Rhymes and Rhythm: A poem-based course for English pronunciation
Rhymes and Rhythm provides targeted pronunciation and listening practice through the medium of verse. Featuring lively, engaging poems ranging from limericks to raps, it offers an innovative and effective way for students of English to improve their understanding, and to be better understood.
Focusing on areas such as syllable length, linking, weak forms and stress placement, tasks and poems allow students to practise the understanding and production of fast, natural speech. A key to the tasks is included.
The accompanying CD-ROM contains detailed notes for teachers and ideas for additional activities, as well as extra material in the form of clearly presented complementary visuals.
‘Pronunciation is woefully neglected in all mainstream language courses but it is the one area in which we can have lots of fun with patterning of sounds in a way which is acceptable even to teenagers and adults. The only book which I know that has systematically tried to do this is the wonderful Rhymes and Rhythm […]’ – David A. Hill, ‘Language Play and Creative Language Learning’
27 Apr 2010
Number of pages: 120
Part I: Syllables, stress and rhythm
Chapter 1: Syllables, stress and rhythm
Part II: Stress in words and phrases
Chapter 2: Stress in verbs
Chapter 3: Stress in nouns and adjectives
Chapter 4: Stress in compounds and phrases
Chapter 5: Stress patterns in words and phrases
Chapter 6: Stress shift
Part III: Fast, natural speech
Chapter 7: Introduction to fast, natural speech
Chapter 8: Elision
Chapter 9: Assimilation
Part IV: Playing with poems
Chapter 10: Limericks
Chapter 11: Other types of poem
Chapter 12: Similes, sayings and sounds
Appendix 1: Key to the tasks
Appendix 2: Completed poems
Appendix 3: Book map
Appendix 4: CD-ROM thumbnails
Michael Vaughan-Rees founded the IATEFL Pronunciation Special Interest Group, which he co-ordinated for over 20 years as well as editing its journal/newsletter, Speak Out. He has taught languages and linguistics up to university level, most recently at the Free University, Berlin, and is the author of several books and dozens of articles. He is currently writing raps for a Berlin-based EFL publisher.
“Pronunciation is woefully neglected in all mainstream language courses but it is the one area in which we can have lots of fun with patterning of sounds in a way which is acceptable even to teenagers and adults. The only book which I know that has systematically tried to do this is the wonderful Rhymes and Rhythm.”
- David A. Hill, “Language Play and Creative Language Learning.”
"Pronunciation books tend not to stay in print for long, due to lack of demand, and a number of good products have disappeared after only a few years of existence. So it’s great to see Rhymes and Rhythm back on the market after several years’ absence. This original and amusing book is a goldmine of useful and fun practice activities for working on stress and rhythm in English. The poems often practise specific language (as well as pronunciation), such as lexical sets (e.g., verbs of motion) and how to pronounce the names of places and people. The activities are many and varied – students get carried away reciting ‘A long-haired drummer in a rock ‘n’ roll band’ or ‘Chinatown’! Although described by the publisher as a course, the book can be used as an incidental resource, e.g., for warmers (‘Billy yate a napple’) or fillers (‘Norman’s from Nottingham’), or to practise a point ad hoc (‘Silly similes’). The book comes with an audio DVD and a CD-ROM, which includes teacher’s notes and extra activities. It is nicely produced, with fun illustrations. I have used quite a lot of its material in class and it always goes down well. Long may it remain in print!"
- Jean McCutcheon, for the SATEFL website, February 2012
"If you are the lucky owner of the previous edition of Rhymes and Rhythm, it will definitely be worth upgrading. The tracks have been re-recorded with a lovely range of voices and really groovy sounds - check out the gentle rap of Down the Diner and the shanty style of Cash Flow Problems. If you're new to Rhymes and Rhythm, it will completely dispel your notions of pronunciation as drilling and boring. Get this book and the opportunities for meaningful pronunciation work are endless."
- Modern English Teacher, Vol. 22, No 4, October 2013