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From The CriticsReviewer: Nelda S Richards, Ph.D., CCC-SLP(George Washington University)
Description: This comprehensive resource covers phonetic transcription and basic acoustic phonetics. The workbook and CD-ROM provide practice listening to using the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Purpose: This is a valuable tool in helping students learn to use the International Phonetic Alphabet for clinical purposes.
Audience: This is geared for students in speech-language pathology and related fields such as linguistics and English as a Second Language (ESL). It is designed to be used with students who are just beginning their studies in this field. The book with the accompanying workbook and CD-ROM are well suited to this population. They target not only the IPA symbols and the diacritic marks, but provide activities that target several important prerequisite skills. The authors have taken a classic, well-respected text and updated it.
Features: The book covers all important aspects of phonetic transcription and acoustic phonetics and is organized in a logical way that facilitates student learning. The workbook enhances the text and the CD-ROM allows important practice listening to and using the skills. The CD-ROM is thorough and easy to use. While this book is similar to other phonetics texts, the CD-ROM makes it more useful for students. It allows the instructor to assign practice as homework. Two shortcomings: the activities on the CD-ROM and in the workbook should be referenced more clearly. It would be helpful if tracks were noted in the workbook or the page number of the text indicated on the CD-ROM. Also, in our introductory phonetics course we cover normal articulation development. If this publication were used, I would have to require an additional text to cover that.
Assessment: This is an excellent resource for teaching students (particularly those in speech and hearing) the important skill of phonetic transcription of normal and disordered speech. The texts in this field are quite similar. I have taught from Clinical Phonetics, by Shriberg and Kent (Allyn & Bacon, 2003), Applied Phonetics: The Sounds of American English, by Edwards (Thomson Delmar Learning, 2003) and Fundamentals of Phonetics: A Practical Guide for Students, by Small (Allyn & Bacon, 1998). I use the Small text now and find that its only drawback is the limited number of activities on its CD-ROM. I prefer the way it covers typical phonological development and phonological processes.