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Teaching Pronunciation Differently


An EVO 2018 session






All teachers have tried to teach pronunciation using 'listen and repeat', and most of us have found the results unsatisfactory.


But there is a different way, which works very well.


The 'Articulatory Approach' teaches students what to do with their mouths to sound right.


Join us to explore how to teach pronunciation this way. 
















Audrey Hepburn

in My Fair Lady






















Every language requires speakers to use their tongue, jaw, lips, etc in specific ways.

The Articulatory Approach is different from other approaches for teaching pronunciation because the starting point is not listening.

Instead, students explore how they can use their mouths in the way the new language demands. The teacher works as a coach rather than being a model.

In this session, you will explore how English pronunciation works and can be taught from this perspective.

You will come away with a new way of teaching English pronunciation.



Session objectives


In the course of the 5 weeks, you will:

  • better understand how people learn to pronounce a new language
  • improve your understanding of English pronunciation
  • discuss, share and develop practical ideas for your classroom 


And through personal experimentation, you will:

  • become more sensitive to how your mouth functions to make sounds when you speak
  • gain an understanding of how breath is controlled to speak English
  • understand and practise the physical actions which underlie the stress and reduction system
  • see how Articulatory Settings ‘make or break’ good pronunciation
  • discover what the English Articulatory Setting is
  • find keys to teaching the problematic vowels and consonants of English
  • see how all of these elements come together in the classroom, so your students learn to pronounce well.



Target audience

Teachers who are not satisfied with how their students learn to pronounce English. 



Potential Sponsors


IATEFL Pronunciation Special Interest Group (PronSIG)

TESOL Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Interest Section (SPLIS)

English Teachers Association Switzerland (ETAS

TESOL France 



Weekly content


Week 1  (Jan 14-20, 2018)

Introductions and Sensitisation

For our students to learn to pronounce well, they have to become sensitive again to their mouth, tongue, lips etc. We'll look at how to teach them to achieve this.


Week 2  (Jan 21-27, 2018)

Stress and Reduction

We'll be working on the particular way that English speakers control their breath; this is the basis for stress in English.

Then we'll look at the schwa family of sounds, from the point of view of how native speakers produce them rather than how they sound.

Teaching how stress and reduction are produced, rather than what they sound like, gives much better results in the classroom.


Week 3  (Jan 28 - Feb 3, 2018)

The Articulatory Setting (AS) of English

Just as there is a particular posture that makes it easy to play any given sport, languages have particular ways in which it's best to hold the tongue, jaw, lips etc when speaking them. 

If a student doesn't modify his Articulatory Setting (AS) when speaking English, it is impossible for him to sound right.

We will look at the AS for English and compare & contrast it with those of the session participants.


Week 4  (Feb 4-10, 2018)

Teaching Sounds with the Articulatory Approach

The conventional way to teach the sounds of English is by getting students to imitate a model.

We will be experimenting with the alternative, where the teacher doesn't provide a model, but coaches the students towards the sounds of English.

The approach is physical and practical.


Week 5  (Feb 11-17, 2018)

How am I going to teach pronunciation differently? Putting it all together and Session Evaluation.

We've worked on classroom techniques in Weeks 2, 3 and 4. Now we will look at integrating pronunciation teaching into the rest of your classroom work.

And we'd like you to tell us how this session has been for you.



There will be suggested readings for each week.



If you would like a certificate of participation, you will need to write at least one post each week and collect five badges by taking a short quiz on each week's content.



Session Communication Tools 

We will use Schoology and YouTube/Vimeo. For live sessions, we will use Google Hangouts.

NB: If you wish to speak during the live sessions please use a headset with microphone. Otherwise, we are likely to experience echoes, unwanted noise feedback, etc.




Join this session



Registration starts on Jan 8, 2018.


To join this group ...


From January 8, 2018:


Send an email to tpd.moderators@gmail.com and we'll tell you when registration is open.


After 8th January 2018:


Go to www.schoology.com and Sign Up (top right).

Choose the 'Student' option and use MJ7SP-F9BHG as the course code.

Choose the 'Courses' tab to access TPD 2018 for the first time. 




Moderators: Fill in the table for all session moderators and co-moderators. You can change or add to the list later. Co-moderators are expected to take part in the training session along with moderators.


I understand that session moderators are required to participate in the 4-week moderators' training session from October 22 until November 19, 2017. The EVO session will be offered between January 14 and February 18, 2018.  I understand that EVO sessions are free of advertising and no commercial sponsorship is allowed. Finally, I understand that EVO sessions are free and open to all, and that no academic credit may be given for participation.


I agree - Piers Messum

I agree - Roslyn Young

I agree - Carrie Terry


Name (last, first)

Email address


Biodata (not more than 50 words)  


Messum, Piers



I teach English freelance in London and Brighton, having previously taught in Japan and France. I taught English pronunciation at the University of Paris III. I have a PhD on how pronunciation is learnt by children from the Department of Phonetics at University College London.

Young, Roslyn



I am a teacher and teacher trainer. I have integrated work on pronunciation into all my teaching for more than 40 years, mostly at the Centre de Linguistique Appliquée at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, France. I completed a PhD on the teaching of languages in 1990.

Terry, Carrie



After a career in public relations, I retrained in TEFL and am now an FE lecturer.  As a linguist, I had always been fascinated by pronunciation and have focused on this specialism since beginning teaching in 2012.  In 2014, I passed my Certificate in the Phonetics of English at UCL.





















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