This course introduces the 20 vowel sounds of British English pronunciation.

Learn each individual phoneme step-by-step, together with exercises and drills to help reinforce your newly found knowledge.

The course starts with a general overview of the tools required for studying Received Pronunciation. Students are introduced to the International Phonetic Alphabet, the monophthong chart and how we can categorize the different vowel sounds. The aim of this section is to have a general overview and understanding before we proceed into further examining the individual elements that make up Received Pronunciation.

Each individual vowel sound is introduced  with a video tutorial. Where is the phoneme located on the vowel chart? Where do we position the tip of the tongue. Which facial muscles are we using? How does it compare to other sounds? 

Some sounds in British English do not exist in other languages. For this reason, non-native speakers can often substitute sounds with ones that have a vague similarity, but aren’t actually quite the same. For example, in British English pronunciation, the front vowel sounds /æ/ and /ɛ/ can have a greater aspiration of airflow compared to similar vowel sounds in other languages. Drawing our attention to these small but important details can really help us sound more natural.

The introduction is followed by a listening exercise to test the student's ability to to distinguish the target sound from other sounds. The difficulty level is incremental, starting from single syllable sounds, and gradually increasing to more complex sentence structures. Being able to identify, extract and distinguish individual sounds is an important step that should be followed before engaging in more practical exercises.

Each section ends with a vowel training exercise to help the student absorb the natural patterns of British English pronunciation. The basic pattern introduced here is that of a combination of the target sound together with the schwa sound. The purpose of this exercise is to help the student become more accustomed to the natural rhythm of stressed and unstressed syllables which is a key characteristic of British English pronunciation.

The course can be accessed via the following link:

A mini-course is also available here.