English Phonetics and Pronunciation Practice: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

English Phonetics and Pronunciation Practice

1st Edition

By Paul Carley, Inger M. Mees, Beverley Collins


308 pages | 155 B/W Illus.

Companion Website
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Paperback: 9781138886346
pub: 2017-09-08
Hardback: 9781138886339
pub: 2017-09-08
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pub: 2017-09-01
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English Phonetics and Pronunciation Practice provides a unique introduction to basic articulatory phonetics for students of English. Built around an extensive collection of practice materials, this book teaches the pronunciation of modern standard non-regional British English to intermediate and advanced learners worldwide.

This book:

  • provides an up-to-date description of the pronunciation of modern British English;
  • demonstrates the use of each English phoneme with a selection of high-frequency words, both alone and in context in sentences, idiomatic phrases and dialogues;
  • provides examples and practice material on commonly confused sounds, including illustrative pronunciation diagrams;
  • is supported by a companion website featuring phonetic transcriptions and over 30 hours of practice audio material to check your pronunciation against;
  • can be used not only for studying pronunciation in the classroom but also for independent student practice.

English Phonetics and Pronunciation Practice is essential reading for any student studying this topic.


Here is a wealth of practice material, building on a sound theoretical basis. This book will help students of English phonetics to gain a thorough understanding of phonetic principles and improve their oral ability in the language. I heartily recommend it.

John Wells, Emeritus Professor of Phonetics, University College London, UK

This clearly-written, practical and informative volume draws on the considerable knowledge, experience and expertise of the authors, nicely bridging the gap between courses in English phonetics and phonology and those in English pronunciation. Its focus on segmental aspects – i.e., individual speech sounds – is in line with current recommendations for intelligibility in English in international settings. I recommend this book as an addition to your English pronunciation library.

Jane Setter, University of Reading, UK

I’m absolutely delighted to welcome this excellently written book. The coverage and organisation is exceptionally good. The authors are to be congratulated on producing a groundbreaking textbook combining English phonetic theory with copious amounts of material for practice. Anyone studying or teaching English or wishing to understand or speak the language with clarity and accuracy should read this book.

Alessandro Rotatori, Università degli Studi di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’, Italy

English Phonetics and Pronunciation Practice is an excellent resource book for both teachers and students. Both will like the clear and succinct descriptions of relevant features of General British, and they will love the book’s substantial two thirds devoted to practice material. The recordings of the material amount to over thirty hours of listening; they make this publication a real gem. For decades students have asked me to recommend an individual book they could use for practice purposes as well as for widening and deepening their knowledge in English phonetics. Up to now I have refrained from making such a single recommendation. This has changed now that this book is available.

Petr Rösel, University of Mainz, Germany

English Phonetics and Pronunciation Practice is more than an indispensable treasure trove of modern practice material for segments, in minimal pairs, phrases and sentences. It's also a thorough and very approachable guide to 21st century British articulations which valuably explains the inaccuracies among the traditional symbols.

Geoff Lindsey, Director of University College London Summer Course in English Phonetics

This substantial and strikingly original volume is, as the authors say, ‘unique’, combining, as it does, a concise but very far more than just adequate phonetic introduction to English pronunciation together with extensive amounts of material for use in practising it.

Jack Windsor Lewis,Journal of the International Phonetic Association

Table of Contents

English phonemic transcription key

List of phonetic symbols and diacritics

The International Phonetic Alphabet



Chapter 1 Basic Concepts

Chapter 2 Consonants

Chapter 3 Practice: Individual Consonants

Chapter 4 Practice: Consonant Contrasts

Chapter 5 Vowels

Chapter 6 Practice: Individual Strong Vowels

Chapter 7 Practice: Vowel Contrasts

Chapter 8 Weak Vowels and Weak Forms

Chapter 9 Practice: Weak Vowels and Weak Forms

Chapter 10 Consonant Clusters

Chapter 11 Practice: Consonant Clusters

Chapter 12 Connected Speech

Suggested Reading


About the Authors

Paul Carley has held posts at the University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht, and the universities of Bedfordshire and Leicester. He is a regular lecturer on the University College London Summer Course in English Phonetics.

Inger M. Mees is Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Society and Communication at the Copenhagen Business School. She has formerly held lectureships at the universities of Leiden and Copenhagen. She is on the academic staff of the University College London Summer Course in English Phonetics.

Beverley Collins (1938–2014) held lectureships at the universities of Lancaster and Leiden and was Visiting Professor at Ghent University. He was also a lecturer on the University College London Summer Course in Phonetics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Bilingual Education
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Phonetics & Phonology