IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE academic publishes first ever edited volume dedicated to pronunciation assessment

17 January 2017

Talia Isaacs' book


A new book co-edited by Dr Talia Isaacs is the first ever edited volume dedicated to the topic of pronunciation assessment. It is also Multilingual Matters' first 'gold' open access book.

Divided into 14 chapters, 'Second Language Pronunciation Assessment: Interdisciplinary Perspectives' spans the areas of assessment, second language acquisition (SLA) and pronunciation. It examines topical issues and challenges that relate to formal and informal assessments of second language (L2) speech in classroom, research and real-world contexts.

The collection helps to establish commonalities across research areas and facilitate greater consensus about key issues, terminology and best practice in L2 pronunciation research and assessment.

Reflecting on how the field has evolved since the publication of the edited volume, Dr Isaacs said:

"When I started doing dissertation research on pronunciation assessment in 2004 during my Master's degree, this topic was drastically out of fashion. Gradually, spurred by trends in researching pronunciation in other areas within applied linguistics, modern work on pronunciation shifted to a focus on intelligibility and listeners' evaluative judgments of speech and was at the heart of developments in automated scoring of speaking."

"Although this volume is far from comprehensive, it begins to establish a common understanding of key issues and bridges different disciplinary areas where there has historically been little conversation."

As one of four recent academic hires at the Centre for Applied Linguistics, Dr Isaacs joined the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) from the University of Bristol in November 2016 as a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL.

Her research interests include second language speaking and listening, pronunciation and fluency assessment and instruction, rating scales and rater processes, technology-mediated assessment, language for specific and academic purposes, and health communication.

Dr Isaacs is currently designing and teaching Language Testing and Assessment, a new Masters-level module offered for the first time at the IOE in 2017.

Second Language Pronunciation Assessment: Interdisciplinary Perspectives was co-edited with Pavel Trofimovich from Concordia University, Canada and is available open access.