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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maximise your time and get practical, effective results - easily and quickly!
I found this book by chance on Amazon in early 2007. I was searching for a practical and effective "hands-on" book, since I was disappointed with the academic style of "English Pronunciation in Use". To be fair "Pronunciation in Use" is an excellent book, full of information for the students who want to progress in the study of English phonetics and phonology, but it's...
Published on 3 Aug 2009 by Silvia B.

versus
143 of 153 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book is similar to Ship or Sheep!
I am half-Russian, half-German speaker of English and I am working hard to reduce my accent. I fully agree with one of the reviewers who said that the book is disappointing in the sense that it is basically your regular beginner's pronunciation course, like Sheep or Ship, Three or Tree, served under a different title (to boost sales???).

It does NOT offer any...
Published on 1 Nov 2009 by Elena


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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maximise your time and get practical, effective results - easily and quickly!, 3 Aug 2009
This review is from: Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual (Paperback)
I found this book by chance on Amazon in early 2007. I was searching for a practical and effective "hands-on" book, since I was disappointed with the academic style of "English Pronunciation in Use". To be fair "Pronunciation in Use" is an excellent book, full of information for the students who want to progress in the study of English phonetics and phonology, but it's even too rich in details for most of non-native speakers of English who are still struggling with their pronunciation and are searching for something "practical" that can give "quick results". Many people (who would otherwise benefit from studying pronunciation) cannot simply be bothered to study the phonetic symbols, and they just think that good pronunciation is all about that: plainly wrong, because it can be much easier and fun!

This book is compact and easy to use with its 42 short lessons, each devoted to a single phoneme.
For each phoneme, a list of words containing the target sound, a list of sentences, a few verses, a few tongue-twisters and some articulation exercises. You can concentrate directly on the phonemes which pose problems you may experience as a native speaker of a particular language, and a reference in this sense is provided in the appendix.

Very simply, download the lessons onto your mp3 player, and listen to them (one part of the lesson at time!) again and again: five minutes in the morning, five minutes in the evening, for a couple of days or more.
The more you listen to, the better your pronunciation becomes, because you "get a feeling" of how words should be pronounced. After the listening phase, try to repeat after the tape as many times as you can: again, practice makes perfect! A bit every day is much better that a lot only once a week, so try to be constant and all your efforts will be repaid. You'll soon see that "the right pronunciation" will come perfectly natural to you.
Of course, I've just described the way I used the book: the authors recommend a more thorough approach, but I think that all depends on how already "good" your pronunciation already is! Typical is the case when you CAN already pronounce a difficult word - or series of words - containing a difficult phoneme when "isolated", but you CAN'T when you speak at normal speed: in this case, you'll see that your rate of progress will be much quicker.

The plus points are that you can study pronunciation whenever and wherever you are (during your commuting time, for example). Another very nice feature is that the verses and tongue-twisters are a bit silly and very amusing, so you won't get bored!

This book has been criticised for offering too little theory, and for not dedicating time to intonation exercises.
Bearing in mind that this is what I would call a very practical "exercise" book, I can say out of my personal experience that, along the pronunciation features, you will absorb also many intonation patterns, because of the many longer examples that are present. Anyway, you would want to work on your intonation only after your pronunciation of single phonemes has been sorted out! So maybe a "Get rid of your accent - Part2" with a focus on more advanced features of pronunciation would be welcomed by more advanced and experienced learners.

Since English is the official language in international business, it's especially important to develop a clear pronunciation: the aim should not be being able to "talk like the Queen", of course, but to be easily understood by other non-native speakers talking business. Everybody who often needs to take part in meetings and above all make frequent use of the phone will surely agree. An idea would be writing a book similar to this one but with a vocabulary focused on the vocabulary of business: "Get rid of your accent in business" or something similar.

