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Faculty member publishes book on French pronunciation

September 19, 2013
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Dr. Jessica Miller
EAU CLAIRE — A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty member recently co-authored a textbook on French pronunciation.

Dr. Jessica Miller, associate professor of foreign languages at UW-Eau Claire, along with with Dr. Anne Violin-Wigent (Michigan State University) and Dr. Frédérique Grim (Colorado State University) have had their textbook, "Sons et sens: La prononciation du français en context," published by Georgetown University Press.

The book details second-language pronunciation acquisition through cultural topics such as the French education system, vernacular French and cooking in the francophone world.

"Linguistic concepts that could otherwise appear dry immediately become alive and relevant as learners see their direct application in authentic situations," Miller said.

Growing up in France enabled Miller to learn several languages, she said. It was Miller's interest in language pronunciation that inspired the textbook.

"While gaining experience as a teacher, I investigated questions related to the teaching and learning of French pronunciation. I found that available textbooks were not grounded on recent phonetic research nor did they utilize current demonstrated effective teaching practices," Miller said, "Creating my own course pack became a necessary but exciting endeavor."

The textbook aims to enhance students' pronunciation skills within the context of French and francophone culture. The authors' approach derives from current research on second language acquisition and pedagogy as well as contemporary research on French linguistics.

Miller said the book draws attention to non-standard varieties of the French language, which she uses as a teaching tool.

"Features of regional varieties as well as social varieties are described so that students can see how languages and dialects shape one's cultural identity," Miller said.

For more information about Miller's book, contact her at millerjs@uwec.edu or 715-836-4267, or visit http://press.georgetown.edu/book/languages/sons-et-sens#sthash.RUoxrQ49.dpuf.

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