phonemic chart

DipTESOL: introduction to the phonemic chart

This is an introductory session on the phonemic chart for trainees taking the DipTESOL. I’ve designed this to supplement input given via distance learning courses, to be run in-house. It’s meant to help trainees give a basic explanation of the phonemic chart – something I was asked to do during my DipTESOL phonology interview.

The first question I was asked in my DipTESOL phonology interview was (along the lines of…):

Can you give me a brief description of the phonemic chart, and how it might benefit learners of English?

Gulp. Where do I start?

If I were a DipTESOL tutor the first thing I would do is get the chart into play. I think the phonology part of the course is what many trainees fear, so let’s nip that in the bud straight away… This session isn’t about jumping straight in and learning all the sounds, sound symbols, place and manner of articulation and all that scary stuff. It’s about exploring the idea of the chart and helping trainees become more confident discussing it rather than using it.

Disclaimer: my flipcharts don’t look good 😦

Session time: about an hour

I encountered the phonemic chart on my CELTA course, so I’m guessing others will have too. I’d guess also that many teachers know more about it that than they think, so let’s start with a discussion: (more…)


Test your knowledge: the Sounds of English

Here are a few quizzes to test your knowledge of the phonemic chart. I’ve based the questions on information in Sound Foundations (Underhill, 2005) and The Book of Pronunciation (Marks and Bowen, 2012).

The quizzes are designed to help people revising for the DipTESOL phonology interview, but they are open to all. They are by no means comprehensive, so if you fancy making another one I can add it into the post.

Note: clicking on the picture links to the quiz. For some reason I couldn’t embed them into the post, which is really annoying!

quiz part1

quiz part 2