C’est la rentrée ! The start of the school year, la rentrée littéraire, and the general back-to-it energy make September a great time for new habits and routines. Like New Year’s celebrations, it’s also a great time to make some resolutions… such as watching and reading more in French!

This is where TEDTalks come in. Not only are there a multitude of options en français (explore some of these options with our two previous posts here and here), but you can put on subtitles in either English or French using the settings gear in the lower right-hand corner of your video screen. These inspiring videos make for great binge-watching and an easy way to add French into your daily routine.

In the spirit of la rentrée, I’m theming this video selection with different courses you might have taken in school. Happy watching!

Creative Writing:

Guillaume Benech walks us through his literary journey as reader and reviewer to published author with Michel Lafon (one of the major publishing houses in France) by age 16.

Political Science:

Fais de ton corps, une machine; de ton cerveau, une arme; de ton coeur, un art; de ta vie, une oeuvre.” With a chaotic, global upbringing and an atypical schooling experience, Bolewa Sabourin covers a multitude of experiences in his quest for harmony in his life. Sabourin uses his work in community organization, his multicultural identity, and his love for dance to create “l’artivisme.”

Theater:

Elaine Benoit is a creativity coach who uses ateliers for children to discover their talents and their creativity to bring their ideas to life.

Biology:

Maëlle Vilbert opens her talk with a butterfly that is almost completely transparent, and the science only gets cooler from there. To the lab!

PE class:

Paul-Henri de Le Rue, an Olympic medallist in snowboard-cross, tells us about his fears (including public speaking!) and how he has overcome these obstacles in the pursuit of being the most himself. His talk features heart-racing videos from his career on the slopes.

Chorale:

Despite opening the video by singing in English, Cécilia Deniaud uses her voice to share her story in French. From painful beginnings, she uses the codes of music to overcome the inherited codes of abuse she survived as a child.

Agricultural Sciences:

“When I realized that a simple apple had travelled more than I had, I began to ask myself some questions” opens Camille Etienne’s TEDTalk about the community she grew up in, the food they produce, and the way she hopes we will think about the world going forward.

Multi-disciplinary:

Arnaud Assoumani was born with one hand and began dreaming of the Olympics by the age of 5. He shares his passions for his chosen sport (long jump, for which he has won gold, silver, and bronze medals), his musical pursuits, and his family. Sure to inspire tears with his closing quote: “La différence est une force et nos différences peuvent nous amener au-delà du possible” (translation: Difference is a force and our differences can bring us beyond what is possible.)

Meeting with your advisor:

Chloé Rivault discusses finding the right career path and the impact that smartphones have had on a generation of workers. How should we look at careers? And how do different generations answer that very question?


Rebecca Sfedj is passionate about human resources and societal innovations. Your advisor’s signature advice? “N'attendez pas votre place, créez-la !” (translation: Don’t wait for your place, create it!)


Ahead of her time, Adèle Galey advises, “on peut faire des choses extraordinaires de notre salon. On est des super-héros potentiels” (translation: we can do extraordinary things from our living rooms. We are potential superheroes).

I hope these videos have inspired you this rentrée. Did you learn anything new from our list of digital experts?

Are we missing any of your favorite school subjects? Leave your requests in the comments, and we’ll see about pulling together a new course list for next semester!

Ingrid began her passion for French through the immersion program in Milton, MA, and has followed it around France and the world. She took a break from this first love to pursue a B.A. in English with a minor in Irish Studies at Boston College and a Masters of Library and Information Sciences at Simmons College. She is thrilled to meld her excitement for libraries and French language and culture in her position at the Center!

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