International Phonetic Alphabet: Overview

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet, unlike English, in which a single symbol represents a sound. The alphabet was created as a standardization of representative sounds of oral language. This course has been developed to be of use to singers, voice teachers, linguists, speech pathologists and actors. The course can be used in a variety of ways including:

  • Assistance with Speech problems
  • Assistance with learning foreign languages
  • Assistance in learning to produce authentic sounds or accents in languages
  • Assistance for choir conductors with teaching choirs to sing consistent sounds in any language
  • Assistance for actors to develop clear speech or to develop an accent for a particular role

Please note: WSU Badge Courses are for non-degree seeking students. Degree seeking students cannot enroll in a badge course.  If you are unsure of your student status, please contact us at 316-978-7579 or and we’ll provide assistance. 

Course objectives: 

By the end of the badge, students will:

  1. Acquire the tools to be able to sing, speak or teach clear and correct pronunciation of a language
  2. Be introduced to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
  3. Correct articulation and know the use and placement of the articulators
  4. Learn forward, central, back vowels and diphthongs
  5. Learn Stop-Plosive, Nasal, Fricative, Lateral and combined consonants and Glides
  6. Learn the individual characters in the IPA, (International Phonetic  Alphabet)  
  7. Learn to transcribe language into IPA symbols in class work and assignments.

Credit Hours
Success in this 0.5 credit hour course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of 7.5 hours over the length of the course in direct instruction as provided by the instructor and an additional 15 hours outside of class reading, reflecting, and evaluating the topics for a total of 22.5 hours.

Grading Scale: Badge/No Badge

Evaluation: 100% completion of badge criteria


Pina Mozzani, PhD

Pina Mozzani's career on the operatic, dramatic and musical stage has taken her throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Her repertoire of nearly three hundred productions includes such varied roles as Carmen, Dorabella, Charlotte and Azucena, for which she has received particularly high marks from the critics. Mozzani has cultivated a reputation as an enthusiastic and knowledgeable interpreter of twentieth-century operatic repertoire. To that end, she has performed in the world premiers of nearly a dozen works for such companies as the Philadelphia Opera Company and Stadttheater Pforzheim. Critics have been especially entranced with her interpretations of Mahler and Strauss, which have "combined the dramatic timbre of her mature mezzo tone with the elegance of a spinning legato line."  Recent concerts include a recital series of American musical theater and twentieth-century art songs in China, and a future invitation to Romania for concerts of American music.

PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A native of Philadelphia, Mozzani completed graduate studies in voice at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome after graduating from Ohio State University. It was with the Rome Piccola Opera that she made her American professional debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as Venus in Cavalli's L'Egisto. Since, she has gone on to work with Andre Previn, Richard Woitach, George London, Gian Carlo Menotti, and many others. Her gift for languages is prolific enough that she has served as the official translator for several opera companies, and collaborated with Dino Yannopolis on the translation of Rossini's Otello for its American premier, in which she also sang a leading role.

Prior to coming to the Wichita State University, Pina Mozzani taught for seven years at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and eight years on the voice faculty at New York University. Mozzani's students have been placed in some of the finest graduate programs including The Julliard opera program, the Pittsburgh opera program and Manhattan School of Music. Her students have performed professionally in both opera and musical theater all over the world, including venues such as the Metropolitan Opera and Broadway. She is currently doing research in the incidence of TMJ among singers and brass players, and in the physiological differences between "belt" voice and "classical" vocal production.