Pronunciation open resources: sharing active learning exercises and visual tutorials for pronunciation through an LMS

Project TitlePronunciation open resources: sharing active learning exercises and visual tutorials for pronunciation through an LMS
Principal InvestigatorStrang Burton
Co-ApplicantsLuisa Canuto, Assistant Professor of Teaching and Director of the Italian Language Program, l
Misuuz Kazama, Lecturer of Japanese language, Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts,
Bosung Kim, Educational Consultant: Learning Design, Centre for Teaching, Learning and
Funding Year2021
Project SummaryThis project will enhance the flexibility of teaching and learning of pronunciation, by delivering a rich set of self-directed pronunciation tutorials consisting of videos, active learning exercises, and assessments; these will be made freely available to students and educators through Canvas sites and sharing on Canvas commons. This will build on and enhance existing pronunciation materials for many languages, including Japanese, and will also introduce entirely new materials in pronunciation specifically for the Italian language. This enhanced set of materials will allow students to track their own progress in pronunciation, and will allow instructors to monitor student progress and adapt their course design accordingly. This project builds on the self-directed pronunciation visual tutorial application, eNunicate (2014-2016), a set of ultrasound-based pronunciation videos that help students to visually understand how the tongue and other vocal organs interact to produce speech sounds across the world’s languages.eNunciate has been used across the world in language programs and linguistic courses, with 23,000 subscribers to the associated YouTube channel. At UBC, eNunciate has become a standard reference for a large undergraduate linguistics course, Linguistics 100, where it is used by close to 1,000 undergraduates each year. eNunciate is also used in a number of language courses at UBC, including Japanese. Use of tutorial videos in language classes has led to better student pronunciations, and both students and instructors reported strong satisfaction with the resources (Gick, Yamane, Abel, et al., 2015). A pilot study in Japanese language class showed that students learn to recognize the phonological differences between Japanese and their native languages, and demonstrated a significant improvement in students’ confidence toward their Japanese pronunciation (Gick, Yamane, Kazama, et al., 2016).

While existing eNunicate materials are already open, integration of the materials with Canvas LMS technology will make it much easier for instructors to access and use the materials. This will also open up new opportunities for the development of active learning materials, by using the rich set of Canvas interactive tools. Creating new open Italian content will serve students’ needs for a better understanding of the pronunciation, and help them to speak Italian more fluently and to enjoy learning the language. The rich Italian culture, traditions and history as well as the musicality of the language make Italian a popular choice for over 500 students a year at UBC, and developing confidence in pronouncing Italian is key to good comprehension of the language as well as to proper communication and overall motivation to learn it. The integration of eNunciate in our Italian course Canvas sites will fill a gap in our current Italian curriculum, where pronunciation skills remain a challenging area to teach.

The project will also include a case study of how the materials succeeded in enhancing pronunciation teaching, and how they can be most effectively used in the new online environment. As students and teachers continue to face severe challenges in teaching and learning linguistics and languages online, this set of open materials promises to help in one key area.
Grant type OER Implementation
Funded Amount $12,867

Project Title
Principal Investigator
Funding Year
Project Summary
Grant type 
Funded Amount 

Leave a Reply