I think that this book offers exactly what the authors say in the presentation: a practical, intensive approach to developing an RP accent. If the (non-native English) student is dedicated enough, it can take three months to reduce their accent with excellent results (to the point that you might still sound non-native but your accent is not a giveaway of your nationality anymore!), but of course it all depends on your starting level.
I recommend this book to any student of English who is at least at upper-intermediate level.
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143 of 153 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book is similar to Ship or Sheep!, 1 Nov 2009
By 
Elena (Chene-Bougeries, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual (Paperback)
I am half-Russian, half-German speaker of English and I am working hard to reduce my accent. I fully agree with one of the reviewers who said that the book is disappointing in the sense that it is basically your regular beginner's pronunciation course, like Sheep or Ship, Three or Tree, served under a different title (to boost sales???).

It does NOT offer any advice on how words are linked in speech and how it affects their pronunciation, neither does it say anything on intonation, sentence stress depending on the type of sentence etc., i.e. information that is vital for advanced speakers.

There are proper accent training books for actors, such as the one published by Penny Dyer who provides speech training for actors and actresses. You can tell immediately that those are the books designed for professional actors as a larger portion of the material is dedicated to longer speeches that allow one to practice complex intonation, varying pace, enunciation and sentence stress.

Also, I found English Pronunciation in Use Advanced by Martin Hewings A LOT more helpful and thorough. After all, most intermediate and advanced speakers might be able to pronounce individual words well enough, but it is often tempo, intonation and word linkages in flowing speech that may give them away as non-native speakers.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff, 21 Nov 2009
By 
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This review is from: Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual (Paperback)
I purchased the item about a month ago. The book is accompanied with two audio CDs. When I first looked at it, it looked too simple ... but don't let yourself misdirected due to the simple graphics. I have to say that THIS IS A GREAT STUFF.

If you want to have fun, consequent, all-round practise of the Standard British English (RP), this is the tool!

The actors on the CD are brilliant! The sound is built up very accurately: you start from the sound, then you practise words, then sentences and - in the last exercise - you have the opportunity to see a poem (!) filled with the specific sound. And this set of exercises takes no longer than a few minutes!

I can honestly recommend it.

oliveR
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but maybe not for self-study, 5 July 2008
This review is from: Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual (Paperback)
The stated purpose of this book is to help people develop a Received Pronunciation (RP, popularly known as BBC English or the Queen's English). There has been a shift in recent years towards more tolerance in variation and RP is no longer held to be a golden standard, but those who really want to master this accent could do worse than this little book.

The substantive part of the book consists of 42 two-page chapters, each focusing on one particular sound or cluster of vowels. Each chapter begins with an illustration of how speech organs should be positioned, which I found quite helpful. After that there is a progression of examples supported by good-quality recordings: first the sound in isolation, then the sound in individual words, next in sentences and finally in small poems. According to the introductory notes, readers are expected to first listen to the sounds, then listen and repeat, and then record themselves, although it is not clear how these activities correspond to the examples in the book.

Language teachers will probably recognise the principles of the audiolingual method (ALM) which underpin the book. Despite the negative reflexes that this realisation might trigger, in my opinion this approach is not inappropriate to the limited task of developing a native-like accent: after all, the one area where the ALM seemed to work most effectively was in pronunciation training. On the negative side, such practice is better suited to the most dedicated learners, as others might lose interest fast.

A second, perhaps more valid, objection to the book is that is focuses too much on individual sounds, at the expense of longer stretches of sound. It seems that this book could be usefully supplemented by sections dealing with supra-segmental elements of pronunciation, such as stress, intonation (the rising and falling of pitch), connected speech, rate of delivery etc. This limitation is partially addressed by the provision for sentences and verses which the reader will probably have to repeat carefully, but I suspect that many users will need more help than that in order to sound natural.

In summary, I believe that this is a useful book and it is obvious that it was carefully written. As a self-study resource, it might prove very useful to experienced language learners, or well-motivated native speakers who want to address specific problems in their pronunciation. In all other cases, it would probably function better as a textbook in a pronunciation course, where an experienced teacher would be available to address some of its limitations.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Below average book, 5 April 2009
This review is from: Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual (Paperback)
The book only teaches the pronunciation of individual sounds. While this is not a bad place to start, a more advanced learner will be dissapointed having greater expectations after the "grand" title. No intonation, linked speech, word stress included at all.

The book is not professionally written with numerous typos. At first I thought that the "sh" sound was missing but actually what is missing is the entrance in the index. Another example, sometimes you are asked to follow diagrams that don't exist.

