Teaching American English Pronunciation, by Peter Avery and Susan Ehrlich, is an excellent introductory text for ESL and EFL teachers who want to learn how to help their students improve their American English pronunciation.
The book is organized into three sections. The first section describes the sound system of English and includes chapters on spelling, vowel and consonant sounds, word stress, vowel reduction, sentence rhythm and intonation. Common problems such as the pronunciation of grammatical endings and the difference between voiced and voiceless sounds are examined in detail.
The second section addresses the specific American English pronunciation problems of students from fifteen languages including Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. This section provides extremely helpful information for teachers who have students from many language groups in their pronunciation classroom.
In the third section the authors describe many practical classroom techniques and activities that teachers can use to teach pronunciation to their students. There is a chapter on the communicative approach to pronunciation teaching, a chapter on the importance of listening skills, as well as a chapter that explains how to create a syllabus for a pronunciation class. For teachers who want both pronunciation pedagogy and practical activities this section of the book is an excellent resource!
The text is well organized and easy to read and the authors provide numerous charts and graphics that illustrate pronunciation concepts such as syllable stress and intonation. The glossary at the end of the book is a very valuable tool for both students and teachers.
When I decided to enhance my skills as an adult ESL teacher and specialize in teaching pronunciation a couple of years ago this book really helped me build a foundation for my classroom research and practice. I frequently use it as a reference tool as I plan my American English pronunciation courses and workshops.
While not as thorough as Celce-Murcia's Teaching Pronunciation, this is the perfect guide for teachers who are just starting to develop a program for teaching American English pronunciation and accent reduction.