Trinity Term Academic Spoken Communication and Pronunciation

Course Timetable Trinity Term 2023 - Week 9 Intensive

For Learners without an Oxford University SSO, or who are not members of the University, enrolment information can be found here.

  Mode of delivery Duration Day and Time of classes Date of first class Date of final class
ENROLMENT CLOSED In person 5 days Monday to Thursday 10.00-13.00
Friday 10.00-12.00
19 June 2023 23 June 2023


  • Enrolment will close at 12 noon on Thursday of Week 8 of term (15 June 2023).
  • To ensure that we have time to set you up with access to our Virtual Learning Environment (Canvas), please make sure you have enrolled and paid no later than five working days before your course starts. 

  • MT = Michaelmas Term (October - December); HT = Hilary Term (January - March); TT = Trinity Term (April-June)

Course overview

This online or in-person course aims to develop a student’s ability to understand and use speech in a variety of academic contexts.  The course focuses on the speaking and listening skills that students may need in seminars, tutorials, when participating in group work, discussing their work with a supervisor or when presenting academic material.

Students will participate in discussions, mini-presentations, role-plays or problem-solving tasks designed to improve their use of English throughout their academic life at Oxford. Some general English work will examine some the more tricky areas of spoken grammar.  These guided activities will reflect common academic speech patterns, such as those found in debating or discussing, and the teacher will regularly feedback to students on their spoken performance.

Students will be briefly reminded how to use the English section of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to ensure they are pronouncing the key vocabulary of their discipline and commonly used words correctly (learn-at-home resources will be provided for students new to the IPA).  Moreover, the course will explain how native and near-native speakers use intonation to highlight certain speech functions. For example, students will learn how to use their voice to distinguish making sure and finding out questions. They will then practice these features in various games and activities. 

Moreover, the course will cover much academic conversational vocabulary, which refers to phrases that academics might use in lectures or conversations to describe academic activity or thought, but which are unlikely to be found in formal written material (e.g., “to unpack” or “a back-of-the-envelope calculation”).

Students of the online and in-person courses will use Canvas (the university’s Virtual Learning Platform) and so are advised to bring a laptop or tablet to class (although students are welcome to attend without one).  The Canvas pages include study-at-home materials, and students may be offered optional homework.  The teacher will also explain how to continue improving spoken English outside of class with study skills advice. The students will prepare a group presentation in the penultimate class and present it in the final class; no work is necessary for this outside of class.

Learning outcomes

  • Adapt a text for oral presentation by identifying key words and converting vocabulary and stylistic elements from written to spoken modality
  • Use a range of metaphors and idioms commonly used by lecturers
  • Participate with more confidence in the preparation and delivery of a group presentation
  • Discuss and comment on habits with more confidence and fluency
  • Discuss and comment on empirical research with more confidence and fluency
  • Negotiate answers and make tentative guesses with partners in a knowledge testing exercise
  • Distinguish between and produce the intonation used (in formal and semi-formal British English) for producing making sure and finding out questions 
  • Understand how to prepare novel, key academic words for a seminar
  • Pronounce longer, more formal questions correctly 
  • Pronounce quotations correctly
  • Use the IPA to identify individual problems and work on tricky sounds

A certificate of attendance is available upon request if you have attended at least 80% of the course.

Enrolment Information

For Learners with an Oxford University SSO (Single Sign-On) simply click on the enrol button next to the class that you wish to join. 

For Learners without an Oxford University SSO, or who are not members of the University, please email with the following details:

  • Full name
  • Email address and phone number
  • The name of the course you wish to study
  • The start date and time of the course
  • Your connection to Oxford University, if any (to determine course fee)

We will then provisionally enrol you onto the course and send you a link to the Oxford University Online Store for payment. Once payment is received we will confirm your place on the course. 

Course structure

  • Taught in weeks 2-8 of term
  • Classes per week: 1
  • Length of class: 2 hours
  • Total hours of tuition per term: 14

Course fees


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