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Certificate in English Pronunciation

SkillsFuture Credit Approved Course CRS-N-0046218.

COURSE OVERVIEW

The purpose of this short course is to provide participants with knowledge and skills in the sounds of English, how the sounds work together in connected speech, letter-sound ambiguities and the complexity of stress, rhythm and intonation features. The course also provides confidence in speaking and listening within the certainty of knowing how spoken English can vary so widely between countries, also between geographies and dialect groups within them.

COURSE AIM

The course will benefit those interested in spoken language, whether for personal satisfaction or for the workplace. Teachers of English will particularly benefit by being on surer footing with the spoken language. The ability to use the phonetic alphabet to link letters and sounds will attract some phonics practitioners who will have curiosity about this as an alternative approach.

COURSE REQUIREMENT

There are no formal academic entry requirements for this course. We expect it to appeal to a wide range of entrants with varying occupations, interests and qualifications.

COURSE STRUCTURE

UNIT 1             Introduction
UNIT 2             Phonemes and Phonetic Symbols
UNIT 3             Vowel Sounds
UNIT 4             Consonant Sounds
UNIT 5             Variation within Sounds
UNIT 6             Stress
UNIT 7             Rhythm and Intonation
UNIT 8             Varieties of English

The course begins by examining the relationship between the written and spoken word in English, and the problems associated with English not being a phonetically-spelled language. The need for identification of discrete sounds, phonemes, to describe spoken language is rationalised. Representation of phonemes by a phonetic alphabet consisting of phonetic symbols, an alternative to the English letter alphabet is introduced. We then familiarise with transcribing words from English script to phonetic symbol script and in the reverse direction, giving the ability to both analyse and describe to others letter-sound relationships and word-sound relationships without the ambiguity inherent using the English alphabet or, indeed phonics.

We then describe how each of the defined 44 phonemes for spoken English is made by use of the vocal organs.

Variation within sound envelopes of phonemes is addressed.

Features of the spoken language above the phoneme level are studied. These are stress within words, stress across connected words in speech, rhythm arising from stress patterns in speech and intonation tunes arising from pitch changes. The association of meaning changes arising purely from stress and intonation changes becomes clearer.

Variation of spoken English is experienced through video content, enabling understanding of how widely the language has spread from its UK origins to become an international language with validity of wide variation in pronunciation.

COURSE MATERIALS

The course handbook includes comprehensive course notes for the eight units with links to videos and other useful information. Appendix 1 provides the full vowel and consonant charts of phonetic symbols for the course. There is no course textbook, but a list of suggested further reading is given in Appendix 2.

COURSE DURATION

The course commitment of 48 hours is made up of 10 hours classroom study and a minimum of 38 hours private study. Classroom delivery is over four lessons, each of 2.5 hours.

COURSE FEE

S$330.

There is no GST to add.

ASSESSMENT

Assessment is by a series of in-course tasks constituting a written assignment. The written submissions are administered and marked by the tutor.

TUTORS

To be eligible to teach on this course, a tutor will have a minimum of a Certificate or Diploma of at least 100 hours duration in teaching English, or a Certificate or Diploma in teaching. In addition, the tutor will have a minimum of five years in teaching of English.