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on April 22, 2002
This is an indispensable and insightful book that uses groundbreaking research to address how the changing roles of English in the world affect language teachers' decisions to teach pronunciation. The book argues that, for most users of English in the world, neither achieving a native speaker accent nor having an accent that is understandable to a native speaker is an appropriate goal. Because most users of English do not speak with native speakers, Jenkins argues that decisions about English pronunciation teaching should be based on what nonnative speakers need to be understood when they use English as a lingua franca with other nonnative speakers. The book has many strengths. First among them is its well-reasoned attempt to address the role of intelligibility from the view of the actual users. Second, and more important, is the fact that it uses cutting edge research to support its recommendations. Pronunciation teaching is notoriously short on research data and long on mythology, and Jenkins goes a long way toward changing this with data demonstrating the importance of pronunciation errors in miscommunication.
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