Short courses


English Pronunciation: a Contemporary Approach

  • 26 hours (approx)
  • 4 days


This four-day course will be useful if you use English in a professional context and want to improve your pronunciation.

The aims of the course are to:

  • give you structured practical feedback on your pronunciation (within the group setting), so that you have a programme for continuing practice after the course
  • outline the contemporary English sound system (vowels, consonants, stress and intonation) - the focus will be on Standard British, with reference to General American

This course is run by UCL's Division of Psychology and Language Sciences (PaLS).

Course content

During the course you'll:

  • learn about new developments in English - with discussion of both the phonetic and socio-cultural factors which have shaped contemporary English language
  • explore informational packaging in English, which can enhance effective communication, teaching and presentation giving
  • participate interactively with other students, giving you the opportunity to improve your language skills and confidence
  • get ideas and resources for English pronunciation teaching, if applicable to your work, including use of the internet

You'll be encouraged to take part in methodological debate and discussion.

What makes this course special?

A large component of the course is about individualised feedback and practice recommendations - this means you'll be able to address the pronunciation issues that affect you personally.

You'll have access to the tutor's five SMART techniques for psycho-motor practice.

You'll work on contemporary speech and learn how this differs from conservative descriptions.

You'll also have:

  • networking opportunities
  • the benefit of spending several days in a native-speaking environment

You'll leave the course with greater awareness, confidence and control in using English for professional purposes.

Structure and certification

The course will be structured to include the following:

  • ear training on English contrasts with critical reference to phonetic symbols
  • analysis of recordings and videos of native speech
  • extensive use of five SMART speech practice techniques
  • extensive feedback by the tutor on your spontaneous and read speech
  • construction of individual prioritised recommendations for your future practice

There will be an optional cultural day, to help those applying through the Erasmus scheme to explore London.

At the end of the course you'll get a Certificate of Attendance.

Who this course is for

The course will be beneficial to anyone who uses English in their workplace and wants to improve their pronunciation, including:

  • academics
  • teacher trainers 
  • educators at all levels (pre-school, primary, secondary, vocational, adult)
  • non-teaching staff such as administrators, career advisors and counsellors


No technical knowledge of phonetics is required, as all concepts and symbols will be explained as part of the course. 

Learning outcomes

This course will enable you to:

  • identify and produce key English contrasts, especially those not made in your native language
  • identify and produce English word-linking patterns
  • execute five key SMART techniques for speech practice
  • analyse discourse according to informational content and produce it with appropriate English intonation
  • set goals for future speech practice and integrate speech changes into regular English use

Find out more

Read an interview with Dr Geoff Lindsey, the course tutor.

Course team

Dr Geoff Lindsey

Dr Geoff Lindsey

Geoff is an Honorary Lecturer in Linguistics at UCL and Director of UCL’s annual Summer Course in English Phonetics. He holds a first class Bachelor’s degree from UCL and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. He's taught at London (UCL and City), Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities. His publications include research on American and British dialects. He was a contributor to the Kiel revision of the International Phonetic Alphabet, and a consultant phonetician for the Concise Oxford Dictionary on CD-ROM.

Learner reviews

"Thorough coverage of theory and practical aspects!" [June 2016]

"Excellent! Geoff is a gifted and dedicated teacher. Thank you UCL for bringing him to us!" [December 2015]

"Truly broadened my horizon in British English Pronunciation." [December 2012)

"Geoff is excellent! (And entertaining!)" [December 2014]

"Very useful, practical, inspiring!" [April 2013]

Course information last modified: 27 Oct 2021, 16:21