English Pronunciation in Use

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Ben Gooderham

Despite being a key area of English language learning, pronunciation is often given short shrift in English language course books, and teachers often have to create their own materials (if they have the time) or utilise additional resources.

The 'English Pronunciation in Use' series (Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced) is as well-known and popular as it is extensive, and can be used both in the classroom and for self-study by students.  The listening material is available on CD but I have known students to put the MP3's onto their portable listening devices for extra listening practice to and from classes, for example.

The book is divided into four sections.  Section A deals with letters and sounds while section B focuses on larger sound snippets such as syllables, word stress and conversation.  Section D contains very useful reference information such as the phonemic alphabet, which students should try to learn if they really wish to develop their pronunciation. 

Each section is divided into units of two pages each.  In section A, for example, the left hand page of each unit introduces the sounds to be learnt with explanations and listening help.  The right hand page then provides a series of exercises.  The answers are at the back.  Everything is clearly laid-out so that students should have little trouble using the book on their own.  However, I feel that classroom use is better, as a teacher (or peer) can check the accuracy of a student's pronunciation.

Teachers can either use the book as a series of stand-alone exercises or use it to supplement course book material and provide more extensive, and usually more challenging, practice.  I have found students very willing to engage with the material and a number have subsequently expressed a willingness to purchase the book.

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