I like French language, French songs. And I decided to try even though I don't have any voice! [laughs]
Amina sings Il 'était une fois nous deux' by Joe Dassin
AMINA: I learned French a long time ago, like 15 years ago. It was a second language in college, back in my country in Azerbaijan. And then when I moved here I just decided to brush it up.
SARAH: Do you recognize any of the songs?
MAN: Oui, 'Sous le Ciel de Paris', oui. 'La Bohême' de Charles Aznavour. Charles Trenet, 'La Mer'
Man sings 'La mer' by Charles Trenet.
ANNIE: I'm, uh, Annie Hemmingway, I'm a professor at the Alliance Francaise, French Institute Alliance Francaise at New York and this is one of my students! Hi! [laugh]
ANNE: Yes, I'm a student of Annie's. My name's Anne. I sang. There was a real French person sitting next to me, who sang very well. And that was very helpful to follow.
ANNIE: But how would you describe it as an outil pedqgogique as a teaching tool. Is it something that you can how can it be useful for students?
ANNE: Yeah, I think it is useful because at the same time, you hear the phrasing and the music of the language. I think that's really helpful. And everyone's enjoying themselves, and not everyone's singing perfectly well.
Group sings 'Hey Joe' by Johnny Hallyday
WOMAN: I knew the Jimi Hendrix song in English, Hey Joe.
WOMAN: I knew the tune, which helped, but you know, that's the problem, not knowing the tunes. That's a difficulty. But It was a great exercise to read the words and try to sing them.
ALEX: My name is Alex Julga. I actually began learning French 15 years ago in Peru. And then I continued at the school here, and now at the United Nations, where I work.
This event is one of the things that uh, only New York could offer in the sense that, it's so easy to find people that speaks, besides Spanish and English, which are the most spoken languages in New York French, so it's like being in Paris!
Class sings 'Sous le ciel de Paris' by Edith Piaf
Producer: Sarah Elzas
Recorded in New York, NY