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Table of Contents

3. To the reader…………….. 4. Teaching Pre-School…… 7. Methods & their initiators 11. 7 tips for pronunciation 16. Teaching Elementary? 19. Pronunciation practice through Singing

21. Teacher of the Month 22. Teaching High School?


To the reader

The aim of this magazine is to provide educators with tips, skills, activities, and strategies to increment the impact of learning in the classroom. You will come across many new ideas that you can incorporate in your classroom with your ESL students. Many tips will be found that can assist learners with pronunciation and many strategies that can be used to teach short, long vowels, consonant sounds, and the pronunciation of the language in general. Along with all these fantastic ideas, we also provide the instructions, materials needed, and the type of learning strategy that can be used. Being that it is important to incorporate the different learning styles in teaching pronunciation this magazine also provides articles by scholars who have dedicated time to the craft of pronunciation. Many methodologies will be mentioned throughout the article as well. To conclude this introduction we hope this magazine helps you become a better educator and we hope that these ideas allow you to create a meaningful impact on your learners. Enjoy!


Lego time Target sound: /ӕ/ ; /Ʌ/ Learning style: Kinesthetic Level: High Beginners Personality: Active, cooperative Materials: Legos with words that begin with the target sound, block with different words, block without words and envelopes. Objective: Recognize when the target sound is used through an interactive activity that will promote group work. Procedure:  Each student must have an envelope with a block inside. The colors of the blocks must be repeated so the students can find their groups later.  Ask the students to write their names on the envelope  The students will go to check which color of block they have in the envelopes and according to the color they will make the group  

 

Assign a sound to each group Explain to your students that they have to look for blocks with words that start with the target sound. At least three or two per student When the students are in group they will have to create a sentence or short story with the words they chose At the end each group must present the results

Note: if a group builds the symbol of the target sound with the blocks after they finish with the story, they will win a surprise.


Same or different? Target sound: /I/, /i/

Learning style: Auditory

Level: Beginning

Personality: Active

Materials: three words per student, two posters to divide the class in same or different. Objective: discriminate the target sounds (reception and production) Procedure: 1. divide the classroom in different and same with the posters 2. Distribute three words per student 3. One student stands in front of the class a say two words, if both words are the same the students should run to that side of the classroom. In case they are different, the students should run to the opposite side. 

The last student to the arrive to the correct side of the classroom must stop playing until the next round


The length of the round is established by the teacher.


“F” Song Target sound: /F/; /V/

Learning Style: Auditory nd

Level: Kindergarten-2



Objective: To have students listen to the “F” song which contain words with the “F” consonant. Students will be able to distinguish words with the “F” sound that are commonly mistaken for the “V” sound. (Example: Fan vs. Van). Materials:  Speakers  Print out with lyrics (this depends on the level of reading in the class)  If possible, this activity can be performed outside of the classroom. If not then you can have the class sit in a circle.  Images with the key words of the “F” song.  Instructions:  Have the students sit in a circle. (To avoid any fooling around you can have them set in boy girl order.)  Explain that you and the students will be singing a song today pertaining to the consonant “F.”  Play the song through one time so that the students can hear the key words.  After doing so, you and the students will sing the song together. (If the class level is adequate enough to read, then go ahead and hand out the printed lyrics for the song so that the students can highlight the words they hear as they sing along together.)  If available use the images to create a more enthusiastic feel to the environment. You will have images with pictures of the key words with the “F” sound. Hand some images out to certain students. The students that don’t receive an image with the “F” sound, they will be given images with the “V” sound. Students will listen to the song and they will raise their image in the air if they hear the sound. If a student with a “V” image is raised we stop the song and have the students talk about why they think that this “V” image is incorrect.


