Monday, 27 February 2017

Luke Nicholson's online British English pronunciation course

Luke Nicholson (picture left) is an experienced accent coach qualified by the International Phonetic Association and a member of both the Voice and Speech Trainers Association and the DialectCoaches Agency. Besides holding an IPA certificate, he has a BA in German Studies and Italian Studies from the University of Birmingham and an MA in Acting – Distinction in Voice and in Articulation. He has taught English pronunciation to people from over 65 different countries, including Bahrain, Ethiopia, Holland, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

He recently launched an online British English pronunciation course which includes in-depth information on the vowel and consonant sounds of English as well as the main features of connected speech, stress, rhythm, intonation and voice quality. You can take a look at the contents page here. The course is just excellent and a wonderful resource for anyone with an intermediate/advanced level of English who’s interested in improving their pronunciation as well as their listening skills.

The course starts with six introductory lessons. After completing them, you’re immediately directed to the language guides section of the course, where you can choose your native language and study the sounds that will make the biggest differences to your accent.

What is so helpful about this course is that it also contains numerous relevant links to native speakers to listen to, as well as suggestions of TV shows and films to watch. Additionally, the learner has clear guidance about how to practise, how to know if they’re making a sound accurately, and how to incorporate new sounds into everyday speech. Here’s one of the videos from the course about the schwa vowel.

Luke is also the author of two carefully planned and extremely useful freely available sound charts: the consonants chart and the vowels chart of Standard Southern British English (= General British). These are clickable charts which enable you to listen to recordings of the sounds of English as spoken by the author himself. At the bottom of the charts one finds questions about phonetic symbols and the realization of certain sounds to which detailed answers are provided which the reader will find extremely useful. Another highly recommendable resource for students (and teachers!) of British English pronunciation.

Congratulations, Luke!