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"What helps Russian speakers most to improve their sound in English?"

This guide was written by a teacher, for teachers, coaches and advanced students. It is rich in content and focused exclusively on answering that question…what helps most? 

The solutions are not always the same for students of English, because each one brings a different set of challenges from their first language. Pronunciation teachers and accent coaches must understand not only the sound system of English, but also some things about their students’ first language. What students should work on depends on the similarities and differences between Russian and English; it’s the differences that cause accent or comprehensibility problems.

W and V reversals, for example, do create a Russian accent in English but don’t make Russian speakers incomprehensible. Our two languages have many pronunciation features in common–both use voicing in the same way and both use vowel reductions. There are some vowel and consonant sounds to work hard on, though, that will help a great deal, and this guide explains their articulations and provides recorded practice exercises for them.

A different kind of challenge for Russian speakers is understanding how their own first language uses tone and pitch movements, and how this ‘sound system’ differs from English. An entire section in this guide is devoted to practice exercises and resources that will help Russian students of English learn how to use tone and pitch to communicate more richly in English and avoid false impressions. The exercises are fun to do and bring fantastic results.

Peggy Tharpe has been teaching ESL and EFL for decades, specializing in pronunciation and accent change since 2007. She has a Master’s degree in TESOL and Bachelor’s in Education. Hear this veteran teacher’s insights into what Russian students need to reach their pronunciation, accent, and fluency goals.

Learn how the sound systems of English and Russian differ, and where Russian students should focus their energy and effort to improve their sound and communicate more effectively. Learn exactly what Russian speakers need to do differently to ensure that their English listeners fully understand their message. Try out new and unique practice activities that are physical and engaging. Get a whole new perspective on accent and pronunciation!

This is an essential resource for pronunciation teachers, accent coaches and advanced students who want to break through their teaching and learning barriers. It has a dedicated website page which hosts the resources, links, and recordings for each chapter. 

Read it from cover to cover and incorporate Peggy’s approaches into your own action plan.

Happy trails, and happy teaching!

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