What is the course about?
This course focuses on sound. You will learn (i) how to make the individual sounds of English (phonemes), using your tongue, lips, teeth and throat; (ii) how to hear the differences between these sounds; (iii) how to read and write the phonemic alphabet, special symbols for the sounds. You will also learn how to identify the differences between the sounds in your first language and those of English.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
The main aim of this course will be on improving students' pronunciation of the individual sounds of English. We will work on: a) Short and long vowel sounds; b) Diphthongs; c) Consonants. You will practise hearing the differences between the sounds and being able to produce them. You will also learn how to read and write the phonemic symbols so you can look in the dictionary to know how to pronounce individual words. We will also ask what 'good' pronunciation means for students living and working in English.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
a) Hear the differences between the English vowels sounds
b) Place your tongue and lips in the correct positions for each of the pure vowel sounds
c) Move your tongue and lips correctly for each of the diphthongs
d) Understand the difference between a vowel and a consonant sound
e) Hear the differences between the consonant sounds
f) Use your tongue, lips, teeth and throat appopriately in order to make the consonant sounds
g) Identify the special phonemic symbols for all of the sounds
h) Write these phonemic symbols
i) Understand key terminology within pronunciation
j) Identity where your pronunciation is good and where you need to improve.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is aimed at students with a good level of English: Level 1-Level 2 students (B2-C1). You should be confident in everyday conversations. Students need to contact the department before enrolling on this course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will learn in a supportive and welcoming environment. The tutor will help you discover the important parts of pronunciation for yourself rather than just telling you. You will learn how to analyse language so that you can practise outside the classroom. The course will be dynamic and creative with a lot of interaction – you will work in pairs, small groups and sometimes as a whole class. Your tutor will also work with you individually. You will need to do some homework every week and use Google Classroom outside the class as well as record yourself each week.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no other costs. It will be useful to bring a phone with a camera and/or recording facility on it.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You will be able to move to Stage 2 of this course where you will focus on pronunciation in connected speech including linking, rhythm and stress.
ESOL and Podcasting is an excellent course to do alongside or after this course. Podcasts are digital recordings and the course will give you a lot of opportunities to listen to yourself and work on your voice. ESOL and Singing is a fantastic way to improve your English. You don't need to be a good singer - you will improve your fluency, rhythm and stress by doing this course.English dialogue: speaking, listening, pronunciation, performance (level 1-2) is also an excellent course to do at the same time or after the pronunciation course.
There are also a number of discussion and conversation classes which provide excellent chances to put your pronunciation skills into practice - for instance, Matters of Opinions. Our Communication at Work series may also be helpful.
Your tutor will advise you on the best course. We also have many digital skills and maths skill course. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7492 2511 for more information.