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Helene Neu

Lecturer IV of French
Retired

Office Location(s): 4014 MLB 1275
Phone: 734.647.2323
hneu@umich.edu

  • About

    As Elementary French Program Director, I am responsible for the supervision of all aspects of the elementary French curriculum, and the training and coordination of instructional staff in the language program. I teach a variety of classes in the elementary language sequence, Romance Linguistics 528 (Teaching Romance Languages: Theory and Applications), and French 333 (French Phonetics).

    My interests center on foreign language pedagogy and acquisition, with special emphasis in the development of pedagogical materials for the foreign language classroom. I have created video-viewing guides that aim to develop students' listening skills and cultural awareness. I have also authored, with Todd Reeser, a former graduate student, the book Parle-moi un peu: Information Gap Activities for Beginning French Classes (Heinle & Heinle, 1997). I have recorded on videotape a short course in French pronunciation (produced by Sabine Gabaron and Kathy Kemp) that is available through the U-M's Language Resource Center.

    At national and regional conferences, I have conducted workshops and given papers on the following topics: the use of video to develop students' listening comprehension and cultural awareness; the use of small-group and information-gap activities; the teaching of pronunciation and regional variations in French pronunciation; and the reasons for the existence of cultural misunderstandings.

    A recent interest of mine is in helping students to make the transition from high school to the university. I have offered workshops for these students on techniques for learning a foreign language.

    In a previous incarnation, I was engaged in speech-understanding research, doing work on the phonological features of fast speech in English. Some of that work resulted in the article "Ranking of Constraints on /t,d/ Deletion in American English: A Statistical Analysis," in Locating Language in Time and Space, William Labov, editor, New York: Academic Press, 1980.