Language has always been a fascinating topic. Linguists and educators have gone through various experiments, many ways of teaching a new language and, many investigations into the best method that a new language learner can acquire a language. Many of these new approaches to language have brought attention to pronunciation, which is the essential factor of any language. What we know about language in general is that there are two overall methods of acquiring a new language. Intuitive-imitative approach, an approach that deals with listening and imitating the sounds and rhythms of an L2 without explicit teaching. Analytic-linguistic approaches on teaching pure vowels and diphthongs, and also, sought to examine whether elementary L2 learners respond differently to the abovementioned approaches. These two methods were influenced by the study of Celce-Murcia, Brinton, and Goodwin.


Donna M. Brinton currently serves as Senior Lecturer in the Rossier School of Education and at USC's American Language Institute. Prior to that, she served as Professor of TESOL at Soka University and at UCLA as Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Associate Director of UCLA's Center for World Languages. She has taught a wide spectrum of Applied Linguistics and English as a second language classes and has also trained and supervised teaching assistants.

Marianne Celce-Murcia is Professor Emerita of Applied Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her interests include


English grammar and pronunciation—description and pedagogy—the role of discourse analysis in language pedagogy, and language teaching methodology. After retiring from 30 years on the faculty at UCLA, she served as Dean of English Programs for the American University of Armenia in Yerevan (2003-2007). She has taught and worked outside the U.S. in Nigeria, Egypt, and Canada and has done teacher training (i.e., lectures and workshops) in Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Israel, Armenia, Italy, France, and Spain.

In Janet Goodwin's classroom, small talk can be just as important as correct grammar. A lecturer in the Department of Applied Linguistics and TESL since 1986, Goodwin uses video clips of conversational language to instruct international teaching assistants in the oral skills they'll need for teaching - and for chatting. "You can't teach oral skills and not use technology. At least I don't think you should be doing it if you don't have some way to capture speech, and you don't have a way for students to listen to things more than once. It can't all be live. I feel like I have to do this," she


says. For Goodwin, teaching with technology has been the most effective way to help students grasp the difficult parts of language.



any teachers, especially if they are new to teaching ESL classes, may be a little intimated by the prospect of teaching English pronunciation. But, just like almost everything else, if

the process is broken down into small manageable steps, the task is not all that daunting. This site is an attempt to do just that- to break the process of teaching pronunciation down into smaller steps and show teachers how to teach Engllish pronunciation. Why








pronunciation- no matter how vast the students vocabulary may be, no matter how well the student understands and uses grammatical rules, no matter what their level of reading or writing skills may be- if they don’t use correct pronunciation it may be very difficult for listeners to understand what they say. And that is a huge hindrance to communication. In addition, some research indicates that if a student cannot pronounce a word correctly, they may not be able to hear it when spoken by another person either, which furthers hinders communication.


1. Vowel Length One










length. Short vowels aren’t short enough and long vowels aren’t long enough. Do contrasting exercises where long vowels are extra-long (e.g. ‘seeeeeat’) and short vowels are very abrupt (e.g. ‘sit’). This is especially great if you are doing short/long minimal pair exercises. It’s important to exaggerate in the beginning so that students can hear the difference more clearly. Do competitions where students see who can hold the sound the longest. Over time, make the vowels shorter and shorter until they are the appropriate length. Long vowels (& dipthongs) The vowels in: beat, boat, boot, bait, bite Short vowels: bet, bot, but , bat, bit

2. Mouth Positions Studies have shown that explicit instruction in how to position the mouth while speaking greatly helps learners tackling difficult sounds. First, demonstrate with videos and exaggerate making the sounds yourself. Then pass out mirrors and have students observe their own mouth positions while forming the sounds. Here are some of the most important mouth positions for tricky English sounds: Open mouth: bot, bought (note: for some English dialects, there is no distinction between these vowels) Round mouth: boat, boot, 12

Neutral position: but, bit, bet Corners of mouth pointed down (makes a frown): beat / bat Tongue between teeth: threat; let

3. Practice Listening You need to hear it before you can say it. Encourage students to get as much listening experience outside of the classroom as possible. Assign listening reports in order to check in and see what kinds of English students are listening to outside of class. Listening doesn’t have to be boring; tell students to listen to popular music, TV shows, movies, anything in English will work!

