LET-ETCAMB102
American English Phonetics
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleLET-ETCAMB102
Credits (ECTS)5
CategoryB1 (First year bachelor)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Arts; English Language and Culture;
Lecturer(s)
Coordinator
drs. N.A.P.M. Verberkt
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
drs. N.A.P.M. Verberkt
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
drs. N.A.P.M. Verberkt
Other course modules lecturer
Examiner
drs. N.A.P.M. Verberkt
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2023
Period
PER 1-PER 3  (04/09/2023 to 07/04/2024)
Starting block
PER 1
Course mode
full-time
Remarks-
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Pre-registrationNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Aims
After the course, students
• understand what it means to learn the pronunciation of a foreign language as a (young) adult;
• can read and use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA);
• know how speech is produced;
• have learned the pronunciation of the vowels and consonants of American English and can describe them theoretically;
• have acquired knowledge of the stress and phoneme structure of standard American English;
• have learned to differentiate between the strong and weak forms of function words;
• understand syllable structure;
• know how the different positions in syllable, word, and sentence affect the pronunciation of a phoneme;
• are familiar with the most common assimilations that consonants undergo in certain phonological environments;
• (for Dutch students only:) are aware of the main differences in pronunciation between the consonants of Dutch and those of American English;
• can transcribe phonemically a list of words with unpredictable pronunciations;
• can transcribe fairly rapidly spoken American English;
• have acquired a phonological awareness enabling a further development of their insight into phonology and phonetics.
Content
This comparative, introductory course in American English phonetics aims to show what it means to learn the pronunciation of a foreign language as a (young) adult. Students study the segmental and supra-segmental aspects of pronunciation: the sound system of GA, the pronunciation of the vowels and consonants of American English and the assimilations undergone by certain combinations of these sounds. They study the spelling anomalies of English, the formation of inflections in English nouns and verbs, word stress, strong and weak forms of function words, syllable structure, and pre-fortis clipping. Students also learn how to transcribe spoken language phonetically, for which audio files of native speakers are used as the main means of practice material.
For Dutch L1 speakers, comparisons are made with Dutch and students learn about phoneme substitution, undesirable assimilations and other errors that Dutch learners are apt to make in the pronunciation of American English.
Level

Presumed foreknowledge

Test information
The theory exams are a mix of purely theoretical questions and questions that ask you to apply the theory to show you have understood the principles you studied.  The transcription exams test your ability to translate letters and sounds into phonemes.
Specifics

Required materials
To be announced
The Radboud University American English Phonetics website guides you through the beginnings of the phonetics of American English. It is meant for students of American English at Radboud University Nijmegen and its contents are explained and elaborated on in the lectures. The course is set up for ESL and EFL learners who wish to learn more about the theory behind the acquisition of a near-native American English accent. There are separate paragraphs with information specifically geared towards Dutch L1 speakers.
Title:Further course materials available on website
Author:RU

Recommended materials
Book
ISBN:9781405881180
Title:Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd edition).
Author:J.C. Wells.
Publisher:London: Longman, 2008.
Edition:3

Instructional modes
Lecture
Attendance MandatoryYes

Seminar
Attendance MandatoryYes

Tests
Theory, part 1
Test weight35
Test typeWritten exam
OpportunitiesBlock PER 2, Block PER 3

Minimum grade
5,5

Text Transcription
Test weight15
Test typeWritten exam
OpportunitiesBlock PER 2, Block PER 3

Minimum grade
5,5

Theory, part 2
Test weight35
Test typeWritten exam
OpportunitiesBlock PER 3, Block PER 4

Minimum grade
5,5

Speech Transcription
Test weight15
Test typeWritten exam
OpportunitiesBlock PER 3, Block PER 4

Minimum grade
5,5