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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Get Rid of Your Accent: The English Pronunciation and Speech Training Manual
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£19.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 19 May 2017
If you are getting this audio book to improve your British English, don't!!!!!!!! Horrible learning experience!
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on 2 July 2017
The book is great, I really feel I've improved a lot my pronunciation after a couple of months using it, in fact some people from my workplace have noticed it as well.

Each chapter is a sound that you have to focus on and practice it a lot, once you get comfortable with it you go to the next sound.

You focus in the different sounds and need t
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on 3 August 2009
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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on 21 November 2009
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.

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VINE VOICEon 26 July 2009
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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on 5 April 2009
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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on 4 August 2007
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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on 1 November 2009
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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on 8 December 2014
I have been using this book for about a year with serious adult students. My students are generally seeking to improve their English for career reasons.... and are usually studying intensively for three months or more, sometimes less.

Because of timetabling issues, pronunciation as a standalone option takes place over 2 80-minute sessions, back-to-back once a week. Not ideal, of course!

A significant number of students use the IOS app.

Using the book as a 'pronunciation gymnasium' (i.e. intensive, repeated exercises), progress can be seen for most, if not all students. The students are almost always very pleased with the course, although, for a small number, it's too intensive (too much like hard work!).

We follow a fairly strict method, based on the book.

The advantages:
1). Sharpening up pronuciation of individual sounds
2). Dealing with specific pronuciation difficulties peculiar to certain languages ('w' for Turkish, etc)
3). Developing the ability to lengthen long vowels and shorten the short weak vowels
4). Developing and strengthening the ability to hear with discrimination (since we never look at the text until we have practised intensively sounds, words and sentences)
5). Developing the ability to memorise by ear
6). Expanding vocabulary
7). Strengthening spelling.

The book is not perfect.... and the comments of other reviewers about intonation, tone, connected speech, etc, are not without merit.

It's also true that the choice of vocabulary and practice sentences in Part One is not always ideal. Sometimes a little abstruse, sometimes a little too literary, sometimes a little 'precious'.

However, perhaps 80% of my students are really really happy (although the course is tough). And I can see discernable progress.

So, all in all, I am delighted and would love to recommend it as a (demanding) foundation course.
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on 10 December 2007
As a diplomat I need effective communication skills, particularly to address public audiences through radio and TV. A clear, crisp accent is always more convincing than a thick, foreign one. I am reading this book and I think it is immensely useful for foreigners like myself.
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