Approved by Faculty Senate.


Course Syllabus

College of Liberal Arts

Winona State University



Department of Foreign Languages Course Title: Phonetics and Pronunciation

Course Number: French 401 Frequency of Offering: every other year

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: French 202 or equivalent

Grading: Grade Only Oral Communication 191

Satisfies University Studies Oral Flag Instructor: Nancy Edstrom

Date of revision: Spring 2002



  1. Catalog Description:
  2. Each student perfects his/her pronunciation through class and language laboratory exercises. The class relies on pronunciation tapes to teach the proper French accent. The sounds are studied so that one can describe and teach them to students. Some pronunciation rules are also mastered; rule of three consonants, silent e, e before yod, etc. Students read articles from the French press in order to practice correct pronunciation. Prerequisite: 202 or equivalent. Offered every two years.

  3. Statement of major focus and objectives of the course:
  4. The course aims at both high proficiency and excellent pronunciation. Students will develop rhythmic and intonation finesse that will help them achieve an eloquent and aesthetically pleasing fluency. Grammar and vocabulary enrichment will be part of daily exercises.

  5. Basic instructional plan and teaching methods used:

Through close work with the phonetical alphabet, students will recite and discuss poetry, excerpts from great works and will engage in all manner of formal and informal conversation with an ear to smooth (non-singsong) intonation and well-articulated pronunciation. Tests will involve phonetic perfection and recited extemporaneous and memorized French.


  1. Earn significant course credit through extemporaneous oral presentations
    1. Students will focus on speaking extemporaneous on a variety of topics and typical real-life situations.

    Politics Religion Education, college life

    Relationships Family Life Travel

    Au Restaurant Careers War and peace

    Life and death The environment French history

    Gender issues Leisure activities Correspondence (letters, e-mail)

    Shopping and the Euro French theatre and film

    French attitude towards American tourists

    Vacations, holidays, and the 35-hour work week in France

  2. Understand the features and types of speaking in their disciplines.
  1. Students will learn the different levels of style and discourse that are appropriate to the public or private spheres as well as varying subject matter.





  1. Adapt their speaking to field-specific audiences.
  1. Students will also learn to speak on subjects appropriate to French cultural concerns in any French-speaking countries (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxemborg, and Quebec, to name just a few). They will also learn to discuss literature, phonetic concepts and grammar in French.
  1. Receive appropriate feedback from teachers and peers, including suggestions for improvement.
  1. Conversations and oral presentation in French will be observed and evaluated by fellow students and the instructor.
  1. Make use of the technologies used for research and speaking in the fields.
  1. The use of French language audiocassettes, videocassettes, books, magazines, and internet resources is planned for the course.
  1. Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields.
  1. Students will learn the proper structural formats and linguistic usage for French monologues, dialogues and oral presentations.

Teaching Procedures: Though we will do written work at the blackboard with prose and poetry, magazines, drills and exercises, spontaneous discussions and presentations will be the focus of class activity. There will also be written exercises to reinforce vocabulary and grammatical structures. Listening exercises in the lab will be required. The most common form of test will involve extemporaneous presentations and transcription into the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)

Tests and Grading: Class participation 25%

4 extemporaneous presentations 25%

Daily conversations, drills, quizzes 25%

Midterm and final exams on

grammar and usage 25%

Grading Scale: 100-90 = A; 80-89 = B; 70-79 = C; 60-69 = D