|Rubber band activities||Give each student a rubber band. Have them stretch it to highlight word stress or vowel lengthening.|
|Knee bending/ Body language||Have students bend their knees to show intonation, clap for word or sentence stress, or march across the classroom. Match any body movement with a suprasegmental feature.|
|Balloon squealing||It may seem simple, but for students who have trouble understanding the concepts of voiced and voiceless sounds, showing them the difference with a balloon is surprisingly helpful. Just blow up the balloon and let the air out slowly, so that it squeals.|
|Feather puffing||Hold a feather in front of your mouth to illustrate the difference between aspirated and unaspirated stops.|
|Analogies||Make analogies between a pronunciation point and a "real-world" situation. Shirley likes to compare pronunciation class to basketball practice. You have a few rules to learn, but most of the improvement is practice, practice, practice.|
|Language analysis||Ask students to discover the pronunciation
|Self-monitoring||Have students take responsibility for their own learning and improvement by keeping a pronunciation portfolio, responding to tapes or videos of their speech, and keeping detailed records and goal-setting contracts.|
|Reaction & Reflection||Combined with the self-monitoring, reaction & reflection make the backbone of a successful pronunciation portfolio which the students can develop over the course of the semester.|
|Games||Make a pack of picture cards that feature
minimal pairs. Make four cards (blue, green, yellow, and red) for
Pronunciation Partners game
(Download printable cards here.)
|Hot Seat Peer Review||Have the class get in a circle and pair off. Label students "A" and "B," alternating. Give each of the "B" students a different pronunciation feature to listen for. Have the "A" students give a prepared mini-presentation (30 seconds-1 minute) to the "B" students. At the end of the minute, all of the "A" students stand and move clockwise to the next "B" and start again. Repeat 2 times. At the end of the exercise, the "A" students will have feedback from three separate peers.|
|Use musical notation||
|Hum or use kazoos||
|Sing or listen to songs||Songs can be used for a lot of purposes.
|Use lots of wall charts||Make charts with basics of pronunciation
(rules for word and sentence stress, intonation patterns, consonant and
vowel charts, common reductions, examples of linking and blending).
Post them at each class. Can also post poems with stress, intonation and
|Lip reading activities||The teacher can model this in front of the
class and then let students work in pairs.
This works great with vowels, too.
|Use Mirrors||This old standby is great for visual learners.|
|Many pronunciation programs allow students to record themselves and see graphs showing stress and intonation. If you can't afford one of these, try the sound recorder on your computer. With a little practice, you can get it to show word stress and reductions.|
|Card Games||See Games under "Interpersonal"|
|Color-coded Feedback||The student records herself reading a short passage.
When she submits her tape, make sure you get a copy of
the text. On the copy, use one highlighter (e.g. yellow) to indicate word stress problems, another highlighter (e.g. orange) to indicate sentence stress errors, and a fine-point colored pen (e.g. green) to indicate segmental errors. At the end of the student’s recording, you can tape your feedback—the color-coded comments will help you organize your feedback
into skill areas (e.g. segmentals, then word stress), and it will help your student see what types of errors she makes most frequently.
|Nature Poetry||Use poetry which invokes natural images to stimulate the naturalist intelligence. Example: "Who has seen the wind?" by Christina Georgina Rossetti.|
|Word Stress or Syllable Scavenger Hunt||Put students in groups and send them outside
for a specified period of time. Tell them to find as many things
in nature with 1,2,3,4 or more syllables or with certain word stress patterns
as they can.
(Example: tree, squirrel, waterfall, etc.)
(Download a Pronunciation Pyramid template here.)
This page is maintained by Holly Gray and may not be reproduced without permission of the authors. Questions? Comments? E-mail Holly Gray, Karen Taylor, or Shirley Thompson.
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