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i-\ Fr;: r ij siri "t\pprler





Grbl rn
a2a .34

5*riv* I*i:*r: il" gti*gfl*t;



see, prece


EXAMPLE past, pepper




sit, give
say, break

box, number


time, most
date, hard

rest, head


map, laugh shut, ago

king, come
get, dig

t6l tfl lvl


hot, father boot, shoe book, could

go, road

think, author
this, other
fair, rough vote, ever
same, nice zoo, reason



bought, Iaw
buy, side
house, now toy, voice


shop, nation
pleasure, beige hear'y, ahead check, watch


lml lnl

joke, age mail, summer

now, know
sing, tongue


rent, borrow
Iast, collect
year, young



west, away


About the Series

English lan[iuagc teachers alwa)'s appreciare and enjov professional reference books

prnctical classroonl approaches that are firmlv grouncled in current peclagogical r.escarcl.r. Tips for:Ie.ching is a responsc to this demancl in the form of a series of books on a varicty of topics of pmctical classroom-centcred interest. Designed for teachers of ESL in nativc Engrish speakinlr countries as welr as teacrrers of EFL in non-native English-speaking countries, z?sfar r Teacbrng acrdresses aucliences in secondarl' schools, colreges, and aclult education courses with students at var).ing levels of prolicicncy. Each book in the series is a pftrctical m:rnual that provicles teachers with clearly conceived firethodological ideas, approaches, tasks, activitics, anal,/or techniques to better accomplish their pedagogical goals. tlsers may be novice teachers seeking pr;ctical guidelines for instfuction in a specilled area, or cxperiencetl teachers in need of relicshing new ideas. Each book in the series is committed to offering soundli. conceived, realisric approaches to classroon instruction. There is some treatment of r-lndedl,inla pedagogical principles of language learning and teaching in clearr), comprehensible terms.These treatments arc brief and concise but not rrivial.The metho dology of rips I()r Teachitlg is based, on communicative ancl/or. task-based language teaching foundations. Sftrclent centered, interactive classroom activities fecciye primary fbcus, but not at the expense of appro_ priate tercher-cente|ed approaches or tasks fbr indi\-idual in class or homework :rctivit\r


We're very pleased to present the most reccnt vohrfire in this series, this time on pro_ nunciatiur.In Tips for Teaching pronu.ncicttion. .nuthor Lincla Lanc l.ras provicled rcaders $'ith the best of cuttini edgc r.escarch on tlte acquisition of phonology, along with prac_ tical teclx qucs for inproving rearners' pronunciation. c)nc of the first things y'ti will notice is that the sequencing of chapters does n ot begin witl] the more traditionxl consonants lnd vowels. Recent research ancl practice have shown that adult learners of English find significanrl-y greater bcnelit in a primary fbcus on the prosodic elements of phonology. As thc author notes in hcr text, most misunderstendings of learners. speech production stem from $ord stress, rlr{hln, and intonation. Anothcr imporrant feature of rips for Tbaclsing pronunciation is its focus on intelligibilit\', comprelicnsibiliq', acccnt, and voice quality. Recognizing that achieving a ffue "nativelike" accent is an unrealistic goal for adult students, Lanc offers a common-scnse


AboLt! the Se es

approach that encoumges teachers to work $'ith their students on the many aspects of pronunciation that inpede a listener's clear understanding of the learner's speech A third refreshing perspective provicled by thc author is her recognition of a myriad of variables that can affect a learner's oral production, not al$'ays in sJ'stematic or preclictxble ways. It is now well known that age, personaliq', motivation, learning style, amount of exposure, native language background, and other factors can all affect a learner's success in clifferent r.a_vs. ancl therefore eech inclividual may present a uniquc set of circumstances for the teacher to address. The author provides readers with an abunrlance of practical options to approach sr-rch variabiliry Finalll', teachers will be pleased to see in Tips for Teqcbing Pronunciation an emphasis on helping learners to become responsible for theif own linguistic der-elopment, so that they can eYentually wean themselves from the teacher and classroom' Exercises on selimonitorini range from the segmental leatures of speech to global characteristics of speech in a context of natural discourse And, recognizing that teachers cannot always be available for correction of student errors, Lane provides the feader with options for self- and peef-corre(:lion. Teachers who use this volume not only gain acccss to a multitude of pfactic:rl techniques for teaching pronunciation, but also acquire awarencss of the rationale behind such techniques. This unclerlying knowledge enables teachers to adapt techniques to their own cofltexts. Teachers will also find Tips.for TeaclJing Pronunciation to be an invaluable hamlbook of information that is easily accessed through chaptef headings, an index, and a u\ehrl bibliogr:rPh1. goals' Best wishes as )'ou usc the tips in this book to help -vour learners achieve their

Dr H. Douglas l3rown
Professor Elneritus, San Francisco State Uniuersity




Reccnt lears hare scen I rcncwecl rccolaritioll that pronuncietion js :r cnlcial clement of effccti!,.e contml'llticati(nt and that proltunciation teachhg belor]gs in nlainstrc:rm. conrn ll'ri.rtiv. I:SI- classlooms ESL students pl:rcc a l-righ pfiorit\ on irst^rction in pronunciation. At the sarlc time. EsL tcacbcrs'rav fecl urcasv ab'ut teaching pronunciation becausc the) lack training in phoncti!^s or linguistics or cxperiencc in texching pronunciatiou. As a rcsult, in spitc of its rccognizccl importance to comrrunication. pronunciation is still a natginalized skill in manr ESL progruls. It should not be. Pronunciation is inti'rarcl,v linked to other oral,/; sklls, both inllucncing an<l influenced b\'listcning co',prchension a'd fl.e'cr,. Gilbcrt describcs thc rclatioflshi1t betn ccn promutciation al]d listcning comprehcnsion ils a ..speech loop betrveen spcaker and listcncr" (1987. -lJ): instruction in onc intpro\es pcdbrmancc in thc olher. for c\amplc. the reductjons that nativc speakers use in both frrrmal and infornral spcakiig arc in sl.raq) contrast to their word list pronunciati(xrs: comparc thc pronllltciation of czl promruncecl alone encl its prorunciatioll in Bed cdtt ligbt tbe bc.{con ligl.rt (/bivkat laYt 6r bi,vkan laytl). The rvord list pr(nrLrnciation. ho$.e\.er. is thc one that ntost stuclents learn first ancl the one the] expcct to hear ir.l spcaki|rg. "Xlicroieyel' listening tasks can make studcnts awarc of ltow grammar wofds like cdl/ sour]al in conltected speech ald thus il]lprol e corlprehensiotl (Choi 19f38. Murph,v 1991.). In addition, Xlichaud and l{eed nainrain thar pronunciation irNtruction can lead to inproYelnent in \\,riti1lg b_v naking students morc aw:rre of er()rs thilt occuf in borh sPcaking ancl $riting, like nissing $()rd endings (2(X)8). In this Inlroductioll. we discuss the goals of pronunciation teaching. f-actofs that aft'ect lcarning a new pronunciation. pronunciation s\.llabi, gcncral tyl)cs ol' pronunci;rtior.l excrcises and actiYities. scll-monitoring, and fccclback.


Studcnts who lcarn Enlilish as aclnlts Or $'h0 are adults wtcn significant exposure to English begins \['ill probabll'never speak jt \1,irh a nati\.e acccnt ( sec Bonlaacrts et al. 1997). A natiYelike accent is not a realistic goal ii)r studcnts. t.tor

Icr. hrn,g fr',nunci.rtion

is it a necessaq' one for effcctive commlrnication in English More

fealistic pronunciation go: s afe intelligibilit\'. confidence in speakinl], an(l a reduction of accent features that distract the listener's attention fiom intelligible mcss:rlacs (Modey 1994, Gilbert 1980, (lelce-Murcii et al. 1996). A gcntlc accent, together with accuracy in other areas of English (grammar', word choice), can even be an advxntage, conferring on thc speaker positil'e qualities like sophistication and irtclligence. While these are not modest goals and not all students achieYe them, most stlrdents can (and do) learn to speak lnore clearl)'and conlidently

Intelligibility, Cornprehensibility, Accent, and Yoice Quality

Intettigibitity refers to the dellrcc to $'hich a listener can recognize words, phrascs. and utterances (smith and Nelson 1985, smith 1992, Derwing alld Munro 1997).In research, it is rtsuallJr measured by asking listcners to tmnscribc nonnativc spech ancl comparing thc worcls listeners recognize with the words speakers intend. Another term, comprehensibili4,', descrlbcs the easc with which listeners can understand a nonnative speaker (llerwing and Munro 2005). "Confortable intelligibility" is also usecl in this sense (Abercrombie 1949, Kenworthv 1987, 16). Accent refers to noticeable differences betwccn native and nonnative pronunciations. Wlile htelligibilit)', compre hensibiliq', and accent are interwoven, they are also, to a certain extent, indePendent lt is possible, fbf example, fbr even heavily accented spcech to be intelligible. Vrtice quality refers to pronunciatiol.) features that arc gcnerall,v present in nativc speech, like averagc level of'Pitch The goal of inte lligibilit.Y is uncontroYersial: Without intclligibilit t', conlnlunication is impossible. Considering all areas of language, errors s-ith pronunciation and worcl choicc (the choice of an inappropriate word to exprcss a speakcr's meaning) afe the rwo t,vpcs of errors most likely to nake a student incompre hensible (Gass ancl Sclinkcr 2001, 266). Grammatical errors, such :rs omitting tlre past tense in a selltence (c.g ,I'ast nlght I go to d lnof ie) rarel-v lead to unintelligibiliry althoulh a ltrrge number of grammatical errors, togethcr witl.I
pronunciation cffors, can reduce comprehensibilitv (Varonis ancl Gass 1982), as can ronpronunciation discortrse etrors ('Nler 1992) Research on the contribution of pronturciation to intelligibilit]' has asked which t'catures of pronunciation havc the greatest impact Accurate use of suprasegmentals (stress, rhlthm, and intonatiort appears to have a grcater impact on intellilibility assessments b)' rrative listencrs than accruate promrnciation of consonanis and vorvels (see, for example, Anclerson Hsieh et al. 1992, Derwing, Munro and Wicbe 1998. Hahn 2004). Tllese strtdies havc inYestigated the pronuncietion of primarily intefnediate ancl athanced ESL learners, and it is tlot clear whether the same finclings wor'rld hold lbr studcnts at lowcr levels of

proficienc)'. In addition, experjirental conditions can be far removcd from real situations in which two per)ple try to unclerstand each othcr Assessmcnts of illtelligibilitv also dePcnd on w-ho the Listeucrs ere Most research on intelligibiliq' hes usecl mtive Englisll listel]ers When nonnative listeners iudge thc


Pronunciation 3

intelligibility of norxratiye speakers, their assessments are sometimes based on aspects of pronunciation that are not importanr to native listeners Oenkins 2000, 2002; Field 2005).I'he familiarity of the listener with nonnati\,e speech in gene ral, with a particular foreign accent, and with a particr- ar nomative speaker also ailbcts ;rssessments of intelligibility: Thc greater the familiarity, the more intelligible the speech (Gass and Varonis 1984). Because of this, ESL teachcrs may not be the best judges of their students' intelligibility. Kenworth,v suggests that teachers sct higher standards for intelligibilit!' than what they themselves actually require in the classroom (1987).Much as our students like us, they are probabl_v not taking English so that they can ralk to us. Stuclies of comprebensibility (easc of untlerstanding) show that listcners' judgments depend on both segmental (consonants and vowels) and supfascgmental (stfess, drythm, and intonation) errofs (Dcrwing and Munro 1997). In addition to efrors in pronunciation, many other factors have an effilct (nr compre he nsibility: Speaking rate, effors in granmaq word choice, cliscourse markers, the age at which English is learned, the amount of exposure the learner has had to natively spoken English, the extent to wltich learners use English, and the listenef's familiariw with the topic of conversation have all bcen shown to affect comprehensibility (Hinfotis anti Bailey 1981, Anclerson-Hsieh and Koehler l988,Varonis and Gass 1982. Gass and Selinker 2001, cass and Varonis 1984, Flege et al. 1995). Accent tefefs to djffefences between native and nonnative pronunciations that are noticed by native listeners (Derwing, Munro, andWiebe 1998,396). The degree of accent is xssociated y/ith segmental, supr.rseimental, and yoicc quality features.r Although accented pronunciations do not necessarily intedere with inre lligibiliqr, distracting, stigmatized, or stereofi?ed pronunciations should be addressed by pronunciation teachers. Even fu y htelligible pronunciations can be evaluated negatively by native speakers because of accent (?ermington 1998, Levis 2005, Riney et aI.2000). For example. the substitution of /d/ for /6/ iJ.:,ttle word tbem (e .g.,Bring dem lserc),whtle tnderstandable, is stigmatized (for native Enlllish listeners) because it is a dialect feature of nonstandard English. The substitution of /z/ for /6/ in tbem G.g., Bring zent beA, on the other ltand, simply marks the speaker as nonnative Distracting or stereotyped pronunciations can affect intelligibiliry by dmwing the listener's attention away from the message to the mispronunciation itseli Examples of distracting or stcrcotyped pronunciations inclucle the confusion of /n/ and /l/ by speakers of some Cantonese dialects (e.g., He nooked at tbe uoman instezd, of He looked at tbe u)ornan); conftrsion of /r/ /l/ (tbe sterectLyped, flie.l ^fld Iice fot fried rice) forJapanese ESL students; and the confusion of /y/ /d3/ (jess ^nd for !es, jesterda! for lesterda!) for Spanish ESL students. These are pronunciation problems that can and should be addressed. The pronunciation of the vowels in beach, sbeet, and Jbcu' words which have caused corntless ESL students embarrassment. should also be addressed.

listeneii do not (Rine,v et




Teachinp, Pronunciation

spoken at lower levels of pitch (e.g., Dutch) and others at higher lcYels of pitch (e g , (e g.' English) In one language, words may Japanese) relative to a particular Lurguagc tension and witll less in another language;the be spoken with greater ovenll musclllar lips may be more olten spread (or roundcd), or speech may havc a generzlly "creat<yl' "breathll'or modal (neutral) sound (see, for example' I'aver 1980, Esling and wong 1983, EsLing 1994, Keating and Esposito 2007). Esling a]1d Wonl suggest thxt ESL

quality settll1gs are pronllnciatioll features that are present most of the time in the speech of native spelll<ers some languages, for example, are tlpically

studcnts become familiar

with a broad model of voice quality


for Nofih

American Englisl.r (NAE), but note that not all dialects shxre these characteristics: spfead

(the hps, open jaw, palatalized (fronted) tongue body position, retrof'lex articulation tong.,. tlp ftrrns up and back), nasal voice , lowerecl larynx (lower o\'-erall pitclt, and

cfeakyVoice(1983,91)'The)'offbfsevel?lwaysinwhichStudentscanbecomeaware of voice qriality settinlis;for exrmple, students speaking differert native languages can (19a3,94)' say a shon phnsc in their native language and <lifferences can be conpared Although there is Iittle doubt that Yoice quali$ plays a role in accent, more

Stud-Yisneeded.Notonlyarethefedi-fferencesintheVojceqllalitySettingsof speakers of the same language, there is also not alwa-vs agreement about which

pafriculaf settings are pfesent or absent (Keating and Esposito 2007). Mofe fesearch using larger numbers of speakers is neecled befbre teachers can confidently apply these findings in the classroom


The degree of success that learners achieve in adopdng a ncw pronunciati')n is influenced by many elements, irlcluding age and social-psychological factors' amount of exposurc to the second language (L2), amount of use of the L2, the native language tolether with univcrsals, ancl personaliry Many of these factors (such as age and native language) are beyond the control of the classroom teecher and the learner

Age and Social-Psychological Factors

there is a "critical period" for learning a language natively, which up to puberty: Neurobiological chanlaes in the
Lenneberg (1967) proposed


bfaintl]atculmiflateatpubert-vblocktl]enativc.llLngualieleafningability thereafter.2 In the area of grammatical learning, .Iohnson and Newpoft found
period rather than an abrupt fall off at the end (1989)'

social'psychologicaldiffbrerrcesbetweenadultsandchilclrcnhavealsobeen ollerccl to explain the effect of age Aclults are assumcd to have a deeper and stfonger attachrnent to their natiYe culture than children, which ma,v consciousb' or
'Tliis clllln
is.Luestioned Lrr (r:rsltert,


Tead)ing Pr()nuncialian

unconsciously prevent the adults from fully adopting the norms of a new language

of my students was very conscious of the conflict between English anct his native language (culture) and stated that he did not want to sound like a.fake American.,, Another explanation of the age effect may be that adults'greater cognitive abilities (cspecially anah.tic abilities) are less effective in learning a new pronunciation tltan the mofe natural abilities found in young cl.rildren.

:rnd culture (catbontin, Trofimovich, and Majid 2oo5,Jenkins 2005, Leyis 2005). One

Exposure and Use

Pfonunciation learninti is also affected by tlte amount of exposure lcafners have to the new language and the extent to which they use it (see Trofimovicl.r and Baker 2006 for a review of research on these factors). It is not surprising that students who have spent three years in the United Srates typicalli, pronounce English bcttef than those who have spent three months. Similafly, students who use English a great deal in drcir daily actiYities are likely to pronounce the language better than tltose who rarely use it.

Native-I-anguage Backgfound arrd Linguistic Universals

The ability of natiye speakers to recognize specific foreign accents once they have expefience with them attests to the influence of the native language on pronunciation of a new language. The native-language sound q/stem (consonants, vowels, stress, rhlthm, intonation, and voice quality) affects not only how learners pronounce English but how they hear it. For example, the two vowels in the English words sceze and slz correspond to a single vowel in Spanish. Bcginning ancl lowintermediate Spanish-speaking stndenrs arc likel,v to haye difficulfl hearinE! the difference between sc?n e and sl, and may transfer their native{anguage vowel into the pronunciation of these words. As proficiency increases, students becomc better able to hear differences and notice pfonunciations that are not present in their
native languages.

were better able to lengthen stressed English \.owels and shorten unstressed vowels than Korean ESL learners. They attributed this result to the fact that, while neither language is similar to English in terms of word stress,Japanese uses long and shoft vowcls to contrast some words (e.g., stt and szzr-,,numbef,,) while -"vinegar" Korean does not.3 Because vowel length is impodant in Japanese, the Japanese learners may have been prirned to notice diJlerences in vowel length in English. On the othef hand, if learners interpret a similafity as an equivalence, tlte,v may be unable to noticc the differences between sin lat but not identical, pronunciations

Similafities between a natiye language and English can either facilitate or hindcr learning. Lee, Guion, and Harada (2006) for-lnd that Japanese ESL learners

Sone dialecLs of Korean conlr?Lst long end shofl



l leatu$ in lhei,ee et al. stud\ werr: not sprkeN 0f dtos dixlecll





Glege 1987). The persistent mispronunciation of the vo$'els in sreet and beacb may be the resnlt of classifying English /iyl (the \.owel it sheet alf.d beach) tl:le same as the natiyelanguaEie pure vo$,'el /i/ (seeVowels, page 169). Classroom work can help to make students aware of differences they might otherwise not notice. Universals are features of language that afe in some sense easier, more natural, more common in languages, or typical of children leaming their first language (L1). The terms /ess marked and more marked are also u sed to descfibe the relatir.e ease or clifticulty of rclated features of pronunciation. For example, open syllablessyllebles that end in vowels (e.9., so, me, sta!)-^re easier (i.e., morc universal, less marked) than closed syllables that end in a single consonant (e.9., dog, top, miss). Closed syllables that end in one consonant (.e.g., dog, top, miss) are easier (less marked) than closed syllables that end in a consonant cluster (e.9., beh, ask, stoppe.l). Open syllables are found in every language, whereas closed syllables are not; and both 1,7 and L2 learners have more difficulty pronouncing the final consonants of closed syllables (Broselow and Finer 1991, Eckman 1991). For a comprehensive review of natiyeLanguagc transfer and the fole of uniyersals, see Eckman (200,i). The native-language background(s) of students should influence the choice of pronunciation topics addressed in the classroom. Difficulty with specific consonants, for example, depends heavily on native language. Arabic students confuse /p/ and /b/, sour]ds that do not contrast in Arabic. Spanish students haYc problems with ,/b/ and /v/, which do not contrast in Spanish, while cantonese, German, Russian, and Turkish students have problems with /v/ and /w/

Difficulties with English vowels, on the other hand, are widespread, and difficr- ties v/ith stress, intonation, and drythm are even more widespread. Appendix B summarizes typical pronrinciation problems of students from a variety of native-language backgrounds.

Research has not shown a clcar link between personality characteristics and sLlccess in L2 learning. Neyertheless, it is reasonable to suppose that outgoing,

sociable learners should have an adyantage over introverted, shy leafnefs in acquiring oral-aural skills, including pronunciation. Outgoing students are more likely to participate in conversations with native speakers and will therefore have more opportunities to practice and to hear English. A relaxed classroom atmosphere should also foster pronunciation learning. In an oft-cited experiment on lowering inhibitiot]s, Guiora et al. found that learners' pronunciation improved after drinking moderate amounts of alcohol (1972).

Vrith adult L2 leamers, pronunciation :rnd grammar learning seems to plateau, perhaps pemanentl)', after a number of years. Selinker first described the cessation of leaming as fossiLization (1972): it is also referred to as stabilization (Gass and Selinker




pnuutjci,lti()n 7


2008)." Once fossilization (stabilizatiorD has ser i,', substantial improyemenrs in pronunciation (and grammar) in spontaneous speech mav not be possible. Althougdt vafious causes of fossilization havc been proposed. including Ll intcfblcnce. motil?tion, leamers' goals or needs, and alae . the process is not well unclerstood. and more resea.rch is needed on both why antl when fossilizetion occurs (sce. for example,
1967, Gardner 1988, i_ong 1990, Nakuma 199u).

commitment of time both in and our of class and a native_English .,infbrnrant,,on the .iob who assists the student witlt pfoblem words and provides natural pronunciation models. Students learn not only about pronunciarion but also about body language used bv native speakers of English. About half of the shjclents who beiin thc program afe able to devote the time needed to show progress. My own experience, which has ilcluded lrany students of the type Acto11 describes, confiflns that very fer wurkitrg pr,,fessionals lre rble to make the time

Acton describes a prollram to change the intelliiibility of fossilized pfofessionals who have spent many veafs in an English_speakinpl coulttrv ancl reached high lcvels of fluencv (198,i). Thc program requires a substantial

commitment that might lead

pfonunciation wofk with beginning learners. Chela_Flores recommends that pronunciatiorl be a regular part of coursework with beginncrs, like vocabulary or grammar teaching (2001).

spontaneous speech. Howel'ef, it is possible fof thcse students to lcafn to self coffec^t and to speak more intelligibl,v in some situations. Fossilizecl learners. fbr cxample, can learn to pronounce English nore accuratel-v in controlled classro.m acti.,,ities ancl to apply this knowledge when they deliver a rehcarsed presentation. However when they mo!'e from plarmed into unplanned speecl], thc old errors are likely to recrjr. Phonological learning may be most rapid in the eafhr stages of lcarning (Flege 1988, Flege, Munro, and Skelton 1992), suggesting that ir is imporrant to srart

to significant improvements in intelligibilitY of

Pronunciation shour(l be taught to a revcls of strrtlenrs as tonla as intelligibiritll distracting pronunciations, and lack of confidencc in speaking are issues. Pronunciation improvements, like improvemcnts in grammatical accuracl,, occur slowly (Trofimovich et al. 2007). According to wong, dramatic changes in stude'rts, speech in 3 to 6 montlts arc rare', (l!g7, g). Because inprovcments are graclual ancl often piecemeal, students benefit from or recycling olcl topics. Given that there are over fofty consonants and I,owels (segmcntals) and at least as nany features of word stfess, rhtthn, and intonation (suprasegmcnhls), curriculum planners, textbook writers, and cl;rssroorn teachers have a lurge number of potential pronunciation topics trom which to choosc. The audiolingual approach focused more heavily on the teaching of segmentals, r-Nin!! acti\.ities like nir.f'ral

t^-rroo,:rcaov TcachinEPranunciation

pair drills, sentence repetitions, anci dialogues. communicative approaches have focusccl more on suprascllmcntals, moving stuclents bc1'ond the level of single words. Totllrl', a more "txrlancecl' approach, inchtcling important consonants and vowels as well as sr.rpnscgme ntals, is fecommended ((lelce-Murcia et al. 1996, 10; Derwing, Mr.rnro. andWiebe 1998. Dauer 2005). Because rhlthm and intonation aflect mcanin!! in discourse profounclll', teaching them promotes intelligibility as well as flucncy.Word stress (lexical stress) is also impoftant since misplaced stress caJl make a word unrecognizable.
Problem consonants and vowels drat are liequent or have a higl] ftu]ctional load strould atso be taught (Catfbr.l 1987,Browl 1988, Nh.nro and Dcrwing 2006).Thc vowel coutrdst leaue-lil,e has a hi!fi functionad loacl because there are rnany p:tirs of wotds that contr:$t these two sounds (e.g., seat-sit, sleep-slip, least-list). C)n the other hand, the vowel contmst in Iuke-look, whiclr occurs in fb$' word pairs, has a low linctioral load. From a pedagogical standpoint, thc \owels iu the pair /ea.,e-l/./e arc more impoftant lbr students to leam than those it Lukc-look. As discussed eadier it is also irnpoftant to aclclrcss mispronunciations that are distracting, stilmatized, or stereot!?ed. Pronunciation textbooks providc rcad,y-made q'llabi from wltich teachers can pick and choose. A course syllabus that includcs problem pronunciation topics cor,'ering vowels, consonants, stress, rlrythm, and intonation is approprilte lbr all levels of studcnts. The teacher can alternate topics, starting, for e'xample, with a topic on intonatiol, next addressing a problem consor.]ant or consonant cortrast, and then prescntinli a topic on word stress. arld so o1]. This approach provicles variety arld interest and also reflects the fact that in speaking, all aspects of pronunciation occur sirnultalreously; a two-syllable word like uisit ot drugstorc, for exanplc, has both consonants and vowels, differcnt le\.els of stress, and diffcrent lcYels of pitcll.

In choosing topics for a particular class, the teacher can eithcr stafi with a diaEinostic tcst to idcntiq,' problem areas or cltoose topics which Posc pfl)blems for lnost studcnts, regaralless of native-language backpgouncl (sce Conlmolt P()mrnciatioll Problcms, bclow). A good diagnostic tool is a one minutc recording of unrehearsed (:nd unwritten) speecl], such as a descriptiotl of a picture stor,v or caftoon. A short sample of spontaneous spccch provides a liood snapsltot of a strtdertt's pronunciation
problems. Problems with rhlthm (choppy or staccato clelivery unclear wortl grortps, ditliculty linking w<rrds), with ir.Itonation (inappropriate dses/falls in pitch, lack of discourse foctts, general levcl of expressi\-cness), and segmentals (consonants and r.owcls) will be evident. A sample diagnostic test is provided in Appenclix D. The cl]oice of pronunciation topics should also fef'lect students' necds and goals. In a life-skills class for immigrant parents of school-aged children, for instance,

the pronunciation syllabus night centcr on topics required fcrr giving personal information: the letters ol the alphabet fbr spelling names; numbers and thcir app()priate grouping for giving telcphone ancl address information; and irltonation and rhlthm in questions. Work $'ith these pronunciation topics will also improve students' comprehension of inlbrmation reqlrests. International teach rg assistants (ITAS) in thc scienccs must be able to clearly pronor-rnce technical terms that may contain many s-vllables and difficult sounds (c.g., geothermal energi). Levis and Grant st rgElest basing plonutciation work on errors that





occur in student prescntatiolts (2003). ITAS ffLlst also be able to use appropriate rhythm and intonation pattefns to ask qucstions of their stuclents. to group wofds, to hipdrlight kc1'w.ords, and to signal topic changcs in their presentations of material. 'lhe sl,llabus fbr a short-term tlltorial f(,r a professional who is preparing a pfesentati(,n can include the pfoltunciation problcms that occur in th presentatioll itself. To prepare for the q Llestion-and-answer session that fbllows nlany pfesent:itiurs, classwork can irlclude topics such as highlighting key words (see Intol.ration, pag 96), which will Irelp stuclents understand the direction of questions and make their answers ciearcr to an auclience. Alrother factor thirt sho! d ilJlucnce the choice of pronunciation topic is the teacher's level of comfort in tcaching it. Duri|tli classwork on pronunciation (of any topic), students pa,v attentioll to how thc,v sot-urcl. As long as pr.lctice includes the use of connected speech, other aspccts of pronunciation not dircctly addtessed in the lesson are likely to bencfit from this incrc;rsed arrenrion (Hardison 200.1). F'or example, a teacher ma-y not fcel cor.nfortable teaching some aspects of intonation but may feel corafident about teaching the t, sounds (e.g.,tlxink, t/rrt, sornds tltat are casy to reach and learn end important to leerncrs (Tirdt 1992). In a conlmullicative acti.r'ity focused on btlhdays (or personaLity characterisrics related ro birth order), not only are //, sounds in words like birtbdar- hkclv to be pronounced mofe accumtel)', but the grouping of words (e.g.,May 41 mal' b e clearer and intonation more natunl sounding. Vhen students pa). attention to how they sound during speaking, many featufes of their pfonunciation souncl better Attcntion to pronunciation druing speaking, then, may be as impoftant as the particr ar point of pronllnciation beinla focused on during a lesson. Institutional or program goals and assigneal curricula may determinc the sl.llabus, rather tl.ran the teachcr In some progmms, for example r pronunciation work is narrowly focused, covering all the vowels in one semester all the consonants in anothct and so on. Even though this ol syllabris does nor pro\.ide a balanccd coveragc of sormds and suprasegrnentals, otltef lbatures of pronunciation, such as fhlthm and intonation, can still be addresseci as long as clxss materials include oppoftunities to practice connected spccch (e.9., di"k)gues).

The Lingua Franca Core

Jcnkins (2000, 2002) proposes a pared-down pronunciation syllabus, the Lingua Franca Corc (I-FC), fbr. stu(lents who will be using English with otl]cr nonnative speakcrs (rather thalt native speakers). Jenkins's clata sulllicst that commulication breakdowns betrveen nonnative spcakers are usnally the fesult of mispronoulccd consonants or yo$'cls, rather than inappfopriate suprasegmentals. In contr:Lst, inappropriate usc of suprascgmentals appears to hal.e a greater effect on inte lligibilit_y with native listencrs (see Intelligibilit]' on page 2). The LFC s.vllabus, which focuses on teachable ;rnd leernablc p(,ints of pronunciation that promote intelligibility bctween nonrati\'-c spcakers, inclucles primarily consonants, some !o\4iels. and onc suprasegmental (highlighting of kcy words). Jenkins's proposals have inspired he:rlthy debare on which areas of pronunciation should be taught and who the arbitefs of intelligjbility shor cl be



ng Pran unci at i on

(see, for example, Dauer 2005, Levis 2005). Given that more research is needed and that teachers cannot know for ceftain wl]ether their students' future inteflocutefs will be native or nonnative Englisl] speakers, a syllabus that includes important pfoblem sounds as well as suprasegmentals will serve students' needs better than one that focuses on only one area of pronunciation. A balalced syllabus is also likely to be nore appealing to teachers and more interesting for students.

Comrnon Pronunciation Problems

The following chart shows pronunciation topics that are useftll for most
students, regardless of native-language background.

Vowel length in stressed and unstressed syllables Vowel :eduction in unstressed syllables
S:ress patterns

See pages 2L-27 See pages See pages

25-27 28-38

of classes of words

Highlighting important words with stress and pitch

See page 96 Sec page 52 See page 54

See page 100

Tlought groups Grouping words into meaningful phnses)

Linking adjacent words

Intonation to mark utterance boundaries


sounds ln


and then

See page 126

Conffasls involving the first souflds in per, bet, fbte, uet, afid R:etoflexed. /r/: red, driue


See page 124 See pages 141, 146 See pages 151- 162 See page 159

Ftral consonants and consolant clusterc: bed, belt

cmmmatical endings

The vowels in leaue-Iiue (/iy/-/ID

See page 16P See pages 176-183 See page 192

The vowels k7 net-Nat-nut-not uE/-/r/-/e/-/oD r-colored vowels in heorcl, hard, and board




Pronunciation work call be integrated with other coursewolt, providin!! reinlbrcement of vocabularl', content, and structures dtat students are alfeady learning. \)(r'ork with word stress is easily added to a reading or vocabulary lesson (see page 23). Dialogues in course books can be used to practice grouping words or intonation. A key word in a reading/discussiolt activitF may include a problem sound that can be a point of focus. Grammatical structures pfovide many opportunities fof pronunciatiolt wofk: practice with comparatives, for example, can also incorporate practice with the /-colored vowel in bigger, with tl]e //, sound in than, or with contrasti!.e stress (e.g., It's BIGget not BETter). In tlte sections co\IerinE! specific leatures of pronunciation, links with othef types of coursework are pointed out. In pronunciation textbooks, lessor]s typically includc an int{oduction, contfolled acti.llities. and communicative activities. Some textbooks also include homework rcti\ ities. The introduction devclops awareness of the topic, sometilnes indr.rctivell', sometimes deductively. For example, after hearing a number of two-syllable nouns (e.g., table, kitchen, sanda'icb), even beginning students can induce rhe rule that most two-syllable nouns are stressed on the first syllable. On the other hand, students are not likely to induce the articulation of r-colored vowels (e.g., bird, bqrd, LUqr) simply by hearing examples. In the latter case, articulation must be expiicitly taught. Controlled exerciscs allow students to de\.elop skill in perception andlor pfoduction witl.r a fe ature of pronunciation: exxmples include repetition of words (addressing sounds or word strcss p;rtterns) or phrases (acldressing rhlthm and intonation), minimal paifs (pairs of words diffbfing in only one sound, fof example, bid-liead), dialogues, and so on. Exercises may progress from highly controlled (repetition of words, for example) to less controlled activities (creating dialogues and some types of games). The teacher can spend more or less time on controlled activities, depcnding on the difficulty students experience with a pronunciatiol.t point. Many students learn to pronouncc a feature of pronunciatioll accurately in controlled exercises (reading a list of words, for example) but are unable to apply their ncw skills in cofirmunicatiye spcakinla. In communicatiye speech, where the focus is on meaning, and processing demands are high, pronunciation often seems to"fall apart" (Dickerson and Dickerson 1977, tune)'et al.2O00, Lin 2001,I-in 2003). 'l'he leafner must fincl words to express his meanini, make grammatical decisions, and, at the same time, manage ditficnlt articulations and unfamiliar pfosodic patterns (stress, rhlthm, and intonation). Thc fact that pronunciation gains in controlled activities may not carr_y o\rf in communication does not mean thet controlled activities haye no value; on the contrarl', they provide practice opportunities that can graduall_v lcac1 to more automatic use of the new pronunciation as well as to skills for self-correcting. However, contfolled activities




P ro n u nc I ati


should not be the end of the lesson. C)ur students are nor studying English to become proficient readers of word lists. Communicative actiyities push students to apply their new learning in more normal speaking tasks and to deyelop self-monitoring skills. Thc_y establish a context in which a particular feature of pronunciatioll is called fbr ancl allow

students to create their own language in that context. Al example of a con nlrnicative ncti\Iit] involving contrastive stress is a compafison of two cell phone plans presented in chart form (Plan A is CHEAPCT, but Plan ts has more
ANYTIME minutes). Homework activities can take almost any form. In a pronunciation/speaking course, homcwork can include short recordings of eithcr spontaneous speech or a controlled warm-up exercise followecl by a freer speakini task. If str-ldents have acccss to a compute! an inexpensive microphone, and the Internet, their recordings can bc e mailed to the teacher xs atteched sould files.t The teachef can give live of recofded feedback. Student recordings can also be used in class in peer feedback activities (see Self-monitoring and Feedback, below). Instructions for recording and
sending a sound file are provide.l in Appendix E. Homework in ESL settillgs can also include real-world speaking and listening tasks, such as calling an 800 number to inquire about a product or seryice (1br examplc, ayailability on a llight to San Francisco) or lioing into a store to get information about a particular product. In these assilinments. the teacher can

instruct studcnts to pay attention to their use of a particular t'eatufe of pronunciation (for example, question intonation) or simpl_v to speak as cleady as possible. In tlre lbllowing class, students report on thc experience they had. Listeninla tasks can also be used as homewofk. Students can listcn to a recorcling and note how many times a reducecl w<)rtl llke can is used and how it is prurounced.