4. Write Tongue Twisters Everyone knows that tongue twisters are a great way to practice pronunciation, but instead of doing all the work, share the load with your students. Having students create their own tongue twisters helps them to not only practice their pronunciation, but be more aware of which sounds are in the words they know. They will have to really think about how to say words to know which ones to include in their tongue twister, and everyone will have a laugh sharing the crazy sentences that result.

5. Feedback It’s incredibly important that students get feedback early and often before they begin bad pronunciation habits that are difficult to adjust as later learners. As a teacher, it can be difficult to maintain a large classroom and 13

give individualized pronunciation feedback to many students. A good way to manage a large classroom is to make notes while students are speaking, for example during role plays or individual presentations. Make note of specific words/sounds that students struggle with while speaking in front of the class, and after the class, focus on the most frequent pattern of errors for that particular student. Keep a note card for each student that you can make notes on and then give to the student. You can also have the students keep track of errors on their note card; for example, if you correct them during class, they can make a note of the mispronounced word on their card so they can remember to practice later. Alternatively, you can seek outside help for pronunciation feedback. There are some software programs and websites that can evaluate pronunciation. One of the best ones is The website is has a few free features, but as a paying subscriber, students can receive individualized feedback on their spoken pronunciation. The subscription fee is quite reasonable for the services it provides, and if you sign up as a class, you can get reports on all of your students. Self-reflection feedback is also critical. If you’re working with more advanced students, have them record themselves speaking and ask them to evaluate their own speech. If you’re working with lower level learners, record yourself reading a passage or give them a recording of a native speaker reading a passage. Give them the same passage and have them record it. Tell them to listen to the two recordings multiple times to identify any words that don’t 14

sound the same. Repeating this task often will help them to monitor and be more aware of common errors.

6. Put the Stress on Stress Often times, our students are misunderstood when speaking not because of the individual sounds, but because of inappropriate stress. Think about the word “A-luh-BAM-uh.” Now, try saying it with inappropriately placed reduced syllables “AL-uh-buhm-uh.” The word is essentially unrecognizable. Do stress marking activities where you can give students a list of words they already know and have them identify stressed and unstressed syllables until they understand the idea of stress. Practice knocking on the desks for each syllable; knocking extra loudly on the stress syllables and very gently for unstressed.

7. Practice Word Stress with Vocabulary English has incredibly erratic word stress patterns which are rather difficult to learn due to all of the exceptions to the rules. The best way to learn word stress is to practice as you introduce new vocabulary words. As students study their new vocabulary, tell them which syllable to place the stress mark on so they can practice accurate pronunciation while learning the word.


Charades Target sound: /ӕ/ ; /e/

Learning style: Kinesthetic Auditory Personality: Extroverted, collaborative

Level: Intermediate

Materials: Images of minimal pairs Objectives:  Create awareness of the usefulness of the sounds 

Get familiarized with the sounds and common words that are usually mispronounced

Understand the difference between /ӕ/ and /e/


1. Divide the group in two 2. The first group choose a participant from the second group to sit in front of the board (A) and another to make the charades (B) 3. Put minimal pair images behind student A 4. Student B is not allowed to talk just act 5. Student A has to guess both words and make a final answer 6. Ask to the whole class to repeat both words 7. Then the process goes backwards Notes:  The each group has 45 seconds to guess  If a group gives the correct answer they will win a point, if not the other group gets the point.  Promote inclusion so everybody can participate


Did you hear? Target sound: /∫/ , /t∫/ Learning style: Auditory Level: Intermediate Personality: Introverted Materials: Worksheets and a video Objective: Make a small diagnose and discriminate the target sounds Procedure: 1. Give instructions 2. Distribute the worksheets 3. Put the video from 1:38 to 3:32 Notes:  Each word is going to be repeated once.


