Teaching teachers phonetics: The design and implementation of an asynchronous online English phonetics course


  • Steven H. Weinberger
  • Hussain Almalki
  • Larisa A. Olesova




phonetics, phonetic transcription, teaching phonetics, foreign accent, collaboration, online instruction


It is axiomatic that one of the chief goals of an applied linguistics program is to instruct teachers in the intricacies of English language structure. Explicit knowledge of the target language can help domestic and international teachers when dealing with adult 2nd language learners. But while most programs offer courses in English grammar, we found a paucity of (online) phonetics classes. We discuss three characteristics to be included in an online phonetics course: the description and learning of the sounds of the world’s languages, the technology-based collaborative procedures to narrowly transcribe a wide range of accented English speech, and the specific design to engage a variety of online students. Particular attention is devoted to our unique collaborative online project that at once trains students in the phonetic analysis of non-native speech. The results of these analyses are contributed to the online database, the speech accent archive (accent.gmu.edu), thereby giving students ownership of a publicly available online archive. The outcomes are described, with justifications and specific methods for measuring them. This paper emphasizes that learning to narrowly transcribe leads to enhanced listening and analysis, and that peer-to-peer collaboration is vital for any asynchronous online class.




How to Cite

Weinberger, Steven H., Hussain Almalki, and Larisa A. Olesova. 2021. “Teaching Teachers Phonetics: The Design and Implementation of an Asynchronous Online English Phonetics Course”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 6 (2): 5112. https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v6i2.5112.