Because pronunciation improven.rcnts are gradual ,md piecemeal, spreading from a more limitcd use of a new pronunciation to a wialer Llse, it is important thnt students develop self-monitoring and self-correction skills.6 A student who consistently uses an s-like soud fot the"tl1" iJ1 tbing, th.tnks, tbink is li1(.ely f[st ^nd to pronounce the l/: sountl correctl,v when it begins a common word like tbanks but continue to use /s/ in other words. With time, the correct pronunciation spreads to othef wofds and other positions. C)sburne's stud.v of pronunciation seiicorrections fbuncl that a common stratel'used by advanced learners involrcd focusing on spccific worcls as units and thinking about how they shor. d sound (2003).
t lne4ensir,e


fie prlerxble

sinc thel

lick ul


ambiert noisc. Built in micro loncs nrin



enough sound.

and onh later



and lLctility (rurlr) lerbs

(Budoli Hdig ard





Monitoring for Specific Pronunciation Features; Carryover Words

This technique reflects the piecemeal nature of pronunciation changes, which often start in common words or phmses. ln this tcchnique, a carrl-or,rr word or phrase containing a targeted pronunciation feature is selected by the stuclent of teacher for self-monitoring and self-correction. Continuing wirh the example of tr, the teacher can assilan the word, tbink as a catryover word. Thc students goal is to pronounce thc caffyover word correctly whenever they use it. Tlte cafryover worcl/phrase should be semantically cleaf, grammaticall)' easy. communicatively important, and frelluent enouih tltat students harr opportunities to use it in x variety of contexts. The phrases I think and I don't think, used to introduce opinions, rncct all of these rcquiremeflts. A commlrniclLtivc activity cenrered on givin!! opinions v,ith I tbink/I futn't think can serye as a watn-t-up for carf,yover Studcnts can also select thcir.o!r-n earryoycr words; an ITA doing rcsearch in geothermal energv migl]t select geothermql as a crrr) ( '\ cr u ord for /h. While the carryoyer technique is particularl.t' srdted ro rvords (and the problem souncls tltey contain). it can also be extended to common phfases: the phrase i7t q minute can serve as a cafryoYer phrasc for tlte rhlthm pattern of prepositional phrases (see Rhy'thm, page 60) or for joining final consonants to vo\\.'els (c.g., in d minutq see Rhlthm. pagc 56). Greetings can be uscd for intonation carryover with beginning leafners (see xlso Chela-Florcs 20Ol).

--/Mo\ ing Gaad





Monitoring for Global Characteristics of Clear Speech

The carryoyer technique focuses monitorinli on specific worcls or phrases. Studcnts should also learn to nonitor thcir spcech fcrr more general (global) charactcristics tltat affect clarity. 'l'lrese include specch fate, spcaking volume. attention to the ends of s.'ords, and speaking expressivcl)'. Researcl.r on speaking rate shows that nonnati\,-e speakers spcak English more slowly than native speakers, a reflection of their incornplete knowlcdge of the L2 (Guion, Flege, Liu, and Yeni Komshian 2000).'Ihere is some e\.idence that slower speaking rates contfibute to accentedness ancl reduced comprchensibility (Munro and Derwini 199u). tlowever, asking most students to speed up is likely to be cor.lnterpfoductive , intfoducin[i crrors that would not occur if students ga\.e themselves more time. In the expcricnce of many teachers, when fast talkers (students whose speaking rate outpaces their abilitv to spcak accurately) slow down, their pronunciation and contprchcl.tsibilitv improve, cven though the_v may


Tfithing hanutu iJltnn

not be speaking as quickl-y as nadve speakers. In contrast to fast talkers, other students may seem to speak too slowl_v, pausing too often. for too k)ng, or in inappropriate places. Inappropriate pausing often reflects a lack of fluenc-y It is not easy lbr students to change their speaking mte. Fast talkers need frequent rerninders to slow down ancl ma-v also feel that speaking more slowly will
fluent.Inappropriate pausing may disappear as students gain fluency; it can also be addressed by pronunciation work on thought groups and linking adjacent words (see Rh)'thm, pages 52 ancl 51). Speech that is not lor.rd enough to hear (in my experience ,more cotrrmon with female students than with males) ma-y result from a lack of conficlence or cultural gender roles. Like speaking rate, it is difficult to change.I am sure that I am not the only teacher who has repcatedly reminded a student to speak up in class only to hear the same student booming fofth in her native language in the hall during a break. A technique that is usually effectivc is to ask the student to address her comments to a classmate on the opposite side of the room. Many students have problems pronouncing consonants at the ends of words (e.g.,pick, ask, belt). Pronunciation wolt with fu]al consonants and frequent error correction are effective in improying this area of pronunciation. Some students use a flat, monotone delivery when thev speak Enilish, possibly because they lack confidence or because the)' are using natiYe lartguage intonation patterns or both. They need to understand that a flat delivery can make thcm sound disiflteiested and to be reminded to use their voices more (use a $/ider range of pitch). This is a difficult pronunciation problem to correct, especially if a wider range of pitch sounds unnatuml or silly in tlte student's native language. To help students monitor the general clarity of their speech,I keep this short list of reminders in the upper left corner of the blackboard and point to them when necessary:
less Slow down

then sound


Final sounds
Spea k expressive y

Error Correction by Teachefs and Peefs Little research has treen donc on thc effect of ertor correction on

pronunciation. Research on error cofrectiolt of gnmmar, l]orveve! indicates that it is effective in promoting accuracy in communicatiYe contexts when it can be done qr.rickly and when students are familiar with the technique and the types of errors to be corrected (Lightbown and Spada 1999). These finclings would seem to appl-Y equally well to efror correction of pronunciation. Teachers should always draw attention to unintelligible speech, asking the student to repeat or rephrase more carefulll' (and often more slowll). It is only


Pronuncrton I J

possible to coftect efrofs when the teacher knows what the student is trying to say. 'iyhen a whole discourse is unintelligible, the teacher must work with the student, often using spelling and repetitions, first to determine what the student is trying to say and then to identily the errors. Teachers cannot possibly correct evefy pfonunciation effof, or even most of them. Error correction during most class activities should be selective and directed

at unintelligible or odd sounding pronunciatiolls. During pronunciation activities,

feedback should also be provided on the topic at hand. The teacher should choose a cue to signal pfonunciation errofs and explain it to students. The cue should be as general as possible (for example, sa_ying "Pronunciation" or "Be clearer" a-fter an error). The general cue allows a student to appb-his pronunciation learning and

helps develop self correction and monitoring skills. Sometimes students are
unaware of what the pronunciation erfor is and may need to hear both the incorrect and coffect pronunciations to notice the error.

Peer feedback on student recordings

is also effective and gives


nonspeaking peef additional monitoring practice. Celce-Murcia rccommends that peers listen for a particular feature of pronunciatlon (1996,352).

The next five chapters deal with pronunciation topics from word stfess, rhythm, intonation, consonants, and vowels. Each chapter presents useful background information and research, general teaching tips, and suggested
classroom acdyities for specific features of pfonunciation.



sentence (He's ct c()nsttl|ttnate politician) sounded like .,Hes a col]sumcrs, politicitrn. 'lhe student's gucss tliat corstt rtl.tctlc was strcssed on tlte seconcl slllable rvas probabll based on words likc contro| consurnet; connectj or confession, all strcssed on thc second s,yllable. It was a good guess-which happcnecl to be wrong. For native English listeners, the most important syllablc in a word is the stressed s)'llable, the primary cue for identi4'ing the word (Grosjean and cee 1987, Benratrah iggT, Boncl 1999). This mlkes strcss J \ crt- important p(ongnciation topic. ln xddition. because tlte chamcteristics of stressed ancl unstressetl sl Uables in single words are mirrored in rhltl]m, tcachinli word stre ss primes students for work with suprase gmentals. Dalton altd Seidlhofcr describe worcl stress as a comnunicativcly impoftant and teachable pronunciation ropic, bridging the continuum between segmcntals (consonants and vorvels), which are considered rclatively easy to teach. and suprasegmentals (rhythm and intonation). rvhich arc consiclcrccl more difficult to reach (199,1.7J).

A consrunefs' politician? M]. student intendcd to sa,y 'a consummatc politician.,, *rong when hc stressed "c6nsummate," a word he hacl ncver heard befbre. placing strcss on the second slllable rather than thc first. As a result. his

He gucsseci


In every Enilish worcl Of more than ()nc svllable, One s,vllable, the stressed s)llable, is the most prominent. This promincncc is also callcd pdrnar_v stress, major stress, heaq'strcss, of simpl_y the stfesscd s,yllable/\,.owel. (Thc tetms (ul1)strcssetl uou'el and (utl)stlessed syllable are otten used interchangeabh'.) 1he remaininj s,vllables may be unstressed or have secondary (niinoo stress. ln the woral sJlfa, tlnc lifst syllable (so-) has prirnarl stress and the second (-y'l) is rntstfesscd.In the word Japdnesa, the last syllable has primlrrv stress, rhe lirst syllable has secondary stress, and the midclle syllablc is unstrcssed.




w.nd stess

languages, stressecl atrd unstressed syllables can be distinguished b_v diffcrences in length, pitch, loudness, or vowel clualiryr As the chart below shows. English makes use of all these distjnctions.


Learning to lengthcn stressed vorl-els and shorten/reduce unstressed vowels is challenging for most students. EquallY challenging is knowing which s-Yllable to stress in a word.'fi'lte n lcarners are f:rced witll a ncw word they have never heard befbre, they basc strcss placcment on many of tlle same strategies that native speakefs do: analogv to phonologically sitrrilar words. strcss patterns associated witl1 classes of words or cndings, or s,vllable structurc (DaYis and Kelly l997,Guion et aI.200J. (;uion ef aI.2004).


nnrecognizable and co[rplctel,v clisftrpt the speakcr's message (Benrabal] 1997, Fieltl 2005). Not all errors inYoh'ing misplaced stress arc equally serious. Field (2005) reports that rightward misplacements of strcss in two-s-Yllablc worcls (c !a., stre ssinli the se cond syllable of a,ozrdr: I\'oMAN) impaire d intelliSibility morc than leftward misplacemcnts (c.g., stressing the first svllable of enlof'ENjo)-). My stndcnt's n.rispronunciation of consumln(Ite, descriLted at the beginninti of this chapter, is an e'x:rmple o1 riglrtward strcss misplacement The rules for English stress placement are con.tplex becar.rse English has borrowed many words from other languages, cspecially Frcnch, Latin' Spanish, and Grcek, with clifferent rules for assigning strcss (Jufis l99O) There arc, hower.cq some general, teachablc principles which help students at all lcvels to predict the stressed syllable. Teachcrs can also help students avoid misplaccd stless by working

Misplacccl stress-stfessing

the wrotlg sYllable-can make a wrlrd


stress in reading and vocabnlar-v lessons.

Nol all l"uguages use to s\slntdicitllt dilleruntiaft dre slllebles


x \rold


is rhc

lo{'el ir


Scc dso \b\\els.

CenLml\brtls. /a/ lLIrd/l/. |r)llL \b{'cls.


Wor.l Slress



There are yarious notations for stress, cach (Celce-Murcia et el. 1996).
Stressed sy lable in capita s Circles above syllables Stressed sylla ble bo ded Stressed sy labie


advantages and disadvantages

Vls t


v sit


Line over stressed syllable

'ath, ete stress

Acute marks (') over stressed sy lables;

grave marks

(') over secondary

Vert ca s (dictionary markings)

Underlining is visually strong and exsy ro do bl. compute! but in some pronunciation s'ork the teachef ma,\- want to use undedincs to show linking of words of to indicate syllables. dcute and g.ave marks and verticals can be visually strong when handwritten but are less notice:rblc when adclecl by conputer. The teacher should not feel bound ro oltc tr?e of notation.When the meaning of the notation is made clear, students are not tl.ouble d by mixecl notations. In my own teaching, I choose the notatior which will nake the stressed s_vllablc mosr salient to m)' students. In typed mater.ials, for example, I use capital lettcrs for tlte stressed syllable because they are visually more salient than a typed acute mark; on the board,I usually place a large acute mark over the stressed syllable, since switchinli between capit:rls and lower case within a word slows clown my writing. Curved undedincs are uselul f<rr showing the syllables in a word. They are preferzble to slashes or hyphens within words (e.g., vilsit, vi sit) because they don,t commit the teaclter to exact locations of syllable bounclaries, which are sometimes difficult to determine.

Capitals and bold letters are yisuall_y strong and can be easily added by a computef. It is difficult, however, to show mofe than two levels of stfess without either changing tlpe size or combining bold ancl caps (tbr example, bold c:rps coulcl be used lbr pfimary stress, plain caps for second:rry stfess and lower case fbr unstressed). Cifcles afe also yisuallv strong but not as eas), to acld by computef.



In addition, dictionaries do not alwa,ys agfee on syllable b ()tlndafics. American Heritage Dictionar!, for example, scgments .sofl,-)., as,.sof-eJ,' wltilc lte&stert has "sor-re." It is more important tltat students know how many syllables a word has rhln t xactly $ herc , )nc s1 llablc ends lntl r he ncrr hegins.



ward stress


Students ha\.e two general difficulties with English word stress. C)ne involves learning how different le\,-els of word st|ess are realized in English, in particular the length of stressed r.owcls and thc shortness and reduction of unsressed vowels. There is considerable evidence that the length distinction betwecn stressed and unstressed syllables can bc lcarned, thefe is less evidence tltat vowel reduction is learned (Flege and Bohn 1989. Anderson Hsich and venkataiiri 199'1, Ngul'cn ;urd Ingran 2005, Lee et al. 2006). The second difficult,v inyoh'cs kno$'ini which syllable to stress in a word.

Althougli there are no simple, general rules that will allow students to predict which syllable is stressed, there are classes of words, such as compound nouns (.e.g., airPort).with regular stress patterns that can be taugllt. As students become more proficient, they also becone better able to predict which s.vllable in a $.ord
is stressed.


The sk tips listed below ptovide some general suggestions for helping
students to create clear diif'erences between stressed and unstressed vowcls and to better predict which s-vllable is stressed. The tips are based on the characteristics of English word stress and on problems students haYe with word stress.

ffi rrps
r, 1. 2. 3. 4.
5. 5.
Emphasize the leflgth of stressed vowels. Presenl sets of words with the same stress patterns.

Pfonounce new vocabulary so studerts call hear which syllables are stressed. Use pronunciation spellings to develop stlrdents' awareness of how unstresscd vowels are pronounced. Point out that unstressed ]rowels have a short, indistinct sound regardless of

Teach classes of words ahat have predictable stress patterns.

The remainder of this chrpter presents specific features of worcl stfess listed below' 'l-he tips are further explained in thc context of these leaturcs



Word Stress 21

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9,
Primaf),/Hea\T stress
Unstresscd svllables and yowel rcduction Secondary stress

with two-syllable nouns antl verbs Stress witlt compounds Stress with verbs ancl nouns with prepositional prefixes Stress with abbreviations Stress with sulfi-\es

More on unstressed s)-llablcs

Stress switching

\ffe discuss I'hat the teachef should know about each of these topics and provide sulillestions fbr teaching them.


r*narylHearT stress

What the Teachef Should Know Vowels with primary stress are longer and louder than unstressed vowels. In citation fbrm (the word pronounced in isolation), the stressed yowel is also pronounced on a higher pitch; in connected speech, high pirch may be downstepped (lowered) if the word dos not present new or important information in a
message. Because the long duration of English stressed vowels is ufl[amiliar to many

students, it is this aspect of stress that should be emphasized in the classroom (see
also Rhlthm, page 50).

In a stud)' con.lparing the length of stressed and unstressed vowels, it was found that natiye-English speakers' stressed syllables were about four rimes longer than their unstressed slllables, a large difference (Anderson Hsieh and Venkatagiri, 199'1,809). High-pfoficienq. Chinese speakefs of English sho\a'ed the same fatio as the nativc spcakers, but intermediate learners' stressed and unstresscd syllables did not differ lireatly in lenlith. Research involving leafners from other natiye-language backgrounds also supports the claim tltat lengtlt of stresscd syllables is learned graduallv (Flege ancl Bohn 1989, Ngul'cn and Ingram 2005, Lee et aI.2006). Matclring or comparing the stress-s).l1ablc pattcrns of words (e.g..SepTEMbef OcTObe4 NoVEMbeti DeCEMber) is effecti\.c for building sensitiviq' to patterns of stfessed and unstresscd s.l/llables. Field descfibes thesc analogy cxercises as haying
"stroni psychological validit,v" (2OO5, 42O). Kenworthy (1987, 60,63) also recomrlends "odd one out" exercises. in which students decide which of sevcrel words lras a diffefent srcss pattern (e.g.,repeat, trauel, explqin, belieue).



\4/dd sttcss


1.1 P nary

stress: fravel season trivia


Low lntermed iate

Page 202 Emphasize the length of stressed vowels, Present sets of words with the same stress patterns.


Descr:ption This activity practices the stress patterns in the names of months
and seasons and in travel-related terms.


Brlng rubber bands to class to demonstrate the length of stressed vowels.

Elicit from students the months of the year and the names of the seasons Write the words on the board. Use a rubber band to demonstrate the length of the stressed sy lable as you model the words: Stretch the rubber band as you say the stressed syllable. Pass the rubber bands out to students. lr4odel the words again, us ng the rubber band. Students repeat the words and stretch the rubber band to reinforce vowel length. Elicit the number of syllables n each month, tapping out the syllables. Underline the syllables on the board. Students may misidentify "January" and "February" as three-syllable words, mistaking the vowel-vowel sequence (the sounds represented by the letters ua in both month names) as one syllable Explain that these are really two sy lables, separated by an unwritten /w/ ("wa") sound. Add a smal Lv between the two vowe s to show their pronunciation ("Janu*ary, Febru*ary"). Underline the syl ables n all the words. Then elicit the stressed syllab e from students and mark lt on the board.


Jdnuary Fdbluary Mdlch

ug uqt :eeeg g'gg useg STeg s:ltg

ugly trys
Which words have a stress pattern like September? (answet I October, November, December) Which word has a stress pattern l!ke January? (answer: February\ Which words have a stress pattern like April? (answer: August, Winter, Summer, Autumn)
How many words have a stress pattern l)ke July? (answer: just July)





Ask studentsl

. . . . .

Which words have only one syllable? \answer March, May, June, Spring, Fall)

Erase the words on the board. lVodel the month names again, stretching the rubber band as you say the stressed vowels. Have the class say the names of the months in order and in reverse order, student by student.


Worcl Stress



l.l cantin


@ 6.

Travel Trivia quiz. Pass the trivia quiz out to the class. Explain the meaning of "trivia" if necessary, unimportant facts or pieces of information that most people don't know. Most people guess the answers to trivia questions. Ask students to read the trivia quiz. Answer questions about vocabulary. play


aud io.


Studenis work in pairs to complete the activity as if traveling from the Unjted States. Tell students to guess when they don't know the answer. When the pa rs have finished, ask them about their answers. Remind them to make the
stressed voweis long.


Write some questions about trave on the board:


Where would you like to travel? When would you like to go?


What's the best time to travel? Why?

In pairs, students ask and answer these questions.

When the pair work is finrshed, ask individuals to report their answers to the class. lVonitor the pronunclation of stressed vowels.



Pfinary stress: lntegating sttess, vocabulary, and rcading All levels

Page 203



Pronounce new vocabulary so students can hear which syllable is stressed.

Descliption This activity focuses students' attention on the stress patterns of new vocabulary. The vocabulary sample is from "Imeline of Lindbergh's Life" in Northstar Reading and Witing: lntroducto,:y (Beaumont 2009,
135), a reading text for beginning students. The procedure described below can be used at any level to integrate stress with any reading.


Before class, follow this procedure:

a. Select several polysyllabic words from the reading (or vocabulary exercise) to target for stress/syllable work.

welcome president receive kidnap protect artiticial media factory animal environmentalist

invent cancer

(..tttinued on n$;t




worcl strcss

ctiui ty


2 cotttinue.l

b. Count the syl ables in the selected words and mark the stressed syllable; ignore secondary stress, Determine the syllable-stress patterns (the number of syllables and the location of the stressed syllable) in the selected words. lt does not matter if some stress-syllable patterns are represented by only one word. In the words below, syllables are underlined and stress is marked with an acute accent (').

{9{re eryg{gI ggv Ss ury ?,tilis4 Qryg regs egu s's 6nimal

Stress patterns:

4. *l3. _l ' receive artilicial welcome president kidnap media invent cancer factory 2.







tn class, make sure students understand the new words before they read Write the preselected words on the board. Write the sy lable patterns as column headings on the board and number them. Ask students to copy the words and syllable patterns onto a piece of paper. Explain the notatlon: / represents a represents a syllab e without heavy stress. stressed syllable;
IVlodel the words, lengthening stressed syllables. (To reinforce vowel length, use

3. 4.

the rubber band technique described in the Activity 1.1.) Students repeat
Draw students'attention to the first word on the list and model it again. Ask students to count syllables in the word. Underline the syllables on the board. Ask students which syllable is stressed and mark it on the board (e.g., w6lcome)

Ask students which pattern the first word should be written under and write lt under that pattern. Repeat with another word. Students continue the activity in pairs, underlining syllables, marking the stressed syllable, and writing each word under one of the patterns. Circulate, modeling words and helping students count syllables, as necessary.
When the class has finished, elicit from students the words that belong in each column and add them to the board.



When all the words are in their appropriate columns, students practice saying them, column by column. Students should notlce that words in the same column have the same stress pattern.


Word Stress


Actlxity 1.2 @ntlnued


To practice these words in context, the teacher can ask students to make sentences about the reading from which the words were taken.

ffi tt"o."""d

Syllables and yowel Reduction

\Xhat the Teacher Should Know Unstressed vowels are shortet softer (less loud), and pronounced at a lower pitch than stressed vowels. Most vowels in unsressed syrlabres are reduced to a centralized^vowel, usually /a,/ (the underlined vowel in qgo; fot /a/,see also Vowels, page 180).3 For example, the undedined vovrels in qgai, natian, and euidence ate unstressed and pronounced the same. Because of its role in unstressed syllables, 7a,l is the most common vowel sound in English (Avery and Ehrlich 1992,31). Jenftins (2002) maintains rhat students who will communicate primarily with nonnative speakers need not learn vowel reduction (or reduced words; see Rhythm, page 72). Dauer, on the other hand, argues that it is dificult to speak English at a natural speed without reducing either the length or quality of unstressed yowels (2005).
There is eyidence that ESL learners gradually learn to pfonounce more Englishlike unstressed vowels, with shorter lengths,lower levels of pitch, and less loudness. vowel reduction, however, seems to be more difficult. The ability to reduce vowels may depend on the presence of vowel reduction in the native language and/or on an early age of learning Engish (Flege and Bohn 1989, Nguyen and Ingram 2005, Lee et al.2OO6, Zuraiq and Sereno 2007). Flege and Bohn suggest that learning to make a length difference between stressed and unstressed vowels is ,ra".rrury " precursor to \'owel reduction (1999).

to emphasize and remind them that unstressed vowels can be spelled with any letter in English but are still prono\nced /a/ ot /r/. Research has not investigated the effect of teaching students to reduce vowel qualit)4 My own experience suggests that some intermediate and advanced students can and do learn to reduce unstressecl yowels to /a/ in normal speaking, although perhaps on a word-by-word basis. rJ(/hen I began teaching promrnciation, I was on a "crusade" against the pronunciati<in of todLtl, tonigtJt and, tomotrou) as ,,tooday,,, "toonight," and "toomoffow.', In my first attempt at teaching vowel reduction, after

Students whose native languages lack vowel reduction, spell worcls phonetically and share many cognate words with English (for example, Spanish or Italian) may haye an especiany difficult time reducing unstressed vowers.It is usefur

The vowevt (lhe !'owel in /1/) may also be used in unstressed syliables, s!cially those spelled with the let tese in di,uide) rheprctise qrality of rcducd vowels is inlluencerl by tlie sunouniiing soundr (Biownan and Gol*t"in and -0,, in words likep,'el4'atird lrintlau) e ;$ed but not reduceri to /a/. ihe vorvel in the -r'zg


in clectle) or

i (u

iD2l ftr .naing"?

ending is uruAiy p.noun..O




worcl stress

and modeling reduced vowels in several words, I wrote the word totnoffot! on the board and told my stuclents I would pronounce it itl two different ways. Tlrey were to tcll me which wa-v was coffect. I pronounced totrTonou flrst ls "toolnorrow" and then with thc vowel correctly reduced When I asked the class which pronunciation was correct. no one said ar])'thing. I repeated the dcmonstmtion explaining


ancl agnin got no response.I triecl once lnorc, extremely nervous by this time, ,!rld was relicved to see one student timidl-l/ raise her hancl. She said, "'ifas the /f/ different?" I

learned two thinlas that day: first, that nl-v studcnts were very conccrned with the pronunciation of /r/; ;!nd second, that students do not rlotice reduced vowels, even when they are constantly modeled in the native English spoken around them. This lack of awareness should not, pedraps, havc been surprising to me (although it was), gi\.en the fact that reduced vowels are short, indistinct, and not reflected in spefling. A fust step to learning to pronouncc reduced vowels, then, may be to devebp an aw;Lreness for how they sound. Awareness is addfessed in the san.Iple actiYity below'

Activity 1.3

lJnstressed vowels and vowel reduction: Ioday, tonight, and tomorlow


ntermed late/Advanced


Page 204

Use pronunciation spellings to develop students'awareness of how unstressed vowe s are Pronounced. Point out that unstressed vowels have a short, indistinct sound regardless of spelling.


This activity uses pronunciatlon spelllngs to direct students' attention to the reduction of unstressed vowels, The second part of the activity, an information gap, uses TV schedules to praciice the reduced vowels in today, tonight, and tomorrow. Other types of schedules (e g., train schedules, movie schedules) can be substituted for the TV schedules


Present vowel reduction. On the board, wrlte words in which unstressed vowels are spelled with each of the vowel letters (a, e, i, a, u, y), underlining the unstressed vowels. Below the normal spelling of the words' write the

pronunciatlon spelling (respellings of words that reflect pronunciation better than the normal spellings do). lvlark the stress on each word.

?C6 5vldgnce bScqn ac6 6vadans b6kan


f5rtqne l6rchan

physician lazishan

Direct students' attention to the under ined vowels. N4odel each word, pronouncing the underllned vowel letters as /a/ Be sure to reduce the unstressed vowels to /a/; when you read words from a list, you rnay give more prominence to unstressed vowels than you would in norrnal speaking lmagine how each word


Word Strcss


Actiultr t.3 Lontinuc.t

sounds toward the end of a sentence, spoken naturally (e.g., Ior physician, "There's a job available as a physician,s assjstant.,') Use this pronunciation when you model the words. Djrect students, attention to the pronunciation spellings below the words and model them again. Have students repeat.


Ask the following questions:

. . .

What letters in the normal spellings are underlined?

Are these vowels stressed or unstressed? Do the underlined letters have different pronunciations?

Explain that unstressed vowels are pronounced /ai, regardless of spelling. point out that the underlined letters represent all the vowel letters used in English, but they are all pronounced the same, as /a/.


Add pronunciation spellings of several familiar words to the board. with a blank below eac6 word. lvlodel the words. tantr6l
mash6en fdshan






5. Ask volunteers to come to the board and write the normal spelling of the words in the blanks. Students practice saying the words, using the pron u nciation spellings as gu ides. 6. lnformation gap. On the board write today, followed by its pronunclation spelling: today taday

7. Say the word twjce, once correctly, using a reduced vowel (taday), and again incorrectly, using a full vowel (tooday) in the first syllable. Ask students whether your first or sejcond pronunciation was correct.


Add tonight and tomorrow Io the board, with their respellings: tanEht, tamorrow. lvlodel the words, reducing the first vowels. Ask each student to say today, tomorrow, tonight, reducing the first vowel.

9. Put students in pairs, giving each member of the pair a different TV schedule. Tell students not to show each other their schedules.

10. Students complete the information missing in their schedules by asking questions like What's on today at 1:00? Remind students to reduce the first syllable of today, tonight, and tomorrow.






secondary stress

what the Teacher Should Know

In the word rlmocriit. the last Yowel has secondar-Y stress Volvels in s-Yllables $'ith secondary stress (markecl with ' ) haYe ful| vowels (i e , not reduced)' length' ancl loutlness. The major cliftbrence bet*-een secondary stress and primar,Y/lleav-Y lower pitch than stress is pitcll:Vowcls with seconclary sress are pronounced at a of Your vowels with primary stre ss. Say ddm slowt-Y and liste n to how the Pitch first s1'llablc (with primar-v strcss)' then falls voice changes; it starts high ovcr the over the seconcl unstressed syllablc ancl remains low t>ver thc last syllable with
secondarv stress. Secondary stress is often predictable:


Seconclary stress occurs on the second word of compounds:



office biilding

Numbers: "teefls"' N'.rtive speakers use t\\() pattefns of stress with numbers endin!! in -teen. Beforc a pause' ancl without special empllasis on dle number stress on the (e .g., He\ sixtden), primarv stress usually falls ot7-teen ancl secondary (e g t'l/tien cdndles)' number (s/D. Sefore a worcl whose flrst syllable is stressed '

primary the reverse pattern is used;-/ee, receives secondarl' stress' and tlle number' -teen' also fecei]'es pfimary stress in counting: stfess. The number, rather f:nan thirtCen, J6urfuen, flftden, and so on
(e g Numbers: "tens". With -ttl nun]bers, primary stress is always on the number ' -ty difference bet$'een -tee s/xfy) and the -/if ending is unstressecl Another ^nd see (1 ,-r.,-b..l' is thc pronunciation of the lctter t In -ry numbers' t is a flap fast d'' Consonants, page 129): sixD! In -teet? numbers, I is a /t/: sixteen Studentsaresometimesmisrrnderstoodwhentheyuse-teenaf'd.t!numbers;

lf students stfess intcndecl -teen numbefs are heard as Jt flumbers, and vice versa -leer numbers on the second slllable' there *'ill bc less confusion as to whether they have said, sixtden or slxty
preposition Verbs with Prepositionaf Prefixes. Seconclar-v stress occurs on the in most verbs witll prepositional prefixes:



Suffixes. Seconclary stress ,Llso occurs on some suffi-res: r4alize' cblldhdod' Yerbs' the -ale atltititde, pictuftsque. when worcls ending with -'7te are used as (/e-Yt,f :'o grdduiite rwhenthese words encling has secondary stress and a full \'1)wel is as flouns or adjectives, the -tJle ending is unsffesse(l and the vowel "a..rr".l /zJLr ass'cidle /at/, grdduate /at/ students rcclnced:


WoId Stress


Polysyllabic Words with prirna"ry Stress tovrard. the End of the Word. Polysyllabic words with primary stress toward the end of the word often have secondary stress two syllables in front of the primary stress. This use of secondary
stress creates a more even alternadon of stresses:



If a beginning student's lack of secondary stress makes a word difficult to understand (this sometimes happens withpdlitlcian, wlnere secondary stress is on the first syllable), the teacher can address the error by instructing the student to lengthen the first syllable of the word. $i/ith intemediate and advanced str.ldents, secondary stress can be addressed when working with the stress pattfns of compounds, verbs with prepositional prefixes, or suffixed words (see below).

stress. Fof beginning students, the teaching of secondary stfess can be limired to certain types of words, like compounds anr| -teen worcls.

As a pronunciation topic, secondary stfess is less important than pfimary



Secondary stress in nunberc; How nany people tive at /t4 Main S|rleet?
Beginn ing

level lip

Worksheet Page 2O5

Teach classes of words that have predictable stress patterns,

Description This information gap provides practice with -teen and -fy numbers. Students have a map with boxes representing apartment buildings at different locations. Each student has the number of occupants in half of ihe bu itdings.


the board, write all the -teen numbers in one column and the -fy numbers in a second colu m n:

13 14 15 16 17 l8 19


50 60 70 80


which syllable is stressed. Repeat with the -fy words.

tee, words first, stressing -teen. Students repeat. Ask students


next page)



word stress



t:ontin ed


Ask students to listen again, this time paying attention to how the fs in sixteen and sixty sound (the f in sxteen will be a true l; the i in s/xiy will be a flapped l)' page 129) You can explain the flapped fas a "fast d' (see Flapped lIl and ldl, lVodel the numbers across the rows Students repeat'
you Say one of the numbers on the board. Ask students to write the number answers with partners Then select students to choose a said and check their number and say it to the class. The class writes the number they heard and then checks with the speaker'



lnformation gap. lVlodel the information gap Draw a box on the board to represent a OuitOlng on a local street Write the address below the box Below the address write the question "How many people live at 232 lvlain Street?"


