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Inside Teaching Pronunciation A guide for ESL and EFL Teachers

Tips for Teaching pronunciation Interesting ArTicles Pronunciation AcTiviTies

To the Reader The purpose of this magazine is to give teachers and students practical tools that can help them develop effective activities in their process of improving pronunciation.

INDEX To the Reader……………………………………………. 1 Minimal Pairs……………..…………………………….. 3 Teaching pronunciation in context……………… 5 Pronunciation tips……………………………………... 7 The two th consonant sounds…………………….. 10

Minimal Pairs Teachers can use Minimal Pais to teach their students different vowels sounds at the same time. But, what are Minimal Pairs? Minimal Pairs are pair of words that differ in only one sound. For example in words like: Sit/I/ and Seat /i/ the sounds that differ are the short I and long i. With this teachers can show their students the differences between those sounds.

Activity Target Sounds: /I/ and /i/ Level: low Intermediate

Objective: To identify and produce the /I/ and /i/ sound. Materials: List of words in a PowerPoint presentation and cards.

Instructions: 1.







Students will be arranged in two lines. One line will be one group and the other one, other group. Each student will have two different words, which will be delivered according on the group color. Students will participate in the following order: yellow group-green group, green group- yellow group. The first student from the yellow group starts pronouncing one of the words he or she has. It can be repeated three times only and no one can help. A student from the other group identifies the word, circles and transcribes it on the board.(if it is with /I/ or /i/) When the student, who is identifying the word, finds it, the teacher clicks the sound button for all students to repeat it. The student who circles the word correctly wins 3 points for his or her group.

Teaching Pronunciation in Context Teachers can teach English sounds in a context. Communicative activities allow intermediate or advanced

students to develop fluency.

Activity with /I/ and /i/ Sound in Context Target Sounds: /I/ and /i/ Level: low advanced Objective: To identify and produce the /I/ and /i/ sound. Materials: Sheets of paper with narrative stories. Instructions: 1.

Students get into groups of four people.


The professor hands the sheets of paper out.



Students read the narratives stories and circle the words that correspond to the sound /I/ or /i/. Two students of each group will present the story in front of their classmates.


Finally, the professor checks the circled words with the students.

DIALOGUES /I/ Busy in the Kitchen Billy: Mummy! Are you busy? Mother: Yes, I’m in the kitchen. Billy: Can I go swimming in Chichester with Jim this morning? Mother: Jim? Billy: Jim English. He’s living with Mr. and Mrs. Willis in the village- Spring Cottage. Mother: Isn’t it a bit chilly to go swimming? Billy: What’s this? Can I pinch a bit of it? Mother: Oh, Billy, you little pig! It’s figgy pudding. Get your fingers out of it. Billy: Women are so silly! I only dipped a little finger in. Mother: Well, it’s filthy little finger. Here, tip this chicken skin into the bin and I’ll give you a biscuit.

/i/ Weeding’s not for me! Peter: This is the season for weeds. We’ll each weed three meters before tea, easily. Celia: Do we kneel? My Knees are weak. Do you mean all these? Peter: Celia, my sweet, those aren’t weeds, those are seedlings. Beans, peas and leeks. Can’t you see? Celia: If they’re green they’re weeds to me. But I agree, Peter- weeding’s not for me! Peter: Well, let me see. May be we’ll leave the weeds. You see these leaves? If you sweep them into a heap under that tree I’ll see to the tea. Celia: Pete, my feet are freezing. You sweep the leaves. I’ll see to the tea!

PronunciAtion Tips ďƒź

To pronounce vowels clearer: Practice pronuncing words where long vowels are extra long, like in seeeeeat and short vowels are

abrupt like in sit. Exageration makes it easier to understand.


Practice Listening:

The more you practice listening, the easier will be to pronounce words. To improve in pronunciation, it is important to put listening in to practice, it will help students to recognize and imitate English sounds. Look for good English models that can help you in the process. ďƒź

Tongue twisters: Another great way to practice pronunciation is by doing tongue twisters. This kind of exercise, help students to be more aware about the pronunciation of words.

The two TH Consonant sounds It is important that teachers show their students those sounds that are not in their mother tongue. One of those is the th sound. In the following you will encounter an activity that can help you to do so.

Activity with the th sound Target Sounds: th voiced and voiceless sounds Level: Intermediate Objective: To discriminate between the th voiced and voiceless sounds. Materials: A list with words that have the th voiced and voiceless sounds, a sheet of paper and a pen. Instructions: ďƒź

The teacher will divide the class in groups of four students.

He or she will give students a list with words that have the th voiced and voiceless sounds. Later, students will listen and repeat the different words. After that, students will develop a role play using those words. (They will have 10 minutes to do so). They will perform their role play in front of the class (in about 5 minutes). Students will have to pronounce the words they used in a clear way to make distinction of the th voiced and voiceless sounds. While a group is acting, the other group will write the mistakes they hear and give feedback after the performance.

MATeriAl The Th voiceless sound

The Th voiced sound




























Editor: Alexandra Obando

Teaching pronunciation magazine