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IATEFL PronSIG event, 1 June 2019

Event place

Bell Cambridge, Red Cross Lane, Cambridge, CB2 0QU, UK

About this event

An IATEFL Pronunciation SIG Workshop
Teaching English pronunciation as a physical activity: mouth gymnastics

10 am to 5 pm

How is it that our students speak flawlessly in their native languages but most of them never sound natural in English?  Less than 10% of learners ever manage to pick up a good accent in this new language.  


What do we need to change to push that figure up from 10% towards the 80 or 90% we’d all like to achieve? To do this, the speakers at this workshop have adopted a radically different approach from the listening activities that form the current mainstream in teaching pronunciation.

They treat pronunciation as a physical activity, a motor skill, something you do. I.e., they treat it as something all students can succeed in doing, even as adults, like learning to play a sport or learning to play a musical instrument.


The workshop will demonstrate how we can and should treat teaching pronunciation as akin to coaching in any other motor skill. Mouth gymnastics!


It will include:

  • ways of enabling your students to pronounce English to the standard of excellence they wish to achieve.
  • well-tested tools, exercises and techniques which you can start using straight away.
  • ways of integrating high quality pronunciation work into your everyday teaching.
  • the experience of being a learner in a rolling L2 pronunciation class taught this way. (You will be delighted to find yourself making new sounds and sounding totally new.)
  • discussion of the alternative theories about how people learn pronunciation.


We look forward to seeing you in Cambridge. Come and experience the future of your pronunciation teaching!



Marieke van der Meer has been an English teacher in the Netherlands for almost 30 years. She coaches doctoral students (largely Chinese speakers) in pronunciation using the articulatory approach. She finds it highly rewarding to see her students progress towards being more intelligible, fluent and confident speakers of English. She loves developing tools and techniques for effectively raising their articulatory awareness.


Roslyn Young taught English language and Teaching Methodology classes at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon for most of her career. Her PhD was about awareness in language learning. She opened her first pronunciation clinic in 1978 because she realised that pronunciation can so enhance, or detract from, the perception of a speaker’s performance.


Laurence Howells teaches sitar to community groups and at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is Co-Director of Edinburgh’s theSitarProject which he set up in 2005. He recently started teaching English as a foreign language using the Silent Way (thus teaching pronunciation, too, as a motor skill). He retired as Chief Executive of The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council in 2016.


Ioana Trifu-Dejeu teaches English and French to adults in Paris and Versailles, and English pronunciation to students in two universities in Paris. She uses the articulatory approach for this work. Her PhD is investigating the pronunciation of French people speaking English.


Piers Messum has taught in Japan, France and the UK, where he has most recently worked on English pronunciation with business learners in London. His PhD investigated how children learn L1 pronunciation. He has written and presented widely on the learning and teaching of L2 pronunciation, and is treasurer of PronSIG.


Practical information

Lunch is included in your workshop fee.

Travel information:

All booking fees are set in GBP Sterling. 

IATEFL reserves the right to cancel an event at its sole discretion. Please note that if the event is cancelled by IATEFL we will be unable to reimburse you for travel and other associated costs related to the event. In the event of the cancellation of an event, IATEFL will endeavour to contact all attendees wherever possible, through contact details given at the time of booking. We strongly recommend that you purchase insurance to cover any cancellation charges or losses that may occur. 
Cancellations of bookings before 17 May 2019 will incur a 50% cancellation charge. Cancellations of bookings after this date will not be refunded. All bank charges must be paid by the delegate.

Booking limit

Max accepted bookings
Bookings left

Event dates

Event date(s)
1 Jun 2019 - 1 Jun 2019
Online booking opens on
25 Feb 2019
Online booking closes on
27 May 2019

Event fees

Booking fees
  • IATEFL PronSIG members - £45.00
  • IATEFL member - £49.00
  • Non member - £54.00