by Anna Sawa
To avoid misunderstanding the learners have to differentiate between English sounds. That is why activities to practice sound pronunciation, word stress and intonation are crucial for the learning process.
Here are presented several examples of the teaching pronunciation techniques:
This technique may be used to teach producing sounds, word and sentence stress, and intonation. The learners follow a good model of pronunciation to command of the spoken language.
Students should clap their hands each time when they hear the sound given at the beginning of the activity. Then the teacher changes the sound and the response, for example students stamp feet or nod heads.
The teacher says a word and the learners try to find another rhyming word (e.g. hat – cat, higher – choir, train – rain etc.). Variation of this activity is matching rhyming words into pairs or groups.
In this task there are given pairs of words whose pronunciation differs at only one sound, such as ‘sheep’ and ‘ship’ or ‘peg’ and ‘beg’ etc. The learners should identify if they hear the same words or different ones.
Odd man out
The teacher gives three words and among them there are two with identical pronunciation and one different. The learners have to guess which one should be out (e.g. sit – seat – sit).
It is memorising and repeating some sequences of the words, such as short poems, nursery rhymes or jokes, difficult to articulate quickly. It is funny and haunting way to teach pronunciation.
Teaching pronunciation is not optional, but it should be an integral part of an English teaching programme from the early stages, just as teaching vocabulary and grammar structures. Techniques given above can be adapted to different age groups. They can be used both in small and big classes.