Chapter 1 introduces the concept of spoken discourse and its importance in language-related research. Linguistic and instrumental descriptions of spoken discourse are compared between first (L1) and second language (L2) speech research, with the development of each field briefly outlined. The development of what is considered pronunciation research is discussed as well as the influences from speech-related fields (e.g., phonetics, speech pathology). The chapter also briefly introduces the L2 pronunciation classroom and the influence of L1/L2 speech on L2 pedagogy. The scope and target audience of the book are then discussed in detail for a better understanding of the content of the book and how to utilize it.