Strips Target sound: / Ó¨/ ; /s/

Learning Style: Visual - Auditory

Level: Intermediate

Personality: Active

Materials: paper strips and images Objective: Identify the difference between the target sounds Procedure: 1. Divide the class in two groups 2. Put the images on the board 3. Students will have strips of paper with words corresponding the images on the boards 4. Say words out loud 5. When the students recognize the sound one member has to take the corresponding strip, run and post it on the image


When sounds are pronounced incorrectly communication can become very difficult. At times it can also affect the meaning of what is trying to be said. Songs allow students to practice pronunciation. This allows the students to enjoy learning while actually providing a remedy for their pronunciation. Songs provide examples of authentic, memorable and rhythmic language. They can be motivating for students keen to repeatedly listen to and imitate their musical heroes. For example, songs help focus on certain aspects of pronunciation such as: Using songs to focus on sounds Using songs to focus on words Using songs to focus on connected speech ďƒ˜ Utilizing songs to focus on different sounds Sounds are just a mere portion of what words are made up of. Therefore we categorize these sounds as vowels and consonants. They can become difficult for any language learner and as languages differ in their range of sounds, students have to learn to 'physically' produce certain sounds previously unknown to them. When this is not done learners will forget to practice on those sounds they struggle with creating a higher possibility of having issues with communication. As we know


if when a sound is not pronounced correctly it can affect the meaning of what is actually trying to be said.

 How songs can help 

Songs are authentic and easily accessible examples of spoken English. The rhymes in songs provide listeners with repetition of similar sounds.

Students often choose to listen to songs time and again, indirectly exposing them to these sounds.



Pair Dialogue Target sound: /Ó¨/ ; /Ă°/ Learning style: Visual - Auditory Level: Advanced Personality: Social, Extroverted Materials: Dialogues Objective: Practice the target sounds in contexts; interact and receive feedback Procedure: 1. Give instructions 2. Arrange the students in pairs 3. Distribute the dialogues 4. Ask the students to highlight the words that contain the target sound and write above it the respective symbol 5. Repeat the dialogue 6. Ask the students to correct their classmates if they perceive a mispronunciation or ask for clarification 7. Monitor the work


Can you help me? Target sound: /Ó•/ ; /e/ Learning style: Auditory Level: Advanced Personality: Social, Extroverted Materials: Cards with words that produce the target sounds Objective: Practice the target sounds in context; interact and receive feedback Procedure: 1. Create two desk lines, one in front of the other 2. Let the students sit 3. Give instructions 4. The students will found a card on the desk with two words that they will have to use 5. Line A is going to be customer and line B the customer service representative. 6. Line A will ask for help (using the two words) 7. Line B will provide help (using the two words) 8. Every 30 seconds the lines must rotate 9. When everybody is in his original position, the lines must change roles. 10. Start over


Minimal Pair Grab Game Target sound: (e.g. /i/ and /I/). Level: Beginner-Intermediate ESL

Learning Style: Visual – Auditory – Kinesthetic Personality: Extroverted

Objective: The students focus on two vowel sounds (e.g. /i/ and /I/). This provides the student with the proper practice to distinguish different sounds within the target language. Materials: Flash cards with minimal pairs. Tape is used to place words on the board. Procedure: 1. Students split up in groups of 2 or 3 in rows, lines, or you can number the students. (Depending on class size you can alter the group size.) 2. Drill the minimal pairs with students for a few minutes so that the students can get an understanding of the different sounds. 3. Once the drill is done you can place the minimal pairs on the board. (Shuffle the words around to make it difficult for the students to locate the word.) 4. The teacher will then have the set of minimal pairs on another sheet and call it out the desired word. 5. Students will then go in order against the other group and the first to grab the word the teacher called out earns a point. This will go on until there are no more words.