Why Teach Corrective Phonetics?
Athletes must devote considerable time and effort to develop agility and muscular strength. Consistent practice creates muscle memory and skill in performance.
Similarly, non-native French speakers must allow their articulatory organs to undergo an equally rigorous workout if they want these organs to function in a “native French” manner. Practice creates flexibility and skill in articulation.
Corrective phonetics provides the French teacher with the necessary tools and methods to coach students to pronounce French more clearly. Ultimately students will develop skills leading to self-correction and the ability to be understood.
... this practice should ideally take place during every French class under the supervision of a good coach: the French teacher.
It is unrealistic to expect French teachers to be specialists in phonetic correction as it is an additional skill set beyond most language teaching programs. It is with these teachers in mind that I developed my workshops and pedagogical materials.
My work is inspired by my students:
In Core French, I encounter many talented students who are reluctant to speak this foreign language even though they can write and understand it – often impressively so. Knowing that they have difficulty making themselves understood, students often prefer to remain silent rather than be embarrassed.
In Immersion, however, I often meet students who are very able to speak French fluently, but perhaps with an erratic rhythm, intonation, or other difficulties that impede the message they wish to communicate.
Applying the methods from my workshops will help you build your students' confidence in their verbal abilities at all levels of French. Once this confidence begins to grow, they will become increasingly motivated to communicate in French and, most importantly, they will find themselves better able to communicate within the French-speaking world.
Is this not your goal as a language teacher?
I trust that I have convinced you of the importance of corrective phonetics in your teaching.
Your students deserve it - and your ears do too!