Sourcing Creative Commons Audio for Educational Use

Learning outcome:
Students will be able to physically show and name the parts of the body in English and French featured in the song. Parts are:
• le doigt- finger
• les mains- hands
• le nez- nose
• le coude- elbow
• le pied- foot
I was able to find a number of musical renditions of this traditional French folk song through multiple Creative Commons and royalty-free archives (I found this compilation of CC sites-, and chose two versions. The first is an audio recording located through the Library of Congress. I also found this video ( that shows how to filter through Youtube searches, and this provided a different version of the song, with different language accents. The original version of the song ( features a mezzo soprano with a very clean accent, which in turn makes translation easier for the developing second-language ear. The second is more modern, and a cleaner recording without all the ambient audibles which, as noted by Carter (2012), can detract from the focus of the listener; therefore, two versions were provided to both accommodate and give framework that is interchangeable between renditions.
The selection of a song (not song and video) is a fundamental medium for learning a language because it uses melody to provide pattern and context. Songs are used to teach young children concepts and vocabulary because of the predictive nature and patterns contained in melody. This associates strongly with the personal narrative format which “actively involve[s] the listener in the material provided” (Carter, 2012, p. 5). Another aspect of using the song as medium aids the retention of the ‘big idea’ of the sentence. As Carter noted,” sentences need to be presented in a way that allows the user to interpret and process the material that was being presented without trying to remember how the sentence started out”; using a repetitive structure such as a refrain in a song creates an aural pattern that triggers recall.
Rather than edit this video for audio quality, I provided two versions from different eras; the first version references and demonstrates culture and longevity of song and language as knowledge transmitters, which is an important lesson in and of itself. Second, it becomes a minor contextualized lesson on technology, and the importance and relevance of historical preservation when examining the style, linguistic structure, and dialectical evolution. Had there not been this option, I would edit the initial piece for volume equalization, and to eliminate any ambient microphone ‘colour’.

Savez-Vous Plantez des Choux, circa 1918

Savez-Vous Plantez des Choux, 2012


Carter, C. W. (2012, October 26). Instructional audio guidelines: Four design principles to consider for every instructional audio design effort. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 56(6), 54–58.

de Planoise, T. [Toufik de Planoise]. (2012, November 2). Buffalo Grill, animations anniversaire : savez-vous planter les choux ? (7) [Video]. Youtube.

Gauthier, E. (n.d.). Savez-vous planter les choux? Retrieved March 03, 2021, from Originally published 1919-06-21


Designing a Student Media Project Outline


Eddying…I Mean, Editing an Audio File


  1. Hello Ryan,

    Audio, specifically a song, is such a great way to support the learning of a new language. Going through the French Immersion program I remember back in early elementary we learned through song all the time. I still remember all the words to “Je suis une pizza.”

    I love how you included two versions of the song to demonstrate the different eras and the different accents.

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hi Ryan,

    I cannot even begin to delve into the pedagogical design behind your song choice for the lesson because I have been stuck listening to both versions repeatedly for the past 15 minutes! 🙂

    I think this speaks so loudly to the power of music and I wholeheartedly agree with both you and Grace about the long-lasting effects of the usage of music in teaching. I think my most memorable lessons from elementary and even high school are in some way linked to songs that I can still sing to this day. And I don’t think we need to look very hard to find the overwhelming literature to support the use of music in education.

    In terms of the quality of audio chosen, it’s interesting because I found the static, noisy nature of the first clip added to its uniqueness and therefore made it much more memorable for me. However, as a non-French speaker, I could definitely experience how much the lack of clarity can inhibit the learning process.

    I really enjoyed this post, and I think you have very clearly outlined how to effectively use audio in lesson planning. I do have two questions though:

    1) Your title says “Savez-Vous Plantez des Choux” but I swear I am hearing “les” choux. Is my French oral comprehension really that bad???

    2) How does one plant cabbage with one’s foot?

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