Clear English Pronunciation : A Practical Guide book cover
1st Edition

Clear English Pronunciation
A Practical Guide

ISBN 9780367366438
Published December 20, 2019 by Routledge
208 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Clear English Pronunciation provides students with the tools to effectively communicate in English without centring solely on native-speaker pronunciation models. The focus of the book is on individual pronunciation targets rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Divided into four sections, each featuring detailed articulatory explanations, sample sentences, and recordings to help learners improve their pronunciation, this book:

  • introduces the phenomenon of pronunciation as part of a broader communicative realm;
  • explains and demonstrates the melody and rhythm of understandable and natural English pronunciation;
  • supports students in identifying and practicing their own pronunciation issues.

Supported by an interactive companion website which features recordings and expanded explanations of key topics, Clear English Pronunciation is an essential textbook for international learners of English who want to improve their pronunciation skills in diverse social settings.

For more resources on English pronunciation, visit:

Additionally, you can find recordings of a wide range of speakers here:

Table of Contents



Your pronunciation before the course


2. Improving pronunciation

3. Using the speech tract

4. Using other pronunciation tools


5. Intonation

6. Vowel reduction

7. Word stress

8. Stressful words

9. Pronunciation variation

10. Sentence stress

11. Silences

12. Fortis and lenis endings

13. Contraction and assimilation


14. Pronouncing pea, tea, and key [p, t, k]

15. Pronouncing teeth and teethe [θ, ð]

16. Pronouncing veer, beer, and Wear [v, b, w]

17. Pronouncing see and she [s, ʃ]

18. Pronouncing veal and zeal [v, z]

19. Choosing rhotacisation

20. Pronouncing right and light [ɹ, l]

21. Unpronounced consonants

22. Consonant tests


23. Pronouncing dark and Dirk [ɑː, ɜː]

24. Pronouncing Dirk and dork [ɜː, ɔː]

25. Pronouncing dork and Doke [ɔ:, oʊ]

26. Pronouncing Doke and dock [oʊ, ɒ]

27. Pronouncing dock and duck [ɒ, ʌ]

28. Pronouncing look and Luke [ʊ, uː]

29. Pronouncing lick and leek [ɪ, iː]

30. Pronouncing marry and merry [æ, ɛ]

31. Pronouncing merry and Mary [ɛ, ɛː]

32. Avoiding vowel rhotacisation

33. Avoiding vowel nasalisation

34. Vowel tests

Your pronunciation after the course



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Dick Smakman is a Lecturer at Leiden University, the Netherlands. He teaches and researches English language acquisition and sociolinguistics. He has taught English, Dutch, and sociolinguistics at various universities.


Clear English Pronunciation is focused on learners of English and their individual pronunciation issues in the process of communication. The book provides essential information concerning non-articulatory pronunciation skills, prosody, consonants and vowels, phoneme contrasts, and interlocutors` skills. The author urges speakers with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds to learn to understand each other and get along equally.

Sofiya Mitsova, South West University "Neofit Rilski", Bulgaria


Dick Smakman acknowledges that all L2 speakers are from somewhere and have their own specific trajectories. He convincingly shows that this is no problem because it suffices to work on international intelligibility. Clear English Pronunciation is a very practical resource that achieves this for English speakers around the world.

Patrick Heinrich, Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Italy


Clear English Pronunciation is a must-have resource for learners of English who want to improve their pronunciation to become comprehensible and to sound natural in different social settings. The textbook helps learners better understand the underlying principles of English pronunciation through many examples as well as plenty of opportunity for individualized practice.

Natalia Edisherashvili, School XXI Century, Georgia


Clear English Pronunciation provides many examples that demonstrate what could go wrong in communication. The course seeks to create not just correct articulation, but confident and understandable pronunciation. The interactive companion website with recordings and expanded explanations supports students in practicing and finding their own pronunciation issues.

Gergana Padareva-Ilieva, South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Bulgaria

Although accent is a natural trait of diversity among speakers of world languages, it may complicate otherwise smooth cross-cultural communication involuntarily. This is a long-awaited book, instrumental in improving the pronunciation skills strongly needed for effective communication in English as a global lingua franca in the context of its vast regional variation.

Viktoriya Zavyalova, Far Eastern Federal University, Russia