This is an upper intermediate-advanced level English course. It is the right course for you if you have a high level of English but you need to improve your pronunciation. There could be many reasons why you want to 'sound more English'. You may already have quite good pronunciation but want to sound more like a native speaker. Perhaps you are just interested in how English sounds and have never studied this before. Maybe friends find it difficult to understand you. Perhaps you need to improve the way you sound for your work.
This course is ideal for anyone on an interpreting course or intending to enrol on one, or is currently working as an interpreter or bilingual worker.
Students attending classes outside of the Mary Ward Centre should come for an assessment prior to the course.
On Stage 1 students focus on the individual sounds of English. There are three main areas to the course. You will learn and practise how to:
(a) use your tongue, lips, teeth and other parts of your body to make the English sounds with reasonable accuracy;
(b) hear the differences between these sounds;
(c) read and write the (phonemic) alphabet - symbols which represent the sounds.
You will also be able to develop strategies outside the classroom for improving your pronunciation, diagnose the areas of English pronunciation most problematic for you, and compare the sounds of your own language with those of English
The course is highly interactive with a lot of emphasis on students' discovering issues for themselves. You will develop your awareness of what your tongue and lips are doing while you speak. You will use mirrors a lot and work with your classmates in pairs and groups. There will be many varied activities to ensure a good pace to the class. The tutor will use an electronic whiteboard and many different recordings, and pay each individual student plenty of attention.
You will need an A4 folder, pen, and an English-English dictionary which uses the phonemic alphabet.
You will need to do homework of around 2 hours per week studying your notes and practising what has been covered in class.
After Stage 1 you can move to Stage 2 of the pronunciation course. You may also be ready to do an interpreting course - see www.marywardcentre.ac.uk for details.
It would also benefit your pronunciation if you were studying other L2 ESOL courses here at Mary Ward.
Learn how to make the individual sounds (phonemes) in English, hear the differences between them and those of your first language. Discover how to read and write the phonemic script, a special alphabet for sounds.
Did you know that 'and' can be pronounced in at least four different ways? On Stage 2, you will focus on your fluency, practise your linking, rhythm and stress and learn how the pronunciation of words can change in different contexts.