232 lvlain Street

How many people liue aI

232 Main Street?

-ty or -teen Ask the question and choose a student to guess the answer, using a with a different number. ilave the student write the number in the box, Repeat

student and a different address

7. 8.

pair' Put students in pairs and hand out a different rnap to each member of the the class During the pair work, monitor Read the instructions on the maps to pronunciarton of the nu'nbers.

After the pair work, ask students how many people live in the buildings at -feen and the various addresses. Provide feedback on the pronunciation of ty n umbers.

K tat."" with Two-Syllable

V/hat the Teacher Should Know

Nouns and Verbs

first,llable' motbe\ kitcben'husbdncl'tdble.About60percentoftwo-syllableverbsarestressedonthe Eh ich 1992 67) 1 As second syllable: repeat, occLff' ct(lmit, announce (Avery anrl
O\.er 90 percent of two-syllable nouns are stressed on the
Geflnmic \Lot&


sylLable edjectnes $'hich are

E l'eltau

h ngJ', l/,itstl)


strcssed on the


s'\'ilable of

fie loot;hvo


lrhle ,rlrectrves lronowed fic,n

other Lanlua::,es (e.g.', patite.

tfnirl,' ttwf1

raay be slrcssed on either the lirst oL second s,vlLabLe

i'i.i.. ,i""i".iri.





'iLr"lr, lirsi s,rllabLe. lbl/0. ag irnettl ttptirhwnl


sireiserLon the


.lr't) or sccond syLlable 6Ttrar[t, 6Jiict't pisible t?'/'i'b]r 1tle slrcssed ol thc second svll$Le


Word Stress


the percentages suggest, stfess placement is far more reglrlaf for two_syllable nouns than for two-syllable yerbs. Dauer presents ari altemative de for two-syllable verbs and adjectives: Stress is placed on the root syllabte (1993,6D. This is a useftrl rule proyided thar students can recognize the foot. syllable structure also influences stfess on two-syllable verbs and may help students identis' the root. The last syllable of the verb is stressed if it contains a long vowel (e.g.,repe.1t, decide, contain) or ends in a consonant clustef (two or more consonants; e.g., elect, disturb). These rypes of syllables are hear,y syllables, which attfact stress.While students cannot be expected to anatyze syllable structure, hear.y syllables are olten graphically longer (i.e., have more letters) than

light syllables. Noun-Vefb Pairs: a REcord-to feCORD. Noun-yerb pairs are two-syllable words whose grammatical function determines stress.r#/hen sfessed on the f[.st syllable, the word functions as a noun (e.g., a pdrmit)iwhen sttessed on the second syllable, the word functions as a verb (e.g., to permit). These word pairs reflect the general tendency for two-syllable nouns to be stressed on the first syllable and two-sdlable verbs on the second. Depending on both the speaker and the word, the stress slijt is not always mandatory Some speakers, for example, pronounce lly'crease with the noun pattenl whethef it is used as a noun or verb.
Group Ar Different stress patterns for nouns and verbs are mandatory for

most speakers.

record, conduct, addict, progress, perrnit, conflict, desert, object, convict, present, produce, rebel, project, suspect
Group B: The noun pattern can be used for nouns or verbs.

increase, contract (business/legal agreement), protest, research, subiect, detail, defect, insult
Group C; Nouns and verbs are stressed only on the first syllable.

ACcent, COMfort, PURchase, PROm se, REscue Group D: Nouns and verbs are stressed only on the second syllable (many words with the prefixes de-, dis-, and re- fall into this group). conTROL, surPRlSE, deSlRE, deMAND, aRREST, reVlEW

When used as nouns,the words in Groups A and B often have secondary stress on the second syllable;the verb forms have reduced vowels in the fust syllable: tbe Pr6jact, to projdct /pfejtkt/ . Because of the anount

of new yocabulary this topic is better suited


intemediate and advanced students.


aH \PrE^



1.5 Stress with two-syllahle nouns: Classroon Level Begin ners


Worksheet None


Teach classes of words that have predictable stress patterns'

Description This activity familiarizes students with stress in two-syllable nouns. It ends with pair work in which each member of the pair tries to guess five items that the partner has in her backpack (purse, bag)'


your On the board, write three column headings: Things in the room, Things in "purse" pocket, and Things in your backpack or purse Explain "pocket" and




Ask students to work together and wrlte down as many things as they can for each column. Help students by p0inting at obiects and by taking things out of your pocket or backpack/purse. Examples of things !n the room include a table, a chair, a blackboard, chalk, eraser, a door, a computer, a window, and books. Examples of things in your pockets lnclude a wallet, keys, a cell phone, tissues, and change. Examples of things n backpacks or purses include books, papers, pencils, pens' iPods, laptops, water, sandwiches,

and notebooks.


When the lists are finished, ask students to volunteer words Write the words on the board, circling two-syllable nouns Ask students to count the syllables in words. Ask students if the circled words are nouns (names of

the circled things) or verbs (names of actions). lvlodel the words, exaggerating the length of the stressed vowel (ignore secondary stress in words ltke backpack or blackboard). Students repeat. lvlodel the words again Ask students what syllable is stressed and mark stress. Ask students if most two-syllable nouns are stressed on the first syllable or the second syllable'


Add some unfamiliar, two syllable nouns to the board which can be easily polnted out. Point to the objects without saying them Examples might include (depending on the room or the contents of your pockets or bag): ceiling





Tell students the words are nouns Ask students what syllables they think are stressed and add stress marks N4odel the words Students repeat'

5. 6.

lvlodel the pair work, Choose five ltems from the coLumn Things in your backpack, including some two-syLlable words Choose a student and ask her' in Your backPack?" "Sue, do you have a

Put students in pairs. Explain that each student will guess five things that his in partner has in his backpack, using the quest on "Do you have a


Word Sttess


AdlDiA 1.5 .ontinued

your backpack?" The students can choose words from the board or words for other things they know.

7. After the

pair work, ask several students to report on the contents of thejr partners' backpacks. Provide feedback on word stress.

IF s*."" with Cornpounds

What the Teacher Should Kmrw

frst word and secofldary


Compour.rd nouns and adiective-noun compounds have primary stress on the stress on the second: air:pdtt, grdduate st dents, tbe

Hduse.'fhe first word is pronoutced on a higher pitch:



in most pronunciation textbooks. Mispronunciations of compounds usually occur because students have used a higher pitch on the second word or on both words. Most intemediate and advanced students use the correct stress-pitch pattern on compounds Bke airport ot subu)ay, written as one word (although Spanish students often misstress boyfriend and girlfriend). They have more difficulty with compounds written as two words, which are harder to fecognize (e.g., graduate students, post ofrice, oflice bailding).Nouns and adiectives fomed from phrasal verbs (e.g.,tbe tAke\fr my mdkeiq), have the same stress-pitch pattefn as compounds. phrasal \'erbs are discussed in Rhlthm, page 69.

This is a topic appropriate for beginning through adyanced students and is covered



Conpounds: Which came lntermeQiate/Advanced



Page ?06

Teach classes of words that have predictable stress patterns.

This activity practices compounds in the context of a trivia activity and can be integrated with other work on discoveries/inve?tions or technolo$/. Students see pairs of compounds (e.g., cell phones, iPods) and decide which came first.
(continue.l on next page)



\\lorcl strcss

Actll,iry t.6 continucd

1. 2.

D rect students'attentlon to the compound pairs. Go over meaning necessary.


Select 0ne of the compounds and wrlte it on the board. Write the f rst word higher than the second, to illustrate the pitch pattern. IVodel the compound and the isolated stress pltch pattern (DA da). Ask the class whether the flrst or pitch. second word is pronounced on a higher

@ 3. Students listen to the compounds and

repeat them.

4. In pairs, students decide which came first, guessing as needed. For example, cell phones were in use before iPods.
5. After the pair work, ask students to report wh ch came Provide feedback on the stress pitch pattern of the compounds-make sLlre students pronounce


the first word on a higher pitch.


with Verbs and Nouns with Prepositional Prefixes

What the Teacher Should Know Most verbs with trlrepositiollal pretixcs have prinary stress on the Yerb and scconclary stress on the prcfix: dtttliue, dueridL inderstdnd, ilps't Atew arc morc often stressccl on the prepositio n: 6uer ddse, a)utage, 6u ALu. Thcse are not fixed rules, horvel-er, aud speakers nlay strcss either the prcposition or the Yerb in ordef
to mnintain a more equal alternation of strcsses:
You rea y upsdt



You rea y 0pset [/]ary.

Ilecausc of the new r.ocabulary involvecl with these I'erbs. this topic is bctter suitcd to intermediate and advancetl students.

Nouns and acljcctives can be formed frottt some verbs with prepositionxl prefixes. These constructions are stressed on the preposition, following the general pattern for two-syllable nouns: 4 Positirc 6utldok' an psrLting in prices' 4n 6utbriqk of Jtu.The adjective outstanding can bc stressed either on the prefk or on the root: vrhen the mcaning is 'exceptionally good," outstandirlS usually has primary strcss on sland;when the meaning is "unpaidi' as h an outstanding bill' stress is usu:rlly on out Note that witll outdoor(s), indoor(s)' outside' a\d inside, stress can be on either syllable.


Wotd Stress




Verbs and nouns with prcpositional prefixes: Why do wonen

outlive nen?

level Tip

Advanced/intermed iate

Worksheet Page 206

Teach classes of words that have predjctable stress patterns.

oescliption This activity uses paired dictations to practice the stress patterns of nouns and verbs with prepositional prefixes, in the context of gender
differences. The activiiy can be integrated with work on longevity, aging, or gender issues. This is also an opportunjty to practice the pronunciation of the plural women, using the vowel hl (h/ is lhe vowel in drd; see Front Vowels, page 169).


On the board, write some verbs with prepositional prefixes. Go over meaning if necessary. Students may ask whether whelm is a verb. Explain that it comes from a verb meaning "capsize" used in Old and lViddle English (it is listed by

itself in the American Heritage Dictionary with the meaning,,overwhelm',).




overtake withdraw


Model the words, stressing the verb. Students repeat. Ask students whether the words are nouns or verbs and which part of the word is stressed (verb or preposition). l\4ark stress on the words. Explain that most verbs with prepositional prefixes are stressed on the verb. prefixes to the board.
0vervtew outline

3. Add nouns with prepositional



4. l\4odel the words, stressing the prepositions. Students repeat. Ask students which part of the words is stressed. Explain that nouns with preposittonal prefixes are stressed on the preposition. 5. Paired dictations. Model the activity. Dictate the sentence below to the class. Tell students to mark the stress on the word with the prepositional prefix.

Elderly women outnumber elderly men.

6. Put students in pairs and give each member of the pair a different set of sentences for dictation. Students decide where stress should fall in the

underlined words in their sentences and drctate the sentences to a partner who writes them. Students should speak as clearly as possible and not show the dictation sentences to the partner until the activity is finished.
7. After the activity, ask individuals to read the sentences. Ask the class to comment on the dictation statements: Are the statements true, false, or par y true? Ask students if they think there are other reasons that women ou|ive men.





Hh Abbreviations
V/hat the Teacher Should Know The last letter of an abbreviation has heaviest stress and highest pitch:e.g.,
ATI\4 (automated teller machlne).

Activity 1.8 Ievel


Ahhreviations: Integruti ng pnnunciation antl grannar

Page 207 Teach classes of words that have predictable stress patterns.


This activity combines practice with the stress pattern of common abbreviations and the use of premodifiers (articles and possessives) with abbreviations. Students maich abbreviations 1o definitions and supply a modifier in front of the abbreviation.
repeat them


1. Students listen to the abbreviations on Worksheet 1.8 and


Ask students which letter of the abbreviation has the heaviest stress and which has the highest pitch. (The last letter has the heaviest stress and the highest pitch, which then falls.) Ask individuals to read some of the abbreviations. Provide feedback on stress and pitch. Explain the use of articles and possessive adjective premodifiers if necessary
5 a


4. Students work in pairs to match the abbreviations with definitions and write modifier in the blank before the abbreviation.

5, After the pair work, ask students to explain what each abbreviation stands for

(e.g,, the U/V stands for the United Nations), monitoring stress on the abbreviation, as weli as premodifier use.
6. Abbreviated phrases such as IGIF (thank God it's Friday), AS,4P (as soon as possible), and FYI (for your information), and texting abbreviations such as BFF (best friend foidver), IOL (lots of laughs or laughjng out loud, also little old lady), and /DK (l don't know) can also be presented. These abbreviations are used more in writing than speaking.

is usedwith a The artlcLe /re is used when the abbreviation refels tc a specific (or kno$n) rcferenl (e g.,lbe Ul\), a\d4 nonspeclfic (or unknown) relercnt (e.g., an ATlti): no article is used when lhe abbrevialion is a prcler nalne (e.g., IBtr{). Possessives arc used when re rcferent "be1ongs" to an individual (e.g., ll'r D0B, date of bitlh)


Ward Stress


Actiuiry 1.8 continued


(3 4 students). Instruct each student to give additional information about one of the places or organizations in the matchjng activity: US, UK, UN, FBl, ClA. The informatlon can be of anytype: an opinion, a fact, or a personal experience. Remind students to stress the abbreviation correc|y
Group work and to use modif iers. After the group work, ask students what other abbreviations they are familiar with (e.g., local abbreviations).



to."" with suffixes

Vhat the Teacher Should Know

is stressed on the second syllable; when -tion/-sion is added, stress shifts to the syllable before the suffix definltion (also uacAtion, conuersdtion, communicAfion. identificAtion, decision, profession). WittL -eer, on the other hand, pfimary stress shi.fts to the suffix ltsef, the last syllable: enginder, uoluntAet; pionder FamiliaritF q/ith the stress pattems associated with suffixes takes some of the guesswork out of stress assignment, especially in longer words where most
misplacements of stress occur (Fokes and Bond 1989). Since advanced students will have picked up the stress pattems associated with some of these suffixes, the topic can also be used to work with vowel reduction. a feature of stress which is not acquired quickly. Because of the level of vocabulary, this topic is not suited to beginning students. There are, however, some yery common stress-changing sufflres, such as -tion/-sion, that occur in words appropriate to a high beginner's lr'o cab\l^ry..nation, decision, information, professlon. Stress on word forms inyolvingpDoto shoultl als<r be taught to beginners:These words are misstressed by many students ar all leyels:
Some suffixes require that stress fall on a particular syllable in a word and may cause stress to shift from its regular bosition in the base word,.For exafiple, define





Many suffixes do not cause stress to change from its position in the base wor<l: -zess OrAppiness-bAppy), -! (sldepiness-srcel4l), -ment (g6uernmentg6uern, tndasurement mdasure), -ful (bau ful-bdau4), mAsterfut-mAster). See Appendix C for a more complete list of suffixes with associated srress patterns
and exceptions.





Strcss with suffixes: What's presidential?





Teach classes of words that have predictable stress patterns.

Desclipt:on This activity practices stress associated with suffixes used in words that describe leadersh ip qualities.

@ 1.

Students listen to the words on Worksheet 1.9 and repeat them. Ask students

to identify the stressed syl ables and mark them (for all of these suffixes, primary stress is on the syllable before the suffix: presid6ntial, intell6ctual,
controv6rsial, politician, muslcian, academician, l6gical, identical, ecol6gical, idealistic, realistic, energetic, responsibllity, integrity, passivity, luxirlous,

ambitious, couriigeous).


Students volunteer other words they know with these endings. Add the words to the board, marking the stressed syllables.

3. 0n the board, write the question "What's presidential?" 4. Group work

(3-4 students). Ask students to discuss the qualities ihat a good president or leader should have. Students can use words from the board or choose other words.

5. After the group work, ask a member of each group to report t0 the class. Provide feedback on word stress.

Fk to""

on Unstressed Syllables

what the Teacher Should Know

Native speakefs drop internal unstressed vowels in some common words: Famil!, f$ example, is pronounced "farnly," and erery is pronounced "evry." The dropped vowel is often followed by /r/ ot /l/. Loss of the unsressed vowel has the effect of making the word one syllable shorter than its written form suggests. It also has the effect of bringing consonants together and creatinfa more closed (and difficult) syllables: Fa-mi-l!, with rhtee open syllables, becomes fam-ly, with a closed and open syllable (closed syllables cncl in consonants; open syllables end in vowels; see Consonants, page 118).While thcse reductions are charactefistic of fluenl American speech, they are not a high priority pronunciation topic. With advanced students, who have covered word stress but still neecl more work, these worcls can add a new element, though students may already be using reduced pronunciations in some of them (e 9., "intresting" for interesting).


Wotd Stess


All students should be aware_of one word from this gtoup, comJbr.table, stjrce word is:ommon and rhe spelling does ,ro, ..p...*i.oTrrnciadon :l:, well. Most native speakers pronounced this word Zfamfiar_SalZ.'ifre pronunciarion of com'fortabre shourd be taught when the word t nrst in*oouc!-o to students. In the asterisked words below, the dropped syllable almost atways,,disappears.,,
accidentally *aspirin
awfu lly

(asprin) (awfly) (bevrage) (choclate)


*chocolate *comfonable

/kamftarbay - notice that the o.tlet ol M and ht is switched in spelling and pronunciation,
(delibrate) (diffrent) (elementry) (evning) (evry) (famly)

deliberate (adiective)
different elementary *evening *every

*family favolite, favorable *federal general, *generally *interest, interesting

*laboratory miserable

(favrite, lavrable)
(fedral) (genral, genrally)

(intrest, intresting)
(labratory) (misrable)

naturally *practically
restaurant *separate (adjective) *several *temperature *vegetable

(natchra y) (practicly)
(restrant) (seprate) (sevral) (temprature) (vegtabte)





Incorrectly Dropped Syllables (ex'cise for exercise). Although many students pronounce unstressed syllables with too much pfominence, some
students, especially Chinese students, may drop them or pronounce them too wc.LkJy Exercise, for example, $/hich is a three-syllable word, may sound like "excise;' a two-syllable wotd; actiuitl, a four-syllable word, may sound like "acti\ty." The unstressed syllables that are commonly dropped are internal -er- syllables (together with r-dropping, see Vowels, page 192), internal syllables spelled with -i- (e.9., euidence may sound like "evdence"), and final -y endings (e.9., uery gootl may sound like "ver' good"). These are reductiye errors, errors in which phonetic material that should be present is missing; they are distracting and can have a negative impact on comprehensibility. The words below are ones in which my Chinese international teaching assistants (ITAS) frequently drop syllables.
art c
c ass

pronounced like "a(r)tko(l)"6 pronounced like "clasko(l)"

"ecnorn ics"


economics pronounced like

exerclse-pronounced like "excise"

energy pronounced Ike "engy"



l-pronou nced like "tech(n) og co(l)"

Like "u nstanding"

understanding pronounced

iversity-pronou nced like "unvast(y)"

opportun ty-pronounced like "optunty"

evldence pronounced like "evdence"

activity-pronounced like "aktivt(y)"



with mlxed native


this error is best dealt with

thfough effor coffection.

Parentheses arcund a


for exampLe,

a(r)tko(l)-indicate fiat

the sound corrcspondirg to lhe lettr mal not be prcnounced or

ma-v be pronounced very weakly


Word Sttess 4"1



0 Disappea

ng syllables: Gane

level Tip

Advanced/intermed iate

Worksheets Pages208,209
Use pronunciation spellings to develop students' awareness of how unstressed vowels are pronounced.

Description Thls activity presents dr0pped syllables in the c0ntext of

guessing game.


Give each student a copy of the list of words on Worksheet 1.10A. Explain ihat native speakers of English often drop one of the unstressed syllab es in these words.


Students listen and draw a line through the unpronounced vowel. Then they listen again and repeat.
lAnswers: asp/tin chocy'late




is/ra ble


3. Collect the handouts.


ev/ning tur/ly gen/ral led/ral sep/rate (adj) eufry lavfrite comlort/ble accident/lly awt/ltyl
the questions in Set 1 and Team

4. Divide the class into two teams. Give Team

2 the questions in Set 2 of Worksheet 1.108.

5. Explain the game. Each team has a d fferent set of questions; the two teams

take iurns asking the opposing team their questlons. First, a member from Team 1 asks a member from Team 2 a question. Encourage readers to say the questions as clearly as possible so the opposing tearn understands what's being asked. The Team 2 player must answer with a dropped syllable word. Then Team 2 asks Team l a question.


t,"."" switching

What the Teacher Should Know The strcsscd syllable is fixed in most worcls. Howeveq in some rvords where secondary stress is followccl b-v rvord-final primar'!' stre ss, the two stresses can switch syllables. For example, in citation form (the word in isolation), TdnneS.9EE has primxr_y stress on the last s)'llable and scconclary stress on the first syllable.



word strcss

Howevet in TEnnessAe RIae4 native speakers switch primary and secondary stress on knnessee in order to avoid the two adiacent, heavily stressed syllables that would result in TbnnessEE Rlrer (a stress clash). Stress switching creates a more eyen alternation of stresses and a more eurhythmic (rhlthmically pleasant) phrase (Liberman and Prince 1977, Selkirk 1984). Stress switching also occurs in the pl.rases on the right, below.T
Primary stress on lasi sy lable Primary stress shifts back

l'm slxTEEN.

in 1610 (Slxtden TEN)

NEW York Clty

Natiye speakers may also adtust timing or lengthen final sounds to separate adjacent stressed syllables (Selkirk i984). For example, the rhlthm of 'Jine sings w6ll" sounds slower than the rh)'thm of "The w6man is singing beautifully.'In both sentences there are three stressed s]4lables. However, in the first sentence, all three stressed syllables are adjacent, causing speakers to slow down to put space between the stresses. In the second sentence, there are unstfessed syllables which prevent adjacent stresses, and therefore there is no need to slow down. Stress switching is not a high-priority pronunciation topic but can be added to work on stress with advanced students as something new



Stess switching: What happened in the






Teach classes ol words that have predictable stress patterns.

Bescription This trivia activiiy practices the stress patterns in -teen numbers used in years. lt can also be used to reinforce the use of the and plurals with names of decades (e.g., the 1990s). Students guess the decade in which historical events occurred1. On

the board, write:

He was 19 (nineteen) in the 1990s (nineteen nineties). 2. l\4odel the sentence. For the two occurrences of 19, stress -feen when it refers to age; stress the number nine-when it refers to the century. Elicit from

students the stress on the two -teen words (or explain


feen numbers are

' slre$ s$jfhing is onl,! a bacxw-ards" process: a finaL primary strcss exchdges pLace with x preceding scondary stress. T]rus, lor exenple, stress s$jtchirg does not occlr r $ith compound! a conpound like /i/Rphre (wllh pdmary slRss on lhe lint noun) never bccoms,ri?l4rw Strcss s\\'lrhing ls ar oflionaL rule and occum mo$ hequen ) in "lightlr bound" phm-\es Like 761r. Sxtie. TEN,
at NllW

1l), Cij,

(.Li'betman md

Pince l gl7,



Wotd Sttess


stressed on the number in years (this is a more general tendency which occurs when the next word is stressed on the first syllable). Otherwise, students should stress -teen.8

Elicit from students the names of the decades of the twentieth century. (There is no agreed on name for the decade 1900 1909; it is sometimes called the nineteen aughts or the 19-lowzl; the decade 1910-1919 is called the nineteen tens.) Write the names on the board, including the article fhe and the plural ending. Model the decade names. Students repeat.
Pass out Worksheet 1.11. Students work in pairs to identify the decade when the event occurred. Ask students to guess if necessary.

Following the pair work, ask students when they think the events occurred. Provide feedback on their pronunciation of numbers and the use of fhe and the plural with decade names (e.g.,. the 1920s\.

When students leam to lengthen vowels in stressed syllables and shorten vowels in unstressed syllables, they not only pronounce individual words more cleafly, but also are primed for one of the keys to natural English rhythm-the altemation of long (stressed) and short (unsffessed) words. In addition, appfoaching the teaching of word stress through specific classes of words like compor:nds, where stress is predictuble, helps students avoid one of the single most serious pronunciation effors-misplaced wofd stress.

Natilr speaken may also stres the number (rather than -/aara), 19 (ninetren).

even when fhe number is followed by a pause, ai in 1



I ovefheard the following col.tvcfsatioll bctween thc owncr of x local ne\vsstand (a Pakistani who speaks verv good English) and a Kofe'tlt cLlstomcr who was I less pfoficient English speaker. The Korean man had dropped off a roll of film
man wasn t sufe srhethcr the Pakistani ltaal said ,,todal', later,,or.,two days later.'.
Korea n: Today later, right?

to bc devek)pcd iu]d wanted to know $.hcn to pick it up. The pakistani owner ans!\.'ered that it would be ready "two da)'s later, (thar is, on Saturclay). The Kofean

Owner: Two days later. Korean (po nt ng with his index f nger to the counter): Todav ater? Owner: No, two days ater.
l\4e: Proba lt y Saturday.

This misunderstanding rel]ects a problcm with both rl]1.thm and word stfess. two closcll' relatcd areas of English pronuncialion. English rhlthm is characterized b.v an eltcrnation of meaningful words (like lu)o ot tlq.!),wt.\ch are long in dlu.ation and stresscd, and grammatical words (likc the preposition to, or the lrtrticlc ttJe), which ale short and unstressed. The same altcrnation of long-stressed :rnd short unstressed is found within words; f<rr example. the sccond s,vllable of todaJ), the stfessed syllable, is lol.rger than the first syllable (tocl.q),111e unstressed svllable..l.he Kofean customer was apparently unaware of the diffcrcnce berween strcssed and Lnstressed rvords and si4lablcs.In Enlilish, the first svllablc of today does not sound like lz,o; becausc it is unstressed, the \.owel is reduced and pronounced likc the first von'el in algo. In the Korcan's speech, todat- sovnded like tun cla1t. The Korean appilfently also did not notice the Pakistani's use of the plurul da-trs. The fact that the ncsrsstand owner was not a native speakef of English may also have contributed to thc conftrsion, although the Pakistani's Englislt was vcry good. Ir is inpossible to kno$- wltether the Korean was generall]. unaware of thc clift'efent pfonunciations of lod.t)t ancl tun daJ,6), or n4tether he clidn't expect anotltef nonnative speakef to make this distinction.




Natural English rh,vthm requires the use of length and loudness to distilrluish morc promincnt worcls liom lcss prominent wortls, as wcll as thc abilitv to link words together smoothly and pronounce thcn in meatingftll units.\tronli calls thc length-loudness distinction "the ke,v to the rhlthnic s)stem of English" (19U7, 2l); the ability to link words together and group thcm effectivel_y into units of meaning is no lcss ifilpoftant.


Knowlcdgc of vocabuletl anci grammtr has an inpact on rhlthm.A student whose speech is halting because she is scarching lor words is unlikel,v to hxve the planning time to link the final end beginnin[a sounds of adjacent wotds (e.9.. dot com) app()piatcly; the abilit]' to group words into appropriate phrases dso requires quick access to lexicnl items and grammar. Lt a comparison of the cffcct of prosodic (intonational) features and fluenc,v (pausing) features on accentedness, fluenc-v-bascd problems like frequent, long. or inappropriate pauses were more important contributors to accent than intonation (ltofimovich and Bakef 2006). Lower-proficiency learners tend to pausc more liequently and inappr-opriate ly than l.righ-proficie nc-v lcarners (Anderson-Hsieh and Venkatagiri, 1994).'lhese findings do not mean that tcachers should avoid tcaching rh,vthm to beginning stt-tdents. on the contrar]', rhlthm should be taught. but the topics and approach shottld be linked to students'proliciency Chel:r-Flores, for example. rccommends that begil.ming students learn the rhlthmic patterns of tlte language they are able to use, suclr as the lalrliualac of lareetings ancl infortnatjon questions like WJat\ )nlrr
nculle? (20O1,). Students are better ible to hear thc fhlthm pattern of a sentence or phrase rvhen the pattern is isolatcd. For example, the rhvthnr of a phrase like ut IIOME or in SCHOOL is casicr for stlrdents to hear s.hetr tlte phrase ar.rcl its isolatecl rhlthm patterr are modclcd togethef: at HOME-da DA. Students also find it easier to hcar the rhl-thm of a phrase or short sentence when it is paired with a familiar wor.l that has thc snme pattern (for example. engineer and Ann uvts here). A relaled technique can be used to teach awarcncss of reduced pronunciations. Students notice thc |ecluced pronunciations of be ancl ber in WlJat did he do or 'lvhctt's ber nante when the) see the questions re spclled as "what diddy do?" and "\Whatscr name?' One of the clifficr-rlties studcnts and tc'.rchers fhce $'hen workin! \i'ith rhlthm

in longer uttcrances is rhxt there are as mtny dilfcrcnt rh,\tl]m pattcrns xs there are difTerent utterenccs. The fhythm of a giYen lltterance dcPcnds on the stfess patterns of lexical items, their ordering, and the relation of the utterance to the larger discourse;when lexical content. orclcr, and discourse contcxt differ, r'lrythm dift-ers. 'Working with shorter phr:rses with relativel]' predictable pattcrns sinplilies the pronunciation task for teachets ancl students. Chela-Florcs atlvoctttcs a similar


2 tlllvthn 47

appfoach, basing pronunciation work for beginning students on,,chunks,, of speech that students can process as units of meaning and rh\thm (2O01).

Rh1tl]m churks are granmatical phfases with a predictable corc rhythm pattern.'lhey exprcss Llnits of meaning and ma,y constitutc thought groups (see pagc 52). The corc rhythm partern of a pfeposition?rl phrase, for cxamplc, is a weak bcat (short, unstrcssed), thc preposition, followed b1. a strong bear (lonla, stressed), thc tlolln at HOMF The core rhl.thm pattcrn of a phrase type, for cxanplc, the weak-strong pattcrn of prepositional phrases, ma_l' be idcntical to tlre rhlthm of an xctual phrase (e.9., at HOXIE) or part of the fhlthm of an actual phrase.A k)nger prepositional phrasc (e.g., dt the IJLINking RED LIGHT) may h;rvc additional bears (s]4lables), both strong and weak.


The seven tips listed below proviclc some gcneral sulagcstions for helping students to speak English with a clearer, nore natural rhlthm. The tips are based on the characteristics of Englislt dtythm and on the problems studcnts encountcr with rh\-thm.

'1. Model phrases using nonsense syllables to make rhe


partern easier to hear

?. Teach beginning students the rh).tltm patterns of communicatively uscftll

language at their level.

3. To help students distinguish meaningful groups of words, teach them to

lelgthen the end of one group before saying the following group. 4. Teach students to link the final consonant ofa word smoothly to the beginning
sound of the next word.
5. Teach stlrdents predictable

rhltlxn patterns of


6. Teach students lo recognize the reduced pronunciations of gramrrrar wor<ls. Teach the reduced pronunciltion of can to help studerts pronounce the

difference between can



Thc rcmaindef of this chaptcr prcscnts spe cific featt-tres of rh_\-thm. l'he seven tips above are explained lifiher in the contcxr of the followinla fcarures.





sprctrtc rrnrunrs or nnYrnvt

1. Stress-timed rhlthm 2. Content and fuilction words 3. Thought groups 4. l-inking adiacent words 5. Prepositional phrases and infinitives 6. Articlc + noun 7. Pcrsonal Pronouns 8. Pltrasal verbs 9. Coniunctions
10. Reductions of ftinction words 11. Fast-speech recluctions of function rvords

we disclrss what the teacher shoul.l know about each of these topics and pfovide suggestions for teaching them ln some cases, the sullgestion is a classroom -activinr In other cases, it is efror correctioll. Suggestions for error corrcction are short enor,rgh to use when studen$ are engaged in nonpronunciation actiYities' They are also useflil fbr adclressing pronunciadon problems that only one or two
students in a class experience




What the Teacher Should Know English rhlthm is described as stress-timed rh)-thm, one of several broad types oidrl-thm. Other stress-timecl languages includc I)utch, German' Mandarin' ancl Arabic. The cllaracteristics found in languages with stress-timed rhlthm include the presence of a large Yariety of syllable qvpes-both open syllables (encling in vowels) and closed syllables of various types (syllables endiflg in consonants). Stress-timed languages may also have hean- and light syllables;healy end in syllables, which attract stress, are those that have long vowels andlor are consonant clusters. In aclclition, in stress-timed languages' unstressed syllables shorter than stressed syllables, and vowels in unstressed syllables may be reduced' The more of these characteristics a langualle has' tlle nlore stress'timed its rhlthm
(Ramus et al. 1999). Strcsstimed rh)-thm contrasts with sf/llable-timed rh)-tlm, forurd in tanguages like Spanish, Ita[an, Korean anct Cantonese ln syllable-tined languages stressed and




unstressed syllables axe of approximately equal length; the variety of syllable types is more limited; and vowel reduction in unstressed syllables is unlikely. r Lloyd James likens stress-timed rhlthm to Morse code signals (long dashes and short dots) and sfllable-timed rhlthm to "machine gun" or staccato pattems (1940). Learners whose native language is syllable-timed have difficulty learning English rh)'thm, but with exposure and increasing proficiency, they will acquire some of the characteristics of
stress timing.

Infomation about the stress-timed nature of English rhlthm is included in many pronunciation textbooks and helps students understand and become aware of the genefal nature of English rhlthm. It is presented here in a similar spirit, as "rh1'thm appreciation" and as an introduction to more focused work on specific fe atures of rhlthm.



Prcsenting stessi/ined rhythn: Linericks

lntermed iate and Advanced


Worksheet See page 211.

