I teach French language and I’m specialized in pronunciation.
Since I was young I’ve always loved music, listening to music and playing music. There is something magical about it. How every instrument is arranged and how all the sounds fits together to make you feel this way. It is magic, but at the same time we can explain in details why it’s beautiful if a violin plays correctly. It’s also a science. Languages make me feel the same. Some languages sound more beautiful, some sound hard, but they are all melodies. I like teaching pronunciation because it reminds me of music. We have the melody and the rhythm. Two very important components!
If you want to be the best musician you should listen to every kind of music that exists. Even if you want to play pop-rock, listening to jazz and classical music will make you richer than ever. Whether you play flute or guitar, it’s the best way to open up you hear and have a better understanding of what “music” is.
I live in Paris and I have a standard French accent, the Parisian accent. That’s the one you can listen on the TV and on the radio. If you only know one accent you will not be able to recognize any other accent, and how can you be sure that I’m teaching you the Parisian accent?
One of my students just said that a lot of Chinese students want to study English at Oxford to get the “Oxford accent”. They want it so much! But they don’t know that some teachers are not from Oxford and that their accent is not the one they want to learn. Why? Because they never paid attention to other accents. Finally they don’t get exactly what they want.
Listening to many French accents will make you more aware of the phonetic system of the French language. Knowing the extremes, we are more likely to know what’s the average. That’s for accents and accents are not only location related. It can be listening to old French people or youngsters or even other social status (low and high). All these people can live in the same district sometimes, and they speak so different!
If you like watching old French movies, you must have realized that the accent was a bit different 50 years ago!
Finally, adding different experiences will make you better. It’s also valid with French accents. If you have only one French teacher, add another one, if you have only one language partner, add two more. We get better by facing reality. The more you expose yourself to the difficult reality, only you will reach faster your goal, which I guess is to be fluent in French 🙂