Plus belle la vie is one of my favourite French TV programmes.
#pblv, as all the cool kids are calling it, is a French soap set in Mistral, a fictional quartier of Marseille in the south of France.
The programme focuses on the daily lives and loves of the inhabitants of Mistral and their shady, if not downright criminal, business practices.
In short, it's Eastenders, but with sunshine.
It is broadcast 5 evenings each week on France3 at 20:25 and each morning on TV5monde (in the UK it's Sky channel 717) and many episodes can be seen on youtube, too, so you've no excuse not to watch it.
If you're as obsessed as I am, you can follow the show on twitter and facebook, too
The main reason I'm recommending this is not so that you can spend hours watching a television programme which IMDB (rather generously) rates at 2.7/10 but I think the programme's website is a goldmine of material which could be used when studying the topics of family and describing people.
There is a comprehensive profile of each character giving their personalities, likes and dislikes.
Using this could introduce a cultural element to language learning and might be a fresh change from describing the Simpsons or the Family Guy cast when teaching this topic.
Activities you could do with this resource include:
- Create a family tree of characters in one family
- Describe a character and get a partner to guess which character you are talking about.
- Make a guess who type game using the characters' profile photos
- Create a mindmap type activity saying how the characters are connected
- Use Pam hook's SOLO hexagons to do the above task, too
- Compare and contrast with characters in English language soaps.
- Add the challenge of getting students to write a "what will happen next" paragraph using the future tense.
- Say or write about which character you are most like.
- Who would you like to meet and give reasons why.
- Who would you not like to meet and give reasons why.
- Create a new family (or character) to join the cast. Describe them, give them a personality and a role within the PBLV community.