1. Direct students' attention to the pictures of the two tree lines on Worksheet 2.1.

Ask students to compare the tree size and spacing of the two tree lines. 2, Model the sentences below the tree lines. Ask students which words are longer

and louder. Ask students if the rhythm of English is more like the natural tree line or the apple orchard.
J. lvlodel the sentences again, following each with its isolated rhythm pattern: Ihe birds abandoned the forestAa DA da DA da da DA da; They built their nests in the orchard DA da DA da da DA da, Students repeat the sentences and


rhythm patterns.
(continued on next page)


ll9) . In


inslrumenlal bsdng hrs failed to confinn some of lie perceptuai charactristics of strcss-ti.oed languages (Dauer 1983, Ramus et al. $rcss timed languags, slrcsses arc heard as occuring at equal inlNals in lime (isochrony) ; in syllable{imed larguages, the befteen $resses is more variable. llowever, instrumental measurments rcveal that stre$ses in English (e $ress-tined language)
n0 more rcgular than those in syllable{imed Languages (Dauer 1983).




ActiuiU' 2.1 conttnued


Ask students to read the limerick silently and then go over questions about vocabu lary.

@ 5. StuCents listen to the limerick and repeat. Ask students which words

stressed (i,e., longer, louder). lStressed words: once, man, beard; said, just, feared; owls, hen; larks, wren; build(tng), nests, beardl


In pairs, students practice the limerick. Then, on the bottom half of the handout, the pairs write a new third and fourth line; lines 3 and 4 need nOt rhyme but the rhythm (i.e., the number of syllables and location of stressed syllables) should be the same as in the 0riginal. Each pair presents its limerick to the class, alternating the lines.

Etl con..n

and Function words

What the Teacher Should Know Content words are words with clear meaning (e.g.,run, coffe4 bot) Fl]nctiott words lrave abstract or grammatical meantrlg (e.g.,tbe, to, at).In connected speech, content words are usually stressed and function words are usually unstressed.

Stlessed Nouns (table, dog) Ueths (watk, eat) Adiectives (big, beautifut) AdueJbs (quickty, vety) Demonstratives (this, those)2 ouestion words (Who? How?)
Content words:

Function Words: Unstressed

Atticles (a, an, the) Auxiliary verbs (an, is, has, can, will)
Short preposilions (to, at, in, for, with)3 Coniunctions (and, ot, that, when, if) Relative pronouns (who, wnon, that, which) Personal pronouns and possessive adjectives 0' you' he' them' our' their)

Negatives (inctuding (not, don't, isn't)


2 3

Inng prepositions


d&?e/t or undemeath h,we

0 996, I 53)

cleNer mexning (comp'lred to /0 or


and ,.lre often strcssed

]lurciaet al.

list demonstrative adjectiles (e.g , that

nan, lhue

bctohs) ts functior Notds alid denorstrative Ponouns aj

content words (e g

lDr, r/ /rpre)


Rhythm 51



Content and lunction wods: Shopping Beginn ing

level Tips

Worksheet None
Model phrases using nonsense syllables io make the rhythm pattern easier to hear. Teach beginning students the rhythm patterns of communicatively useful language at their level.

Description This activity links the stress patterns of familiar words to the rhythm pattern of phrases" The sample is a short dialogue about shoppjng. Reprinted lrom Top Notch: English for Today's World, Fundamentals by Joan Saslow and Allen Ascher, Pearson Longman, page 49. Used with permission. The activity in Top Notch taryets shopping language, including clothing and color vocabulary.

1. Students listen to the dialogue oir the Audio


CD, track 8, and repeat the lines.


H: OK. WHAT do you NEED? T: I NEED a TIE and a NEW SUIT.





jt lS. OH, Actually, I NEED



Copy the dialogue on the board, capitaiizing the stressed syllables of content words. Below each line, write the isolated rhythm pattern,

T: LET'S G0 SHopping.



H: OK WHAT do you NEED?





T: I NEED a TIE and a NEW SUIT. da DA da DA da da DA DA




da DA


lS. OH, Actually, I NEED SH0ES, T0O!


DA da





(c()ntinued on next l)age)




Actiri Dt


2 co, ttinaed


lVode each line, followed by its isolated rhythrn pattern. Emphasize the stressed syllables. Students repeat the dralogue lines and the rhythm patterns.
Ask students which words are longest and loudest (the cap talized words). Select pairs of students to perform the dialogue for the class. Provtde feedback on rhythm: The capitalized words should be long and loud. questions from the textbook un t (or from units previously covered) n one column and possible answers in another column, with whlch students can create new dialogues. Capitalize the stressed syllab es


6. 0n the board, list related

of content words.

Ft] rhought croups

what the Teachr Should Know Vords within an uttemnce are broken into shorter, meaningflil groups of words called thought groups. A thought group includes at least one content (stresse(D word and often corresponds to a gfammatical stfuctufe (e.g., a verb
phrase, prepositional phrase, or short clausc).In the sentence below,thonght groups

ale underlined.
It's not too late to f nd a r6om at a natjona park this season.

Most students understand the notion of a thought group and arc able to dividc a written sentencc into appropriate liroups. They may not, however, know how the yoice conveys this information. In English, both rhlthm and intonation provide cues for the Lstener The rhlthmic cue is a lengtlleninti or holding of the end of a thongltt group betbre the ncxt begins (Selkirk 1984,Wightman et al. 1992).The lengthenir.rg may be heard as a pause, although within an utterance, the !-oice "lingers" rather than stops irt a thought group boundary In addition, words within a thought group are linked more closely than words across thouliht gror-lp boundaries. Thought groups also have thcir own intonation patterns.* At thc cnd of an internal (nonJinal) thought liror-lp, intonation usually rises a little, a signal that the speaker has more to sa)', but may also fall a little. The sentence above is repeated below, the drlthmic and intonational cues that mark its thought groups.
It's not

toitate to f nd a ro66 at a nationa



tni. .*--)n


e18 ^

OO o


Thought groqts are dso cxLled inlor)ation units (Gilhefl 1981, Cclce NlrLcie et el 1996). int0nnti(Dal lhrdes or inteDnedilte phm-ses (Pierehun )efi 19t0, Picrchlmbert xlld HiNchbeql 1990). and k)lle Lrnils (Bnzil 1994a)


Rhvthn 53

Because thcse nonfind intonirtion changes are difficult for students and teachers to hea! the main tcacltinla focus should be on the rhrthmic cues, the lengtheninla or palrsinli at the encl of a thought group. 'l'hcre are no fixed rules for determining in adyance what tlte thougltt groups in a given sentence should be. Me:rninli is a factor, but so, too, are rate of speakinli (ftwcr thought groups ;uc used in fastcr speech) and stvle of speaking (morc thoulaht gfoups are used in public speakin!). The senrcnce above, for example, coultl also be broken into two of thfee thought laroups: It's not too late to f nd a room at a fattona oarkthsseason It's not too ate to flnd a room at a nationa oark this season

Appropriate thought groupinll bcnefits the student in two wa,vs. Organized into sl.rofter, meaningful units, thc student's message is more comprehensible. In
addition, the brief pause or holcling of the end of a thought tiroup slows the student down, him more time to make lexical, larammatical, and pronunciation choices (Gilbcrt 1994, Lcvis and Grant 2001).

Thought groups arc both teachable and learnable. Anderson-Hsich and Venkatagiri found that ntore proficient Chinese learners used pausing more appropriatel_y than less proficient learners (1994). Ueyama lbund that aclrancccl Japanese learncrs lengthened the ends of thought groups more eppropriately than bcginning learners (1996).In this book, thoulaht laroups are atldressed below as I'ell as in activities that focus on rhe rh,vthm patterns of specific phflrse tvpes (c.g., prepositional phrases).

Activity 2.3 Ievel


Thoaght groups: Exercise

High Beginning/Low Intermed iate



To help students distinguish meaningful groups of words, teach them to iengthen the end of one group before saying the following group.


This activity practices thought groups in the context of exercise and fitness and can be iniegrated with topics on health, nutrition or sports and with the grammar of the present tense third-person singular ending. Students interview their classmates about a) how often they exercise, b) what they do, c) where they exercise, and d) with whom they exercise. Each piece of information is a potential thought group. Once the information is gathered, each student reports to the class about another classmaie, using the present tense.

1rci page)




Actixily 2.3 continue.l


Introduce the activity by asking students what kind of exercise they do. lvlake list on the board (e.g., walk, run, work out at the gym, play soccer). yourself on the board, including frequency (e.g., once in a blue moon), the activity (e.9., I walk), place (e.g., around the block), and with whom (e.9., wlth my dog). Once in a blue moon, I walk around the block wrth my dog.

2. Wrile a sentence about

3. 4.

l\4odel the sentence, ho ding/lengthening the ends 0f thought groups. With your

hand, rnake sweeplng underlines corresponding to your thought groups (move your hand from right to left, which will be your students' left to right). Ask students which words you grouped together. Underline the groups. I\4odel the sentence again, holding/lengthenlng the end of each thought group. Students repeat. Explain that the end of a thought group is held briefly and lengthened a little before the next group starts.
On the board, write four headings: "How often," "What," "Where," and "Wlth whom." Ask one or two students to describe their exercises, providing the four


pleces of information.

6. Elicit from

the class questions for each of the four pieces of information, and questions on the board ("How often do you exercise?" "What do you write the do?" "Where do you exercise?" and "Who do you exercise with?"). for each iype of information (e.g., for "How often," ellcit "every day," "once a week," "occasionaLly," "maybe once a month," and so on). For the last category, "With whom," add "by myself" if students don't know the expression.
Students interview another classmate, take notes, and then report to the class about their partners. Instruct students to group words clearly and provide feedback on grouping.

7. Elicit expressions


rinkins eo;acent words

What the Teacher Should Know

In connected speech, sounds at word boundaries join closely togethe! in some cases creating blends;this linking of words is also referred to as word-to-word timing (Zsiga 2003, ,i00).

Inappropriate linking of words contributes to accentedness and unintelligibility and can disrupt rhlthm as sh.rdents struggle with final sounds. Many problems with word-to-word linking occur when a word ending in a consonant is followed by a word beginning with a consonant (e.g.,Web slte). Depending on the natiye language of the learneq these difficulties ma] reflect difficulty with final




consonants in laeneral (that is, with English sl'llable fi,pes), difficulty with rhe wa,\.s in which wofd final consonants are linked to following words. or with both. Learners whose natiye langualies limit of do not allow final consonants use several strategies to deal with them (see also Final Consonants, page 153). The final consonant may be deleted (e.g., "re color" for "red cokrr',); it may be changed (e.g., ''pockctboot" lbr "pocketbook"); or a vowel may be adclcd to separate it the following word (e.g., "redr colof) (Weinbergef 1987; Maior 1987, 1996; Hansen 2001). Chinese learners may substitute a glorral stop (phonetic s),mbol ,/?/, a sound found in the warning Uh Oh /?a?ow/ and in Cockney English): too& a ualk, for example, ma1, sountl like "too? a walk." Specific final consonants mav also have distracting, odd-sounding pronunciations. One example is the pronunciation by Korcan students of linal /4/ es in ubich). /(13/ @s ln agg), [/ (as in catlO, a1:.d B/ (^s tn Derge). In connected speech, these wofds may sound as though the bpe.Jker hlLs rrd.led r short J/ ending to the word: nhichy one. a1cy limit. r.ashr pa1 nrenr. r Difficulties may also arise because English and learncr's natir.e language link words in different ways. In English, final consonimts are not strongly rcleased unless the following word begins with a vowel (Catfbrd 1987, Ladefoged 1993). The lack of release makes final consonants less audible than when the)r occur a1 the beginning of a word or syllable. In contrasr, in Russian, a langualae wl]ich also allows a large number of Rnal consonants and final consonant clusters, final consonants are audibly released, and Russian ESL learners carry this pattern into English (Zsiga, Z0Ol). An English listener may hear the released llnal consonant as an added vowel or.syllablc. The way in which worcls are linked in English depends on the nature of the final and beginning sounds. The information below describcs dilferent tlpes of linting.

Linking Final Consonants to Beghrniflg Vowels. The final

consonant joins

closely to the following r-owel, almost as if it were part of the following s,'ord.ln this context, the final consonant is easily hcard.


fix it

black out

other animals

Linking Final Consonants to Different Beginning Coflsonants.

Final Stop Consonant + Ditferent Consonanr When a word ending in a stop consonant (/p, b, t, d. k, g,f is fbllowcd by a word beginning with a different consonant. the final stop is pronounced but not audibly

released Oronounced strongly), and the nc'xt word is said immediarelv. In the examples bclow, the superscripted right parcnthesis indicates the unrelcasecl sto1.r.
keep)trying big)storm
white) coat



c atLc]ltion 0l a Koreen studelL, he srid he $?s not xddirg x





Unreleased stop consonallts are short, altd students have ditTiculty ltearing them.A cue to their presence is the cutoff sound of the Yowel preceding the final stop. Consider the differcnce betwe en tl.te vowels in rzaAe and rla./ in the phrctses make dinners and May dinnersBxamples like this help "convince" students that the hardto-hear final consonant is inded present.

Different Consonant In general, other final consonants are kept short when fbllowed by a diffetent consonant. Ilecause the air is not completely cut olf with n()nstop consonants, they are easier fbr students to hear even though they are short.6
2. Other Final Consonants +

give) money watch) Tv

nose) job some) people



both) cars mail)man

one) day

Linking Final Consoflants to the Same Consonant. rwhen a word ends in a final consonant and the next word bcgins with the same consonant, one long consonant links the words.T The consonant is not pronounced twice Linking is

blac(_ca r


e_nepn ew


lresh shellfish

a word e nd ing it1 /L[/ (e .g., u)bi94 uatg!4 cburcb) is folktwed by a word beginning with [/ (e .g., shop, sboe, sheeqt), tl1e words ioin together as if the final and beginning consonants were tlle samet Luhlcb s/:oe. This occurs because the last part of /I[/ nfid the sound /t are the same sounds.


Linking Final Vowels to Beginnirrg Vowels. ri/hen words ending with


vowels ,/iy, eyr ow, uw aw, av, o1',/ are followed by a word beginning with a vowel (e.g.. see Ann, sa! it, go in, ckt ouer, bout eas\, my uncle, to! engine). the glide ending (/)'/ or /w,/) of the final vowel links to the following vowel, creating the next syllable (see also pages 170, 183, and 191). The glide souncl is not always written.

my_un c le


do "over

The same hlking of a glide cnding to a following \.owel occurs inside words: uide ro, ponetr!.

and voiceLess ftlcalives requires uoLe knowledge ofphonetrcs



studerrls hal'c or need ?urd

s|orld nolbe laught.

Slntilar final and begin|ing consonants aft dso linked as onc long sormd: Drg.?r The tonguc p0sition 0i the bold consonants in &tg ./l/ h fie sanlei tlle hvo soulds dillr in ioicifg (see Consonants, f4e 1i9).




When a word ends in a vowel without a glicle endjng (e.g.,l.tto, sp.t, sof., and. the next word begins with a vowel, the two vos/els link smootl y togitherlaw_of nature



native speakers

at all levels. The topic can be divided into two lessons, a lesson on linking consonants to consonants (e.9., dot com), whete many effors occut and one on linking consonants to vowels (e.g., fresb 4lr). Vowel-ro-\.owel linking is discussed on page 191. Unking can also be addressed in pronunciation of the past tense endings (see Consonants, page 159). Simplifications of final consonants made by
iLre covered

Pronunciation work on the linking of words in connected speech is impoftant

in Final Consonants, page 155.

Pfesefrting Linktng Rules to Students. The rules above are too complex to
present to students. The following rules are simpler alternatives.

1. 2.

A word ends in a consonant; the llext word begits s/ith a vowe l:fresb


Join the consonant clearly to lhe vowel:fresb a.h pickJtp.

A word ends in a consonant;the next word starts with a different consonant:
cloN 9om.
Say the final consonant but keep it \-ery short. Say the next word inmediately: doP com, Wel) site.


A word ends in a consonant; the next word starts with the same consonanr:


Say one long consonant. Do

not say the consonant twice: bi{girt, nic{'smile.

Fast-Speech Blends. Word blends result from rhe very close ioining of final and beginning sounds in adiacent sounds.
thisheer (this year)
lascheer (last year)

wouldja (would you)

They won't letcheMlhey won't letcha 0et you).

impart (in part)

I dombelieve it. (l don't belleve it)




Blends like tbislreer (this year) and dMia (did you) xe palatalizations, assimilations of one sound to a following palatal sound. In the examples aboYe, the palatal sound is /y/.8 The palatal soutTd /y/ i7 lear attacts the final /s,/ of tbis to the /y/ position, producing /[/ (the first sound of sl:zp).


becomes 4/

/grJa/ (guess you) know.

-l + y- becomes


Nice to meetchew (meet you). I wancha (want you) to know.




Thatcher book. (That's your book.) Whatcher name? (What's your name?)
Didla? (D d you?) Wouldja? (Would you?)


The nasal consonant ,/n/ also assimilates to the place of articulation of some following consonants (Avery and EhrlicF. 1992,4-D.


go. (l can go.)

I camp believe you. (l can't believe you.)

Many students learn words in their citation (word list) pronunciation and expect to hear them pronounced in the same wa1'. They need to be aware of how words sound when blended together, especially blends involving pllatalizatiorrs, which are common. It is not necessary to teach blends for production (i.e., for students to use in ordinary speaking). Like fast-speech reductions of function words (discussed below), blends are associated with high levels of fluency and accur:rcy (i e., with native English). Less proficient students may sound less clear if they use these blends than they would if they had used the unblended forms. For a recognition actiyity involving blentls, see the Activity section for Fast-Speech Reductions of Function words, page 84.

Palanl sounds, such

as the lirsl sounds in j,01l end


palataLizations involve assimilations of aheolarsounds likc

arc produced $ hen the frcnt of the ton il e approachs the h ard laLate Mosl /yor/s/ to the palatalsound (for alveolar consonants, see page 129)





Page 272.


Teach students to link the final consonant of a word to ihe beginning sound of the next word smoothly.

Description This activity reviews compounds and practices linking final consonants to words starting with different consonants. The activity can
provide a pronunciation focus for other lessons on jobs or employ-

ment. ln the sample matching exercise on page 212, all of the final consonants are stop consonants (/p; b, t, d, k, el), a group of consonants that is among the most difficult for students to link in connected speech. This pronunciation topic can also be added to an activity on the stress patterns of compounds (see page 33).


lntroduce linking. On the board, write a work-related compound (e.g., work place, job seekers, job growth, job benefits, unemployment /lnes), underlining the final consonant of the first word. wort place
iob seekers


Model the compounds. Students repeat. Direct students, attention to the final underlined consonants. Explain that final consonants must be pronounced but they are short. The next word follows immediately.
Worksheet 2.4

@ 3. Students listen to the compounds in the matching exercise on

and repeat them, paytng attention to the pronunciation of the final consonant.
4. Select several students to say one or two of the compounds individually, and provide feedback on the fjnal consonant; make sure that students pronounce the final consonants but keep them short. lf students separate the words with a vowel sound, tell them to say the second word immediately after the first.
lVlodel the correct and incorrect pronunciations.

5. ln pairs, students match the phrases to the definitions. Then they create short

dialogues using the model below.

A: What's


6. ln pairs or small groups, students answer the discussion questions on the handout. Students should focus on pronouncing final consonants but keep them short (not release them strongly). 7. After the pairlgroup work, ask several students to report on their group,s discussion. Provide feedback on final consonants.





Prepositional Phrases and rnfinitives

What the Teacher Should Know The core rhl.thm pattern of a prepositional phrase is a weak (unstressed) beat on the preposition (e g., to, dt, in, on,.l-ot u'ith, ht, of, from) followed b-v a strong (stfessecl) beat on the noun. Infinitives havc the same pattern: unstressed ,o is follo$'ed by a stressed ve|b. The phrases below illustrxte the core Pattern. The rhythm pattern is isolated below each phrase.

scHoot dA DA




t0vE dA DA



from SPAIN

The noun object of the preposition may be separatcd from tlle preposition by other words, some stressed (strong), some unstressed (weak).
in JUST a


on a Sultry, SUMmer DAY

Although n.)alry prepositional phrases are themseh-es thought groups, short prepositional phrases like at bome might be part of a larier thought 8roup, and long prepositional phrases like on a sultry, summer da!- mzy consist of more than one thought group. Prepositio al phrases consistin[i of a preposition followed by a personal pronoun, (e.g., to her) have no content words ln such cases, one of the two constituents receives more stress tllan the other (though neither receives healry stress); alternati\''el)', one constituent is reduced while tlle other is not. The decision to stress the pfeposition or pronoun more heavily may clepend on the speaker's meanin! or on the overall rhythm pattefn of the sentence.
gave the book to her.

lluwarl : to rece ves rnore stress than her


h6 boo.


/tahar/ : her rece ves nlore stress than


\vhen pfepositions have clear meaning (e g, behteen, undenleatb, ouer), both the preposition and the noun rcceive sress:
beTWEEN the


underNEATH the TAble

Some sholt plepositions are reduced as well as unstressecl in connected speech:


tation pronunc


Reduced pronunc atjon /aV I think he's /aV home. /farl John bought the ring /far/

lall for lforl


Tlre prepositions in /h't/?Lnd on /on/ arc sometines reduced to /arl/ (Celce-Murcia er al. t996.177).


Rhythm 61

The prepositions of e;nd, to have two promrnciations, depending on whether the following word begins with a yowel or consonant. Students sometimes notice and ask about tlte two pronunciations of to. If the word following of or to beglns with a vowel, the final consonanr (the final /y/ of of /e-"/, the fin l /w/ of to /t\wf) links the two words togethef:
a bag

/avlapples (of


nuM a movie (to 1-,a movie)


the following word begins with a consonant, ojf is pronounced /eyl or /a,/:
a cup /av/ coflee
a /kaper' coflee


consonant, to is pronounced

/la/ (or may eyenbe reduced to an aspirated [th]:e

(or are ,'stranded,,'not followed by

Today l'm driving /ta/ school.

When prepositions end

Whar are you loo,rrng /el,/?

a sentence

they are unstressed but not reduced:

The store I took my cornputer /tuM is on 4th Street.

teaching the rhl.thm pattern of prepositional phrases, choose phrases with short prepositions (e.g., to, at, in, on, ol by, fot uitlr, fron) followed by nouns (rather than pronouns). This pronunciation topic can be taught at all levels and included with the grammar of prepositions. The pedagogical focus should be the lack of stress ofl the preposition. The consonant and vowel reductions of prepositions can be taught for recognition.


Aclivity 2.5 level


Prcp os iti o n a I ph ras es ;

Sh oplp i n

High Begin ning




Teach students predictable rhythm patterns of phrases.

This activity practices the rhythm pattern of prepositional phrases, in the context of shopping. The activity can be easily changed to review other kinds of vocabulary and to reflect local businesses and shopping habits (e.g., on QVC, at, onLlNE, on Ebay).
(contlnued on nact page)


spalre$ sometimes use the morc

ftduceilfom s ol of Va\/) Md to (hel)

even when

fie following

word begjns


a yowel.




Actiai4) 2.5 contlnued

1. 0n the board, write a list of items the students in your class might


io buy

and businesses where they can buy them. Write the preposition for in front of each item. Write the preposition to in front of the businesses, The items should be ones that fit naturally in the sentence f'ame l'm looking for a. . . . Head the list of items with "l'm looking . . ."; head the list of stores with "Go . . . ."


Add to the board a short dialogue, capitalizing the stressed syllables of

mean ingfu I words.

A: WHERE are you Going?

B: SHOpping. l'm Looking for a DlCtionary.



to BUY some GROceries)

A. GO to BARNES and NObIe.


Ask students to volunteer things they buy and stores where they shop and add them to the board. Write fot in front of items that fit naturally in the model dialogue frame l'm looking for . . . , capilaLzing the stressed syllable (these are usually singular count nouns). Your students may volunteer items that do noi sound natural in the sentence frame I'm looking for. . . in the model dialogue For example, I'm looking for food. fhe teacher can add a more naturalsounding sentence frame for these items (l need to buy [someJ food. Your students may also volunteer things that are not found in shops, such as a doctor or apartment. You can add other phrases to the board like Look on the lnternet, Look in the newspaper, and Ask the teacher, as these arise.


looking... l needtobuy... Go... to BARNES and NOBLE for a SWEAter some FOOD for a Dlctionary some FuRniture to BEST Buy for a comPUter some GRoceries to MAcy's to lKEa for SHOES
for a TAble for JEANS for a JAcket
for to

4. Model the lists on the board. Students repeat. Ask students whether the noun or preposition is stressed strongly in the forand lo phrases. Ask students what each store sells.


Rhythn 63

Actiuity 2.5 conttnued


lVodel the dialogue on the board, lengthening stressed words and grouping words. Students repeat and then practjce the dialogues in pairs.

6. ln pairs,

students create their own dialogues, replacing the underlined words on the handout with other words. Students read their dialogues to the class.



Prepositional phrases: Good nanners

level tip


Worksheet Page 2I3

Teach students predictable rh!.thm patterns of phrases"

Descripfion This activity practjces the rhythm pattern of prepositional phrases . and infinitives in the contexl of manners and courtesy.


Establish the context. Ask students to read the paragraph on table manners on Worksheet 2.6 to themselves and underline prepositronal phrases and infinitives. Students check their underlining with a classmate and then with the teacher,


Students listen to the paragraph, paying attention to the pronunciation of the prepositional phrases and infinitives. Elicit from students and/or explain the pronunciation: The preposition is not stressed; the followrng noun (verb in infinitives) is stressed. The words in the
phrase are grouped together.


Students listen to the prepositional phrases in the matchjng activity on Worksheel 2.6 and repeat them.

5. Ask students how they learned table manners-who taught them, how old they were. Ask students to give some examples of table manners that they learned

(e.g., don't talk with your mouth full).

6. Paired matching activity. Direct students' attention to the matching activity on

: I :

the worksheet. ln pairs, students create a list of table manners by matching

do's/don'ts with an appropriate prepositional phrase.
7. Ask individual students to report some of the tabie manners to the class, giving feedback on prepositions that are pronounced too strongly. 8. To extend the activity, the class can also discuss which manners they think are universal and which are specifrc to a particular country or culture.





a"ti.r. + No'n

What th Teacher Should Know The core rhlthm pattern of an article + noun is identical to that of

prepositional phrase:a weak beat (the article) followed by a strong beat (the noun) The article and noun are grouped together
a B00K da 0A an


da DA

da DA

The definite afiicle tbe has two pronunciations, depending on the first sound of the following word. It is usually pronounced /6V before a vowel, and the glide en<hng /y/ linki the article closely to the following word lt is pronounced /da/ o before a consonant.l







The indefinite article 4, pronounced /a/, is used before words beg rning with a consonant so lfird an, pronounced /3n/, is used before words beginning with a vowel sound. Students may choose the wrong form of the indefinite article before words

beginning with the letter 4 or lr. In unit, unique, uniuersity, ^nd union, fot example, the first letter of ttre wotd is a Yowel, but the first so'lnl is the consoflant tyt G.5., unit /\'uwnetD. The article a is used before these words because they begin with a consonant sound Strldents need to understand that the choice

betweenaandazdependsonthefirstsorrldoftheword,nottfi.]firstletterThe opposite problem occurs with words that begin with silent lJ (e g,honest, bono4 niir hour). Students often choose the article 4 rather than '7'? because the first letter of the word is a consonant tetter (b). The correct ?rticle, however, is at', because the first sound of the word is a vowel (e.g., honor /onet/)' Teaching the rh''thm pattern of articles not only addresses rhlthm and

reviews a very difficult area of English grammar, it is also an opportunity to reYiew ttle joining of final consonants to Yowels (e g ' the rlJ pronunciation (as in tbe) ^nd


Native speakers sometimes use


bforc words bgiiningwith voweLs ot consonants'


Rhythn 65



Atticles: Food
Beginn ing

Level Tip

Worksheet Pages2l4-ZI5
Teach students predictable rhythm patterns of phrases.

Description This information gap reviews food vocabulary and the use of the article a with first-mentioned singular count nouns. The activity reviews countable food nouns, container expressions (e-g., a box of\ and utensil/d ish ware nouns (e.g., a gtass of). Students should be familiar with this vocabulary as well as with the expressions on the right and on the left.

1. 0n the board, draw two numbered

?" on the board.

boxes. Wrjte the question ,,What,s jn Box

Mft v

"What's in

Box 1

2. Choose a student to ask you about Box 1. Answer the question with ',an apple," and write the answer on the board, underlining the joining between

"an" and "apple"; mark stress on ,,apple." Students repeat.


3. Ask a student to come to the board and draw an apple in Box 1. 4. Cioose another student to ask you about Box 2. Answer the question with "There's a c6rton of milk on the left. There's a p6ar on the right.,, Write the answer on the board, underlining noun phrases with a and marking the stressed syllables of "cadon" and ,,milk.', 5. Elicit (or explain) pron unciation:

. .

The article is unstressed and the noun is stressed.

,4n is used before a vowel sound. ,4n joins closely to the noun. before a consonant.

4 is used

(continued on next page)




AcIiriA 2.7 conlinue.l


Put students in pairs. Give one member of each pair Grid A and the other member Grid B of Worksheet 2.7. Students ask each other about their empty boxes and draw the missing pictures. When their grids are complete, they compare them (and laugh at each other's drawings). After the pair work, choose students to describe the pictures in the grid. Give leedback on p'onunc,ation. Alternate versions. For high beginners or low intermediates, prepare two completely filled in grids, with some cells identical in both grids and some different (e.g., five identical cells and five different cells) For example, in Grid A, the first cell might have a banana on the righi and an apple on the left; in Grid B's first cell, the banana is on the left and the apple on the right. Students describe their grids to each other to find the different cells.

7. 8.

E] r.tsontl


what the Teacher Should Know

Personal pronouns (1, mq J/ou, be, sbe, it, bim' beti ute' us, tbe!, tbem) alf'd possessive adiectives (?tl.Jt, louf IJis, hef its, ou4 their) are usually unstressed in connected speech. Verbs and obiect pronouns are almost always grouped together. The verb is stressed, and the object pronoun is unstressed Native speakers link pronouns very closely to the Yerb, pronouncing them as if they were an ending

vrb + Obiect Pronoun.

to the Yerb.




Pronouns and Possessives. In connected speech, native speakers often drop f]ne /h/ of be, him, bis, and her ancl closely link wlrat remains

of b

of the pronoun to the preceding word.

Whatser name? (What's her name?) Thatsrz otfice/ Thatsaz office. (That's his offlce
I toldrm. (l told him.)

What diddy do? (What did he do?)

The same type of reduction occurs in the auxiliary verb s haue, IJas, and had (see pagc /b ).
Jackad (lack had) already gone home.




rJfhen , pfonouns begin a sentence or afe pfeceded by a pause, the not dropped.
He carne. (nol 'E came) Her sister is in Dallas. (not'Er sister is in Dal as)


Reduction of Them. In connected speech, native speakers reduce tbem to either /6am/ or /am/.
Let's ask /dam/. (Let's ask them.)

l'lsendam the papers tomorrow. (l'll send them the papers tomorrow.)

Reduction of fou. In connecte d speech, you is often pronounced /ya,/.

Seeye tomorrow. (See you tomorrow.)

Areya free tonight? (Are you free tonight?)

J)ou, the final


V/tren common words encling in /t/ or /d/ (e.g., ubat, did) are followed by /t/ or ,/d/ combines with the /y/ of you to produce a blended sound ot /d3/ (.see also Fast-speech Reductions of Funcrion words, below).

I'll leiJa know. (l'll lei you know)

Did3a see the movie last night? (Did you see the movie last night?)

Reductions of Pronoun Vowels befote 're and'll The contractions 're arrd 'll can alter the vowel quality of I /^y/, be /f]jii/, she / jy/, lou /]ruw/,ue /wiy/, and ttrey /6ey/. All of these pronouns end in a glide somd (/w/ ot /yD. When '/e or 7/ follows these pfonouns, they weaken the glide ending and the vowel (see also pages ss, tt, and uu).



go. (/7i sounds very close to "all.")

We'll call you when we're ready. (14le7l sounds very close to "will" or /wall: we're sourds like /Mr/ or


Pronoun vowel weakening before 're and 'll i.s of minor pedagogical importance, but native-English-speaking teachers should be aware that they may be using these reduced pronouns. Students should be aware of the reductions of 11 pronouns because they will encountef them in the connected speech of native speakers. Even beginners enjoy leaming about these reductions in common, leyel-appropriate contexts, for example, in questions like "What diddy (did he) do?" or "Where diddy (did he) go?" Indeed, through exposure to English, some students pick up these reductions in high-frequency expressions. Because the joining of ,less pronouns (lge, lsim, +is, +er) to the preceding word is mandatory, studcnts who lack the proficiency to join words together easily and smoothly are unlikely to be able to use these reductions in spontaneous speech.




The teaching focus should be the de-sressing of pronouns, not their ,-less pronunciations. Taylor found that nonnatiYe speakers judged to have good pronunciation and rhlthm made appropriate length and stress distinctions between
stressed and unstressed words but used few redr.rced pronunciations (1981).




+ qbject Prcnouns: Spofts

Level Tip

Low lntermediate

Worksheet None
Teach students predictable rh)'thm paiterns of phrases

Description This activity praciices the rhythm pattern of verbs followed by ll in the context of sports. Student pairs lalk about what players are allowed to do with a ball in different sports (e.9., kick it, pass it, dribble it' head it, carry it). The activity can also be used to review the reduction ' of canj What can you do with a ball in basketball? You can pass it or dribble it, but you can't carry it. 0ptional: Before class, gather pictures from the lnternet of the sports you include in this activity.


On the board (or in a handout), write the question "What can you do with a ball?" Elicit answers from students, write them on the board, and add other verbs. Verbs like pitch or bounce are likely to be new vocabulary but are easily demonstrated. The verbs bel0w cover ball handling ln baseball, soccer, basketball, and American football. Write the pronoun ltafter the verb, mark stress on the verb, and underline the joining of the verb and lf. Ask the class if they know how to play any of these sports. Those who do can help demonstrate new vocabulary and serve as experts on the rules. Whai can you do wilh a ball? rhr6w lt

c6rry it h6ld

it ciitch it

p6ss it h6ad it

it sh6oi it

dribble it

bfnt it


pitch it ii dlink it Basketball Baseball Soccer Amelican lootball




Explain or demonstrate new vocabulary (pictures can help; so can students who know the sports). Ivlodel the verb phrases, lengthening the stressed syllables of the verbs and pronouncing lias an endlng to the verbs. Siudents repeat Tell students that pronouns like lt are unstressed and are pronounced like endings to the verbs.


Add the phrase "in What can you do with a ball in

?" to the question on the board.


