Henrichsen, L. E. (1999). Pronunciation matters: Communicative, story-based activities for mastering the sounds of North American English. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 

Format of the bookEdit

This book is built around activities. Explanations of the target linguistic features are located in the back, with the focus of the main content solely on the demonstrating contrastive sounds to show the different meanings these create. This is done primarily through stories which take up the bulk of the activities.

Order of presenting features  (xxiii)Edit

  • Diagnostic test (pg 3)- students rate the difficulty they have speaking and listening to different sounds/features.(there is a section on reduction and blending)

  • Stories and sentences are given with accompanying text to demonstrate the sounds in context.

  • Peer tutoring- one student reads a random sentence and the other points to the corresponding picture-card.

  • Students practice retelling the story at the beginning of the unit.

Reduction and Blending (pg. 197-229)Edit


  • saw her - saw'er
  • see him - see'im
  • cən tell - caen't tell 
  • cən take - caen't take
  • it is - it's
  • want to - wanna
  • going to - gonna
  • don't know - dunno
  • what fo you - whaddaya
  • what are you - whatcha
  • "Unblended [t+y] get you - Blended [tʃ] getcha"
  • did you - didja
  • guess you're - guesshur
  • "Blended will, They'll- Blended would, They'd"
  • "Blended have, They've- Blended had, They'd"
  • "Blended did, Where'd- Blended have, Where've"
  • "Blended did, Where'd- Blended where, where'll"

Analysis of sectionEdit

The sections do not seem to follow an obvious order. It is clear that similar examples of connected speech are grouped together for the most part, but then we see that can't and it's are separated from the other contractions. Also, the contraction at the bottom of this listed are labeled as blended/unblended, while the aforementioned are not. 

Except for blended/unblended there is no explanation or categorization of the connective features of the sections. They are all listed as "Reduction and Blending."

Intonation (301-309)Edit

The majorit of this unit covers things like rising intonation with questions, but there a number of section that focus on conjunctions such as "soup'r salad" (as contrasted with "Super Salad"). It is not clear from this section itself why these are here as they do not seem to have anything to do with intonation and there is no explanation. However, in the Phonological explanation 

Phonological explanations (353)Edit

This unit gives very good detailed explanations of the features in the sections above. Every section of a unit has a corresponding listing in this section that explains the linguistics phonetic/phonological features that are being described. However, the placement of this unit at the back of the book isolates it from the sections which are supposed to cover these features. The introduction and teacher’s section do not make it clear that this part of the book is vital to understanding the sound features being taught. A student wanting to learn about reduction would likely go right to that section could easily not realize that this part of the book would help them in learning the reasons behind reduction.

This section’s isolation is likely due to the book’s emphasis on activity based learening.