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Pronunciation Practice: A book that promotes

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02nd-Mar-2018       
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better English pronunciation :
The education system of Bangladesh follows a centralized curriculum that provides English as a compulsory foreign language from grade 1 to 12 and beyond. Besides, professionals, non-professionals, businesspersons and a large number of workforces already employed locally or looking for jobs in the Middle East, Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore and even in the developed countries of Europe and America have to learn English either as a survival tool or for better job opportunities. A group of long-time practising teachers of English, both writers have observed that a big majority of the speakers of Bangla face serious problems in speaking English for understandable communication due mainly, among other things, to their defective pronunciation. This happens because the sound structure of Bangla is far less complicated than that of English and most of the Bangla speakers, who live in rural areas, are hardly exposed to using English in rural life situations. As a result, their mother-tongue habits of using sounds and stress are often carried over to their English pronunciation.
Pronunciation Practice  is a book by MS Hoque and Raihana Shams which attempts to help the Bangla-speaking students at secondary to tertiary levels, teachers of English at primary, secondary and tertiary level who want to improve their English pronunciation, those who are preparing for IELTS tests, any Bangla speakers, young or adult who need to learn better English pronunciation in society and at workplace by giving them guidance and useful practice activities in sounds, stress and intonation accompanied by recorded materials. The book gives simple explanations with examples of the important aspects and areas of pronunciation-letters, sounds, syllables, stress, rhythm and intonation. These contents lend themselves to 170 practice activities with instructions as to how to do them, supported by 97 CD texts. An answer key is provided for answers to most of the activities.
The foreword of the book has been written by Richard Cullen, Head of the School of Language Studies and Applied Linguistics, Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom. He said, "It gives me great pleasure to recommend this invaluable guide to help students in Bangladesh improve their pronunciation of English". The book provides systematic coverage of all the main features of English pronunciation, starting with individual sounds and moving on to features of connected speech, such as stress, rhythm and intonation. Written to meet the needs of Bangla-speaking learners of English in mind, the book provides clear examples of the features of pronunciation that are considered most difficult. There is also an array of engaging practice activities which can be done at home or in classrooms.
When we are learning English as a foreign or second language, we cannot learn pronunciation at one go; we need to try continuously to speak English with correct sounds, stress and intonation as much as we can. And we have to continue this practice till we get used to speaking English naturally or sub-consciously with acceptable pronunciation. This happens over time, so continuous practices of listening and speaking English are key to improving our pronunciation. The book provides 170 practice activities, phonetic alphabet chart, clear explanations of specific difficulties, interactive activities supported by CD practice and answer key to check pronunciation learning progression which may help the learners to improve their English pronunciation.
Pronunciation Practice addresses some problems regarding English pronunciation. It provides a thorough, systematic approach in learning English pronunciation. The authors provide clear examples and practice opportunities of sound, stress and intonation patterns. They can be very helpful for any Bangla-speaking English learners who still are struggling with the tricky areas of English pronunciation. The book has been published by Professor MS Hoque and Professor Raihana Shams who were Professors of English in government colleges; and the book was printed at Farazi Press and Publication, Jatrabari, Dhaka-1362. The price of the book is taka 450.00 (with CD) and the book is available in Friends' Book corner Pvt. Ltd, 16 Rafin Plaza (2nd floor), 3/B Mirpur Road, Opposite to New Market, Dhaka-1205. I wish a grand success of the book  Pronunciation Practice.
(The reviewer is a 4th year honours student of Education at Govt. Teachers' Training college, Dhaka)
Reviewer Touhid Ebrahim

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