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Language Acquisition 2: The Spoken Word


Admission requirements

It is strongly recommended to have taken Linguistics 1: The Phonetics of English, or equivalent.


The aim of the Language Acquisition 2: The Spoken Word course is that you acquire and develop the skills that you need to express yourself fluently and accurately in spoken English. The emphasis in this course is on becoming an accurate language user: as a university-trained English Studies graduate, you are expected to be able to express yourself fluently, but, more importantly, correctly and precisely. This is why the two skills that we believe most help you become an accurate language user are central to this course: pronunciation and vocabulary study.

Vocabulary and idioms in practice: In this part of the course you activate the vocabulary that you have studied at home in short speaking assignments; so-called Activation Tasks. Students design activities to practice with each other. You give a short talk, for instance. You could also do a quiz, or you act as a panel discussion leader or perhaps you can participate in role-plays. You also acquire, through self-study, passive knowledge of words and idioms that are often used in academic texts. This will help you to read literary texts and secondary academic sources with more ease. We will select texts and assignments in the field of English Language & Culture in which the most pertinent vocabulary occurs.

Pronunciation: The aim of this part of the course is to help you improve your pronunciation of English sounds by means of practice in the language laboratory.

Course objectives

  • By the end of the course, you have acquired an active vocabulary that enables you to express yourself on a variety of everyday topics, as well as all kinds of current social and cultural topics.

  • You will be able to recognise and paraphrase the words and idioms most frequently used in literary and linguistic texts.

  • You pronounce English naturally and intelligibly with regard to vowel and consonant sounds, stress and intonation, and you are able to identify and describe the pronunciation problems of your fellow students.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Weekly ninety-minute tutorial in the language laboratory.

  • Self-study of vocabulary, idioms and pronunciation.

Assessment method


Oral exam and Multiple-choice exam. To pass the course, you need to get at least a 6.0 for both components.


  • Oral exam (30%)

  • Multiple-choice Vocabulary/Pronunciation exam (70%)

Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.


Students can resit insufficient components, but only if the final grade is insufficient.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Smakman, Dick (2020) Clear English Pronunciation. A Practical Guide. Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Vocabulary and idioms materials: Available from Brightspace .


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

NB: First year students will be enrolled by the coordinator of studies. All other students need to contact the coordinator of studies to be enrolled for this course.

Students other than from the BA English language and culture cannot take this course.