Phonetics for English Language Teaching

  • Unterricht


    Fakultät Philosophische Fakultät
    Bereich Englisch
    Code UE-L06.01120
    Sprachen Englisch
    Art der Unterrichtseinheit Seminar
    Kursus Bachelor
    Semester SA-2022

    Zeitplan und Räume

    Vorlesungszeiten Donnerstag 12:15 - 13:00, Wöchentlich, MIS 10, Raum 3.16 (Herbstsemester)



    The AS Phonetics part of this BA_S1 proseminar deals with the sounds of English (their description and articulation) as well as other pronunciation features, required terminology and written symbols to represent pronunciation in an abstract way. Knowing about English sounds and stress will help you monitor and adapt your own pronunciation and that of your future learners. You will learn the sound value of IPA phonemic symbols, to read phonemic script and transcribe English pronunciation in this special alphabet. Practice in reading and writing in a different system can be quite a challenge initially, but the resulting professional skill will increase your competence and teaching confidence.

    Key elements of the course are content input and discussion, using pronunciation dictionaries and other resources, practising reading and writing phonemic transcription, self-correction as well as self-study. Class work will also involve reading aloud, occasional pronunciation drills and imitations, ear training and awareness building. Individual teacher feedback will mainly be given in 1:1 settings. Homework requires active manual transcription of exercise and own texts and revision of materials.

    Attend class regularly and participate actively by asking questions. Practise transcription at home. Individual work required in the AS includes meeting the lecturer for at least one 1:1 pronunciation session with a prepared text to be read aloud. You also have to revise for and pass a written test including transcription tasks.

    1:1 Pronunciation sessions
    You meet the lecturer for a 1:1 reading-aloud session (possibly on MS Teams) to be arranged. You have to prepare for your 1:1 session in advance. Please choose a text of about 300 words (no poems or song lyrics or literary translations) and rehearse reading it aloud. Practice with a colleague with a different L1 to receive feedback. Look up any unfamiliar words in the Pronunciation Dictionary. You should transcribe difficult passages or the whole text in phonemic transcription. Please bring/send an extra copy of the text, your preparation notes, questions and transcription to the 1:1 session.

    Evaluation: Course and exam session registration are compulsory.
    Evaluation is based on active participation (see also 1:1 Pronunciation session) and a successful written test of 55 minutes which includes passive and active use of phonemic transcription as well as theoretical questions. You absolutely need a positive mark on the test to pass the autumn semester!


    Plan of course content
    IPA phonemic symbols for the sound inventory of standard British English; getting to know the pronunciation dictionary, passive and active transcription, articulation; connected speech; word and sentence stress; rhythm; weak forms; sound types; identifying pronunciation problems. Materials and practice will be based on RP, a standard British English accent. Occasional reference to GA, an American model accent, will be made. English as in International Language will be discussed.

    Learning objectives
    You will familiarise yourselves with technical terms and theoretical concepts and learn to think in terms of meaning-distinctive speech sounds instead of normal orthography. You will be able to render sound sequences in script and become more aware, on an advanced level, of how English is pronounced. You will use phonemic symbols to read and write down the pronunciation of a given English text. You will become more aware of articulation, pronunciation variation and different accents. You will become autonomous users of the Pronunciation Dictionary and more critical of internet sources.

    Learning outcomes
    Some of what I would regard as learning takes longer than one semester and builds a mental map of a new area of knowledge, activates and reorganizes previous information and shapes new attitudes and ways of perceiving and thinking. The literature on learning outcomes, however, generally assumes that what constitutes learning outcomes is what is observable and measurable in terms of overt behaviours at the end of a course. Accordingly, learning outcomes need to be described by use of active performance verbs. In this vein, the enumeration in the paragraph below attempts to illustrate observable learning outcomes.

    Successful participants in this course will read, pronounce and write phonemic transcriptions of words, sentences and text passage using IPA. They will articulate sounds clearly enough to produce minimal pairs; will recognize and name phonemic and phonetic features; will identify RP English vowel phonemes in a vowel quadrilateral; will map vowels onto a vowel quadrilateral; will visualise their grasp of the sound system of English by using appropriate IPA symbols and demonstrate a more cognitive approach to pronunciation. Successful participants will discriminate between weak and strong forms. They will recognize the meaning of technical terms and apply them; will distinguish between important allophones of individual RP sounds; will apply introspection while moving their articulators; will mirror sounds; will monitor articulation consciously and consistently; will use all senses in analysing sounds; will curl and uncurl the tip of their tongue. They will round or spread their lips and produce or detect voicing and devoicing (e.g. hum and hiss).

    Successful participants will respond to articulation guidance and pronunciation feedback, will be able to accommodate in oral encounters, will provide a record of their investment into the learning experience and perform successfully on the written test.

    Soft Skills
    ausserhalb des Bereichs



    Required material:
    Wells, John C. 2008. Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. 3rd ed London. (with CD-ROM)

    You can also use Roach et al. (eds.) 2011 Daniel Jones’ Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary 18th ed. Cambridge. (with CD-ROM).

    Recommended reading:
    Roach, Peter 42009. English Phonetics and Phonology. Cambridge: CUP. The book is available in the Self-Study Centre and BLE Library in Criblet 13. The two practice CDs are pre-installed on their PCs.

    Carley, P.; Mees, I. M. & Collins, B. 2017. English Phonetics and Pronunciation Practice. Routledge.

    Optional tool and activity for outside class:
    Phonetics app:
    The publisher Macmillan has an app for Apple and Android mobile devices (based on Adrian Underhill's book Sound Foundations) which can be helpful for familiarizing yourself with phonemic symbols.

    ‘Watching’ pronunciation: A popularization of some of the elements taught in this course in a watch-listen-repeat approach is exemplified by ‘Tim’s Pronunciation Workshop Episodes’ on BBC Learning English:

  • Einzeltermine und Räume
    Datum Zeit Art der Unterrichtseinheit Ort
    22.09.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    29.09.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    06.10.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    13.10.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    20.10.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    27.10.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    03.11.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    10.11.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    17.11.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    24.11.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    01.12.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    15.12.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
    22.12.2022 12:15 - 13:00 Kurs MIS 10, Raum 3.16
  • Leistungskontrolle

    Prüfung - SA-2022, Wintersession 2023

    Bewertungsmodus Nach Note, Nach bestanden/nicht bestanden

    Prüfung - SP-2023, Sommersession 2023

    Bewertungsmodus Nach Note, Nach bestanden/nicht bestanden

    Prüfung - SP-2023, Herbstsession 2023

    Bewertungsmodus Nach Note, Nach bestanden/nicht bestanden

    Prüfung - SA-2023, Wintersession 2024

    Bewertungsmodus Nach Note, Nach bestanden/nicht bestanden
  • Zuordnung
    Zählt für die folgenden Studienpläne:
    Englische Sprache und Literatur 50
    Version: SA15_BASI_ang_V01
    Module 02: Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

    Ergänzende Lehrveranstaltungen in phil.
    Version: ens_compl_lettres

    Philosophische Fakultät [Vorl.]
    Version: Lettres_v01