Explain the use of "you" to mean "people"




Rhythn 69

Tctioi\t 2.8 coninued

4. 5.

Demonstrate the activity. Choose two students. One selects a sport, and asks the other the question on the board. Repeat with another pair of students. Students work in pairs. Each student chooses a sport and asks, ,,What can you do with a ball in (sport)?" The partner answers the question with one of the verb phrases. The partners should make a list of legal and illegal ball actions for the sport. Note that for some sports a ball action might be illegal for some players, but not for others. For example, in soccer, the goalie can carry the ball, but other players can't. Circulate around the room and make sure the questjon includes the word "ball" so that the student answering the question can use it. Give feedback on pronunciation and help students with vocabulary.


rhrasal verbs

What the Teacher Should Know In phrasal verbs like come on, figure out, ot pick r4A the preposition (also called the particle) has adverbial meanini and receives either primary of secondary stress (Celce-Murcia et 1996,112). Phrasal verbs can ^1. transitiye (separable), as lnpick it up, tut"n it on, and. try be tbem on, or intransitive (inseparable), as in come on, utatcb out, and get in.l t When separable verbs have pronoun objects and end a sentence, the preposition/particle is usually more heavily stressed than the verb. The same is true for intransilive
phrasal verbs. try them 6n look it fp
Watch 6ut! get in

Native speakers link the words in phrasal verb phrases ll1tre pick it up closely. In many cases, the linking is between a final consonant and a beginning vowel. Pfonunciation wofk with phrasal verbs then also provides practice with consonantyowel linking.
picak i!_up try them on

ask herJut (askef out)

Phrasal verbs are grammatically more complex than single-word sy,nonyms and may not be semantically transparent (e.g., the meaning of put off as,,postpone ', of figure out as "sol\.e"). Several studies have shown that students avoid plrrasal verbs

in favor of simpler and clearer one-word

out/aua!; enter

synonyms (e.g., leaae instead of go of come in; confuse instead of mix up). Howe\ler, natiye speakers in large numbers pfefer phfasal yerbs over their one-wofd synonyms @agut and Laufer 1985, Hulstiin and Marchena 1989). pronunciation practice of
phfasal verbs, therefore, also promotes the use of more natural, idiomatic English.



hale dircct ohjects; spxrable !rbs arc trlursitilc phra5alve s Intrensitive vebs do not have dircct obiecb.




Phrasal Verbs + Prepositions: Get au)aJ) lritb. Some phflsal Yerbs are followed by a true preposition that is unstressed. The true preposition has a noun obiect.
He gr6t awSy with murdel!
G6t 6ut of the taxi.

Nouns Formed from Phrasal Verbs: a takeoff' Nouns and adjectives formed from phrasal verbs have primary stress on the flrst word and secondary stress on the
second, the same stress-pitch pattem as compounds (e.g.,tlre tAkedfr, my md.keiQ). They can be included in a lesson on the word stress of compounds or as a contrast to phrasal verbs in a lesson on rhlthm.



Phrasal verhs: Don't put off until tonortow what you can do today


Advanced/High lntermed iate




Teach students predictable rhythm patterns of phrases.

Description This activity practices phrasal verbs in the context of procrastination,

Direct students' attention to the dialogue on Worksheet 2 9. Ask students to first read the dialogue silently. Then go over vocabulary as needed. Students listen to the dialogue, paying attention to the pronunciation of the underlined phrasal verbs. Elicit pronunciation from students or explain it: Words in phrasal verbs are grouped together; prepositions receive stress. Students listen to the dialogue again and repeat it.

&2. -

3. ln pairs, students practice the dialogue. 4. Write the phrasal verbs from the dialogue

on the board. Tell the class you put it off, and what the something that you put off, the reason consequences arelwere; for example, "l put off calling my parents because I don't have time. Then I end up/wind up feeling guilty." Choose two or three students and ask them what they put off, why they put those things off, and what the consequences arelwere. Encourage students to use phrasal verbs. Add other phrasal verbs to the board to describe the situations.

5. In small groups, students talk about things they put off, using phrasal verbs. 6. Afier the group work, ask several students to report on what their group said
Provide feedback on stress and grouping words in phrasal verbs.


Rhvthn 71



What the Teacher Should Know

In connected speech, conjunctions are not stressed, and some are also reduced. The coninnctions and or arc discussed below in Reductions of Function W'ords, page 72. Conrunctions ^nd usually grouped with the words they introduce. are
Ca I me

w'en t-e package

arr ves.


Lee said that he's sick.

We'll reschedule if it rains.

.---->Exercise rs as impodant as a healthy d et. Exerclse is more mportant than a healthy d et. Students may not group coniunctions in the same way that native speakers do. Bada found that Turkish ESL students gtouped tlrat more closely with the words preceding the coniunction than with the words following it, whereas the pattern for native speakers was the reverse (2006). Citation form when /wrn/

Reduced (connected speech)


Did someone come /wan/ you calLed? (someone and come when rhyme)



l6all, l6aDl12 | don't belreve /6aV Tom would do that. don'i belreve /daD/ Alan would do that.



| don't know

/lfl (/af/) I can go.



lazl )o^n. 'azl h Jng(y lazl a bear.



The subway rs faster /6an/ a bus.

Like other reductions, reduced conjunctions must be linked closely to

surrounding words in order to sound natural. Students should be aware of these reductions but should not be expected to use them in speaking. Learning to group and de-stress conjunctions propedy is more important. Since some conjunctions represent more advanced grammatical strllctures (e.g., conditionals, some noun clauses with tbat), the lcvel of grammar that students are able to use in connected speech should affect which con,unctions are chosen as pronunciation topics.


The svmboi D represents the flapped sound of


/ in z,4ler flapjng of a final I in trlhuddt thel uant? (Whdl da lhel tlant?). See page 129 lor flals.

belbrc r,o$eh occuN in comnon \\,ords like a.'/ial and




Activity 2.10 Noticing unstessed conjunctionst Medical ethics


Page 277


Teach students to recognize the reduced pronunciations of grammar words.

Description This activity provides practice noticing unstressed conjunctions. ln the example below, students listen to a passage on medical ethics, fill in blanks with conjunctions, and then answer the questions posed in the passage.


Pass out Worksheet 2.10 to students. Students listen to the passage once or twice and fill in the blanks. They check their answers with classmates and then with the teacher.

2. Elicit or explain the pronunciation

stressed or unstressed?

0f conjunctions by modeling one of the sentences from the passage and directing students' attention to the conjunction. ls the conjunction grouped with preceding or following words? ls it
Ask students to read the passage again, breaking longer sentences into


thought groups.


Students read the passage to a partner. The partner checks for unstressed conjunctions and clear grouping of words.
as a whole class activity or in groups. Students' pronunciation focus for the discussion should be speaking as clearly as possible and grouping words together clearly and smoothly. lt ts difficult (if not impossible) for the teacher (or students) to monitor pronunciation of a potentially large sei of words like conjunctions. lf the teacher notices a heavily stressed or inappropriately grouped conjunction, she can give feedback on that. But she should explain that sometimes a speaker's meaning requires that a conjunction be stressed (for example, "l think ihe doctor should tell the patient-lF the patient's family agrees").

5. The discussion questions can be answered


n"d.r.ttons of Function words

what the Teachr Should Know

In natively spoken English, function words Grammar words lile t/re or at) arc unstressed. Some function words are also reduced: The function word Yowel is pfonounced /a/, and consonants may be lost. In the sentence 1 cdn slrim, said as a neutral statement about abilittl, can is pronounced /ken/ , so that I can rhymes with liken.Because of teductions of z/lll and he4 your logic u)ill persuade ber can sound almost the same 7s lour logical persuader




The reductions covercd in this section are not colloquial; they are used in formal as well as inlbrmal speaking. Reductions r4rich are more or informal (e.g., pfonouncing the question Wbat did lou do? ,WhaJe do?',) are discussed below, in Fast-Speech Rcducriol.ts of Function Words. ^s
When students learn about the reductions and blen(ls used by native speakers, they may try to speak faster than they are able to in order to sound more English like (Rine)', Takegi, and Inutsuka 2005). Teachers should advise sh.rdents not to race throuih the weak words, but rather to iroup words and lengthen the stressed s)4lables of the strong word(s) in each group. There haye been few studies of nonnative speakers' abilities to reduce function words. They suggest that while proficient learners are able to pronounce

ftrnction words with shorter length than content words (Trofimoyich and Baker 2006, Setter 2006), they rarely use reduced yowels in function words (Taflor 1981,
Setter 2006).

Studies of the reduction of unstressed vowels within words reveal similar findings. Proficient lcarners are able to make an appropriatc length distinction betwecn stressed and unstressed vowels, but vowel reduction to schwa is unlikely, especially for those who haYe learned English as adults and whose natiye language does not have vowel reduction (Tlege and Bohn 1989;Lee, Guion, and Handa 2006). Although these studies have not looked at the effect that pronunciation teaching miiht l.lave on students' abilities to pronounce rcductions, they suggest that function word reductions should be talrght primarily for recognition, as an aid to understanding natively spoken English, mther than as a goal for pronunciation. ESL teachers, however, would disagree with this conclusion for at least some function words. rwhen students fail to pronounce can with a reduced yowel, they are often misunderstood as having said "can't " In addition, some students "pick up" reductions of ancl and o/ in l.fgh-frequency phrases (such as "milk'n sugar," and "onear two," for one or h.uo , evcn at low le\.cls of proficienc_v13 'When new grammar is taught, function words are introduced in their citation form (fcw teachefs will introduce a grammar lesson on czrx by saying,"Today we 're going to stud)' /kn/"). Thus, the first prollunciation rhat classroom students hear is the full, unrecluced fbrm. It is understandable that tltis is the pronunciation they continue to usc. In addition, although thc reduced form is modeled in the speech of native speakefs, it is difficult for students to notice how these short, unstressed words are pronounced.v4ren Iistenirrli to English, students pl'ocess speech semantically; they pick out the mcaningful (content) words,which are also acousticnlly salient because they are stressed (Swain 1!85). Using these words, they are able to undersand the message without attending to tlte le ss meaningful, less clear ftlnction words, which are difficr t to notice (Van Patten 1990). At lower levels of proficiency, understanding is effortftll, and students have little time to notice the subtler meanings and modalities that function words carry when listening for meaning.As

Thcsc urightbe learned er |hythm idio[]s, $herc dre pronunci^tim ol th phmse as a \r,hole is






proficiency increases, understanding becomes easief, and more adyanced students are better able to notice some of the "details" they missed earlier Special efforts are often necessary to help students notice reductions. Pairing single words that students can pronounce (for example, bacon) with a phrase contaifliflg the reduced flrnction word (for example, Mr Bay can cook bacon) is an effective way of helping students notice how the reduction sounds. Lane refers to pairs like Bea can ligbt 'ttrd bedcon liglrt as "l.romophrases" and uses them in awareness actiyities (2005b, 2005c). The sections below discuss the reduced pronunciations ot and, or:, alfd can, followed by contractions and reductions of auxiliary verbs. Reductions of prepositions, pronouns, and some conjunctions are coYered on pages 60,66, and 71.


or Reductions of and and or can be taught to beginning level students for comprehension. Some students may already be using them in common phrases.
Citation lorm
Reduced lorm




lanl larl

black 'n white

(blacken white)

-el endings (big or small = bigger small)

Cary C&n't. In connected speech, can is reduced to

Sue can /kan/ come.

Aanl when a verb follows.

It is not reduced when

Yes, I can /kan/.

a verb does

not follow.


can / kan/,



The negative can't, like other negatives, is stressed and pronounced with a full

/kanv come.

I can't

The reduction of can should be taught at the beginning level, simply because there is so much confusion as to whether a student has said can ot cdn't.The natiYe listener's most important cue for detemining whether the positive or negatiYe has been said is the vowel. lf the vowel is reducetl Ua/),lhe listener hears can; tf the yowel is ,/r/, the listener hears can 7 Thus, when students pronounce caz with the full vowel /rl the listener is likely to hear can't; the negatiYe Ycrb, however, doesn't make sense in the context, and the listener may ask,"Did you satt can ot can't?"-a question all too familiar to students. Because of this con{ilsion, students sometimes use the lrncontracted cannot ]l]-f'te dof can't. The use of cannot does not solve the problem, howe!'er, because the problem lies with the pronunciation of &zz. Aftef teaching the reduction of can, students may not be able to use it at first in connected speech, but they will be better able to understand sentences where it

, d \t tt

2 Rh,,thrr' 75

is reduced, the teacher will have an easier time drawing attention pronunciations, and students will be better able to self-cofrect.

to confusing


Connected speech


May can cook


lkanl lkanv

/kan/, (even



lkanV (no reduction)

Cofltractions and Reductions of Auxiliary Vertrs. Contractions are extreme

pronounced as a final consonant cluster (e.g., don't, uon'' aren't) or a.s a separate syllable /ent/ (e.9., doesn't, basn't, sbouldn't).In negatiye auxiliaries, the anxiliary yerb is stressed (e.g., [sn't, bAsn't), caftylng the stress that the negative normally does. Students should be encouraged to use contractions after pronouns in the tenses they know and are accustomed to using. Contractions may be avoided because they creaie difficult final consonant clusters, or because students think they will sound clearer if the full forms are used (and sometimes they do). Students who have been taught not to use contractions in writing may extend this admonition to speaking. Howeve! contractions are important in casual spoken English. Native speakers may fesort to uncontracted fofms when they want to cfeate clistance in a convefsation, to asseft authoriry of to show displeasure. Considef the diffefence in tone between the two sentences below. The use of uncontracted r/o ,1ot sounds like
an order or warning.
Don't come late. Do not come late. cases of feductions and are especially common after pronouns. Contracted verbs are reduced to a consonant (e g., I'm, He's, WdD. Contractions of not (n't) Te

After nouns, some auxiliary verbs lose their initial consonants and are reduced

to a


which is pronounced like an ending on the preceding noun. For

words are likely to be pronounced like "nickel." The auxiliary u)ill has lost the initial /W, its yowel has been reduced to /a/, and what remains ioins closely to the preceding word, like the -el ending in nickelIn Tbe land bad been used as a park, the \nde ined words are likely to be pronounced like "Ianded": bad loses the i tial /h/ and is pronouncecl like zn -ed
exarnple, tn enrJing on land.

I think Nick tuill go, the underlincd


I'm He'YShe's lt's layml lhiyzll[iyzl fttY

possibly because



We're lwhl



The contractions I'm and be's/she's,/it's are used eady by students, including beginning level students. Contractions of are (you're, Lue're, thq)'re) are avoided,


is a difficult sound.




Native speakers contfact ls after nouns, just as they do after pronouns. If a noun ends in a sibilant (see page 131),like/osr, rose, or judge, r's is pronounced like a long plural:

here. Joshaz

The rose is


The judge is wise.



After nouns ending in consonants, ,1re is pronounced like an -er ending. Bill and John are here.
Some !!U&l!S_aIC absent.



He's She's lt's lhiyzl ftyzt lxsl


You've We've



lyuwvl lwiyvl


Studcnts avoid contracting the present perfect auxiliary verbs baue and has. This may reflect the grammatical difficulty of the present pcrfect tense as well as its relative infrequency, compared to the pfesent tenses. Howevef, students should be encouraged to use the contracted forms of baue ?.nd rds witll pronouns. Natiye speakers contract r,rs after nouns iust as they do after pronouns After nouns ending in sibilants (s-like sounds, see Coflsonants) like Josb, rotgr or judge, ,ds is pronounced like a long plural:The initial /h,/ is dropped, the vowel is reduced to /a/, and what remains joins to the preceding noun:

gone. Joshaz
Josh has

The rcSg-h3! glown a lot.

The iudge has left.



Tbe a\xiliary baue is also reduced after nouns: The iflitial /h/ is dropped, the vowel is reduced to /a,/, and what remains joins closely to the preceding word. The reduced pronunc iatiot]' of baue sounds identical to the Pronunciation of of /aY/.
The students have linished.

Where have you been?



Stndents should be aware of the reduced pronunciltlon of baue after nouns

In modal perfect constructions, natiYe speakers almost never prono\tace baue in its full form. It is re duced to /av/ and ioins Yery closely to the preceding word.



You could have come.


The reduction of baae may be caffied even ftlrther with the loss of fi|Lal /v/. pronunciation is sometimes written, " shoulda, coulda, wouldal' This lshould have known.
"shoulda known"
You could have come.

"could3 come"




Because the reduced pronunciation is virtually always used in speaking, it is the only natural pronunciatiott of haue in this construction. Furthermore, with modal perfects, students can linl< the reduced pronunciation of baue to a small number of preceding words-tDould, could, sbould, ,nustr and might-Lnd, ttre reduction can be learned as a unit with the modal Learning to reduce ,l, aue after this small set of words is easier than learning to reduce it in the present perfect, whete the possible number of words preceding baue is yast. Advanced students who use

modal perfects spontaneously and have practiced the reduction are able ro use the reduced pronunciation spontaneously with some modals, especially in sbould baue (possibly because sbould haue is practiced extcnsively, in the context of regrets or
seconcl thoughts). The same feductiofi of baae occurs aftef negative modals.

lshouldn't have done it.


He couldn't have seen it.


Students should be aware of the reduction of baue after negative modals but should not be expected to use it in spontaneous speaking.

Hacl, Would The past perfect auxiliary rad and the modal ulould are contracted to fin l /d./ pronouns: ^ ^ft.ff
I'd already done


I'd like


You'd better study.

Because the past perfect is a difficult and advanced terise, students do not make much use of it and rafely use contfactions when they do. ln the expression ,I:ad bette4 which is used spontaneously by some students , Is also ruely contractecl. Part of the reluctance to contmct ,a d in bad better may be the difficr t cluster that
arises at the boundary of the

be present whether bad is contracted or not, students might feel their speech be clearer if they use the full form of bad.

rwo wotds (baAl^effer). Alrhough this cluster will will

In the expression utould. like, common at all levels, students also avoid contfacting uould. Again, as with. bad betteli a difficult cluster arises at the boundary of uoukl and, like (/d/ + M. I3ecause uould like is a cofirmon conyefsational form, students should be encouraged to use the contraction with 1 in Id like, for example. Students will need practice linking the final /d/ to the following word. The negative contractions lJadn't and xuouldn't are not used frequently by students. Higher priority should be giyen to the contmction of utould, especially after the pronoun 1, than to hadn't ancl, ttouldn't. After nouns ending in consonants, Edd is pronounced as a syllable,like the ,ed ending in started. The if:'iti^l th/ is dropped, the vowel is reduced to /a/, and what reo]' ins of bad joins closely to the preceding word:
Rick had already graduated. "Rickad already graduated"
Ed had edited it.

"Edad" edited it.




Students should be aware of this reduction but not expected

spontaneous speaking.

to use it in

wiry Won't Students are reluctant to use contracted //, perhaps because they do not hear it cleady. In English,t}j'e frnal A/ of 1rll/ is a "dark l" (see page 741) an<l may sound unfamiliar to students. In connected speech, the dark I of contllcted u)ill alters the vowel of the preceding pronoun, weakening the glide ending of the vowels in pronouns. Consider the pronunciation of the contractions in the following sentences, spoken normally:
Cal me and



(sounds close to "all")

Te I me if


be there.

(sounds close to "hii ") Let me know when they ll come.


(rhymes with "shell")

is not necessary to teach these pronoun alterations to students.

The contraction taon't is also avoided by students. Students may use a Yery similar pfonunciarion for uon't and u)ant, which can be confrrsing to a listener Students should be taught to round their lips tightly fot uon't and to use the vowel i7 fatber fot uant. uon'L because of It is important for students to use the contractions of ll ^fld the forceful meaning that uncontracted uill and u.till nol can haYe. Consider the two sentences below;the second sentence has the feel of an emphatic refusal.
I won't go. I will not go.

Students should be aware that they may sound imperious or rude when they use uncontracted forms of loill a1J.d uill not. After nouns endiflg in consonants, z/i// is reduced to the syllable /ay, $/hich joins closely to the preceding word; it is pronounced like an -al, -le, or -el ending on the preceding wofd. Native speakers pronounce the two sentences below neady

the same.
The cat will drink water. = The cattle drink water.

Students should be aware ofthe reduced pronunciation of ?r/// after nouns, but should not be expected to use it in spontaneous speaking. Like other negatiyes, the negative contractions d6n't, d6esn't, and dldn't are stressed. The contracted forms don't and didn't are more common in student speech than doesn '/, perhaps because ofthe third-person singular present -s ending, which is frequently omitted by students. Students shottld be encouraged to use negative contractions of the simple present and past tenses.




Activily 2. 1 1 Reduction of and: Foods that go together

level Tip

igh Beginning/Low lntermediate

Worksheet None
Teach students to recognize the reduced pronunciations of grammar words.

Descriplion This activity is from Focus on pronunciation I (Lane 2OO5a, 12L-122).lt provides practice noiicing and pronouncing the reduced pronunciation of and


Read aloud these words for some foods that often go together. Repeat the phrases. Pronounce and as [an]. Join it to the first word.

turf f. salt and pepper b. turkey_and stuffing g. cake and ice cream c. cookjes_and mjik h. chipq,and dip d. bacon and eggs i. fish and chips j. rice and beans e. bread_and water
a. surf and


Choose three phrases from Part 1 and write them on the lines. Your phrases:


Work with a partner. Read your phrases to your partner. your partner will write what you say. Then listen to your partner's phrases. Wrjte them on the lines.

Partner's phrases:


Work in small groups. The foods in Part 1 are eaten by different groups of people or in different situations. Complete the sentences with ihe foods in part l.

a. ln the caribbean,
b. For breakfast, it's


rice and beans


In priso4


tl-e o'o days, il was

d. At beach restaurants, it's

e. For a children's snack, it's


For dessert, it's

g. At a party, it's
(cortinue.l on next page)





2.1 1


h. For Thanksgiving, it's


These spices make food taste better:

1. ln England, it's Write down other foods that go together. Then te I your group about foods thai often go together ln your country.
We eat a lot of shrimp and vegetables.

Activity 2.12 Can and can'|. What difference can an individaal nake?


Intermed iale/Advanced


Teach the reduced pronunciation of can to help students pronounce the difference between can and can't.

Descliption This activity can be integrated with other materials on environmental problems. lt praciices the unstressed pronunciation of can and the stressed pronuncialion ot can't, in the coniext of how an individual can help the environment.


Introduce the topic of environmental problems. Ask students what environmental problems they are concerned about. l\4ake a list on the board. lntroduce the pronunciation oI can and can't. Wrile the J.EK. quote, beiow, on the board, leavlng out can.1a Read the quote and ask students to listen to how the words in the blanks are pronounced. Ask students whether can is stressed or unstressed.
lVy fellow Americans, ask not what your Ask what



do for you.


do for your coLntry.


Show the reduced pronunciation of canon the board: Dlrectly after "country" and "you," write "kan," in the blanks, leaving no space between "kan" and the preceding word (this shows that can is pronounced like an ending). lvlark the stressed syllable of "country," and put a stress mark over "you." Model cduntrykan and y1ukan seuen tlmes. Students repeat, Ask several students to read the J.F.K. quote. Give feedback on the pronunciation of can. Ask students to paraphrase J.F.K.'s quote,



lhis quote


fron John n Kennedl



ir Jarllrari i961.


Rhythn 81


2. I 2



Write the sentence below on the board. Ask students how they think J.F.K. would complete this quote. Ask students how they would complete the quote. Each student should say the quote so that it reflects his own opjnjon. Explain that the negattve can'f is always stressed.


(can/"an l)

do a lot to help the envjronment.


Ask students what an individuai can do to help the environment. Elicit a few answers with can and monitor pronunciation (e.g., you can walk to school or work, you can use a fan instead of an air conditioner). Write the suggestions on the board as verb phrases (e.g., walk to work, use a fan instead of an air cond itioner). Students work in pairs, continuing the list of things a person can do to help the environment. Ask students to write sentences starting with ,,you can.,, Circulate among the pairs, helping them with vocabulary or giving suggestions (e.g., recycle, vote for "green" candidates, reuse empty coniainers).
When students have written several sentences on their lists, ask the pairs to read their sentences and add new ones io the list on the board. Help students with pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. Choose a suggestion from the list on the board (e.g., ,,walk to school") and ask a student, "Sonia, can you walk to school?,' Sonia should answer for herse'f,




"No I can't because I live too far away.,' provjde feedback on the pronunciation of can and can't. lf students use short positjve answers (e.g., ,,yes, I can',), write the short answer on the board and tell students that can isn,t reduced in
short answers.

ERROR C0RRECTI0I{: Your sJudents pfonorLrce can $ke canl. After students have learned the feduced promrnciation of can, provide feedback on

mispronutciations: Ask,,Can or Can't?,,


n^t-sp"ech Reductions of Function words

What the Teacher Should Know

The reductions described aboye reflect pfonunciations that occur in fofmal as well as infomal speech. Other reductions,like Wy'rajd do? for wbat did you do? or Wbatcba been doing? fot WlJat baue you been doing? are associated with fast, casual speech. A natiye speaker deliyering a fomal presentation at a conference would be unlikely to use these forms. Since native speakers speak informally far




more often than they do formally, our students should be aware of the informal reductions they will undoubtedly hear. Fast-speech reductions should be taught for recognition rather than production. Indeed, there may be a "style clash" if students attemPt to use fastspeech reductions when they lack fluency: The use of gor1r1a, for example, by a student with little fluency, can sound incongruous. In addition, less proficient students who use gonna m?y 2:dd to (.e .g.,I'm gonna to do it) or \rse utanna when the subiect is rels be/it (e.g.,She utanna do /t), errors that heighten the style clash. On the other hand, through exposure to spoken English, some students do pick up some fast-speech reductions on their own and use them accumtely. If the reduction sounds natural, the student should not be discouraged from using it. Some fast-speech reductions should probably be viewecl as a continuum of reductions, rather than as discrete fixed forms; the continuum involves a blending together of more and ntore wotds and a loss of phonetic material that can be extreme. Reductio trs of be Soing to are an example Years ago, my father planted the seeds that later set me to listening for these reductions when he chided me for saying "Imanal"'Imana?" he asked."Whafs Imane?l" Since then,I have heard the full range of reductions shown below, in my own speech, in my father's speech, and in the speech of other native speakers.
l'm going to go to the bookstore after class today.
I'm gonna go to the bookstore after class today.
lmana go to the bookstore after class today. lrnna go to the bookstore after class today.

lma go to the bookstore after class today.

Althougtr native speakers may not be aware tllat they are making these extreme reductions, they all occur in the informal English of educated native spcakers The following fast-speech reducdons are presented in many pronunciation textbooks (Dauer 1993, Hewings and Goldstein 1998, Lane 2005c).\feinstein (2000), 1n wlJaful.aya sd.l1r, has developed nonstandard spellings of these reductions, which also appear in dialogue in novels and plays. Although the first two entries in the list below, baue tonJas to afld used to, are usually presented as fast-speech reductions' the reducecl or blended pronunciation is used in formal as well as informal English.
Citation form
have to, has to used to Fast-speech spellings and pronunciation

hafta lhaftal, hasta Aastey'

/yuwsta /yuwstuMl5

going to

sound of the following $ord. Thc /ury' pronunciation occuN beforc

\o\\, d

The last vo$el ol mel lo to pnjq






depends on the

lrp 0










have got to

gotta /goDe/6 wanna /tvoney' ought to 6Der' dunno

want to ought to don't know out of


outta /awDd

could have would have

should have
must iave

coulda /kuDey' woulda AvuDey'

shoulda 4uDoy' musta /mesta/

The reduction of going to to goww occurs only when going to is used as the futufe auxiliary, not s/hen it is the main verb of a sentence alrd to is follov/ed by a noun.
l'm gonna study. (l'm going to study.)
NOT: l'm gonna school. (l'm going to school.)

The reduction zr)anna. is .used, with the subject pronouns I, you, ue, ot tbq) rc repl ce uant to or uant a, b1ot not u,ant tbe,
I wanna study. (l want to study.) I wanna book. (l want a book.)

NOT: I wanna book(s). (l want the bookls].)

Other fast-speech feductions arise when certain sounds come in contact, producing blended sounds (e.g.,"Whaia" for "What did you"). Fast-speech blends are
discussed in Linking Adiacent Words, above.

The auxiliaries d.o md and the pronoun

reductions, especially in questions. The vowel in da is ofien feduced to /a/ Z;nd |dre nitial /d/ naybe flapped (phonetic symbolD) aftet Wbat? (see Consonaffs,page 129).
Whaddaya /waDaya/ think? (What do you think?) Howdaya /hawDaya/ know? (How do you know?)


undergo some extfeme

The atx:hary did may be reduced to a single consonant /d/ .lI you follows did., the sing]e consonant is /dy.
Wherd they go? (Where did they go?) Whaja do? (What did you do?)


synrbol D repruents the flapped sound of /, ,s i n water


page 129).




Aclivity 2.13 Reductions, Recognizing do and did


ntermed iate/Advanced




Teach students lo recognize the reduced pronunciations of grammar words.


This activity helps students recognize da, did, and you in their fastspeech pronunciations. Students listen to sentences and wriie ihe full forms of the sentences in the blanks.

1. Students listen to the sentences on the handout.


Students work together to write the standard spellings of the questions and sentences.

3. Tell students that they do not need to use these reductions ln their own speaking but ihey shou d be abLe to recognize them.
4. Ask students to share their experiences with "fast English" other reductlons they've heard or difficulties they have had understandlng colloquial or dialectal English.

Most classroom topics involving Englisli dlthm larget the linking or grouping of worcls or the dillerence in length and loudness between stressed (content) words and unstressed (function) words. Research shows that these aspects of English pronunciation can be learned by students. It also sl]ows that native listeners of English rely as heavil]', and possibly morc heavil]', on rhlthmic cues as they do on appropriately pronounced consonants and vowcls Therefbre, as students gain skill with the lbatures of r\thm, they inProve thc conlpre he nsibiliry of their own speech.At the same time, their comprehension of native speakers impfoves as the]gain familiarity with how words are altcrcd or emphasized in connected speech.



cmotiol-ls 0f speakers.

tuLns.In granmal particular intonation patterns are common with particular structurcs, hclping to distinlauish statements (e.g.. 1t,s ralnirg.) from questions (e.g., raining) or direcr obiecr nouns (e.g.,I knou) Uat1,.) trom direcr adclress Z:r nouns (c g I knotu' Mqry.) rn its afitctive ftlnctior.r, into.ation r-eflects the attitudes and '

tlte Iistencr. shoI!.s ltow ditlerent picces of informati.n rclxte ro cach othcr, est,rblislres a levcl of engagement betwcen the speaker and listener ancl manages conversattonal

Ncar the cnd of class, in response to lny request fol a par;rphrase of what a speakcr hacl just said in an inte fview. mv Kore an stuclent ans'we red..He said that,, He se emed to bc finishe d:His voice rose on lldr, which was stresse d. anal then fell to a low note. I asked (too soon. I now believc),,,yes. but u) didhc say? In r_our owlt $.ords." The srudent looked anno;.ed at my question. After[.,ards i thor-lghr about the cxchange and his reaction.I concluded that his intonation had led me tcr belicve his answer was finishcd-rltat he had said,.He saicl that.,, rather rhan ,,lle said that ...' Intonatiot], the meaningf]. use ofpitch on a word or phrase, contributes to the interpretation of discoursc mcaning, grammatical meanini, ,,rnd affectir.e meaning. In discourse. intonation identifies intportant infbrmation fbr

Pitch on a word. Ever1. s,vllablc is spoken with a particular leyel pllcD of (a note). I)ut onh. pitches thar are noticeably highcl or than o,fr... ir= in for,r"r. 'fhese occur on dte stre.ssed sy,llables of w.or.tls that the speaker wants to meke prominent and highliglrt l In the dialog'e berorq most speakirs wourcr highright thc wo(l "doctor" as the most import;rnt information in a stiaightf<rrward answer to the



sttt!.t. tt)ttic

st lloble. .tenlet tLi slras






question "If/hat's your day Like?" High pitch,length, and loudness combine to draw the listener's attention to this word. Ar What's your day
I ke?


L'm going to

the DOQtor this afternoon.

In the example aboye, pitch "steps down" from the srressed syllable of "doctor" to the following unstressed syllable. Pitch "glides down" on single-syllable stressed words and in words stressed on the last syllable. Glide patterns are more difficult for learners to hear than step patterns because the pitch change occurs over a single syllable.
It's H0T.

Low pitch on an important word is also sometimes used to make it salient In the exchange below, "don't" is pronounced with low pitch. In this case, the speakef is correcting or contradicting preYious information (Pierrehumberl and Hirschberg 1990). Ar I thought you wanted steak.

B: I DON'T want

\_ ,,---'/


English intonation is traditionally presented as having three or four levels of pitch: low, mid, high, and a fourth level of extra high pitch, used to shoY/ strong (?ike 1972, Prator and Robinett 1985,]ifong 1987' emotions such as disbelief or et Beisbier 1995, Celce-Murcia 'oy al. 1996). Following Levis's suggestion (.1999), a simpler two-term system for describing pitch leYel, ltiglt/higber or lou,4oLuer' is recornrnended.z In pmctice, classroom teachers often end up with a two-level system an)'way, using terms like /,her or lou)er eYen if the textbook presents thfee or four levels of pitch.

Ifltoflation cofltoufs. (]tterances

are stretches of speech set off by silence. In a quick exchange, they can be as short as a word; in extended discourse, they can be several sentences long. Longer utterances are broken into shorter units of information (thought groups), each of which has its own intonation contour (melody or tune). Most speakers would break the sentence below into two thought groups, shown by underlines.


the start

2004) .

The two-tenn rysten also rcflch llnguistic descdltions olinlonation (Pienchumbert 1980,0ha1a 1983, Bolingr 1998, Cusshoven jgh or low onlr in rclation t0 local adjdcent pitches, not in In addition, higli or Low pitch is not a lixed level A pitch is heard ,i h

rcLation to ,rn xbsoiute.


lltonati)n 87

These units of information are referred to by vafious n ames.. intonation units, intonational pbrases, inteftnediate phfases, tone group' tone units, tlJougbt groups, cbunks, and,pbrase groups.3 In this book the term',thought groups,,is us;d. Each unit contains at least one prominent word, has its own intonation contour, and often constitutes a grammatical pl (for example, a short clause or prepositional phrase). In the dialogue below, the "se sentence',I think it went well,,' consists of two thought groups, each with its own intonation contour, At the end of the fust clause, intonation does not fall to a low note, signaling that,,I think,, is not the end of the utterance and should be understood with \shat follows. In the second thought goup, pitch rises o\'er the highlighted word "well" and then falls to the bottom of

the speaker's range, showing that the utterance is complete.

