Accent Building is a course book that introduces the vowels and consonants as well the most important stress and intonation patterns of British English. Through small chunks of information and short analysis and repetition exercises, students are, in a step-by-step fashion, urged to build their English accent. The target is understandable, natural and educated English. The tips and exercises aim primarily at making learners aware of the nature of sounds, and this course gives them the opportunity to practise their knowledge by listening to and imitating native speakers of English. A website with recordings of words, sentences and texts is part of this course.
Furthermore, learners gain access to an online tool which measures the acoustics of their pronunciation and compares it with those of a native speaker model. By the end of the course, students will not only have improved their own pronunciation; they will also be more confident when teaching others English pronunciation at an advanced level.
Dick Smakman is Assistant Professor of English Language and Linguistics for Leiden University Centre for Linguistics. He teaches and publishes in the fields of Language Acquisition and Sociolinguistics.