Speak Out! celebrates 50!

Speak Out! is the newsletter of the IATEFL Pronunciation Special Interest Group, or PronSIG (http://www.reading.ac.uk/epu/pronsig/). It comes out twice a year, is free to members of the SIG, but can be bought from IATEFL at a very good price by non-members. This year Speak Out! came of age on reaching issue 50, and we decided to celebrate this great occasion by putting together a special issue of the newsletter. This is now out and with most of our members already, but to tempt non-members of the PronSIG, here are the editorial and contents.

Speak Out! Issue 50 

From the editor
Fifty is a special number, and so it was evident to everyone involved in the running of the PronSIG that the 50th issue of Speak Out! had to be special too. But how can this best be done? Well that was quite a challenge.

One early idea was to re-publish a selection of the many excellent articles that Speak Out! has carried over these past 27 years. However, with the recent PronSIG decision to digitalize all of our back numbers, this option gradually gave way to the idea of inviting previous contributors to submit something special from their own work.

The response from everyone we contacted was humbling. Top names from the world of pronunciation agreed to find time – in many cases stolen from frantic academic agendas – to write specifically for Speak Out! 50, or to re-write earlier publications, but either way, to freely share their knowledge and experience with PronSIG members.

Experts from the world of pronunciation, on the one hand, but colleagues from around the world, on the other, since a second aim of this celebratory issue was to offer a global vision of what is a hugely important area of ELT. Naturally, the UK and the US are strongly represented in this vision, but other major centres have lent their voice too, and whilst articles from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand complete the Inner Circle map, contributions from Brunei, Brazil and Poland show us just how alive the Outer Circle is today.

A third aim for this 50th Speak Out! was to give us all the chance to reflect on where we are. This requires us to look back, and there is nobody better qualified to help us do that than PronSIG founder, Michael Vaughan-Rees, particularly when supported from across ‘The Pond’ by Judy Gilbert, a founder member of SPLIS.

Donna Brinton also looks back, but not without an eye to a future that Peter Roach helps us to glimpse with his critical assessment of two major internet pronunciation resources. Reflecting on our current position, Mark Hancock offers us a map of the increasingly complex landscape we inhabit, while Elizabeth Pow and Jonathan Marks share routes both taken and to be taken in the area of teacher training.

But don’t think that map in hand, the remaining terrain in this 50th Speak Out! will be easy to navigate. Far from it. In fact, prepare yourself to go ‘off road’ with Tracy Derwing and Murray Munro, David Deterding, Richard Cauldwell, John Levis, John Field, Helen Fraser and Graeme Couper. Again and again their authoritative voices challenge the status quo and ask us to re-think our Poles before continuing our journey and mapping the brave, new world of pronunciation.

Many thanks, then, to everyone who helped to make this 50th issue possible – to authors, to committee members, and to colleagues. The future is here if you dare to read it.

4 – A brief history of Speak Out!
Michael Vaughan-Rees
6 – Memories and conclusions from across the Pond
Judy Gilbert
8 – A map of pronunciation teaching
Mark Hancock
12 – Accent and intelligibility: cracking the conundrum
Tracey M. Derwing and Murray J. Munro
18 – Is English really crazy? Insights into grapheme/ phoneme correspondence
Donna M. Brinton
23 – Consonant cluster simplification and intelligibility
David Deterding
28 – An impertinent question: what happens in spontaneous speech?
Richard Cauldwell
32 – New and given information in English: conflicting pedagogical models
John Levis
37 – What goes in: interfaces between listening and pronunciation
John Field
42 – When teaching phonology isn’t enough: insights from mondegreens
Helen Fraser
46 – Teaching concepts of pronunciation: syllables, stress and drunk snails
Graeme Couper
51 – English pronunciation reference sources on the internet
Peter Roach
55 – Pronunciation and CLIL: designing a speech improvement course for teachers at an international school
Elizabeth M. Pow
59 – Being trained and being prepared: challenges for pronunciation teacher training
Jonathan Marks

If you are not a member of the PronSIG but want a copy of this celebratory issue of Speak Out!, then write to Copies of Speak Out! 50, price £10, can be bought from IATEFL by contacting Eleanor Broadbridge at <eleanor@iatefl.org> or by writing to her at Head Office, 2-3 The Foundry, Seager Road, Faveresham, Kent, ME13 7FD, United Kingdom.