We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Different Types of Phonetics Courses?

By Emily Daw
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A student studying theoretical or applied linguistics will almost certainly need to take one or more phonetics courses. In general, phonetics is the study of the physical production and reception of the sounds in language. Specific types of phonetics courses may provide an overview of the subject, focus on one of the three main sub-branches of phonetics — articulatory, acoustic, or auditory, or approach phonetics as part of the study of a particular language. Phonetics courses should be differentiated from phonology courses, which are theoretical in nature and study how sounds function on a cognitive level within a language.

A phonetics overview course is included in the core program of study for most degrees in linguistics or communication disorders. Content covered in this type of class will likely include phonetic transcription using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as well as studies in each of the three branches of phonetics. An introductory phonetics course usually has many hands-on and interactive elements as students familiarize themselves with the various physical mechanisms involved in language production and reception.

More advanced phonetics courses may focus on one particular area of phonetics. Articulatory phonetics is the study of how the vocal organs — the vocal cords, lips, tongue, nose and other organs that play a part in producing vocal sounds — work together to create each of the sounds of language. Ths branch of phonetics involves learning to differentiate the places and means of articulation within the vocal tract. Acoustic phonetics, on the other hand, studies the sounds themselves, rather than their means of production. This study may involve measuring the wavelength amplitude or other mathematical properties of articulations. Lastly, auditory phonetics deals with the anatomical mechanisms by which speech sounds are perceived, differentiated from other sounds, and processed by the brain.

Some phonetics courses are geared toward helping a student learn a particular language. This type of course may be part of a program of study in a foreign language rather than in linguistics. These courses will probably concentrate on articulatory phonetics as a means of helping the student learn to produce sounds that might not exist in his or her native language. For instance, variations on "r" and "l" sounds tend to be difficult to produce in a language other than one's own, to the point that a non-native speaker might have trouble even hearing the difference between those two consonants. A phonetics course aimed at teaching English to speakers of other languages might spend considerable time learning about the precise placements of the tongue required to produce each of those sounds.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.