Center for Language Education
The Hong Kong University
of Science and Technology

English Advice Sheets



The aim of this leaflet

The aim of this leaflet is to introduce to you materials on pronunciation available in the Language Commons and to suggest ways to choose materials.

Materials in the Language Commons

  • Multi-Media Materials
    We have a wide selection of materials on Pronunciation in the Language Commons including: books, cassettes, videos ,CD-ROMs and DVDs. The attached tables (‘Materials on Pronunciation in the Language Commons’ and ‘Pronunciation Areas Covered by Materials in the Language Commons’) can help you find suitable materials to work with. You can also check our Language Commons website from:  // and you can check in VELA for lots of suggestions on materials you could use.  If you’re not sure which materials are the best for you, go and see one of our Language Commons Advisers. You can check who to see and when from the advising timetable here:
  • Music CDs, Poems and Games Activity Sheets
    There is a good collection of music CDs, poems, Jazz Chants and games which you can use to work on a specific area of pronunciation. Try them they really make learning fun. These materials are located Language Commons Area A. Ask at Reception if you need help finding them
  • Other materials
    An important part of pronunciation practice is to listen. There is a wide collection of videos in Area A for you to select. Many of them also have transcripts (found on the Movie Transcripts Shelf) so you can practice more easily. You may also want to expose yourself to different accents. You can find lots of different accents on the internet and in many of the listening materials on the Listening Shelf. Ask an Language Commons Adviser ( for help in identifying accents and selecting suitable materials.. You can also refer to the advice sheet  L5 Listening to British and American English  // for more ideas.

Choosing materials

How do I know the best material to choose? Sometimes it’s a question of ‘judging the book by its cover and ‘trial and error’. Interest plays a key role but you also need to know if it will actually be useful for you. If you’re really at a loss, you should go to see an Language Commons Adviser ( You can also consider answers to the following questions:  

  • Does the material contain the area(s) I want to practise?
  • Does the material use the type of English I want to practise? (British, American, Australian)
  • Is the material interesting to me?
  • Do I like the contents and the approach?
  • Is the material designed for classroom teaching or self-access (independent) learning or both?
  • Do I need to find an answer book if I want to check my answers to exercises?
  • Is the material designed for individual or group learning?
  • Do I prefer to follow through with one set of materials or pick out units from different materials according to the problems I have identified?
  • Must I use the material in the Language Commons or are there copies in the Library that I could borrow?
  • Is the material recommended by an Language Commons Adviser really interesting and useful to me?
  • When can I work with an Language Commons Adviser to make sure I’m using the materials in the best way or to get help with using the materials (understanding how to use them/checking answers)?

Learning tips

When you are deciding if the material you’ve selected really is suitable for you, browse through the following sections in the material to get a clearer idea of what the material has to offer:

  • Table of contents (to check it covers the area/s you want to focus on)
  • Introduction (for students and for teachers to find out about the approach used and to get an idea of how the author thinks the material should be used)
  • Blurb (description of the material usually found on the back cover of a book or the sleeve of a CD-ROM or a DVD, or found at the start of a webpage)
  • Teacher’s book (in case the answers are not included in the student’s book)
  • Note

    This advice sheet is part of the Pronunciation series of leaflets supporting independent language learning, produced by the HKUST Center for Language Education Language Commons team. This leaflet was written by Sarah Toogood and Kitty Wong, 1997. Revised by Sarah Toogood 1999 V2. 2000 V3 2009 V4. If you copy from this leaflet, please acknowledge the source. Thanks.

    Language Commons Pronunciation Materials

    The following pages show details of materials in the Language Commons that give information and exercises on these key pronunciation areas:

    Connected Speech:


    Sentence Stress

    Weak Forms


    Accurate Speech:

    Sounds of English: Vowels and Consonants



    Word Stress

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    It has not been updated nor maintained since 1 Sept 2021.

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