SECL - University of Kent

Title of the module
English Phonetics
School or partner institution which will be responsible for management of the module
Start date of the module
Spring 2014
The number of students expected to take the module
Modules to be withdrawn on the introduction of this proposed module and consultation with other
relevant Schools and Faculties regarding the withdrawal
LL828 English Phonetics
The level of the module (e.g. Certificate [C], Intermediate [I], Honours [H] or Postgraduate [M])
The number of credits and the ECTS value which the module represents
15 (7.5 ECTS)
Which term(s) the module is to be taught in (or other teaching pattern)
Autumn or Spring
Prerequisite and co-requisite modules
Co-requisite: LL838 Sound, LL833 Structure, LL832 Meaning and LL837 Research Skills
10. The programmes of study to which the module contributes
This module will be optional for all students on the MA in Linguistics and the MA in Applied
11. The intended subject specific learning outcomes
On completing this module students should:
11.1. have a systematic understanding of the central areas of the study of speech
11.2. fully understand how the speech sounds of English are produced and perceived both
in isolation and in running speech
11.3. understand the types of experimental research that have contributed to our
knowledge of how English speech is produced and perceived and of how this
research informs our understanding of sound system organization
11.4. have acquired a solid understanding of English phonetics and its dialectal variation
11.5. be able to use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to represent English speech
sounds and to refer to the IPA for guidance
11.6. be able to interpret visual representations of English speech using relevant software
(Praat) and should have mastered the basic functions of Praat (recording and playing
files, cutting and pasting speech, doing basic measurements of duration, amplitude
and fundamental frequency of speech sounds)
have an advanced understanding of English phonology
12. The intended generic learning outcomes
On completing this module students should:
12.1. be able to critically assess different approaches to the study of speech and their
repercussions for our understanding of how language is learned, stored and used by
12.2. demonstrate the ability to undertake independent learning in order to complete their
12.3. communicate the results of their study accurately and coherently both orally and in
12.4. use IT skills to analyse data, take exams, and present information effectively
13. A synopsis of the curriculum
This course is an introduction to English Phonetics. It covers how English speech sounds
are produced and perceived and what their acoustic characteristics are; it covers how
speech sounds are organized into the sound system of English and provides awareness
of the types of dialectal variation present in English. Finally, the course will cover the
differences between the traditional “static” view of speech sounds as articulatory
postures and the organization of running speech, together with the repercussions that our
current knowledge about running speech has for our understanding of phonological
systems, their organization and formal representation.
14. Indicative Reading List
1. Ashby, M. & Maidment, J. (2005) Introducing Phonetic Science. Cambridge University
2. Gussenhoven, C. & Jacobs, H. (1998) Understanding Phonology. Hodder & Arnold.
3. Ladefoged, P. & Johnson, K. (2011) A Course in Phonetics (6th edition). Wadsworth.
4. Ladefoged, P. (2003) Phonetic Data Analysis. Blackwell.
5. Ladefoged, P. (1996) Elements of Acoustic Phonetics. The University of Chicago Press
6. Reetz, H. & Jongman, A. 2009. Phonetics: Transcription, Production, Acoustics and
Perception. Wiley-Blackwell.
7. Zsiga, E. C. 2013. The Sounds of Language: An Introduction to Phonetics and
Phonology. Wiley-Blackwell.
15. Learning and Teaching Methods, including the nature and number of contact hours and the total
study hours which will be expected of students, and how these relate to achievement of the intended
learning outcomes
This module will be taught in weekly 2 hour seminars for 10 weeks. Weeks 5 and 9 (if
offered in the Autumn term) or 17 and 21 (if offered in the Spring term) will be used for
independent study (learning outcome 12.1).
The seminars will address key aspects of English phonetics and discuss them in light of
basic phonological principles using appropriate examples (visual and auditory) and
problems (learning outcomes 11.1-4&7 and 12.1). Practice in the use of the IPA alphabet
and of freeware for recording and analysing speech will also be provided (learning
outcomes 11.5-6, 12.1-4).
Total Contact Hours: 20
Total number of study hours: 150
16. Assessment methods and how these relate to testing achievement of the intended learning
100% coursework, made up of:
Seminar contribution (10%)
Two tests (each equivalent to 1500 words) (20% each)
Final project report (2000 words, 50%).
Seminar contribution will be assessed on active participation in group discussions and
individual contributions through questions, remarks, and comments, testing learning
outcomes 11.1-7 and 12.1-3. Tests will include questions on articulation, acoustics and
phonetic transcription as well as phonology problem sets, testing learning outcomes 11.1-7,
12.1-4. The final project will be determined for each student in consultation with the instructor
and will test learning outcomes 11.1-7, 12.1-4.
17. Implications for learning resources, including staff, library, IT and space
Staffing will be provided from the existing resources of the Department of English Language
and Linguistics. The library holds most of the titles in the indicative reading list with others
being on order, including multiple copies of all key texts. However, one additional element is
essential: (i) a classroom with a computer projector, audio facilities and a whiteboard.
18. The School recognises and has embedded the expectations of current disability equality legislation,
and supports students with a declared disability or special educational need in its teaching. Within
this module we will make reasonable adjustments wherever necessary, including additional or
substitute materials, teaching modes or assessment methods for students who have declared and
discussed their learning support needs. Arrangements for students with declared disabilities will be
made on an individual basis, in consultation with the University’s disability/dyslexia support service,
and specialist support will be provided where needed.
19. Campus(es) where module will be delivered: