For a person with limited exposure to English or to those with plenty of exposure but who have plateaued, the study of pronunciation is an excellent choice to improve both speaking and listening skills which is where students usually disappoint on skills testing and real life.
There are many understandable ways of expressing yourself in English. Ones that aren’t understandable aren’t English. They don't need native accents but they don't need errors either. But when it comes to listening they do need native like skill. A real understanding of pronunciation is all that can help them. Some have years of experience and some have a good ear the rest have teachers.
I would love to see students comfortably talking with their teachers about accents and assimilation, but the first step is knowing what all that stuff following the entry in their dictionary is... and someone has to tell them why it's there BEFORE the definition is. That's us. The teachers.
To do this I think wee we need to know more about the following:
The vowel sounds
Places of articulation
What an allophone is
What assimilation is and why it happens
More about Accents
Some essential sources
What to look at next
Interesting stuff for students
.........I'll keep updating this blog as I find more check back occasionally and send a comment to if you find a good source or interesting video for my students and me. I'll post them and put up your picture and give you a mention and make you famous and everything. Enjoy the weekend. I'll see you on Monday.