Center for Educational Innovation

Academic Affairs and Provost

English Pronunciation for Academics Workshops

Fall Semester:

Session 1:  What’s so special about North American vowels?

Are you confused about the differences between certain vowels, such as "beat" and "bit?" Do listeners sometimes misunderstand what you mean because you say the wrong vowel? Learning the correct pronunciation of key English vowels is crucial for improving your overall North American English pronunciation. In this workshop, you will learn how to identify key vowels in English, practice, and get feedback on your pronunciation.

Monday, September 25th, 11:00 – 12:00, Location: Walter Library 101

Presenters: Colleen Meyers & Elena Stetsenko

Register for this session


Session 2:  Are there any rules for word stress?

Perhaps you’re wondering where the “accent” goes in English words. For example, why do we say “a MAKE-up test," but then “to make-UP a test”?  Why do we say “HIStory” but the “accent” changes for “hisTORical?”  This workshop will answer  the question if there are any rules that can help you figure out where to put the “accent.”  

Monday, October 30th, 11:00 – 12:00, Location:  TBD

Presenters:  Elena Stetsenko & Colleen Meyers

Register for this session


Session 3:  What gives English its special rhythm?

Do listeners sometimes misunderstand you when you try to use the words “can” or “can’t?”  What gives North American speech its particular “music,” and why is this important when communicating with native speakers?  In this workshop, you will learn which words to highlight so that your message is conveyed accurately.

Monday, November 27th, 11:00 – 12:00, Location: TBD

Presenters:   Colleen Meyers & Elena Stetsenko

Register for this session


Spring Semester (Dates and times TBD)

Session 4:  What does it mean to speak English fluently?  

What does it really mean to speak English fluently? In this workshop, you will learn how strategic phrasing and pausing can help you be better understood by listeners. You will have the opportunity to practice and get feedback from pronunciation experts.


Session 5:  Where does the emphasis go?  

Listeners in U.S. academia expect speakers to emphasize the important words in their presentations. If you neglect this, or do it incorrectly, your audience may lose focus and quit listening.  In this workshop, you will learn and practice the most common patterns of U.S. English emphasis.



Session 6:  Does tone really matter?  

Words are only part of the message; your tone of voice communicates volumes in U.S. academic settings. Learn how intonation (voice variation) may influence audience perceptions about your expertise, approachability, and intentions, such as asking a question or making a statement.







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