Most helpful positive review
147 of 150 people found the following review helpful
very good; get a computer program to record yourself
on January 2, 2005
I do agree with the other reviewers that it is an excellent book written by a professional with extensive experience. It comes with 6 CD and almost 200-page book with detailed explanations of intonation patterns and sounds. Additionally, in the appendix Ann Cook discusses in detail what are the typical accents of native speakers of common languages, and what specifically the native speakers of these languages should work on.
The chief difficulty with working with a course like this is that the learner should not only repeat after the speaker, but should also be able to hear his/her own words to make the necessary corrections. If you keep on repeating the same mistake, but do not hear it and cannot correct yourself - what's the point of practicing? My solution is to practice with a computer. I tried a simple sound recorder on a computer as well as a tape recorder, and it did not work - too complicated, invoves too much button pressing. You need a program which plays a phrase, then records you repeating it, then repeats the native speaker, then plays your recording, and does it all over again in a loop until you are satisfied. It turned out that it is not easy to find a program like this; after a long search, I found a shareware program called FollowMe, its trial version can be downloaded from tarsoft's site or shareware servers (perhaps there are other programs like this which I did not come across, I am talking about the learning concept here). For me personally working with a computer and using a program like described above made a tremendous difference, I really feel that I am getting the most from this book. I can hear my mistakes and I feel that I am correcting them.
While with a course like this the price is much less important than the result and productivity of learning, this book (in my opinion) satisfies both, good quality and reasonable price. Recommended.