A: B:

How was your interview?


rot sL,e. athink ,1=4 6n,





Final Intonation Patterns and Pitch

Final falling and final rising intonation patterns in English are traditionally linked with diflerent rypes of sentences: Declamtive sentences and information questions tlpically end with falling intonation, yes-no questions end with rising intonation. The dialogue below illustrates the three sentence types and their typical intonations.

A: What are you doing tonight?

B: I

(information question, fall ng intonatlon)

(dec arative statrnent, falling intonation) (yes no question, ristng intonation)

thlnk l'll just watch


Do you want to see a movie?


The same intonation patterns are used with the same sentence types in most languages (Cruttenden 1986). Because of this similariry Kenworthy maintains that "teachers can assume faidy safely that in many cases learners will use intonation in English appropriately" (1987, 85). The use of salient pitch to make information prominent is also found in many languages.

In Pienehumbefi and Hi$chberg, mtonational phrdJes corcspond rou$ll to sentence length ultermces; thought groups $ithin the intonational phrases arc refeffed t0 as "intennediate phrases' (1!!0,277).




On the other hand, languages also djffer in the ways in which pitch and intonation are used, ancl these differences can be difficult fof students to learn. For example, although both English and Portugnese use pitcl.t to highlight important information, in Portuguese, the prominent word occupies the fi11al position in an intonation phrase. In English, the prominent word is usually the last content word (stressed word) in an intonation phrase but can also occupy nonlinal positions, as in the following example (Cruz-Ferreim l9tl7, 105):

(She gave dog brscuits to someone.)

She gave her dog

(She gave brscuits to her dog.)

In Portuguese, the differcnce between tltese two sentences would not be expressed through pitch but through difTerent grammatical constructions or lexical items. Gumperz reports on a misunderstanding befween Inclian cafeteria workers and their British customers that involvcd intonatior.r patterns with Ps-n o questions (1982).Vhen the Indian workers oflered grary to their customers, they used falling intonation, their native language pattern, rathef than the risini intonation expected in English.

Their British customers interpreted this intonation as rudeness, an indication that the workers didn't care if the customers wanted gravy or not.

Pitch Range and Ievel

Range of Pitclr, the difference between the highest and lowest notes produced in ilrl lrttennce, can also dillbr from language to language. Stlrdies of l)utch and Spanish learners of English showed tl.nt the lezLrnels used a narrower pitch range compared to native English speakers, closer to that of thejr native languages @ackman 1979, Willems 1982). The transfer of a narrower pitch range into Eng.lish could contribute to the "flat" intonation used by many ESL students (as could lack of confidence). It is not always easy to convince students to use a wider range of pitch. In my own classrooms. when I ask "flat talkers" to "use their voices more," the results usually sound good to me (sometimes students use a range of intonation tllat is oYel the top and we all have a good laugh). Some students welcome my comments and make clear efforts to apply them in speaking. Other students, howevet say they feel foolish or silly. While textbooks that encourage students to sound "enthusiastic" in English have been criticized (Ranalli 2002), we owe it to students who use patterns that make them sound rude or uninterested to inform them of the impression they




example, Sweclish learners, ma1. speak English

may be creating The fact that some students $ ill not take our advice does not mcan that we shor d not make tlte effort. In othcr cases, speakers of languages \vith a wider pitch range than En1;lish, tor

Murcie et al. 1996, 185).

with a sinEi_song intonarion


Languaies differ not oni. in rnnie of pitch bur also in average leuet (t pitch. Natiyc Geman speakcrs of English, for exaLmple. arc regartlccl as speaking wirh a rather low flat intonation that mal' souncl ot erly serious or pedantic to a Nortl.l American English listener; the rangc of pitch in German is also nafrower than in English (Trinrm 1988, as quoted in Mennen 2006). A study of the level ancl range of pitch used bv aclvancecl Gernnn spcakers of Englisl] showed that while most a 'sed higher average level of pitch in Engrisl] (closer to the Engrish nomr), rhey continued to use a narrower rxnge of pitch, (closer to the nom for Gernun), sufiElesting that level ofpitch ma)' be more casily learned than range ofpitch (Mennen 2006).

Studies of Second Language (L2) Learners, Intonation

Therc haye been few stlldies of how L2 learncfs t-lse it.rtonation in Enlalish. Most have looked at the intonation of intemecliate to aclr'ancccl learners and show that. as with other areas of pronunciation, intonation is inf'luenced b,y tlte nadve language system. They :rlso reveal problcnntic areas of English intonation lbf learners: the usc

of pitch to make important words pronlinent, in pafticulaf, the use of contrastive stress (e.9., This is YOtlRS. not MINE); a difficuln usinli rising intonarion with uttefances othef than :le.s-r?o questions, antl a corresponding oYeruse of fallinl intonatioll. Most studies that include lcarners at dirlerent proficiency le,,els report that morc proficient learners use intonation more accurately than less,proficient
learners, evidencc that featurcs of intonation are learnable

intonation, basing interpretations on the lexical content of the Lltterance. or intcrpreted mcaninla randomly. Pennington and Ellis studied the ability of aclr.anced Cantonese EFL learners to distinguish pairs of sentences which diflbrecl only in prosody (rh1,thm ancl intonation): for examplc,ls be driuing tbe BUS vs.Is HE (lriulng tlre bus;TtJe fight is ouer lired vs. Tlte fight is oter Fred (2000). Thel fbund that with explicir traininti, learners were bener able to notice prosodic difTerences, especially diffcrences in the placement of highlighted words.'Ihcy conclutlecl that there is a need for cxplicit instftrction in thc form of intonational features and their functions.

way that nntive listeners do. \Vhen both lang,ages usccl the same intonation feature but used it to express diflerent rncanings, learners intcrpretcd intonation as the.I. would in their nati\.e languages. Finallv, when a target language intonation pattern did not have a counterpart in the nati\.e language, learners either ignorccl

Cruz-Ferreira strr(lie.l h()q/ Poftuliuese learners of English interpreted English intonation, ancl how English learners of portuguese interprctecl portuguese intonation (1987). Shc found that whcn both languagcs used rhe same inronation pattcrn to expfess the same meaning, the lcarners intelpreted intonation tlte same



3 ,Intonation

ln a study of intermediatc Spanish, Japanese, and Thai ESI- learners, wennerstrom (1994) found that learners did i.Iot always use pitch to signal contrasts where native speakers would.

wennerstrom (1998) compared the use of four intonational features b-v Mandarin Chinese international teaching assistants (I'IAs) and native-Enlilish

teaching assistants (TAs).'I'he ITAs ranged from intermediate to low-adYanced levels of proficiency. Ms.Irennerstrom found dlat all learners, including those with lower proficiency, were able to use hitaher pitch with new content words (stressed words) ancl lower pitch with function words (unstressed words; ' Lower-proticiency

learners had difficulty producing an appropriate contrast between words presenting new information ancl words referring to old information She also tbund that ITAS unclerused paratone, the wiclening of pitch range when a new topic is introcluced. In general, her study showed that hillher-proficiency ITAS usecl intonation more lppfopriately thnn lower-proficiency ITAS. Since all ofthe iTAs had had some instrlrction in pronunciation, she concludetl that at least some aspects of intonation can be taught and learned, although, as in most stLldies of pronunciadon
Pickering studied the use of falling and risirlg intonation by Chinese lTAs (2001). She found that rhe ITAS undefuscd fising intonation at utterance boundaries comparecl to natiye-English TAs. The preponderance of falling and level intonation
learning, there was indiviclual variation

hearers" (2001,249).
Ueyama andJun studied the intonation of;les-zo questions in E1.Iilish by native speakers of Korean and Japanese (1998) In all three langualies' intonation typically

rises at the end of 7es-n o questions. However, in English, the rise :rfter the focus (highlighted) worcl is continuoLts, whereas in Korean and Japanese, it is not The intonation used by the more-pfoficient lelfncfs was nlofe Englishlike than that of less-proficient learncrs.


Dalton and Seidlhofer describe intonation as the "problem child" of pronurciation teaching (1994,73). Teachers cxpress a variety of concerns about

teaching intonation: One concern is that intonetion is hard to "pin down"; a giYen sentence can be pronounced with different intonation patterns, sometimes, but not always, creating a clear diflerence in meaning' This problen can usually be avoicled by presenting and practicing intonation in context, rather than in isolated sentences (Bolinger, 199{3). Context sharply redlrces the number of

intonation choices.

slftrss el]clitics (unstressed larticles thet join closelr to surtoutlding



lntonation 9"1

Another difficutty is that intonation is hard to hear, and even trained transcribers disagree on how certain examples should be transcdbed (Brazil 1994a, 6). This difficulty can be avoide<l by focusing classroom work on features of intonation like the use of pitch to make information prominent or the use of pitch at the ends of utterances (final intonation patterns). prominent words are not difficult to hear, and the pause at the end of an utterance makes final intonation easier to hear Minimal dialogues (one-word exchanges), lite the one below, are useftil for focusing students' attention on final intonation patterns (.\(/ong 19g7,62). Minimal dialogues are also natural: In casual conversations especially, we do not always speak in complete sentences.


B: Almost.

A: Five m inutes? B: A:
No. When?


The difficulty of hearing whether the yoice is rising or falling can also be reduced by replacing words with nonsense syllables to isolate the tune. For example, in the dialogue above, students may have difficulty hearing the falling intonation on "When?" because the fall is rapid, occurring over a single syllable. (Students may also be confused by the question mark.) However, when a nonsense sllable is used in place of"When?" the fall in inronation is much easier to hear.

Speech visualization technology can also be an aid to teaching intonation (Chun 1998, Levis and Pickering 200|. The technology allows learners to see their orlm

intonation and tlnt of models, displayed as a waye pattern, which helps compensate for some of the difficulty in hearing intonation. Some speech yisualization proglirms can be downloaded ftee: WASP (Iluckvale 2OO7) .and PR4,4T (Boersma and Weenick 2009). Others are available commercially: for example , Visi-pitclJ 1Il (KayElemetfics 2004). Both Chun and and Pickering fecofirmend using visual clisplays of




authentic discourse as models, are a better feflection of actual intonation use than scripted, isolated sentences. To reduce the complexity of intonation, teachers can combine both geneml and specific approaches. Ta-vlor suggests that teachers shoultl focus on "broad geneml principles, mastery of which will have a high pay-off for leerners and teachers" (7993, 2). For example, a general rneaning of final rising intonation is uncertainty or lack of finality or completeness. This explains its common lrse in JLle.tno questions (uncertainty), its use in "holding the floor" in conversation (lack of finality-the speaker is not finished yet), its use in lists of infomation (lack of finality-there's more to follow in the list;see Listing Intonetion, below), and its use in discourse to signal that what came before is to be interpreted with what follows (the preceding is unfinished).' Each of these rtses of final rising intonation can be practiced in separate lessons with a specific communicative fuflction.


Traditional In many textbooks, intonation patterns are linked to different types of

sentences or phrases. yes-zo questions, for example, end in risin!! intonation, while declarative statements and inforrnation questions end in falling intonation.

A: Did yo- wa., h lto 1ci{ tor gnll (},es no qJesl B: I wasn't hoib. (declarativel wfrat


(inforrnat on question)

Another rule states that items occurrinfa in the beginning of a list are pronounced with rising intonation;the last item ofthe list is pronounced with falling intonation if the list is complete, or with rising intonation if the list could continue.

red, white, and b ue


red, wh te, b ue, green (. . .)

General meanings ofintonation patterns are usually presented. Rising intonation, for example, indicates uncertalltF or lack of finality/completeness. The association of intonation patterns with grammatical structllres (sentence

types, phrase rypes) is both teachable and learnable. The intonation-structure associations reflect the intuitions of natiYe speakers and may also reflect the most frequent intonation pattern used with a particulaf structure (e.g , falling intonation with declaratives). The traditional approach to teaching intonation, however, has been criticized as overly simplistic and inadequate because the rules it presents are not always

The nreanings of




lack ol cotnplcteness are xrgueblv rclabd. Il a spelker


a co rvorket lor extuDpl,






reflected in natural speech (see, for example, Cauldwell and Hewings 1996, Levis and Pickering 20o1)-rn addition, the use of isolated sentences does not reveal the coffmunicatiye role that intonation plavs in connected speech. Levis and pickering conpared natiye speakers' intonation on sentences fead first in isolation. ordered so the sentences were unrelated to each other (200,1). The final intonation on these sentences, mostly declamtives, was falling, conforminli to the tmditional rules (i.c., most declaratives end in falling intonation). Howevef, wlten the same scntences were reordercd to cfeate a coherent paragraph, the native speakers used more rising intonation, even where the rules would predict falling intonation. pickering (2001, cliscussed above) found sinflar results in her comparison of the intonation used by natiye-English TAs and ITAS when deliverinFi a lecture. pickering sugiests that rhe native-English lAs'use of rising intonation when deliyering new inlbrmation (where the expected pattem would be falling intonation) allowed them to ayoid sounding as if they were alwa)'s infofming rheir students (2001).

Discourse Intoflatiofr A more recent alternadve for teachin[i intonation is discourse intonation. Discourse intonation has irs roots in the work of Halliday (1973) and, as a pedaliogical approach, is most associated with the work of Brazil (1991a,7994b). Brazil's framework was developed to introduce advancecl students to the role of intonation in structuring discourse. The outline that follows is a simpliJication of
discourse intonation; interested readers should see Brazil 1994a,1991b. The basic building block of discourse is rhe ton unit (an intonational phrase or thought group). There are three malor features ofintonation that speakers choose

within tone units: prominence, proclaiming/referring tones (final intonation

patterns), and high and low key (changes in pitch level at tlte first pfominent word

of a tone unit).6 In the example below the tone units of a message are indicated by thc s) mbol //. //the bus stopped//we'd got to the termlnus//and everyone got ouvl
Tone units have at least one ptomineitt word (shown below in capitals), and the last prominent word (underlined) is defined as having tonic stress. Speakers decide which words to highlighr (make prominent) as a means of guiding the listener to the most important information.

Intonation patterns (tones) that end a rone unit (thought gror-rp) are chosen accordinli to wherher the speaker believes the information in the tone unit is new or shared.T When tlte speaker believes the information is shared, a rising tone
rredke$ nlake lrolher piLh
choice, cnlled tennin ation. at the begin njn g or


-...1r.''np ib,ro \,al llo, D-r/ lrliels

d ol a tone Llnit wh ich rcLafts t0 ke! choices

,cou^pLou(coerlrorco,pt tr't. i .,rt.o


D.. l(\(.rl^r


: .rrs

about shared information rlepend on sharerJ a$arcr\s,rj (Chapman 2001).

rc Jng!age, nf$hxi

hxs bcensaidbefore,


and locaL




s speaker holds the (referring tone) is used Rising tones also indicate that the offering help to the .to-ir,*i position in discoiirse (has more to say) or is to introduce new listener Speakers choose falling tones (proclaiming tones) a falling tone on the new information into cliscourse.In thi example below, B uses the last prominent word in the infofmation.,,bills. " The intonation change occurs on tone unit and extends to the end of the tone unit'
A: Was there any mall? B, //a LOT of BILLS//
language that is formulaic or needs Leyel tones are used when the speaker is using to !!ive himself time to think (fbr exarnple' lelt see )' -- 'low)'for the tone fn. ,p.ut . also chooses a level ofpitch'the key Qrigh' miLl' orpitch on this word of a tor]e unit The unit, which occurs on the tirst prominent word (a fall information in the tone unit is expected indicates whether the speaker feeb the next Friday' last a o. r,.r."pectecl (a rise in pitch) In the sentence-'Ourtone class'"next Friday" unit word of.the *iil U. p""y,' shQwn below, the irst prominent information in this tone ,p.uker's pitch fa11s ot.t "ltt*t" to show that the irln " ":t]ift. that the last class is next Friday)' ,,r-rit l, ."p..t.a 6recause the listencrs know Our last class//NEXT FRIDAY//wlll be a party

In the example below, B's level ofpitch (a high key) uflit is"fifth" B savs tllis tone liroup on a higher-than-usual is comflron when the tone to show thxt this infofmation is inexpectecl. High key group presents a contrast or coffection'

--- l--L- correction of A' the first prominent word in the tone

A: The fourth


B: //the FIFTH of MAY//

involves listening to and Bnzil's approach to teaching discourse intonation units' prominent words' tone repeadng authentic sptech s"mflt"; identirying why speakers made the irtonation choices drey did; and pitch changes; discussing 'Although there is wide agreement dlat discourse and preclicting intonation is usecl in (liscourse' studies of intonation offers Yaluable insights in; Ilow rtonation full fi'amework is challenging (Hadley classroom use sulgest that iniorporatirg the in these studies reportecl difficulty in 1996,Ranx i 2002,Cnapman 2ottil Participants indcciding-whether hformation was hearing whether a tone was rising or falling and (1t9(') and Ranelli (2002) suggest that' mther sharecl or new. cauldweu and Heiings teachers supplement than adopting a complete cliscourse intonadon orientation' from discourse intonatiofl raditional materials fbr teaching intonation with elements funcdon Examples include the that are easily taught ancl serve iclear communicative

Then: are hvo othet comple{ tones:The



is xiothr tone is efolher rclrdng toneilhe rist hlLlone






rishg intonation on comprehension checks (e.g.,Rigtnn and the use of rising intonation to hold the floor some of these are addressed in nondiscourse intonation textbooks. chapman also recorimends that students listen for tone units (thought groups) and prominent words in recordinlas of natural discourse in order to develop a "realistic and generalized view', of the communicative use of intonation (2OO7, rct.
use of


The tips described in this chapter are listed below They provide some specific suggestions for how to help students improve their intonation.

ffi rtps

practice them.

The remainder of this chapter presents specific features of intonation. The tips are further explained in the context of these features and activities suggested to


1. Highlighting 2. Contrastiye stress 3. Final intonation patterns 4. Comprehension checks and tag questions 5. Intonation with lists, choice questions, nonfinal 6. Appositives and parentheticals 7. Intonation, emotions, and attitudes

intonation pattems

We discuss what the teacher should know about each of these topics and proyide suEigestions for teaching them.






V/hat the Teacher Should Know The following conversation between my claughter and me took place in our living room, as I was reading the newspaper:
Son a (walkine n, exasperated,

accusing): can't find my


lvlom (not I stening, still reading), What about your g asses? Sonia (bitterly, since t's l\4orn's fau


've LOST them.

Even though I wasn't paying attentioll to what my daughter said,I was able to pick out the word "glasses" because shc made that word prominent. She replied to my abscntminded question, highlighting "lost," the information she wanted me to know about her glasses. After tl.rat, wc got up, did a searcll of the apartment, and, as usual, I found her glasses. Highliglrting involves the use of salient pitch (usually high, but not always), together with length and loudness (drlthmic prominence), on the stressed syllable of a word that the speaker considers to be more important than surroLrnding words. Highl.ighting is also referred to as informatioll tbcus, sentence stress, primary stress, pitch accent, nuclear stress, and toric stress.'l'his usc of pitch (as well as length and loudness) provides "a funning conmentary on the newswofthiness of the various items of infomation" (Maidme nt 1990,22).Daltofl and Seidlhofer describe prominence (highlighting) as "the most important function of intonation, and alnost certainly the

most teachable one" (1994, 81; see also W'ennerstrom 1998,Jenkins 2000, Hahn 2004). Highlighted words are often the last content word of a sentence, where new information is wpically pfi: I bougbt a neut CAR, I'd like some COFFEE. In discourse, highlighted words prcsent new, foregroundcd, or contrasting information

Ttre example below shows the role of Prominence in signaling new information. Speaker B first gives prominence to "partlt'new information that answers speaker A s question. In the seconcl part of speaker B's answe! the new information is "loud"; "party" is now olcl information and is pronounced with a lowered pitch

A: Why do you look so tired? B: There was a PARTY in the bu dlng last nlght, a very LOUD parly. Highlighted words also presertt information that contrasts with previously mentioned information. In the following dialogue, speaker B is contrasting information about his new car (see ContrastiYe stress, below):


How do you like your new car? better GAS mileage, but it's not as FAST.

B: lt gets

The fact that highlighted words are often the last content worcl in a phrase provides a straightforward approach to teaching this intonation lbature to beginning students. There are also general, teachable exceptions to the last-content-word rule




(Cruttenden 1990). Nouns tend to be focused more often than verbs, acliectives, or advefbs. In presentational sentences, the noun following tbere is/are tencls to be focused eyen if there arc otlter following nouns which also present new infomation.
There was a PARTY in my bui/ding.

Final adverbs are not usually focused, unless they present contfasting information or the speaker wants to emphasize the specific meaning of the aclverb. I'm going to B0ST0N, fortunatety.
I finished the BOOK yesterday.

The tendency for highlighted words to be the last content word of an utterance is not a rule, nor clo all exceptions fall into the general exceptions described above. Intermediate and ndvanced sttrdents need to be aware that the speaker can focus potentially any word, regardless of its position. In the first line of the dialogue belov', the word "pictures,', the last content word of the sentence and the new Lformation, is highligl.lted. In the second line,,,back,,is highlighted, while "yet;'an adyerb, is de-emphasized, one of the general exceptions to the last_content_ word rule.In the third line,"yesterda)." and "today" are cortrasted and so are fbcused. In the fourth line, the manager highlights the words ,,who,, and ,,I,llr.,, words in contfast, but also "have;' to emphasize the lack of ',existence,, of the particulaf service. The highlighting of"have" neither follows the last-content-word rule, nor is it one of the general exceptions to the rule, described above.
Customer (handing a slip to the store ernployee): I want to p ck up some PICTURES. Employee (checks and returns empty handed): Sorry. They're not BACK yet. Customer: I brought them ln YESTERDAY. I was told they'd be ready TODAy. Employee: Sorry. I don't know WHO you spoke to. l'M the manager and we don't
HAVE next day service.

Activity 3.1

Highlighting: Breakfast in the rcal world Beginning, ESL Settings




Teach highlighting of key words to help students make their meaning clearer.


Students practice ordering breakfast in a restaurant, highlighting new information (the breakfast choices they order). This activity can also be integrated with other work centering on the topic of food (count and mass nounsr for example, are often presented with food vocabulary). Classroom practice can be followed by a t.ip to a restaurant.
( on ne$ page)




Actlulry 3.1 continued


Before class, plan t0 go with your students to a local restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Bring copies of the menu to class and go over them.


In class, after explaining the restaurant trip, pass out menus to students and ask them to choose what they will order. Go over vocabulary as necessary. lf the menu is long or includes a great deal of new vocabulary, ask students to go over it as homework, choosing the items they will order. In this way, class

time can be used for speaking and pronunciation praciice raiher than
vocabulary development.


Write the students' choices on the board. lvlodel the pronunciation and ask students to repeat. IVake sure students can pronounce their choices u nderstandab ly.
Write a dialogue on the board, using one student's choices, or use the sample dialogue on Worksheet 3.1. To keep the practice natural, do not insist that students always use complete sentences. Capitalize highlighted words and mark intonation. dialogue and repeat the lines. Explain that the capitalized words have the most

@ s. oirect students' atteniion to the capitaiized words. Students listen to the

important mean ing.


Students practice the dialogue in pairs, taklng both parts.

use the model on the board to practice their own choices, in groups of two (waiter and customer) or three (one waiter and two customers), before going to the restaurant.

7. After practicing the dialogue, students


contrastive stress

V/hat the Teacher Should Know Contrastive stress is like highlighting, except that two words are pronounced with salient pitch and stress. ContmstiYe stress tells the listener that two pieces of information afe being contrasted or compared.
The lecture


be in HA[/lLTON Hall, not LEWISOHN Hai

Pierrehumbert and Hirschberg describe tlle pitch accent on contlirsting information as a sharp rise (from a low note) to a high note (1990,296).


3 lntonatian 99



Conttastive strcss: Which apartnent is bettet? lntermed iate/Advanced

Page 22O



Teach highlighting of key words to help students make meanings clear.

Description In this inforrnation gap, students complete information missing from descriptjons of two apartment shares and then decide which is preferable. This activity can be adapted to many other comparisons, such as two schools, two cars, two cell phone service plans, or two bus routes. lt can also be used to integrate pronunciation with grammar practice of comparatives.


lntroduce the topic of housing. Ask the class what is irnportant when they look for a place to llve. List thelr answers on the board, recasting them as much as possible as nouns (e.g., location, size, rent/price, privacy, noise).


lntroduce pronunciatlon. Check two of the items on the board and contrast them in a sentence Iike "For me, loCAtion is more irnportant ihan SIZE.',
Ask students which words you contrasted and how your voice shows the contrast (the contrast words are heavlly stressed, pitch is higher on these words). Repeat your sentence and ask students to repeat, using their voices to h ghlight the contrast words.
Ask a student to choose two items on the list and compare them for importance. Provide feedback 0n pronunciatlon of the contrasted words. Choose several other students to do the same.

4. 5.

Find out if anyone tn class is living tn an apartment share. Ask the class why people choose apartment shares.

6. Put students rn pairs, giving one member Chart A, and the other Chart B. Tell

the class that each student has half of the information about two apartment shares. Each member of the pair tells (not shows) her partner the information on ihe chart, stressing words that contrast (not all of the information on the sample charts contrasts). The listener writes the missing informatron to complete his chart. When the charts are complete, the pair discusses which apartment share is more desirable.

7. After the pair work, ask students which apartment share they preferred and why. Provide feedback on the pronuncia on of contrasting words.





ua"t rntonation Patterrx

As discussed aboyc, specific intonation patterns are often linked to sentence

what the Teacher Should Karow

types'. Yes'no, for example , end in rising intonation. The link, however, is a

loose one. Bolinger, for example, reports that J,es-no questions end with falling intonation almost as oflen as they end with rising intonation (1998). Research on the role of gender and intonation in yes-no questions shows that women are more likely to use rising intonation than men (Svrdal and Jilka 2003). lfli questions can end with either falling or rising intonation. When the question is a true information question, intonation falls. When the lVH question is used to ask for a repetition or clarification, it rises. The example below illustrates both.


I know somebody at the UN that you should contact.


B: Great. What's hls narne? (asking for informat ---'--''-----..A: A. Chandaha nathan

B: What was that? (asking for a repet tion/c arification)

A: C'H-A-N-D-A-H-A-N-A-T-H-A-N.

Thl] use of rising intonation with 1f11 questions is a useful one for ESL students, who frequently need to ask for repetitions or clarifications, and is also
the end of a tone unit (thought group) signals that information in the tone unit is shared between speaker and hearer It can also be an invitation for the listener to make a conment (i.e., indicating the end of a turn). Brazil explains yes-n o questions plonounced with risin!! tones (e.g., Is tbat tlre titleX as "making sure" questions, questions whose answers the hearer knows and the speaker assumes to be true (1994a,20).
addressed in a number of textbooks. In discourse intonation, fisinE! intonation at

Flral Falling Intonation

Declaratives, Comrnands, Iflformation Questions. Final lalling intonation (also called rising-falling) is t)'pical with declarative sentences, commands, and information The genefal meaning of falling itttonation, certainty or finality, is consistent with the typical meanings of declaratives and commancls. Ifl the first statement below ("I saw John yesterda)'l'), the speaker is not expressing doubt


Intonation 1O1

about seeing John yestefday. Similarty, commands do not reflect doubt about what the speaker wants to happen.

saw John yesterday.

Open the window.

neyertheless reflect a good deal

Although information questions are not statements of fact, they of certaintF. For example, when we ask the

question Wbere did sbe go yesterd.ay? we believe that she went somes/here-we iust don't know where. In discourse, speakers use final falling intonation when they are informing listeners of something new (of something the speaker believes the listener was not aware of). Final faling intonation is also used to signal that a discourse or conyersational tum is finished. For ottrer uses of falling intonation, see also Comprehension Checks and Tag Questions, page 104.
Yes-No Questlons. Thompson describes yes-no qtestions with falling intonation as conducive questions, questions to which the speaker already knows the answers (1995).
Teacher (going over a student's essay that is very repetitive): Are these two sentences really


Bolinger gives the follov/ing example of a yes-no question with falling intonation, spoken with a steadily falling pitch by an exasperated mother to a child:
Are yolr going to pick up your toys?


Final Risfurg Intonation Questlons. A final fising intonation can mean that the speaker is unceftain. This final pattern is cofltmon in yesao questions and intonation questions (declaratives used as questions).Btaztl calls yes-no questions with rising intonation "making sure" questions <1994b, 2O).In the question below, intonation rises on the prominent word ("Sonia") and stays high to the end of the question (righ rising).
ls Sonia here?




A low-rising iJrtonation, where pitch is low on the prominent word and then
rises to a high note, is also used and appears to differ little in meaning from the highrisirg t ontour Oevis 2002).

Low-rising intonation is common in polite requests for information from stmngers. We might use this intonation to stop someone on the street to ask for the time .
Excuse me. Do you have WU Questions Asking for a Repetition or Clarification. When 1tr41 questions are used to ask for a repetition or clarification, intonation rises on the question word, remains high, and rises a little at the end of the question. Let's go to a movie.


B: What did you say?

A more exaggerated use of this rising pattern with lFI1 questions can indicate disbelief or increduliry

A: A taxi hit my blke today.

B: What?

Holding the Floor

A final falling intonation indicates a speaker has fiiished speaking. To show the opposite, that the speaker is not finished and has more to say, final intonation doesn't fall ro the bottom of the speaker's ranfie, but remains at a higher ler.el. Consider the two pronunciations of "I know" below.In the first, spoken with falling intonation, the speaker signals to the listefler that she is finished.In the second, final intonation remains faidy high, a signal that the speaker is not finished or needs time to think.
I know


lntonatictn "lf)f,.



final intonation: Mininat diatogues

Most Levels
Page 221



Use short utterances to illustrate jntonation patterns. Teach inionation patterns that occur at the ends of utterances.

This activity provides practice with final intonation patterns associated with declarative sentences (falling), information questions (falling), and yes-no questions (rising). As students practice ihe dialogues, the teacher can glve feedback on whether the range of intonatjon is wide enough.

1. Students listen to the djalogue and practice jt in pairs.


Students write their own mjnimal dialogues and perform them for the class.



Finat intonation: Fanous people

Beginn ing

Leyel ]lps

Worksheet None
Teach intonation patterns that occur at the ends of utterances. Practice the intonation of communicatively useful language ihat your students know how to use.

lsolate intonation patterns usjng nonsense syllables to make them

easier to hear.

Description ln thjs activity, students practice the rhythm and intonatjon paiterns of common questions used for asking about names and spellings in order to discover the name of a famous person. The spelling questions also provide practice with the pronunciation of letter names.


Before class, prepare cards with the names of famous people your students will recognize (actors, poljtlcians, musicians, school officials).'prepare as many

cards as there are students.

(continLted on next page)




ActtuiA 3.1 continue.l

2. ln class,

write the following questions on the board, varying the size of the words to show their relative prominence. Draw intonation lines. (Do not write the isolated rhythm patterns shown in parentheses on the board.)
wHAT',S your HOW do you WHAT'S your


NAtVtE? (On ou



sPELL it?

(DA oa oa




(on au DA On)

DA How do you SPELL it? (DA o, ou

3. l\lodel each question, followed by its isolated rhythm-intonation pattern,

Students repeat both the question and the isolated pattern.

4. As a demonstration, choose a student to ask another ciassmate the four questions. Provide feedback on rhythm-intonation and pronunciation. Repeat the process, choosing another student to demonstrate the questions. 5. ln pairs, students ask each other the four questions. (Although many students will know each other's first names, they may not know last names and spelling may be even more mysterious, especially in classes where students speak

different native languages.

6. Famous people. Put students in new pairs and give each student a different card (see step 1, above). Students ask each other the four quesiions on ihe board and write their partners' answers. When pairs finish thelr cards, they pass them to another pair and repeat the activity with cards from another pair. Repeat the card passing and questions two more times. 7. Following the pair work, ask several students to ask a classmate (not their partners) the same questions about the names on the classmate's current card. Provide feedback on rhythm and intonation.

@! comp"ehension

Checks and Tag Questions

What the Teacher Should Know Comprelrension checks, tags like OK? ot Rigrrt? Me appropriate for all levels of students. Comprehension checks are added to the ends of statements and pronounced with risinla intonation.
So I twist the white wires together, right?





:.::rn-ed (20O1). Tag questions llke isn't be? or can !ou? end in either falling or rising ::Dnation.When the speaker is asking for confimation, the falling pattern is used. -:-rn the speaker is expressing rincertainry rising intonation is used. Ihls is a nice party, isn't it. (requesting conf rmation)

expressions are easy for students to use and afe communicarively usefi-d, as Pickering suggests that ITAS include comprehension checks in their lectures in --.11. :iier to break up the preponderance of falling and level tones that haye been

You're from Mexico, aren't you? (expressing uncerta nty)


A tag question


with falling intonation can also be used to


A: lt's cold outside. B: lsn't


Tag questions are among the last question types to be used accurately by students. They are granxmatically difficult, requiring mastery of the verb system as well as subjcct-verb inversion (Lightbown and Spada 1999, 79). Because they occur

with either rising or falling intonarion, tlteA pronunciation is also difficr t. In

addition, they are pragmatically difficult. Levis suggests that before students are taught how to pronounce tali questions, they lear-n the situations in which they are used appropriately (1999,52). As an example, he imagines e help room situation in which an ITA is working through problems witlt an undergraduate student who seems to be having difficulry Levis asks how the I'I'A knows whether to ask about the difficulty with a direct question or a tag question. He presents several possible questions, shown below, and concludes that only thc first is cleady appropriate (1999,53).
Student: Oh, I'm just not getting these problems.
ITA: This is real y hard for you, isn't it?

This isn't really hard for you, s

ls this real y hard for you?


This is really hard for you?

Because of the difficulties with tag questions, they are better left as pronunciation topic for high intemediate and advanced students.






Conryehension checks; My favo te sandwich Most

Worksheet None


Practice the intonation of communicatively useful language that your students know how to use.