The advice for speakers of my language (spanish) is plain wrong. Some sounds cited as pronounced different are the same , and some really pronounced different are not mentioned.

The amazon reviews are included in the first page of the book. Investigating a little you can see that the reviewers don't have any other review in Amazon.

In summary, consider buying this book only after memorizing "English pronunciation in use" by Mark Hancock. Even considering the pronunciation of single sounds is far superior. I also recommend the headway pronunciation course.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stage magazine and TES like it, 19 Sep 2007
This review is from: Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual (Paperback)
I love this book and was puzzled by the reviews below; now I'm really confused.

I've been told that Get Rid of your Accent is the number one book for foreigners learning British English and is also very popular with actors. Now The Stage magazine just reviewed the book and said: "Imaginative word and sentence examples put RP through its paces, while longer verse and prose extracts reinforce that all-important X factor - intonation," contradicting what's said below. And this is from a reviewer for The Stage, Nick Awde, who is always on the alert for pronunciation and dialect issues.

I think the comments below represent a viewpoint held by some, including, yes, "specialists" that only very simple examples work. Whereas actually, as The Stage says, it's real examples like the Gilbert and Sullivan verses quoted in this book and read out on the CDs that not only teach pronunciation but intonation as well.

The comments about price being high confuse me too. Get Rid of your Accent has two CDs with all the examples spoken by two RADA-trained actors. £19.95 seems a more than fair price.

There are people out there who like the more simplistic approach as represented by titles like "Ship or Sheep", "Tree or Three" etc. - but some of us find it a bit demeaning. There's room for both approaches, but The Stage review, Times Educational Supplement and other reviews on the BATCS Web site show that the Get Rid of your Accent approach is getting a lot of respect.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No longer the kebab woman, 4 Jan 2007
By 
Anna (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual (Paperback)
This is a fabulous book! I'm a management accountant, but because of my strong Polish accent, I sometimes felt that people were treating me like the kebab woman. Now, I listen to the CDs and practice and can see my progress; the method and exercises in the book are really working for me.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh no I can't pretend to be a tourist any more!, 26 July 2009
By 
H. H. Li "iuhh" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual (Paperback)
This book is absolutely amazing! I've got this book for the lady as she was undertaking an acting course. Being of Chinese origin myself and lived in the UK for more than a decade, my accent was by no means bad. Never thought I'd needed anything like this but out of curiosity I put the cd on and played along. By the end of the first CD I couldn't even recognise my own voice anymore! The effect lasted even after days - I could tell as my colleagues was commenting on how I sounded like broadcasting BBC news. Through the exercises I discovered quite a few basic things I didn't pronounce properly - as elementary as 'p', and the improvement was instant.

For anyone who has any doubt in the method of this book, I can testify that through repeating the order of sounds, words, sentences and paragraphs, all whilst maintaining the correct mouth position, the proper pronouciation and the tones (aka received prnounciation, or BBC English) really sink in - and it stays with you.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 9 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. R. J. Percy (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual (Paperback)
I am an actor and have been since the 1960s and I am also a Yorkshireman and although in the past I have managed sort of to disquise my accent for shows etc, I never quite knew how to pronounce certain words in a southern accent. I have recently bought this book and I have to say that I find it so very useful and I am slowly losing my Yorkshire accent. I certainly would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to adopt a RP accent. I never thought I would but I have and I did.
Now I am living in London it helps so much and I now don't get quite so many people saying "You are not from down here are you?" But yes, an excellent book.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new in this book, 4 Aug 2007
This review is from: Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual (Paperback)
I think this book is in many ways identical to some that have been around in the TEFL teaching world for years. It only deals with sounds one at a time and without any additional instruction/physical guidance, students are likely to just reproduce what they THINK are the modelled sounds, whilst actually doing exactly as they always do. I think it is very unlikely that students would feel much improvement even after considerable use with this book. A book which looked at stress, linked speech, physical movement and exercises for the organs of speech and intonation would be far more effective.
I wouldn't recommend this to either students or teachers of voice/accent and I am a specialist in this field!
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