Running head: /v/, /f/, and /w



Pronunciation Lesson: /v/, /f/, and /w/ Angel Lee Azusa Pacific University

/v/, /f/, and /w/ Pronunciation Lesson: /v/, /f/, and /w/ Audience


This lesson is designed for high-intermediate-level adult students in an EFL context with a shared L1 of Mandarin. It can also be used in any ESL or EFL class in which students struggle with distinguishing pronunciation between the English phonemes /v/, /f/, and /w/. Outcomes Planned 1. Students will be able to explain and demonstrate how the mouth, teeth, lips, and voice should change when producing the English sounds /v/, /f/, and /w/. 2. Students will be able to discriminate between /v/, /f/, and /w/ sounds in a listening discrimination activity involving minimal pairs. 3. Students will be able to create intelligible /v/, /f/, or /w/ sounds in a controlled speaking activity involving self-created tongue twisters and in a guided speaking activity in which they make sentences with names and activities containing the target sounds. 4. Students will move toward automaticity in creating /v/, /f/, and /w/ sounds accurately through extemporaneously role playing a scenario involving characters and a situation designed to highlight the target sounds. Rationale for Outcomes Planned Because Chinese does not have a /v/ sound, this sound is commonly a problem for Chinese L1 speakers learning English. They tend to replace the sound with /w/ or /f/ (Kelly, 2000, p. 144). Therefore, when teaching a group of Chinese L1 speakers, it is important to focus particularly on the differences between these sounds. Celce-Murcia, Brinton, and Goodwin (2010) propose a communicative framework for pronunciation teaching which helps to move learners from noticing pronunciation to developing automaticity (p. 45). The framework includes five

/v/, /f/, and /w/


parts - description and analysis, listening discrimination, controlled practice, guided practice, and communicative practice. It will be used in this lesson to help students achieve the lesson outcomes. Materials Needed  Recording of minimal pairs (see Appendix A)  Handout of minimal pairs (see Appendix A)  Answer key of minimal pairs (see Appendix A)  Worksheet of people and activities (see Appendix B)  Paper and writing utensils (brought by students) Procedure Lesson Time 60 minutes Description and Analysis (10 minutes) (Skills: Listening, Speaking) Write /v/, /f/, and /w/ on the chalkboard. Ask students (Ss) to talk with a partner and decide how these sounds are different. What do you have to do with your mouth to correctly produce each sound? (Ss should figure out that for /f/ and /v/, the top teeth need to touch the bottom teeth. For /f/, air is blown out but no sound is produced. For /v/, sound should be produced. For /w/, the lips need to be very rounded with no teeth touching the lips while sound is produced.) Ask for a volunteer to explain to the whole class. Follow up the volunteer's explanation if necessary to make sure all Ss have a clear understanding. Have all Ss spend a moment feeling the difference between the three sounds. Monitor Ss to ensure everyone has the right position for each sound.

/v/, /f/, and /w/ Listening Discrimination (8 minutes) (Skills: Listening, Writing)


Give handout (see Appendix A) and explain to Ss that they will see two similar words on the paper, but in the recording they will just hear one of the words. Ss should circle the word that they hear. Play recording for the Ss. Ss should work on their own to complete the handout as they listen. After the recording is finished, elicit responses from Ss. Explain any new vocabulary words and elicit Ss to tell you the meaning of some words. Controlled Practice (20 minutes) (Skills: Listening, Speaking, Writing) Ask Ss if they know what a tongue twister is. Give an example or have Ss give an example. Tell Ss they will write their own tongue twisters for a partner. They should include as many /v/, /f/, and /w/ sounds as possible in their tongue twister. Their tongue twister should only be one sentence long and should make as much sense as possible. Give Ss an example tongue twister that involves these sounds. You may choose to have a student try reading the example tongue twister for the whole class. Give Ss time to write the tongue twister, and monitor each S to ensure that Ss' grammar is correct. After Ss finish writing, they should exchange with their partner and practice reading each other's tongue twister out loud. If there is time, select some Ss to read a tongue twister out loud to the class. Variations on this activity: (1) After Ss finish writing their tongue twisters, have Ss get in a small group of 3 or 4. Have Ss rotate their tongue twisters to the next person in the group. Each person should read the tongue twister aloud while the others in the group who have not seen the tongue twister before guess what the S is saying. (2) Ss may also read their own tongue twisters to their partner or group. (3) If a class is small enough, have each S read his or her own tongue twister aloud to the whole class while the rest of the class guesses what the tongue twister says. (4) Have Ss write a tongue twister question and two answers. One answer needs to be the correct

/v/, /f/, and /w/


answer to the tongue twister, while the other answer should not make sense as the answer to that question. Ss then read their tongue twisters to their partner, group, or the class. Ss should show the possible answers (but not the tongue twister) and ask the others to guess what the answer should be based on what they hear. Guided Practice (16 minutes) (Skills: Reading, Speaking, Listening) Give Ss a worksheet that requires them to talk about matching people to activities (see Appendix B). Explain the worksheet to Ss using the example sentence at the top. Ss should complete the worksheet in pairs or groups of three. As Ss work, circulate the room to help with pronunciation and vocabulary explanations. Optional: After Ss have worked on the activity, explain some common pronunciation problems or confusing vocabulary to the whole class. Communicative Practice (6 minutes, plus about 20 minutes follow up in the next lesson) (Skills: Writing, Speaking, Listening) Give Ss instructions for a homework assignment they will complete for the following lesson. Ss will work together in groups of 3 to create a role play between three characters named Vera, Wilma, and Cliff. The situation is that Cliff owes Vera 45 RMB (the currency used in China). Cliff cannot return the money to Vera until Friday because his wife, Wilma, will not give him the money until then. First, write the character names and situation on the board. Then, elicit Ss to pronounce the characters' names and to read the situation. Next, explain that Ss may write down a few notes for the role play, but they may not write it out word for word. This way when they present the role play in class during the next lesson, they will have a general idea of what to say, but they will not just read their lines word for word. Check the Ss' notes at the beginning of the next lesson to ensure Ss have followed directions and not written the lines out word for word.

/v/, /f/, and /w/ Assessment Throughout the lesson, informally assess whether Ss are correctly producing the three


sounds. If some Ss are still mixing up the sounds, remind them of the mouth placement for each sound. In the following lesson, when Ss present their role plays, assessment can be made of whether the Ss are beginning to develop automaticity in pronunciation of these three sounds as they speak in a more communicative manner. To provide more formal assessment during the role plays, teachers can record the role plays and later point out to the students specific places in which the target sounds were correctly or incorrectly pronounced.

/v/, /f/, and /w/ References


Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., & Goodwin, J. M. (2010). Teaching pronunciation: A course book and reference guide (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Kelly, G. (2000). How to teach pronunciation. Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited.

/v/, /f/, and /w/ Appendix A Minimal pairs handout for students and teacher answer key


/v/, /f/, and /w/


/v/, /f/, and /w/ Appendix B People and activities worksheet for students