Description Students write a recipe for their favorite sandwich. The recipe should be simple and easy to make. In pairs students listen to each other's
recipes and take notes. The listener checks his understanding by reading back his notes and adding the confirmation check right? with rising intonation. (Alternatively, students can give each other directions to their homes, a favorite restaurant, park, movie theater, or library. lTAs can define a term or concept from their field to someone who isn't in their field.)


Before class, prepare simple lnstructions for making a sandwich to use as a demonstration, The example below is for a garlic-and-cheese sandwich. Only one copy of the recipe is needed.

ngred ents, a slice of good bread, your favorite cheese

c ove of garl c, ol ve oil, salt and pepper,

1. Peel the garlic clove and cut it in half. 2. Toast the bread.

3. Rub the cut sjde of the garlic over one side of the bread. 4. Sprinkle a little olive oil over the bread.
5. 6.
Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the oil. Add cheese to the bread and eat,

2. ln class, give the sandwich recipe to a student who

will read the instructions

while you write them on the bOard. Tell the student to read at a normal pace.
3. As the student gets ahead of your writing, stop him. Repeat the last part 0f the

instructions he read, ending with the comprehension check rghtZ

4. Ask the class what word you added to check your understanding. Ask whether your voice rose or fell over that word (i.e., rightn. lf necessary, repeat the last part of the instructions with the comprehension check. 5. The student continues to read the recipe instructi0ns and you continue writing them on the board, stopping the reader from time to time to check your understandl ng, using rteht?




Ytilnr) 3.5 continued


Students write their own slmple recjpes for a sandwjch (or some other food). Provjde help with vocabulary. work, One student reads her recjpe to her partner, who takes notes on the steps. The partner then checks his understandilg ov-r!.oire back the notes and using the comprehensjon check right.z witf,

7. Pai


jsts, Choice and IStoTlior,rfyith I Non-Final-Thought Groups euestions,

S/hat the Teacher Should Know
when they a-re single woros or strort ptrrases. The last item is pronounced with falling intonation to indicate that the list is complete.
We v'sited Beijirg. Sharghsi. and

Listing Intonation. The first items in a lisr are usually pronounced with rising intonation, especia.lly



If the speaker wants to show that the list is not complete and that she could add more to it, the last item is also pronounced *itt ,lrirrg irriorration. The raised final pirch indicates that the list is nor finished. Th e word1nd is ofren omitted in "open" lists.
One, two, three. .

We visrted Beijing, Shanghai, Ho-ng Kong. .


, cauldwelr and Hewings point out that this intonation rule,like all others,is not always

"hard and fast.,'They cite an example from an introduction to a radio prog?m g: th: poetry of Phillip La&in (1996,3]8).In describing his poetry, Larkin uses two lists;the first (a) follows the pattern clescribe.l above while the second (b) does not.


in natural speech (1996) and that ,fr" ,.rf., should not be

(a) | tike to see at a gtance ,-,.-1"-ngt'.





prnriuation, ruther tlr^n radio listiners would expect to be important in poetry (i.e.,lookini at punctuation is new information).In a discourse intonation model, falling intonation is used to sign"t new into.mafiorr.

93), suggest that Larkin chose ro use falling into nurion un rising, because punctuation is not something the

(b) And r want to prck up things rir" p*.trnt-----ron uno ituti..iiltlil-J i. g"t ro.t. Cauldwell and Hewings, working in a discourse intonation framework (see page





Choice Questions and Questions with o/. Choice questions are often phrased or: They look tike -lLlesr?o qllestions, but the speaker expccts them to be answered with one of the choices, rather than with./es or zo. 'l'he choices are in different thought groups;pitch rises on the first choice(s) and lalls on the last. A. B.
Do you want to go on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? Saturday.


Some J,es-no questions with or are trucJes-/lo questions, qr,restions that can be appropriatel) answefed with Js o!: ,?o. In this case, both items in the or phrasc arc in the same thought group, ancl intonati(.,n fises as with other l.,es-7?(/ questions.

A: Can you corne on Saturday or Sunday? (the speaker doesn't care wh ch day) B. No, sorry. I'm busy.

Non-Final-Thought Groups. Non-final-thought groups (phrases or clauscs) can encl with a slight rise or fall. Pitcll cloes not rise or fall to the level it docs at the end of an uttcraficc. This slight chanl;c in pitch is one of the rvays the boundaly of a
thought group is markcd (Avcry and Ehdich 1992). Th intonation on the second clause often starts at a lower note. These changes in intonation at internel thought grc-r4r bounclaries are difficult to hc:r.
lforgot my keys, and now I'm locked out. lf h s score is good, he'll app y to law schoo
You can't come n because

it's --''--.--..-- ate. ___--,,-..--_ ,-=------^--,--

When the phone rang, I didn't answer it.

In a discourse intonation fi?mework, final and nonfinal phrases (tone units) afe not differentiated from eaclr other tbrmall_\.. A risin! tone at the end of a phr.rse inclicates that the inlbrmation in thc phflse is slrared betn'een the speaker and hearer'. A falling tone shorvs that the speakcr believes the informetion is new (or chooses to speak as if it were new). In Pierrehumbert and Hitschberg's framervort,
nonfinal phrases and clanses are callcd intermediate pluascs. high tone at the encl '\ of rln intcrmcdiatc phrasc indicates that it is to be interpreted $,-ith what follows. A low tone is used to show that the phrase is independent of $.'hat follows ( 1990, 287). Neither explanation of the differencc in meaning bet$-een nonfinal rising and falling intonation is concrete or clear enough to appll in the classroom. Cllxssroom studies ha\.e shown that the shared-ne$' distinction is frequcntly unclear to tcachcrs and students. It seems likely that the distinction bet$ een informrtion that is to be interpreted with $'hat fbllows and information that is indepefldent of s.'hat follows


lntonation 1Og

will be

as unclear, leaving the teacher with no ready explanation for why intonation on one nonfinal clause falls but rises on anothef. In my own teaching, I address the pronunciation of nonfinal clauses (phrases) as part of rhlthm (thought groups) and do not focus on the co-occuffinfi intonational changes, which are especially difficult for students to notice.



Listing intonation: eobrs, aninals, fanily wotds , ,

Beginn ing

level Tip

Worksheet None
lntegrate intonation work wilh classroom work on other English skills.

Description Students practice listing intonation in the context of a game. After presenting the intonation patterns associated wiih lists, students play the game in groups of three. The group chooses a vocabulary category that your students have learned (for example, family words). One student starts by naming two types of family members, using listing intonation (e.g., mother and father). The next student repeats the two items and adds a new one (mother, father, and sister). The third student repeats the three items of the second student and adds a fourth (mother, father, sister, and brother). ' When the group can't think of any new words in that category (or remember all the words that have been said before), the last contributor to the list chooses a new category (e.g., colors, animals, rooms in a house, or means of transportation).


On the board, write category headings. Choose familiar categories that students can expand (e,9., animals, colors, family words, months). Ask students for words that belong in each category and add them to the board.

2. 3.

Demonstrate listing intonation when the lists are complete. Ask the question What are the first three (colors) in the list? Choose a student to answer. Write the answer on the board, adding intonati0n lines, and model the answer, Students repeat.

red, blue (and) yellow



Then ask What are the first four (animals) on the listT \Nrite the answer on the board, showing the intonation lines. Students repeat.

5. Elicit

intonaiion: l\4odel each item on the lists and ask students whether your voice goes up or down. (Alternatively, explain intonation: 0n the first words, your voice goes up. When the list is f nished, your voice goes down.)


xinued on next page)




Actiuitt 3.6 dlntlnued


Erase the words in the categories, leaving only the category headings on the

board. Choose two students to demonstrate the game with you.

Choose one of the categories on the board-for example, colors. Ask a student from your "group" to say two colors. Give feedback on intonation. Ask the other student in your group to repeat the first student's colors and add a third. v,ou repeat the three colors and add a fourth. The student who chose the first two colors repeats your four and adds a fifth, and so on. When someone forgets a color word or can't think of a new one, a new category is chosen. The student who is the last to add to a category (i.e., has produced the longest list), gets to start the new category.


Students work in groups of three and repeat the demonstration.


Appositives and Parentheticals

V{hat the Teacher Should Know

Appositives. Appositives are phrases that follow a noun and provide additional fufofmation about the noun. They are pronounced in a group by themselves, set off
from the rest of the sentence. When an appositive occurs insidc an utterance, intonation also sets it off from the rest of the sentence. At the beginning of the appositiye, pitch drops to a low note, rises a little on the impofiant word in the appositive and falls again to a low

Johnson, rny boss, s coming to d nner.


Yakima, "The Frult Bowl of the Nation," rs my hometown.



When appositives end a sentence, intonation usually starts low, rises, and then falls.
I inviled
l\4 .

Johr:on. mv boss.

- -/--'\.Bow _r-of the Nation."


l\4y hometown is Yakima, "The Fruit

Pai:entheticals. Parentheticals are expressions that are set apart from the main utterance . Examples include direct address forms (e.g.,Mr Smitb, can I ask lou a question?), comments thnt exprcss how the speaker feels about the message (e.9., He's late, I suppose), politeness expressions (e.9.,I'd like an application, please), of final reporting expressions, (e.g., I'm la4t, be said). Parenthetical




a fall.

volume. This rather monotone delivery sets the parenthetical information off from the "livelier" intonation ofthe main message.weaker le,,els of stress are also involved in parenthericals (Dickerson 2003). The intonation on sentence initial parentheticals can end in either a rise or

information is pronounced in its own thought group,e with low pitch and low

lVr. Smith, can I ask you a question? lVary.

c6" lash you a questior.

In the middlc of a sentence or at the encl, parentheticals are pronounced v/ith lower levels of pitch; intonation rises slightly on the prominent wofcl (Celce_Murcia et al. 1996, 191).

was waiting, I guess, for an hour.

That's rny book, I think.

Students use parenthetical expressions, but they may not use appropriate intonation to set the expression off from the rest of the utterance effectiyely. If students give a parenthetical word too much prominence, that word may be interpreted as part of the main Lrtterance rather than as a pafenthetical, leading to a possible confusion between Ilozr,.s our (Jncle Cha es? J,, lbr example, and Aou.t's lour uncle, Cba es?
stress, grouping, and

Activity 3.7
Level Worksheets Tip

Parcntheticals: Yau look ptetty happy, Iuke.



Practice the intonation of communicatively useful language that your students know how to use. This activity provides practice listening to final parentheticals in dialogues, and noticing the pronunciation that marks them as parenthetica ls.1o For pronunciation practice, students add final parentheticals to a d ialogue.
(continued on nefi page)




:.onounced in firce thoughl gto.lps o/l.t'act/all the aorhl,ou l,p -lirry \I'ould chffecteria the entiN p tnthetical

long pa1nthetical may consist olmore than one thought group:for example, lo ur uark. ln facl, all the aot h )nu'ue darl thit b.$bee letific ln lhis sentence, the parenthelic l is long (ii1.bct, aitlhe aork 'rc t1atrc tbis zr,ee*) altl would likelv be

76r, 6i, ,,rrU, Regirilles


of Length. a lou"pitched, monoton'e


his a.tivitvls nodcled after Dicke$on (2003)




Actiuit! 3.7 conunuecl

@ 1. Students listen to the

dialogue. Direct students' aitention to how the underlined parentheticals are pronou nced.


Elicit the pronunciation, using these questions:


ls the parenthetical separated from the main sentence? ls the voice loud or soft?

. .

ls heavy stress used on the parenthetical?

ls the voice low or high?

Alternatively, explain the pronunciation of parentheticals: There's a slight pause before the parenthetical expression; the volume of the voice is low; the stresses are not as strong; and the pitch 0f the voice is low.
3. Students listen to the dialogue again and repeat the lines.

4. Students practice the first dialogue in pairs and then do a class reading. Give feedback on pronunciation of the parentheticals.
5. ln pairs, students add parenthetlcal expressions to the second dialogue. They can use examples from the table of parentheticals given on Worksheet 3.7B, or other expressions they know, Tell students to use parentheticals that are appropriate to the meaning of the dialogue and not to overuse specific parentheticals. Students practice ihe dialogues in pairs. 6. After the pair work, choose palrs of students to present their dialogues to the class. Provide feedback when parentheticals are not clearly set off from the main sentence.


ntonation, Emotions, and Attitudes

What the Teacher Should Know Intonation plays an important role in the expression of emotion and attitude. Gussenhoyen (2004) distinguishes between informational interpretations of intonation and affective interpretations. An example of an informational interpretation of falling intonation is "finished" or "ceftain." As cliscussetl above, languages show considerable similarity in how they interpret the informational meaning of final intonation. Affective interpretations includc e'mluations of whether a speaker is angr)', fiiendly, conlident, or sacl. There is evidence that languages associate similar affective intefpretations with particular chamcteristics of pitch and intonation (Bezooijen 1984, Scherer 2000, Scherer et al. 2001), ns well as evidence of sorne differences (Graham, Hamblin and Feldstein 2001, Chen and Gusshoven 2003). The universal interpretations




(infomational and affecti\.c) of jr]tonarbn are belieyed to clerive from biological codes (Ohala 1983, Gusshor''en 2(X)4). One biological cocle, rhe ficc1uenc1. code, associates conrotatioos of "small" with high pitches xnd "big" with low pitches. .Ihcse associations come from the fact that larger vocal cords and yocal tmcts, such as those of men (or large animals), ploduce lo\rer pitclted sounds;smallcr r,'ocal corcls ancl \,ocal facts procluce higher pitchcd sounds, slrch as those of childrcn (of small animals). Afltcti\,'e interpretntions of intonation arc believcd to havc developed from thc big-small meirnings of low and high pitch. Low pitch is assorliatcd wirh assertivcness, confidence, dominance, aggression, finalitl', and thrcatl hilh pitch is associated with lack of certainq', fricncllir.tcss, lack of confidence, politeness, vulncrabiliq', and submissivcness (Ohala 1!t3J, Gusscnhoven 2004). Another code, the effort code, maintxins thxt lireatef articulatory efloft results in clearer, more explicit speech contfirsts. In intooation, greatcr ellbrt produces a wider ranlle of pitch, wliile less effort produccs a narrower rarlle of pitch. Affective interpretations of a widcf range of pitch include surprise, enthusiasn, authority, and helpftrlness. Interprctations of a narrowef fange of pitch (less effort) ir.rclude lack of interest, lack of commitment, less surprise, ancl so on. ln intcrpreting others' emotional states, we r.ely not olly on vocal cues (level or range of pitch), but also on r.isnal cues (facial, posturc, or body language); on context cues (the situation in which a particular conversatiolt takes place or the felationship between speaker and listener); and on linguistic cues (the specific wolds used ancl their connotations). An emplo,vee who takes offensc at l.ris boss's criticism, for example , mav say nothirg but srill rcveal his rlnlier in a stiffening of the lace ancl body. An onlooker to the exchange rnight latcr sa,.\r, "I know he was angry I conld sec it in his face." Research on nativc speakers' abilitr,' to recognize ernotions in audio recordings. where there are no visual cues;rnd therc may be no context cues, shows agrcement as to what emotion is being portrayed, alrbougb there afe diff'efences in rhe degree of agreement. When listeners arc asked to choose among a small numbef of "prinary" emotions (anger, fear, sadness, jolD, agreement is highef than when "secondafy" cmotions (hate, nervolrsness, or timidity) arc also included among the choices.r 1 Disaireements usuallv inyoh-e distinctions between closely r.elatecl emotions such as sadness and depression.r2 Graham et al. (2001) studic.l the abilit]- of lrati\.e and nonnatiye speakers of Englisl] to idcntify emotions portm,yed in English in an ar-rclio recording of fbur professional actors. The nativc English listencrs $,'ere Alnerican college students;the nonnative listeners werc Japa[ese and Spanish ESL studcnts at different levels of


ilor extnple. leer leads to flighl) Scondan cmolions nll'be mo|e culture specilic. \lOst firchologists flace rngc1 1iu, hapliness xnrurg lhe frrnaN e.roLions but nto' not aqLe 0n lhe lull set Stc l0r criLNllc. ElnDm (1999)


rccitations ol ihe iLlphabet |ead with diliercnt emotiors (Deurz

lnd DlriL

1959) t0 te\ts rcad






proficiency. They found that although the ESL learners identified emotions at betterthan-chance le\.els, they identfied them less accuratell than natir e EngLish listeners. A rnore surprising finding was that the more-proficient ESL srudents wefe not bctter able to identify the emotions than the less-proficieflt students. Gmham et al. suggest several possiblc explanations fbr their results, including the tact that students are not likely to be exposed to certain types of emotion in the classroom. Indeed, the clzssroom is not an appropriate place for tlte expression of man] strong emotions; neither teachers nor chssmates welcome the genuine expression of erupting ra!e, deep despaif, of scathing sarcasm.

The attitudes and emotions we want our students to express more appropriately are tamer: confidence, interest, ffiendliness, and so on. These are positive attitudes that are likely to extend conYefsation, create more opportunities for practice, and, ultimately, lead to greater learning. We can expose our students to the expression of more extreme emotions and attitudes vicariously by bfinging emotion into the classroom through Yideos and movies. Because the affbctive interpretation of intonation is highly dependent on context, it is difflcr t to make teachable, generalizable statements about its use (LeYis 1999) As a result, intonation teaching should focus preclominantly on features of intonation that ha\.e broad informational value in discourse (e.g., making words prominent or turn taking) father than on the expression of emotions. Students can, howeYer, without explicit irlstruction on the use of specific pitch levels or pattems of intonation, be given the opportunity to "stretch their Yoices" in role plays and skits, where they ffy expressing different feelinp;s and attitudes and try on different persoflae.



Attitudes and emotions: Anbiguous dialogues






Encourage monotone speakers to use their voices more

Description This activity can be used as a voice warm-up. The teacher or students describe different situations in which a short exchange between two people might take place. Pairs of students act out the exchanges. The differing relationsh:ps and situations require the expression of different attitudes and emotions.

1. Students

read the dia ogue and the situations on Worksheet 3.8.


The teacher explains that the class wlll use the dialogue to act out the situations in the handout. Since the words in the dialogue do not change, students must use their voices to show the different situatlons.




Actit) y 3.8 mnttnued


The teacher and an outgoing student perform the dialogue, acting out one of the situations on the handout. situations. three times, to refrect each of the three

4. ln pairs, students perform the diarogue


After the pair work, the teacher chooses different pairs of students to act out one of the sit_uations. The pair should not tell the class whjch situation they are acting out After ristening, the crass wiI decide which of the three situations was demonstrated.



lnprovs; The Chaser


High lntermed iate/Advanced

None Encourage monotone speakers to use their voices more. lntegrate intonation work with classroom work on other English skills.


Description lmprovisations are useful in the classroom and give students an opportunity to take on other personae. I use the short story ,,The Chaser" by John Collier (1940) for improvs. ln ,,The Chaser,,, a

young man purchases a love potion very inexpensively from a shrewd shopkeeper. The shopkeeper first tells the young man about another potion he sells, a ,,life cleaner," which is far more expensive than the love potion. The shopkeeper knows that the love potion will produce such suffocating devotjon from the woman who drinks it that the young man will return to the shop, later in life when he is well_off. to purchase the life cleaner and rid himself of the woman. The improv scene takes place either iwenty days or twenty years (students choose) after the purchase of the love potjon and uses two to three actors. lnstead of basing the improv on a short story the teacher can choose a different situation for students to enact*ior. example, a first date, breaking up, or lost :uggage at the airport.

1. The teacher or teacher and students choose a situation to act out in

five-minute scene. Objects in the classroom can be used as props.


initially as actors and one as director. The director decides what props should be used and blocks the scene (decides where the actors and props should be, where actors should enter and exit the set, etc.). The two actors and director come to the front of the class.
(coittinued on next page)

Two students are chosen




Actil'io, 3.9 continued


The class creates the script, which the teacher writes on the board and students copy at their desks. New characters and actors are added as necessary. As the scene is being written, the teacher provtdes needed language, gives feedback on grammar and word choice, makes suggesttons about the direction in which the scnpt is going, and decides when the scene is finished. The script is rehearsed by the actors and the class as it is being written. The director and audience provide feedback to the actors to make them more expressive. For examp/e, they might say, "that doesn't sound angry enough" or "that sounds too angry" or "say that louder."
Once the script is written and on the board, the actors rehearse again,



receiving direction from the ciass and director,

6. Then the script rs erased. The actors act out the scene, improv sing as necessary. 7. After the performance, the actors and director stay in character. The rest of the
class asks probing questi0ns about the characters.

The role of intonation in both structuring and interpreting a speaker's meaning makes it a crucial component of pronunciation. It is also the most colrmunicative aspect of pronunciation: Alone , withot-lt words, it can communicate meaning. Native speakers, for example , may "hum" common utterances lilFie I don't knott) ot yes,

A: ls l\4ax


(l don't know.)

A: Are you ready?

B: ff ['l



Teachers should focus intonation work on communicatively useful ancl easyto-hear intonation features such as highlighting or comprehension checks, presented and practiced with sufficient context to make meaning clear Dialogues and other materials from nonpronunciation class work can provide an excellent source fbr intonation practice and at the same time reinfofce the sructures ancl vocabulary taf[ieted in those materials.


missing whatever the student said next. part of the problem was a mispronunciation of the I'inal consonant in tozlr?z

Cowboy tongs? This is how one of n]y stuclents pronounced.cowboy towns.,, Given the context, I understood what thc student wantecl to say, but 1:he pfonunciation was odd enough to make fi]e turn it over and oycf in
m.,, he.rd

Pronunciation difliculties with consonants are highly dcpendent on the student's native language, in contrast to vowel cliflicr tics, which are more widespread (McNerney and Menclelsohn 1992). There are 24 consonants in Noffh American English.

consisteflt than the spelling of vowels. ln addition, because consonants involve touching one part of the mouth to zu.lother (or moving one part of tlte mouth close to anothcr part), the studcnt has fixed refefence points, which are often easy to visu;tiize and control;instructinli a student ro touch the rop teeth to the bottom lip, for example, is usually sufficient to enable l.ler to pronounce tlte first sounds in ,s/J ancl uan. Pronouncing consonants at the cnds of words or sylleblcs, on the other hancl, is challenging for most students, even when the same consonants pose no problems at

There are only a few Engrish consonzurts v/hich afc difficr t for most studcnts first sounds in thing and tDlO. Since many English consonants ha\'e close counterpafis in other languages, studcnts may fi.rd consonants. at least at the heginnings ('l w(,rd\. easi(.r to lcffn lhrtn vowcls. Ted(.herr ,f.,n iUlO.on.rnrn,r -r1 easier to tcach than vowels (Daucr 2005). corsonrnt contmsts are not as clitlicult perceptually as vowel contmsrs (Tench 2003), ancl the spelling of consonants is nore
(e.g. the




time may nevertheless have a great deal of difficulty pronouncing tbe /t/ it migbt. Consonants that occrr in consonant clusters Groups ofconsonants, as in train or test) are also rnore difficult than consonants which occur singly (Hancin-Bhatt and Bhatt 199D. A student, for example, may be able to pronounce /r/ in rou), but not in grozl Problems with consonant clusters and with finxl consonants generally are tied to the dilferences between syllable structure in the learner's native language and in English.

the beg rnings of words. A student who has no difficulq' pronounclitg th.e


a "beat" in a word. For example, dog has one syllable, urslt has two u)onderful has three syllables. The center (nucleus) of a syllable is a r'owel. In English syllables, vowels may be preceded and/or followed by one or more consonants. Every language places restrictions on the type and location of consonants that can occur in syllables. The word tlack, for example, is not a permissible English word because /tll is not a permitted cluster (although it is in some languages). Trlrs4 which doesn't happen to occur in English, is a permissible word because it does not violate English s_vllablc strucLrre (the beginning cluster in the nonword t /rst occurs in tbree altrd tbrift). Syllables are either open or closed. Open syllables end in a vowel;for example, the word see is an open syllable, and soJn? contains two open syllables ("so" and "fa"). Closed syllables end in one or more consonants; r/og for example, is a closed pictule.s (pic-tures) contains two closed syllables. syllable, ^nd Open syllabtes, found in every language, are simpler oi more ufliyersal than closecl syllables (Jakobsen and Halle 1956, Greenberg 1965, Tarone 1980). Students whose natiye languages are predominantly open-sllable languages Oapanese, Cantonese, Portuguese) often have difficr.rlty pronouncing the final consonants and consonant clusters of English s-vllables, like those in dog, felt, or utaltz. Thus, the teacher can assume that pronunciation work with a few generally "difficult" consonants. with consonant clusters. and with final consonants $'ill benefit most students, regardless of nativc-lanlauage background. For other consonants, howe\.er, the teacher will need to cliagnose the speech of his students and base additional consonant work on those assessments.

A syllable is

s_yllables, and

When two parts ofthe vocal tract (the areas where souncls are produced) move close enough toiether to obstruct the air streem, consonants arc produced. For example, the fust sounds ln path llnd batb in'.r'olve a brief closure of the lips, an obstruction that completely stops thc airflow. If snrdents cannot pronounce a




shown in the diagram below The place of articulatlon of specllic consonants is shown in the charr.

involyes three factors:the place ofarticulation, the marut* r".f,.f.i"g. Place of aftianlatioz refers to the place where the ai_r"f ""i.rl"*rr, steam is obstructecl in the vocal tract. For the fust sotnds of pati and bath, this occurs ,i ,n. lpr, which are pressed together /b/ and /p/ are called bilabial (,,rwo lips,,) sounds becausc the obstruction occurs at the lips. If you prepare to say time and dime, lToldjllg the first souncls of these words and concentmting on the tip of the tongue, you should feel the tip of the tongue touching behind the top teeth. The rop of the mouth just behind the teeth is_ called the alveolar ridge or tooth ndge. /t/ and /A/ are both alvcolar consonants. . The consonants of English_ are produced at seven places in the vocal tract,

consonant alter seeing and hearing it cleady modeletl, they may need information about how the consonant is articulated (pronounced). Consonant


Nasal Cavity

Tongue Vocal cords/

Bilabial consonants @oth lips)

I-abio-dentat consonants (teeth and lips)

p, b,




0 (thought),
6 (though)

Getweefl the teeth)

AlYeolat consonants
t, d, s, z, n,l,

Gehind the rop teeth)

Palatal consonants

(front roof of the mouth)

J ("hip), g (pleasure),

Velaf consonants (soft palate)

tf (chair),

y (ves)

k (cow), c Go) ! (sing)

Glottal consonant (vocal cords)




Manner of articulation refers to the wa-Ir iI Fhich the air stream is obstructed.Ifith stop consonants, the air stream is brieflr but completely stopped. Tty p6th and bath again and holcl the first sound-do not release it. If you now try to breathe through your mouth, you will find ,vou cannot: The closure of the lips completely stops the airflow. Now say the first sounds of ls, ard uan, prolonging the consonants. You will notice two differences betryeen /p,b/ nnd /v/,rhe air continues to flow through the mouth. Second, /f, v/. First, with /f/ ^nd /f/ and /v/ are "noisier" than /p/ or /b/-there is a hissy sound when they are pronounced. /f/ an(l /v/ are fricati!-es, a second manner of articulation. With fricatiyes, the air stfeam is obstructed enough to create turbulence and a noisy sound, but not completely stopped. Affficate sounds represent a third manner of articulation. There are two affricates in English: the first sounds in cbeck /tl/ and jazz /Q,/. An affricate is a complex sound that combines a stop consonant Ut/ or /d/ in English) with a edge very slowly, fricatiye: [/ (^s in sbip) or /s/ 6s in pk..sure). s^y mucb ^nd prolonging the end of the words. There is a brief silence that "cuts off" the vowel
before the final consonant is produced; this is the "stop" part of the affricate (the /t/ of /t[/ and tl]'e /d/ ot /qD.when the stop is rcleased, the noisy fricatiye part of the affricate is heard. In all, there are six manners of articulation. rvhen important, manner of articulation is covered below in Specfic Consonants.
Stops (air is stopped)

{ \. 0, 6, s, z, f (ship),
h (hearT)

Fricatives (afu is obstacted but not


stopped) Affricates (stop + fricative)

Nasals (air comes out

tlrough the

Liquids (A/ and /rDl

tf tchairr, Q tjazzl m. n. ! (sin9


Glidts (Jw/ and /yD

The final factor that determines the sound of a particular consonant is uoicing-whether the vocal cords are yibrating as the consonant is produced. 'When the vocal cords vibrate, yoiced sounds (e.g., /b/ 'and /v/) are produced. 'When the vocal cords do not yibrate, r'oiceless sounds are produced (e.g., /P/ and /f[).



is a perceptual

ternr 'lhe c0ns0nanls



heve a liquid sornd.




You can test voicing by placing your fingertips alongside the yocal cords (the Adam's apple) nnd pressing gently while 1'ou alternate between a long /y/ arrd a long /f/:


'When you say A'l'v\.v/, )'ou should be able to feel the vibration ifi )'our fingertips. When yotr say /ffff/, th.e yibration "switches off." It is difficult to feel rhe difference in voicing between /p/ and /b/ n ttls way, because these sounds can't be prolonged and /y/ can. Howerze! if you close youf e;rrs with your fingers and then say"pa" ^s/f/ and "ba," keeping the vowels as short as possible, you can hear the vibration in your head with "ba" but not with "pal'

Voiceless sounds (vocal cords do

p, r, k, 0 (think), f,


J (ship),

tf (cheap), h

sounds (vocal cords vibrate)
b, d, g,

6 (then),


z, 5 (pleasure), (sin9, r l, rv, y



Although eyery consonant has a place of afticulation and a manner of articulation and is either \.oiced of voiceless, teachers rarely need to refer to all three parameters (place, manner, and voicing). For example, if students pronounce other as"ozzer:'the error involves place of articulation, not yoicing or manner of articulation. For the middle sound in ot e4 the tip of the tongue should be between the teeth;when students say "ozzer," the tip of the tongue is behind the top teeth. In addition, teachers should avoid technical terms like uelum or alueolar ridge or fricatiues in the classroom.lwhen it is necessary to refer to features of consooant afticulation, diagrams afe effective, and most technical tefms have easyto-understand, ordinary English paraphrases.





Bilabial Labio-dcntal

Both lips Top tceth an.l bottorl lip

Alveolar ridge

Td)th ridgc;flat part behind the top teeth (this can be felt with
the tongue) Front part of the top/roof of the mouth (this can be felr with the tonglre)
Back part of the top/roof of the mouth (this cannot be felt with

Vocal cords

the tongue) No substilute , but tl.le teacher can point to tlle Adam's apple


Stop: the air is completely stopped

Fricative Affricate

A noisy sound; the air isn't completcly stopped + /J/ prcnounced together (4/ is lirst soturd in s/rrp). Students will not hear the two parts as separate sounds (see Sibilants, below);


/d/ + /3/ ptonouncecl together (/3/ is the middle sound in


will not hear the two parts


as separate sounds

Nasal;lhe eir comes out thc nosc;

tn, or "en[a"

Liquid Retroflexion

The tip of thc tongue poil.rts/cu s I'rp
l; air passes over the sides of tongue (refetence to this term is rarely necessarl,


V\\-an or j/ VYan


Voiceless; r'ocal cords do not Yibrate Voiced; vocal cords \.ibrute; morc "sound" than voiceless consonants


cHApT[R,i Consonants



The six tips listed below provide some general suggestions for helping sfi.tdents improve their pronunciation of consonants. The tips nre based on how consonants are pronounced in English and on how they are learned by nonnative speakers.

improve their

W'e discuss what the teacher shor d know about each of these topics and provicle suggestions for te;Lching ttrem. In some cases, the suEigestion is a classfoom activity.In other cases, it is effor coffection. Suggestions for error correction are shon enough to use when sh.rdents rre engaged in nonpronunciation actiyities. They are also usefij for addressing pronunciation problems that only one or two of your students experience. The remainder of this chapter presents the following consonants and lbatures of consonant ptonunciation. The slx tips aboye are explained further and reflected

in the context of specific consonants.

7. Labials: pe' bet, jfeet, uet, net 2. th so].]lJ'ds: tbink, this 3. Srops /r/ and /d/: tie, die;Fla[rs: tuefting, zaed.ding; Glottaljzed /t/: xuritten 4. Sibilants: see, zoo, sboe, pleasur?, cheap, jazz 5. Nasals: sz4 somq sung 6. Stops /k/ and /g/: coat, goat;'lhe lettef x 7. Glottxl /h/ lzand 8. Illltial /r/ . rigbt 9. Initial A/: Ugbt; Final A/: all; Contrasting /l/ /n/: ligbt,night




10. Contmsting /r/ afld /l/: rigbt-Ught lI. Glides:/)/J"l xnd /\\/ tttt)' 12. Initial yoiceless stops. pea, tea, ke! 13. Initial consonant cllusters'. probletl 14. Final consonants:plecq asft 15. -ed and -s endings


ruriur., p" t, bet, feet, aet, uet

what the Teacher Should Know A/, the lips firnrly close;/p,/
Articulation of the labial consonants /p, b, f, v, w/ involves the lips.Vith /p/ ancl is voicclcss /b/ ]s voiced.With /f/ a'nd /v/,tlre top ^nd teeth touch the lower lip; / is yoiceless /v/ is voiccd. with /w/, the lips are ^nd rounded. The diagram'below shows the mouth shapes for these consonents.



Coflsonants nnde with the lips, the labial sounds /p, b, f, v, w/, are the source a variety of pronuncintion problems. The protrlems clepentl on the native of language of the student end usually involve specific pairs of souncls:

. .
. . .

/p, b/: These sounds are problems for Arabic students. The problem is onc of voicing. In Arabic, /p/ and /b/ are variants of the same sound. /p, f/: These souncls are confused by Koreart-speaking students /i v/:These sounds are problems lbr Japanese-spenking students ,/b, v,/:These souncls are problems for Spanish-speaking studcnts
/y, w/: These sounds are problems for native speakers of a wide rangc of languages: Chinese, Vietnamcse, Thai, German and other Germanic languages, l'urkish, and Russian and other Slavic latlguages

Consonant clusters with /w/, especially /kw/ (e.g., question, quiet, Ianguryq hoin):These words are problems for Korean sttrdents, who often omit /w/ (or fail to round the lips enough to make ,/w/ cleady heard;scc also Initial
Consonant Clusters, bekrw).

