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Back in 1988 or 1989, I took a three month French immersion program at the University of Tours. We had classes in reading, grammar, writing, etc. Amongst the various classes there was one that stood out. All the foreign students, myself included, thought that this particular class was the most beneficial one in the group, yet was the shortest (one credit hour per week).

The class was dedicated to pronunciation of French words. When I say the pronunciation of French words I mean the pronunciation within the breakdown of the syllables of French words.

To this day I still believe it was the most beneficial class I ever had in learning French, but have one question: What is the name of this particular type of class or teaching technique?

Edit : The entire class was taken up trying to imitate the various sounds that composed French words. For example if a word had five syllables, we were expected to repeat the exact five sounds in that word. Each student worked at a table with partitions and had a microphone and headphones. If we repeated the sounds correctly we moved on. If a student mispronounced a sound, the professor intervened with the individual via a conversation through the headphones.

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Direct method:

pronunciation is taught through intuition and imitation; students imitate a model - the teacher or a recording - and do their best to approximate the model through imitation and repetition.

See here for more: Pronunciation Teaching History and Scope

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