Academic English: Pronunciation and Public Speaking

  • 2 hours per week
  • 9 weeks


This course will help you improve your skills and confidence in speaking in English to an audience, for example, when giving presentations, in seminars or at a conference.

It's open to anyone with an academic interest or background whose main language is not English.

Each week you'll attend a two-hour class. You'll also have one 30-minute individual tutorial during the nine weeks of the course.

You'll be recorded giving presentations twice during the course to help you reflect and build on your presentation skills both during and after the course.

Classes are limited to a maximum of 10 students.

Please note: this course does not aim to ‘get rid of your accent’ or enable you to speak like a native speaker.

This course is run by the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE).

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • encourage learner autonomy and self-confidence in the areas of pronunciation and public speaking
  • improve and develop your public speaking abilities for an academic environment
  • raise awareness of the most important features of English pronunciation
  • give additional support with your pronunciation and public speaking needs through the tutorial

Who this course is for

This course is for non-native English speakers.

It's suitable for:

  • postgraduate students at UCL or another university
  • staff / researchers at UCL or another academic institution
  • lecturers or those who need to give academic presentations at conferences or at work

You should have an upper-intermediate to advanced level of English (IELTS 6 or above).

Course content

Topics covered include:


  • Sounds and the phonemic alphabet
  • Word stress – stress-timing and reminder of ‘schwa’
  • Phrase stress – with emphasis on key words
  • Linking and contractions – making it sound smoother and more natural
  • Sentence stress – including contrastive stress
  • Chunking and pausing – dividing up what you say into meaningful segments
  • Intonation – variety of voice and sounding friendly

Public speaking

  • Beginning presentations – the introduction
  • Organising a presentation – signposting and linking
  • Ending a presentation – strong, convincing endings
  • Using visuals and presenting data
  • Dealing with questions – addressing different types of questions
  • Reading aloud

Teaching and structure

Classes are two hours long and are held once a week, for nine weeks.

You may be set short homework exercises to help you practise pronunciation items covered in class, or to prepare for the next class.

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

You'll attend one individual 30-minute tutorial. At the tutorial you'll work with your tutor to identify your main pronunciation and presentation priorities, and remedial and self-study exercises.

While enrolled, you'll have access to online self-study resources and the extensive Self Access Centre (SAC) for further self-study support.


You can request a certificate of attendance if you attend at least 80% of classes.

Cost and concessions

The standard fee is £450.

The cost for UCL students is £380.

Dates and times

The course runs several times a year, beginning in October, January and May.

Updated information on which days and times the course will be running is available in the timetable on the UCL CLIE website.

How to enrol

To enrol you'll need to complete the online application form. You'll then need to pay (by card or cash) either in person or over the phone by calling the EAP team on 020 7679 8665.

You can only enrol during the set enrolment periods.

Rights and responsibilities

UCL Centre for Languages & International Education 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, we seek to ensure that courses follow a logical structure consistent with delivering the content and skills practise that we advertise, but with the freedom for teachers to respond (via needs analysis at the beginning of a course) to further, relevant areas of particular interest or shared concern to each student group.

If you have any questions during your course about the content or focus of your classes, please speak to your class tutor, or contact the Course Co-ordinator, Daphne Thomas, in Room 115, 26 Bedford Way. Email:

Course team

Our language teachers

You'll be taught by qualified and experienced English for Academic Purposes (EAP) staff.

Course information last modified: 02 May 2019, 14:16