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English Pronunciation in a Global World

In this course, you will improve your English pronunciation skills and learn about speaking English in today's globalised world.

125,018 enrolled on this course

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English Pronunciation in a Global World

125,018 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Develop your ability to understand and speak English.

In this course, you’ll find out which pronunciation features are important for mutual understanding. In exercises and videos, you will practise English sounds and stresses, and learn about other learners’ accents

Set goals to improve your English pronunciation

A huge range of people need to be able to speak English in today’s globalised world. This means that you’ll need to understand, and be understandable to, other non-native speakers. But diversity in spoken English should also be appreciated.

By the end of the course, you will have improved your English pronunciation so you will feel confident about speaking English in different contexts.

Explore different English pronunciation in use

Throughout this course, you’ll explore a variety of different English accents, helping you to understand some of the differences between your pronunciation and that of others.

These examples of different English pronunciations in use can help to provide context on the features of the language and how it’s spoken around the world.

Discover some of the English pronunciation rules

By the time you finish this course, you’ll have a greater understanding of some of the rules of English pronunciation and how they can differ. As well as looking at elements such as vowels, consonants and other features, you’ll also examine different English accents.

Ultimately, this course can help you set and reach your personal goals for English pronunciation.

Hear from our course team

You can take this course at any time.

We will announce a facilitated run of the MOOC in due course. During this time, you can communicate with us directly.

Meanwhile, you are always welcome to contact us for any questions, thoughts, etc. by leaving comments in the MOOC or sending a message in our Facebook page.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds Hello, everyone. [INTERPOSING VOICES] Hello, I’m Laura Rupp. Welcome to the course English Pronunciation in a Global World here at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. English has become the major language for international communication. It is estimated that the ratio between native and non-native speakers is currently 1 to 4, and that no less than 80% of communication happens between non-native speakers. This situation has led to much diversity in English. In fact, some would even go as far to suggest that it’s no longer appropriate to speak of English in the singular but rather of English in the plural, so Englishes. Hi my name’s Jasmin Palmer, I’m from Yorkshire in England. My name is Benjamin Ado Baafi.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 seconds I was born in the Netherlands but raised in Ghana. I’m Yingying, I’m from China. Hi, my name’s Alex Ventimilla. I was born in Mexico. But I grew up in Nevada in the United States. Hi, I’m Marieke de Rooij, and I come from the Netherlands. Hello my name is Brenda Marini, I’m from Pisa in Italy. Hi, I’m Amrita. I’m originally from India. My name is Vinod Subramaniam. I’m originally from India, but have spent about 11 years in the U.S., many years in Germany, a couple of years in England, and the last 14 years in the Netherlands. And these are only A FEW examples.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 seconds A world where English is used as a lingua franca calls for a set of new and complex pronunciation skills. We have to decide what accent we want or may need to speak with, suited for different occasions. It is important to understand each other’s accents, but that doesn’t mean we should all adopt the standard accent. We should embrace variation. And we need to speak English and at the same time stay true to our native identity and culture. In this course, we will help you develop pronunciation skills that are both useful in international communication and appropriate for you at a professional and personal level.

Skip to 2 minutes and 18 seconds In the first week of the course, we will discuss what is important in English pronunciation in a global world. And you will formulate tailor-made goals for your own English pronunciation. In the next three weeks, we will address particular features of English pronunciation. How does it work when we pronounce certain sounds? What is the difference between saying “Tyoos-day” and “Toos-day”? By doing exercises, you apply what you’ve learned to your own English accent according to the goals that you’ve set for yourself in the first week. We’ll also explain how pronunciation features may vary between different English accents, which will enable you to understand the differences between your English accent and that of other speakers.

Skip to 2 minutes and 58 seconds Last but not least, we’ll reflect on the nature of different English accents. We’ll introduce you to other students in the course so that together, we can celebrate diversity. I’m your host and I look forward to guiding you through the course. We very much hope that you will enjoy it!

What topics will you cover?

  • The concepts of intelligibility, credibility, and identity in English pronunciation
  • Personal goals for English pronunciation
  • English vowels
  • English consonants
  • Suprasegmental features in English (stress, intonation, etc.)
  • English accents
  • English pronunciation assessment

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe features of English pronunciation that are important for mutual understanding.
  • Explain the differences between your own English pronunciation and that of speakers with other mother tongues.
  • Apply what you have learned about English pronunciation to your English accent.
  • Reflect on the nature of different English accents.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone who needs to speak English, in their studies, for work or in their personal lives. If you want to improve your English pronunciation, this is the ideal opportunity to set and achieve goals.

What do people say about this course?

I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and learnt so much. Thank you!

"I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and learnt so much. Thank you! I'd never thought about how pronunciation relates to identity. I've also greatly enjoyed reading the posts from all over the world."

The educators show commitment and deep involvement on a crucial topic.

"The most remarkable thing that I learnt is the commitment of the educators as well as their deep involvement focusing on a crucial topic. It helped me to give a better sound to what I say in English."

Who will you learn with?

I am a Senior Lecturer in English Linguistics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. My research is in grammatical variation and change. I teach courses in Global English and English pronunciation.

I am a Master's student of corporate and persuasive communication science and VU alumnus with research specializations in sociolinguistics and world Englishes.

I am a student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Communication and Information Studies program. My specialization is in language education.

I am a student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Literature and Society program. In addition, I have a background in Spanish-English translation.

I am a Master’s student of corporate communication science and VU alumnus. My specialisation is in language and media.

Who developed the course?

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s English department at Amsterdam offers first-class education and cutting-edge research in variation and change in the English language and English literature.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 10 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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