Geri Metz, MA
"The French Phonetics Fanatic"
I have been in love with French all my life. I remember when I was a small child I saw some French written in a book and was fascinated by the look of it. I said that day that when "I grow up" I want to know that language. And from the first class in high school as a sophomore, I was at home.
I taught French in high schools at the time that the audio-lingual method was popular, and became a leader in this technique. I continued my education and received an MA from the Ecole Française at Middlebury.
By this time I was more and more dedicated to French phonetics: the accurate pronunciation of French captivated me and I was fortunate to have a position open up which contributed greatly to my expertise. I served as the research assistant to Dr. André Malécot (Introduction à la Phonétique française) who was working on a monumental project: he recorded conversations with a hidden microphone of Parisians of the "classe dirigeante". This study resulted in an authoritative analysis of conversational French, and I was privileged to take part in it for about 2 years. While in Paris for the recording part of the project, I had an unusual position present itself: the "section d'anglais" of the Sorbonne initiated a language lab class in American English and I was actually a teaching assistant at the Sorbonne, teaching classes in both American and British English. (I would go to the lab before the class in British to listen to the tapes myself and learn how to speak it!)
Back in the States, I was completing my graduate work at the Ecole Française at Middlebury, and when a teacher from France who was to teach phonetics didn't show up, the classes were given to me, based on my competence with the subject. I believe I was the first non-native French teacher to give a language course at Middlebury. A real honor.I have also taught French phonetics to advanced students at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Santa Barbara.
For about 30 years I had my own travel company, and I organized and directed tours to France, mostly for high school students of French, and later for adults and also for wine enthusiasts. This was a delightful part of my long career with and love of the French language.
I have a lot to share. That's why I call myself "The French Phonetics Fanatic"! My goal is to help those of you who want to improve your pronunciation, so that the purity and beauty of this language we all love will be honored; and for those of you who are teachers, will be passed down accurately to future generations.
-Geri Metz M.A.