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Krista ScottPaul Meier, a leader in the field of dialects and accent training and the founder of the International Dialects of English Archive website (IDEA), brings dialect study into the 21st century with his practical training system, Accents and Dialects for Stage & Screen, 2007 edition. This IPA based instructional text and CD compilation is a much-welcomed addition to the existing publications on dialect and accent training. Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen combines the best aspects of other popular dialect training methods into a succinct, comprehensive and affordable training tool. Sentence drilling similar to that in Jerry Blunt's Stage Dialects, modeling of the dialect in David Alan Stern's Acting with an Accent series, and authentic speaker samples similar to Gillian Lane-Plescia's compilations are all incorporated into Meier's "Seven Step Method" of learning an accent or dialect. Using John Well's familiar lexical sets in each study, Meier lays out the phonetic "signature sounds" prior to the sentence drills, and the specific phonemic adjustments are adroitly described and modeled by Meier in the recording. Additional features (particularly unique linguistic characteristics) are described next, followed by an explanation of the rhythm, stress, intonation and tone. Coordination exercises and sample dramatic texts include full IPA narrow transcriptions and references to the sound change lessons. Like Stern's recordings, Meier's is the only voice providing instruction on his CD's; however, he stresses that listening to authentic speakers on the related IDEA website is "central to the study," and provides concise descriptions of pertinent characteristics of the particular onlinesamples. This combination of internet technology and phonetic drilling promotes authenticity and precision in pronunciation for actors and instructors, and increases awareness of the specific articulation adjustment needed for accuracy. In his footnotes, Meier also graciously references Lane-Plescia, Stern and other dialect specialists who suggest alternate pronunciations or approaches. The compact disc compilation and accompanying manual are extremely user-friendly for a self-learner: since all of the instructional text is spoken on the discs, one could easily brush up a dialect in the car on the way to an audition or rehearsal. The length of each lesson is also well constructed, with ample pause time to mimic the sentence drills, coordination exercises and monologue lines. The sequence of twenty-three dialects and accents is particularly comprehensive in its survey of Anglo-European dialects of English, and also includes Indian, Spanish and Yiddish among the foreign language accents, which are absent from the 1967 Blunt publication. The large pages and print, spiral binding and CD pouches make this a very attractive and practical instructional package. Having adopted this as the main training tool for my dialects course for the last three years, I couldn't be happier with the improvement it has made in the students' comprehension and accuracy, and in my own ease in class preparation and execution. My students also give this practical training manual and method an enthusiastic two thumbs up!
— Voice and Speech Review