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Understanding Spoken English

 Understanding Spoken English(PDF+Audio)

Understanding Spoken English has been designed so that you can work through it alone, without the help of a teacher, or in a classroom situation with other students. The book will improve both your English speaking and listening.

The book contains nine units of work, each based on a conversation about a particular topic. The units are divided into six parts that have been designed to introduce the unfamiliar language, step by step, in a gradual and systematic way.

 Understanding Spoken English book

This book, along with its accompanying audio recording, has been designed to help you to understand English as it is spoken in ‘everyday’ situations in English speaking environments around the world. As a student of English as a second or foreign language, you are no doubt aware of the difference between the formally presented language of many textbooks and the speech you hear, outside the language classroom, in the English speaking media or in conversations with native English speakers.

As well as introducing and explaining the meaning of many widely used everyday expressions, each unit focuses on other aspects of English, such as the use of contractions (eg. won’t rather than will not ellipsis (incomplete sentences) and intonation (the rise and fall of the voice pitch). These features are distinctive characteristics of spoken (rather than written) English. You will also learn social conventions involved in everyday situations such as making a telephone call, dealing with service people and informal social interactions. I sincerely hope you enjoy and benefit from using Understanding Spoken English – a focus on everyday language in context.

A Note on English accents used in the audio recording

The conversations on the accompanying audio recording present speakers with a variety of different English accents as they are encountered in English speaking environments around the world. This is because it is very beneficial for students to become accustomed to the different accents of English speakers that will be encountered in the media, in international business contexts and social situations.

The intention of presenting different accents, however, is not to provide particular models for imitation but to increase familiarity with a variety of different accents.

It should be noted that, though the accents of the speakers vary, the vocabulary and grammar points presented in each unit of this book are those used by all varieties of ‘native speaker’ English.


I sincerely hope you enjoy and benefit from using the Understanding Spoken English book. I wish you all the best. Good Luck!




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