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Summer Course in English Phonetics

Study English pronunciation in London!

14-25 August 2017

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Come and study English phonetics for two weeks at University College London! Whether you're a teacher or student of English, whatever your native language (including English), you can brush up your knowledge of the theoretical side of phonetics and bring yourself up-to-date on new developments. Or you may want the opportunity to do some ear-training and listening practice under the guidance of specialist tutors. Or you may just want to improve your own English pronunciation. It's all available on UCL's long-established annual Summer Course in English Phonetics.

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At UCL we are enthusiastic about the study of pronunciation and how to teach it. For a century, we have been the world's leading university department for English Phonetics—our tradition was established by Daniel Jones, and continued by A.C.Gimson, and J.C.Wells, all scholars with a world-wide reputation.

The Course covers all the main aspects of English phonetics:

  • phonemic system (vowels and consonants)
  • segmental analysis (allophonic processes)
  • word stress
  • weakening and coarticulation processes
  • sentence stress (accent, tones)
  • intonation and meaning

These topics will be investigated both in lectures and in practical classes. We deal with both speaking and listening. You will get plenty of practice in pronunciation performance (sounds in isolation and, more importantly, in connected speech) and in auditory discrimination (ear-training).
Practical groups will be kept small (not more than about ten people), and will be streamed according to students' level of ability. We expect to have separate groups at various levels for

  • teachers of English as a foreign language
  • undergraduate students of English
  • university academics and postgraduates

The main strand of SCEP, as taken by most of our participants, pays particular attention to the challenges of English pronunciation for native speakers of other languages. We cover the English consonant and vowel systems, and examine the phonetic characteristics of connected speech, analysing the ways in which the pronunciation of words in discourse typically differs from their 'dictionary' pronunciation. We also cover stress and intonation, not only in terms of pronunciaion but also from the point of view of meaning and discourse function. The lectures, ear-training and practical classes focus on English phonetics rather than on phonetics in general. 

Alongside this main strand, when demand is sufficient we also offer an IPA Examination strand with a wider scope and treating English phonetics in greater depth.

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