Effects of phonetic/phonics instruction on reading pronunciation (French level I)

Therese E Piguet, Florida International University


Pronunciation training has been traditionally viewed as of limited importance in a communicatively oriented foreign language curriculum (Pennington & Richards, 1986). Many language instructors seemingly deny the usefulness of phonetic training and rely on a listen-and-repeat method with the use of audiotapes (Bate, 1989; Callamand & Pedoya, 1984; Jones, 1997). Beginners in French classes face the challenge of mastering a complex sound and grapheme-phoneme correspondence system without the benefit of specific instruction. Their pronunciation errors develop mostly from bad habits while decoding from print to sound (Dansereau, 1995). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of basic phonetic/phonics instruction on reading pronunciation accuracy in a French I language course. The sample consisted of two groups of French I students from Florida International University, who received the same instruction in French language and culture during the fall semester of 1999. Only the experimental group received additional phonetic/phonics training. The instrument consisted of three recorded reading tasks: isolated familiar words, isolated unfamiliar words, and dialogue. Research questions were analyzed using a one-way multivariate analysis of variance. Significant differences were found between the two groups on scores for each of the three sections of the instrument, and on the total scores. These findings support the hypothesis of the study and reveal the effectiveness of phonetic/phonics training for beginners of French. The findings imply that beginning language students should receive the minimum knowledge they need to master the French phoneme-grapheme (sound-spelling) system.

Subject Area

Language|Language arts|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Piguet, Therese E, "Effects of phonetic/phonics instruction on reading pronunciation (French level I)" (2001). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3006863.