Universitat de Barcelona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 505-513
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
This talk has two goals. On the one hand, to present the new on-line version of “The sounds of Catalan” ( and, on the other hand, to expose its impact on some of the official courses implemented in the degree of Catalan Philology at the University of Barcelona. “The sounds of Catalan” is a website aimed at:
a) assisting in teaching and learning the mechanisms of production, transmission and perception of Catalan sounds;
b) helping Catalan graduate and undergraduate students of those degrees that have phonetics and phonology as object of study or as a working means (such as Philology, Speech Therapy, Linguistics, Translation, Communication, Journalism, among others) in learning both disciplines autonomously, in accordance with the European Higher Education Area guidelines;
c) improving the teaching of Catalan as a foreign language (by furnishing the learner of Catalan as L2 with the basic devices to learn the main features concerning the production and perception of Catalan sounds);
d) providing Internet support materials and resources to those professionals working in fields such as language advising and speech therapy.

The new version of the website, powered by Drupal, contains the sounds of Catalan, distributed according to its main dialects (i.e. Central Catalan, North-Western Catalan, Valencian Catalan and Balearic Catalan) and presented through a user-friendly interactive Phonemic Chart (containing pop-up windows with explanations about the origin of the symbols, the articulation of the sounds, the meaning and uses of the main diacritics and suprasegmentals, a description of the manner and place of articulation, etc).

By clicking on each symbol, a new window is opened: the window contains:
a) a video showing native speakers articulating the sound in different contexts;
b) an animated diagram (available in Flash and You Tube) which shows the airflow trajectory and movement of the articulatory organs involved in producing that particular sound;
c) a spectrogram and oscillogram corresponding to the different words pronounced by the native speakers in the video section;
d) a link to the corresponding palatograms and dynamic magnetic resonance cross-sections,
e) an illustrative animated diagram,
f) a section for comparison of sounds,
g) a comprehensive glossary with all the terms related to phonetics and phonology.

This new version of the website, moreover, has been adapted so it can be used from tablets and cellular phones. In order to know the real impact and benefits of the website, an inquiry is being conducted within the course Llengua Catalana II (descriptive Catalan linguistics) this second semester. The results of the inquiry will be presented in this talk.
Phonetics, phonology, e-learning, Internet resources, Catalan, software development for theaching and learning.