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English Phonetics in a Nutshell

English Phonetics is the study of sounds in speech, how they are articulated and their representation by written symbols. These written symbols are categorized as the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). As you could have guessed, the IPA is just like any alphabet, except each alphabet in the IPA represents a distinct sound in human speech. In fact, the full IPA system can nearly represent every sound made by human.

You may have seen it before in textbooks. It looks something like this:





While this may look alienish to you, I can assure you that it is not as difficult as it looks. You see, each language can be denoted using a specific set of alphabets within the IPA, and British English is one of them. Once you memorise all the vowels and consonants in the British English IPA, you will be able to use and teach it in no time.

Our English Phonetics Instructor Certificate Course focuses on British English IPA, which has 20 vowels and 24 consonants. Stress marks and syllabification are also essential elements of the English IPA system.

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