UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Academic Presentations and Pronunciation for Non-Native Speakers

Course information for Academic Presentations and Pronunciation for Non-Native Speakers, an Academic English course for graduate research students at UCL.

Course overview

This course is for you if you want to develop your skills and confidence for speaking to an audience.

This one-term course identifies your presentation needs and provides input, practice and feedback on giving presentations on individual research areas and topics, as well as managing and responding to audience questions.

Related and relevant aspects of pronunciation are integrated into the lesson input to provide practice and feedback on intonation and sounding natural, as well as voice quality and confidence for delivering an effective academic presentation.

Which course should I take?
Pronunciation and Academic Discussions or Academic Presentations and Pronunciation 

If you are unsure about which course is for you (Pronunciation and Academic Discussions for Non-Native Speakers or Academic Presentations and Pronunciation for Non-Native Speakers), or if you feel you would like to do both courses, it may depend on your level of English.

If you feel you need to work on your pronunciation in depth, you should do Pronunciation and Academic Discussions this term and Academic Presentations and Pronunciation next term.

On the other hand, if you are a strong speaker and don’t need much help with pronunciation (for example you can be understood easily and you speak English fluently), you should do Academic Presentations and Pronunciation this term and do not need to do Pronunciation and Academic Discussions.

Course aims

To course aims to:

  • encourage autonomy and self-confidence in presenting your research in a coherent and clear way;
  • improve and develop your presentation skills for an academic environment;
  • raise awareness of the most important features of English pronunciation required to give a clear, effective presentation in an academic environment;
  • give additional individual support with presentation skills and pronunciation needs through an individual tutorial and two recorded presentations.

Course content

These sessions will cover:

  • Beginning presentations – the introduction;
  • Organising a presentation – signposting and linking of information and sections;
  • Concluding a presentation– strong, convincing endings;
  • Using visuals and presenting data effectively in a presentation;
  • Dealing with questions –understanding and addressing different types of questions;
  • Presentation Recordings – Presentations recorded with self- evaluation, peer and tutorial feedback;
  • Voice quality and confidence building in presentations; making presentations sound smoother and more natural for presenting both in person and online.

Course outline

There are nine classes and one tutorial.

WeekPronunciation contentPublic speaking content
OneSounds and
the phonemic alphabet – overview
Presentations warmer – to
get you started
TwoSounds and
the phonemic alphabet continued - problem sound pairs
Recording one - short presentation filmed, with tutorial feedback
ThreeWord stress
– stress-timing and reminder of ‘schwa’
Beginning presentations – the introduction
FourPhrase stress – with emphasis on
key words
Organising a presentation – signposting and linking
FiveLinking and contractions – making it sound smoother and more naturalEnding a presentation – strong, convincing endings
SixSentence stress – including contrastive stressUsing visuals and presenting data

Chunking and pausing – dividing up what you say into meaningful segments

Intonation – variety of voice
– sounding friendly – social

Dealing with questions – addressing different types of questions – review of main elements in giving a presentation
Eight Recording two – final presentations delivered with Q&A session
NineReview and suggested focus for post-course study.Recording two – final presentations delivered with Q&A  session

Course delivery

This course takes place online. It's an interactive course and to ensure you can participate fully, you must join each session from a quiet space where you can speak freely and join in all activities.

The course is taught for two hours a week over nine weeks. You also have an online 30-minute individual tutorial.

There is a maximum of 10 students in each class.


Your 30-minute individual tutorial takes place via Teams at a time arranged between you and the tutor.

The purpose of the tutorial is for both you and the tutor together to review your first diagnostic presentation, to establish your main pronunciation and presentation priorities and to set goals for the final recorded presentation at the end of the course. Regular general feedback on presentations and pronunciation is also provided in the class.

Once a tutorial has been arranged, you should make every effort to attend as agreed. Any tutorial cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will not be rescheduled.

Course dates and times

DayTimeLocationStart dateEdn date
Tuesdays11am-1pmOnline23 April 202418 June 2024

How to register

Registration for this course is managed by UCL Doctoral Skills using inkpath. If you have not previously registered with inkpath, you will need to follow the ‘Use Single Sign-On’ button.

Register now


The tutor may set short homework exercises to enable you to practise pronunciation items covered in the class, or to prepare for the next class.

You will also be expected to prepare short presentations of between 5 and 10 minutes each, which will be filmed in weeks 2 and 8.


In order to benefit fully from the course, we strongly recommend 100% attendance. If you have to miss a class, please inform the tutor beforehand.

Course Feedback / Staff-Student Consultative Exercise

All students on Part-time English courses have the opportunity to give general feedback on their course to senior representatives of CLIE.

Academic support

If you have any questions about your course, please feel free to ask your tutor.
Alternatively, contact the Course Coordinator, Mrs Daphne Thomas: daphne.thomas@ucl.ac.uk.

Rights and Responsibilities

CLIE seeks to ensure that all students have a positive experience in respect of courses taken here, and fully adheres to the broader rights and responsibilities policies of UCL.

As part of our responsibility, our courses will follow a logical structure consistent with delivering the content and skills practise that we advertise, but with the freedom for teachers to respond (e.g. via needs analysis at the beginning of the course) to further relevant areas of particular interest to each student group.

Problems and complaints

If you are unhappy about any aspect of your course we would advise you in the first instance to speak to a member of staff at CLIE to see if the problem can be easily resolved within the department. For further details of our formal complaints procedure, please email the Part-time Course Coordinator or administration team at pteap@ucl.ac.uk.