. The sequence /wo/

uroman, uoulD: 'Ihis is a pfoblem for natiye speakers ofJapanese especiall)', as wcll as Korean. See Glides, page 148.
(e .g.,

CHA?|ER,4 Consonants


Few students ha\'e problems with the articulation of all five labial sounds (/p, In classes where students speak a varietF of native languages, the ftrll set of sounds can be presented, and the teacher can be confidenr that the lesson will address problems that each student has. Because labial consonants are pronounced at the front of the mouth and ctifferences between them are easy to see, students have good control and awareness of articulation. These souncls are easv to teach and eas) lLr letrn. In a classroom where all students speak the same natiye language, the teacher can focus the lesson on a specific pail (or pairs) of problem souncls. For example, with a class of Spanish studenrs,the teacher can fbcus on /b/ and /y/.In Spanish, the stop pronunciation [bl occurs at the beginning of a word; a bilabial fricative [p], which sourlds very close to English ,/y/, occurs after vowels.2 Thus, in Span ish bebir, "to drink", the first "b" will probably be pronounced [b], brjt the middle consoflant
b, f, v, wD.

will be tpl.3 Followin!! the Spanish pattern,

Englislr words Iike aery as "berry,"while words like - rop and t:rvcl.'

Spanish students may pronounce rob arrd, table mav sound like



/b/ and /v/ (Spanish): A very big problem lntermediate

level Tips

Worksheet None
Direct students' attention to the visible clues of consonant pronunciation. Teach the pronunciation of communicatively useful words.

Desctiplion Students discuss problems (personal, job, local, environmental, world, etc.) and practice the pronunciation of beginning /v/ in com_
mun icatively important words.


On the board, write phrases containing words with used to d iscuss problems. very important
a very big problem


andlu /b/ that can be

valuable (tesources)
very serious

iob opportunities joh security volunieel


not very important

family values

on next page)

Square brackes (l ]) aLe used to indicate that the sound in bmckets is a va anl 'z frununciation of anothff sound, rather than a diflerent sound. lror example, natile speake$ lronoxnc the / rn ,r e/a dlfferertlf ham thc t i.t mehic. rhe t tt nieta, aflzp, is a va anl |ronunclalion ol /L/ (se fla|s, /t/ llnd /d./, beloq,).


[i]rbial frcJtrre t[p] \ l i. -r...1' ,\'



r rs made $hn lhp air l.L$es thLough the lips, hF ,o t"prh t.. . p buLlo.n rrl.

, t

rfiich an alnost, but

not quitr, closed. The labiodental





1 contlnuecl


lvlodel the phrases. Exaggerate the visible articuiation of /v/ and explain articulation if necessary (the top teeth touch the bottom lip). Students repeat. Provide feedback on /v/.


Brainstorming. Elicit from students specific problems from a particular area (e.g., adjusting to life in a new country, job problems, school problems, world problems), Write the problems on the board.

(4-5 students per group). Each student in the group chooses two or three problems that he or she thinks are very important and explains them to the group. Remind students to pronounce lul carelrlly in words like rery. During group work, provide feedback on pronunciation
Group work ask several students which problems they chose and why. Provide feedback on pron unciation.

5. After the group work,

g tt


:X V/hen a Korean student mispronounc es question ot language as"latgidgel' ^s"kestion" rpeat the mispronunciation as a question:"Kestion?" If the student has difficulty selfK correcting, model the word, exaggerating the lip rounding of /kw/



Llke "Kestion" (Korean)

E rr sonnos tbink, tttis

What the Teacher Should Know The flrst consonants n think (/eD a:nd, this (/6D are interdental fricatives The tip of the tongue protrudes slightly between the teeth These sounds can also be produced by placing the tip of the tongue lightly against the back of the top teeth (a dental place of articulation). Teaching the dental articulation is not as effective as teaching the interdental articulation (tongrle tip between the teeth). /O/

/6/ is voiced. Common substitutions fot tlre tlJ sounds are /s/ or /z/, as in "ze man sir rs about zis probleml'or /t/ and /d/, as in "de man tinks about dis problem]A r.rrer substitution is an /-like sound (for /d/) by some Chinese students, which produces "lat man" for "that man." students from the same natiYe-language background often prefer the same substitutions, although there is some Yariation; most Spanish students, for example, substitute /t/ ar'd /d/ for the t sounds, while Japanese students prefer /s/ an(l /z/. Because of the widespreacl difficutqv with these sounds,Jenkins suggest that
is voiceless and

they be taught only receptively to students who use English primarily with nonflatiye speakers (2002). However, the t sounds are teachable and learnable,
and, as many pronunciation teachers can attest, students are concerned about them. In addition, we cannot predict with whom our snrdents will use English in the future. If students ha\.e professional or academic goals that bring them into


Cansonants "127

pfonunciation wofk. Students usually learn quickly to percei\.e the clifference between the ,/, sonnds and their common substitutions (as in think-ti11k_sink, tben_den_Zen), dtltough preceding sounds can influence rhe degree of perceptual similarity bctween the tl, sounds and natiye,language substitutions.i The intetdental articulation of these sounds is the most.lifficult tbature of their pronunciation. Students need to be taught that the tip of the tongue protrudes a bit between dte teeth and d1e aif passes out o]/er thc tongue. The sounds are easiest to pronounce at the beginnings of worcls (e.g., tbanks, tbink, thing, tbis, tbat) , morc dlfficLt lt when t is in me dial positi on (e .g. . otlzef ueather, autt\or) , and most difficult when t ends a word (.e.g., utitb, batb, breatlJe, fourtb). In fin I position, students may have less difficrjlty with voicele ss /e/ eB in uitb) than with voicecl /6,r (as it1 breatbe) (see also Final Voiced and Voiceless Sounds). Native speakers sometimes simplify final t sounds when an _s ending follows. This is very common in the word clothes, which most Americans pronounce like the yerb "(to) close," and ln months, which most Americans pronounce as ,,munts,, Umants/). These simplfications in common words should be taught to students. (See also -s endings and Native Simplifications of Final Consonants). Students may express embarrassment about pronouncing t/, sounds as interdentals, worrying rhat they will look rucle if they.stick out,,their tongues. The teachef should addfess this reluctance. With stuclcnts in academic programs, it is often enough to explain that incorrcct pronunciations of tD sounds may lead native listenefs to conclude that the student is not wcll educated.5 Teachers can also take the "gafden path" appfoach and ask students to clescribe what the q,pical American or Canadian tongue looks like-is it long or short, fat or skinny? What color is it? Since native speakers use the t sounds very frequently (jfi the, tbis, tbat, thing, etc.), students should have a cleaf picture of how thc tongue looks if it really is "hanging out" of the mouth. In fact, the tip of the tongue protrudes only a little, and it doesn't "hang around" outside. Students will not look rucle if they pronounce ,/, coffectly, but they may sound uneducirted if rhey don,t. Pronunciation of tb citn be included with the teaching of the fbllowin[i grammatical poiltts:
arltcle: the demonstratives:
th i s/that/th ese/th

contact with native speakers, the)' shor-lld be aware that some substitutions for ,J sounds (for exarnple, "wif, for .,with.' ,,dem,' for .them,', and ,,tink,'for .think,,) are stitimatized and associated with nonstandard, English. Students can and 'neducated do learn to pronounce these sot-lnds accurately, so they should be adclressed in


ntrod ucer: there i s/a re/was/we re


Trciinovich, Gatbontin, alrd Segelowiu (2007) report that the /d/ oi 1re wits casicst for frcnch canedian ESL lexnrexj to her{,hen it wrs preceded by a yojced fticatjre (e.g.,rutds the barr) or l,otced affricate (1lr\t.t iudge the man).

t onll

the I 1 slLbstitution is stigm.tized Th J-.; sub\h tu tior |

[,c hc.r I d Js


e. not





compa ratlves: wtln than

noun clauses: with fhaf adjective clauses: wlth that

functional language: giving opinions wrlh l


ot I don t think



Th soundsr When's yow birthday? Beginn ing None



Teach consonants that are difficult for your students. Direct students'attention to the visible clues of

consonant pronunciation. lntegrate pronunciation with work on functional language, grammar' or otner coursework.

Bescription This activity integrates pronunciaiion of final TH in ordinal numbers (fourth, fifth, etc,). Students ask each other when their birthdays are and answer, using the rnonth and an ordinal number for the date (e.g., May 30th).

Elicit from students the ordinal numbers from 1-20 as well as 30 and 31' Write the ordinals on the board, using their standard abbreviations (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th). Provide feedback on the pronunclation of th Model all the ordinals

from 1-31. Students rePeat.

2. Elicit the months 3. 4.

of the year and write them 0n the board. Model each month

name. Students repeat.

On the board, write "When is your birthday?" lVodel the question. Students repeat. Provide feedback on the pronunciation of "th" in birthday'

Students copy the months of the year as a ist on a piece of paper, leaving enough room after each rnonth to write classmates' names and birth dates Students circulate and ask each other about ihelr birth dates, wr ting the information on the paper (in a room too smallto move around in, interviewing can be restricted to smaller groups).
When the interviews are finished, ask students about their classmates' birth dates. Provide feedback on pronunciation. In a class of 23 students, for example, there is over a 50 percent probability that two will have the same b irthday (month and date).





Itges l1/ a-tl /!/ (e.g., tie, die);Flapst (e.g., uetting, ueddins); Glottalized /t/ (e.9., utritten)
What the Teacher Should Know The stop consonants /t/ /d/ are produced by touching the tip of the "td tongue to the alveolar ridge, just behind top teeth; /t/ is yoiceless, and /d/ is voiced. In some languages (e.g., the Romance languages), /t/ and /d/ are dental stops; the tip of the tongue makes contact with the back of the top teeth. Substitutions of dental /t/ and, /d/ for alveolar (Enghsh) /t/ arld /d/ acceptable.
^re tie, die

V/hile the pronunciation of /t/ and, /d/ in words like tie afld. die is '?lely difficult, both /r/ and /d/ har.e variant pfonunciations (for example, the t in uater), which can make words hard for students to undefstand. Variants are discussed below

Flap* uetting, uedding. The middle consonanF in u.)etting aruI wedding are pronounced as flaps in North American English (NAE). The tip of the rongue quickly "slaps" the top of the mouth behind the teeth; the yocal cords yibrate. Inside words, flaps occur when /f/ ot /(l/ follows a stressed vowel (or a stressed vowel plus /r/, as in party) ard then is followed by an unstressed vowel.Inpotdto, for example, there are two ,/t/ sounds; the lirst "t" is not flapped because it does not follow the stressed yowel; the second /t,/ is a flap (phonetic symbol [D]) because it follows the stressed vowel. Compare the flapped prol.lijnciation of /t/ and /d/ In column A below (where stress precedes) with the sound in column B (v/here stress follows) :
A Attic taDtw (an) Addicr




(to) aDDiCT /adlkY

laT Alily

FAtal feyDay



aD0ition /adfan/




Sincc flapped /t/ and /d,/ are both yoicecl, homorryms occur in \\ ords llke latter and pudding, and u)etling xnd ueddings lqddet; putting ^nd. Fittal /t/ car. bc flapped in common words when the ne\t \l'ord begifls with:r vowel (even if the vowel precedinti thc flap is not stressed):
at a

movie /aDa/


What is he doing? /waDr/ he doing?

Get out ol here. /gDawDa(v)/ here.

The flapped pronunciation

oflt/ and /d/ is charactcristic ofNorth American Enilish (NAE) but does not occur iil British English, thc dialect that man)' ESL students learned when they lirst studied English. Bccause flaps can make worcls clifficult for students to understand, they sl.rould be taught for recoflnition. Teachers whose students are living in the United States or Canacla may want to teach f'laps lbr pronunciation in some comtlon words or expressions, such u)ater and What's the ^s ,ncttter? h1 thesc words, thc unfhpped pronunciations can be difficult for natiye speakefs to undefstand. For most words, however, substitutions of"regular",/t/ and /d,/ are acceptable, and the flap need not be ta'.iliht for pronunciation.

Glottalized t: urirten. When ft/ is followed by an unstressed syllable containing /n/.as in mountain or u'ritten, it is pronounce d as a glotalized /t/ (s-vmbol td]) or as a llbttal stop (sirmbol /? D.1 A glotttrl stop is used in the warning is ttle
"creak" in the voice (thc yocal cords briefly closinla) that precedes eacl] of the two syllables: ub-oh is pronounced /?a?oV.8 As /t/ is pronouncecl, thc vocal cords (glottis) close briefly, cutting off the air. Say the following pairs of words end listen
mounlain /maunt?er/
Salan /seyt?an/ button /hat?an/

to the differcncc in the underlired /t/s:

mainlain /meynteyn/ satanic /satanak/

^aton/ ]'he fitst word in each pair is pronounced with a glottalizcd /t/;the secoml word is pronouncecl with a "regulaf" l. Glottalized /t/ ]s not a high priority pronunciation topic. Native spcakers' use of glottalizeci / cloes not make worcls unrecognizable to students, xnd students'use of"regular" /t/ does not make words unrecognizable to natiyc listeners.


these \\'ords.



Uonour.ed N 1 slllabic nNxL



page I 36)

in Cockne) lhglish, Dr1ltu is


b0?1." \{ost NAfl spexkeN






hoDl ' or "boDal.







Recognizing flaps lntermed iate

Page 225



Teach students to recognize reduced pronunciations to jmprove their listening comprehension.

Description This activity focuses on recognition of flapped pronunciations of /t/.


Write matter and material on the board, underlining t's. lvlodel the words, asking students to listen to how the t's are pronounced. Ask student if the I's in the two words sound the same.
Explain that the I in matter is pronounced like a fast d. Ask students to say matter, pronouncing the underlined consonants as a fast d. Explain that in the United States and Canada, f's and d's have this pronunciation when the preceding vowel is stressed. Students can use regular lll and ldl in their own speaking, but should be able to recognize the flaps. Add other cornmon words wtth flaps to the board, capltalizing stressed syllables and underlining flaps. l\4odel the words.


WAler WRIling pRElly

unexpected pronunciatlon.


( !er)


Ask students to volunteer words they have heard where t or d has an to

@ 5. Oirect students' attention to the dialogue on the worksheet. Students ljsten

the dialogue and write the missing words in the blank. ln pairs, students practice the d ia logue.



zoo, sboe, pleasure, cheap, jazz

What the Teacher Should Know Sibilants have an s-likc sound. Students, problems in\,olving sibilants vary according to natiye language and usually involve pronunciation rathef than perception difticulties. Spelling is also a source of confusion. Pronunciation work with sibilants can be added to glammar lessons on _.s endinis (Simplc Presenr -s Ending, Plurals, possessives), count-mass (how much, how man)), and questions and adjective clauses witlt zrrlc/r.





a'rd /z/. The sibilants /s/ and /z/ are tiicatives ("hissr" sounds), produced by bringing the tip of the tongue close to the alyeolar ridge Oehind thc top reeth). /s/ js voiceless and /z/ is yoiced.
Sue! Zou



The consonant /s/ occurs in maq'languages ancl is a familiar sound for students.Its voiced counterpart /z/ i,s less common.Vietnamese, Thai, Korean. and most dialects of Chinese lack /z/; in Spanish, /z/ occurs only before voiced consonants (e.g., misrnr.t) ,tncl, even in this context, may be weakene d in some dialects. Voiceless /s/ is a common substitute for ,/z/, althoLtgtr /l'/ or /dz/ may also be substituted.Japanese and Korean students may pronotnce /s/ as /[/ in words like see, sit, sue, and pursue (that is, before higlt vowels; see Vowels); /s/ does not occur before these \.owels in Japanese or Korean.e


ft1 pleasure. The boldface sounds rn sbip and pteasure ([/ and /3/) are plonolrnced by pulling the tongue back f.rom the /s/ /z/ positiot] (ro the palate) and rounding the lips slightly. The boldface sound in sbrp is voiceless; in pleasure, it is voiccd.
s}ei:p and

m Y2
/tJ/ Gheck)

ship . pleasure

measnre (BD too weakll', 5s that tltev sound like "uwlally" or "mayor" Greck studcnts may substitute /s/ for [/ before high front vowels;sbaep for example, may
sound like "seep," and garage like "p;araz.'

With the exception of a few l-rench words (e.g., gen rc'). B/ does nor occur at the i)rgirln ing ol English word.. The specific problems involving /l/ B/ clepcncl on the student's native ^nd language. Chincse students may pronounce the bold consonants in usualll or

/q / (jeep). The lip diagrams for the affiicates /t/ (as in clreck') jeep) iclcntical to those for /[/ a]nd /3/ ahovc. /tl/ is voiceless and ^rc /Q/ is voiced. The affricates /tl/ (.^s it1 mucb) and, /Q,/ (.as in major) e complex /4/
@s 1n


sludenb mar suhstitllt


3 / for /s/ or /z/ bcforc nrid-io\rcls


$ellllor cvnrple.


ntal sound


rezhult.' Consonants


'Vtith musb, the vowcl is not cut off because [/ is .d (the air flow is obstructed but nor stopped). The same is true for /e/ and B/, as in tnajor afld. measure. Pronounced slowl),, the first \.owel in tnajor sounds ',cut off,,; the first vowel in ,neasure does not. Many students confuse pairs like much afl(l mush or major and mea.sure. The phonetic symbols /tl and /Q/ are uscful reJchi|g ajds since they show both pxrts of the sounds. which ordinary spellings sometimes fail to do. A Spanish or Victnamcse Student is less likely to n spronounce matclz as r?as, because, iS part of the spelling of tnatcb. It words like mucb, u,lticb, and ectcb, hower.ef, it is not. Korean stndents nny add a vowel souncl :rfter final [/ (as tn u,ist'), B/ @s itr b.eige),,/t[/ (4s in uthiclt), a;nd /$/ (as in e Vt:]ich ma! sound like .witciy,,'edge like "edgyi'lisD like "fish).i' and Derge likc ,,beig

sounds which start as stops (/t/ or /dD and arc released as fricatives (/t or /3D.The stop is not heard as a separate sound but must be articulated lbr the affficate to be pronouncecl coffectl)'. In words witl.r flr]al /tJ/ and /S/ (for examplc. muclJ aIILl age), tl.e stop can be heard as a brief silence before the last sound. say tnuch vew slowly and notice that the vowel sounds "cut off" and is followed bv a Lrief silence. Tl.ris Occurs becluse the /t/ (.of /t[D briefly stops the airflow (ancl ihus rhe vowelJ.

g ss, c (followed by / or e), -se latter a consonanq-r'zgl[Effi.,sr,

/z/ in dessert, scissors, and possess. z, -se, -$ (s between vowels), -es (e.nding): zero, dizzy, rcsi, caus.,


is pronounced

Exceptions: -se is pronounced /s/ , as in dose, clJctse, bouse, and erase sb, 1i-, -ci-, -ssion, -ssure: sboe, u)asb, patient, natioiStryr4ian,

special, mission, discussion, pressure

Unusual spellings: ocean, suga4 sure, Cbicago, macbine, clicbe -sure, -sion, -zurc: pleasure, Tneasure, decision, teletision, uisi<tn,

Unusual spellings: regime, beige, garage, equ.ttion cb, tcb, -tu- (xnstlessed): church, catcb, nature, centuty, picture Unusual spellings'. cello, amateur


clj, g (Defore i and e), dge, z/r- (unstressed): judge, edge, Geor.qe, gene. gradual, educa lio,t, sdJ..lule

Unusual spellings'. sold.ier, ex&ggerate






Sihilants: How nuch oil?

lntermed iate


226 227


Integrate pronunciation work wiih work on funciional language

0r grammar. Encourage students to pronounce final consonants to improve comprehensibility and grammatical accuracy,

Description This information gap practices final ltll in How much questions about countries that import and export oil. The substitution of f/ tor ltl is a problem ior Spanish, Vietnamese, and Thaj siudents; Korean students sometimes add a short vowel sound after hY (e.g., "muchy," "wh ichy").


On the board, write minimal pairs contrasting sounds. lvlodel the words, Students repeat,




Underline the target





Explarn pronunciation: The last sound in the frrst word of each pa r begins wlth a /t/ sound. In watch and catch |he /t/ is written. ln much and which iI not written, but it must be pronounced. Students wil not hear the /t/ as a
separate sou nd. On the board, write questions about the price of



oil, using Haw much.

. .


How much is a gallon r country)?

(4 llters) of gaso ine (in the United States/in

How much was a gal on of gas two years ago?

lVode the questions. Students repeat. Provide feedback on the pronunciation of much.
Choose one or two students to ask classrnates the questions on the board. Provide feedback on pronunc ation.

6. 7.

Eljcit from students the names of oil exporting countries and wrlte them on the board. Ask students if their countries are o I importers or exporters.
Put students in pairs. Give each member of the pa r a differeni chart of oil importers and exporters. Students complete the nformation missing from their import/export a day?" charts by asking "How much oil


B. When the pair work is finrshed, review the information with the class. Provide
feed back on pron





Your student sa'.s "race" whn he wants to say ,.raise,,' or uwass" when he wants to say'kas." "lell the student to lengthen the vowel in "raise" and keep the last sound shoft (see also FinalVoiced andVoiceless Consonants, page 155).

YoufJapanese student says "she" whefl he wants to say "see," and,,shoe" when he wants to say "Sue." Youf Korean student says "pefshuade' instead of "persuade," "rezhult" lnstead of "result," and "muzheum" ilstead of "museum." Model the incoffect and correct pronunciations, exaggerating the sibilant sounds. Telt the students to move the tongue dp forward in the mouth (behind the top teeth) and
repeat the words.

Youa Spanish, Yietnamese, and Thai students say "mush" when they want to

say "much," and "sheep" when they want to say "cheap." Introduce the phonetic symbol for "cln"t /tl/.E\plai'f, that "t" is paft of the pronunciation even wheil it is not shown in spelling (though it is written in matclJ aj:'d ccttch, fot example). Students y/ill not heat /t/ as sepanate sound, but it must be " pronounced. Encoffage students to make "mental" respellings of"ch" as "tch."

Your Chinese student says "uv/ally" when she wants to say "usually." Tell the srudent to keep the tip of the tongue up in the mouth. The tongue lighrly touches the top of the mouth. Contrast "uwally" and "usualry Direct students' adention to th "noisier" middle sound in "usually' Your students say "cheap" when they want to say "sheep." Tell your students that the tongue does not make firm (strong) contact with the top of the mouth for the fust sound in sreep. Students should be able to prolong (exhale through) the first sound. Your Korean student says "whichy" or "edgy" whn he wants to say '.which" or "edge." Tell your student to keep the last sound of these words very short. Work with the pronunciation of final consonants (see Final Consonants, page 153).


( HAPrtR,+ Cansonanrs

rf l N-.It,


su rt. sorrre. su,,g

What the Teacher Should Know

There are three nasal consonants in English:/n/ as in sun. /m/ as in some, and sazg. With /n/,the tip of the tongue touches behind rhe top teeth; with the lips close;and with /1,/, the back of the toniue rises to touch thc vclum (the /m,/, back of the roof of the mouth) and the tip of the tor.rgue rests behind the bottom teeth.With all three consonants, the air is released throulah rhe nose rather than tlre mouth. /rJl occlrrs only in the middle or at the ends of words le.g., singing).


Students have few problems with



/m/ at

th.e beginnings

of words or

s)'llables (e.9.,fl /ce, dinnet; mice, dimmer).The Chinese conftrsion of beginning "right" and vice versa) is discussed ]D A/ /n/ and /l/ (pronouncing ligbt as ^nd /t/-


/n/ by


may be mispronounced as /r)gl or /lk/ by Polish or Russian students or as Spanish This problem can reflect a difficulty pronouncinli /!/ or a spelling confusion, since the r?g spellitg represents both /\/ (as in slrrgel) and


s/ngle). Students should be made aware of the spelling pattcrns of the

fwo pronunciations.

n8 is pronounced



nS is pronounced


fnal ng: long, young

Con.lparatives and supedatives of

?.tbe -ing efudirg


longer, loungesL stronger ^djectivel 2. zgle spellings: single, tingle, ,ningle



xg spellings



The pronurciation ol

/4/Ls /q g/

nexl word begi$


e vo\\'el

also occuni in son netile EngLish didects in fic lofihestelr United Long ls[and rtty be prL\rounced l,oncu\'land.

States, especixLl! $hen the


Consonants "137

At the ends of wofds, two Wpes of problems occur. Spanish speakefs may substitute one nasal for anotheq prono\lncing someone, for example, as,,sungwung', (Avery ancl Ehrlich 1992). These stLrdents should be instructed to pronounce nasal consonants as the). are written. Final nasal consonants may also be .dropped,, by Chinese and Portuguese stt-rdents and realized as a nasalization of the prececling vowel CJuffs 1990, Averl and Ehrlich 1992). the Chinesc student who pronounces solrleone as/s3w;/ (- indicates a nasalized vowel) needs to le,J'In to lengthen iinal nasals oL pronounce them as consonants rathef than as vowel nasalization. Although Spanish and Chincse students mispronounce final nasal conson,rLnts in cliflbrent ways, the Spanish problem of nasal substitutions ard the Chinese (or Portuguese) problem of vowel nasalization can be dealt with in the same lesson. Correcting both problems involves getting students to pronounce worcl or syllablefinal nasals as they are writtefl:the lips close for /m/, the ton[luc tip touches behind thc top teeth for /n/, and, the back of the tongue rises fbr /rll. Spelling is alnost always a reliable cue for promnciation of linal nasals.r i In unstressed syllables,like the last syll^bl.e of taken, /n,/ may be prolongecl and pronounced as a syllabic nasal-(symbol [n]). The vowel virtually disappears and the nasal i$elf is the last syllable.12 In connected speech,and is usually pronounced as a syllabic nasal black and utlr/te (pronounced "black 'n white;,,see also Reductions of Function Words, Rh]'thm). This is not a topic that needs to be coyered in class.


/q /: Present continuous and -ing

Beginn ing Page 228



Integrate pronunciation work with work on functional language or grammar. Encourage students to pronounce final consonants to improve comprehensibility and grammaiical accuracy.

Bescription This activity adds pronunciation work with /1/ to course materials for the present contin uous.

1. Before class,

choose a picture (or cartoon or picture story) from course materials showing people engaged in a variety of activities.


ln class, on the board, write the progressive form of two or three verbs which can be used to describe the picture(s) (e.9., walking, studytng, sleeping). l\4odel the words. Students reDeat.
(continue.l olt nexl page)


0ther consonanh


also p|onounced i]s srllabics: in ,11r1c rn

forere ple,Lhel t$lllablcisprcnoltncedir.sxs,vliabic'1,"widttry

a sllLabic

littLe voncL

(slnbol lll)r


for exalnple. fie


srlhble is







4. 5

conti nae.l


Present the articulation of /n/ and /q/ on Worksheet 4.5. Explain that with /n/, the tip of the tongue is up, behind the top teeth. With /q/, the tip of the tongue is down, behind the bottom teeth. Using the textbook picture (or cartoon or picture story), ask students to describe what is happening. Provide feedback on the pronunciatton of lnland lql.




Final nasals: I'm thinking of someone who . .

Level Tip

lntermediate (Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Polish)

Worksheet None
fncourage students to pronounce final consonants to improve
com prehensibility and grammatical accuracy.

Description This activity practices a variety of final nasals: lml and ln/ in someone and /11 in thinking. Students provide clues about someone until their classmates can guess the ideniity of the person.


On the board, write

"l'm thinklng of someone . . . ." Underline the nasals. lModel the sentence. Ask each student to say the sentence, pronouncing the

underlined sounds carefully.


l\4odel the activity. Tell students they are going to use the sentence on the board to play a game about famous peopJe. Choosing a famous person that everyone 1n class knows, give a hint (e.g., "l'm thinking of someone who lives in Venezuela"). Classmates guess the person's name (e.g., Hugo Chavez) or ask questions to get more informatlon until they can guess the person. lnstruct students to begin their questions with "Does/ls the person you're

Ask a student to choose a person whom everybody in class knows and give a hint about that person, starting with "l'm thinking of someone. . . ." The rest of the class asks questions until they can guess the person's identity. The student who guesses the person's identity chooses a new person. Provide feedback on the pronunciation of nasal consonants in the phrase I'm thinking

af sameone.






arrd /g/t coat,

goat; theletter

What the Tacher Should Know

Few students have problems pronouncing the stop consonants /k/ aJrd /g/ when they begin a word or syllable,as n coat arrd gort Ifith both .orr.o,rurrtr, th. back of the tongue rises to touch the velum.,/V is voiceless and,/g/ is voiced.
coat, goat

words and between vowels; Spanish stlrdents may tfansfef this weakened pronunciation into English words like beginning (which may sound like "behinning") or dog Korean students haye difficulty pronouncing /wil (or pronouncing it strongly enough) in the consonant clusters /kw/ and ,/gV; question (/kfl) often sounds like "kestion" and language egwD Lke,,langidge', (see
Beginning Clusters, below). The letter x inyolves difficult clusfers with /k/ or /g/.The pronunciations of are largely predictable and should be taught to students.

Most problems involving /k/ and /g/ occur when the consonants end words, and they can be addressed in a lesson on final consonants or on final voiced and voiceless sounds. In Spanish, /g/ is pronounced weakly (as a fricatiye) at the ends of



Ptonunciation otx: Spelling and sounds

lntermed iate/Advanced

Level lip

Worksheets Pages 228-229

Encourage students to pronounce the consonants in consonant cluslers.

Descripti0n This activity practices the pronunciation of words with x.

(continue.l on next page)


. H)FTE!'


1ctilit l.: contin



On the board, write ta4, e4am, and 4ytophone, underlining the letter x in each word. Explain Ihat xylophone is a musical instrurnent'

the same or differently in the three words.


Explain that the letter x has three pronunciations (ks, gz' and z) and write them on the board.
Pass out the


first handout and go over new vocabulary'


Students listen to the words on the handout and repeat them. They listen again and write each word under the appropriate pronunciation column'

6. ln pairs,

siudenis check their work. Ask the pairs to figure out ihe pronunciation rules for x. lnstruct them to consider the position of x in the words, whether a stressed vowel precedes or follows x, and whether a consonant follows x. Pass out Worksheet 4.7B Elicit from students other words spelled with x. Ask students how x
pronou nced.


ffil oo...t'

/t:./ (band)

V/hat the Teacher Should Know

The consonant /h/ is a voiceless fricative created by pushing air throlrgh the glottis (vocal corcls). It is d1e sound of panting or breathing after exercise' /h/ is a weak sound in English and may be dropped when it is inside a word or sentence and not followed by a stressecl vowel ln history, for example' '&/ is always pronounced because the ibllowing vowel is stressed ' ln bist'rical' A1/ is followed by an unstressecl Yowel. It is always pronounced when it begins an utterance (e.g., Historical figures are. . ) However, w]ner historical is inside a "a sentence, some speakers say "nn historical fact" (omitting /hD ancl others historical fact" (pronouncing /hD There are two pronunciation problems involving /h'l The first is an incorrect place of articulation. Chinese and Spanish stuclents may pronounce /h/ at the back

of th. mo.,th (rather than the glottis) so thal At/

sounds like the German

13 pronunciation of cb in Bacb (lite a throat-clearing sound) Spelling can also be a source of mispronunciation ln most words with D like beauy, abeacl, han(l, beart, bartl, /h/ is always pronounced Tn other words' est' bonor' and mostly borrowings from French, /h/ is never pronounced, as in 'onbe pronounced bour: Frenct and Italian students may "drop" /h/ when it should


'l he


is a leLer







(.e.9., (.e.9.,

air is"haij").

bead is pronounced "ead") and add it when it should not be pronounced

In function words that are typically unstressed (such as he, bim, lsis, lse4 l:aue, baD. native speakers pronounce /b/ afler a pause (e .g., ,,He ,s tall,,), but frequently omit it inside a sentence (e.g., Is be tall? is us:ual]ry pronounced .Izzy tall?"). Students should be taught when /h/ is always pronounced and when it is never pronounced. They should also be able to recognize the /:-less pronunciation of function words (see Pronouns and Reductions of Function Words, Rhlthm).
lsas, and

1. Explain that A/ 2.

Mispronunclatio n of /b/ as a Velar Souad (a ,,Idieatry


the sound, using bfearhs of a4 as if you were panting. Contrast the incoffect (the hea\,'!' or thfoatdearing pfonunciation) and the correct pronunciation.
Ask students to think of words for parts of the body that start with /h/ (e.g.,t lJead, lrand, foretread, afud, trair).ptovide feedback on pronunciarion.

has a soft sound in English, like the sound of breathing. Demonstrate



Write a tongue twister sentence on the board that includes several,/h/ words (see example below). Model the sentence and ask students to repeat itHarry heard Harrjet had heart problems.



What the Teacher Should Know The articulation of /r/ ya.res considerably from language to language. In English, /r/ is a retroflexed consonant: The tip of the tongue turns or cuds up and back.ra At the beginning of a word or sy able (e.g., riglt, arriue), the tip of the tongue starts turned up and slightly back (the retroflexed position) and then lowers or uncuds, without touching the top of the mouth.15



The body ofthe tongue a1s0 moles b11!k. som narive spea[elx do not rehofler but insllad "bunch" the longue. rorFdagogical purposes, explalning articuiation as rclrcflexion, atuniing up and back of the tongue, wiliprobabl,v produce th (A;riand



Ehrlhh 1992,23). 15lhe "whjte" for



lips xre also sllghtly rcunded for //. Howver, jnstructing students to rcund their lips sometimes produces misprcnunciations llke ght ' In ny own teaching, I ignorc lip mundjng.





in rigbt) xe Pronunciation Problems associated with beginfling /r/ \o$ els. as in car) a1ld should frn l ft/ (h/ different from those associated with ^ftet beaddressedh<lifferentpronunciationlessons(forlr,/aftervorlels'seeR-Colored Vowels in chapter 5).The movement of the tongue also differs; At the beginning of (uncurls); after a vowel' a word, the tongue moves out of the retroflexed position the tongue moves into the fetfoflexed position (cuds back)' Student mispronunciations of beiinning /r/ include substitutions of native language /r/ or interrnediate sounds (Bcebe 1980) At the end of a word' students m"y eiift.r dr,rp /r/ or substitute a different sound Japanese problems with /r/ and /l/ are discussed in the following sections Onitial /l/, and Contmsting /r/-/l/)' Retroflexionofthetonguetakesplaceinsidethemouth,anditsexternalvisual cues are minimal. Although some students are able to pick up the retroflexed pronunciation through exposure to spoken Eflglish, many will need to be explicitly

taught how to make






The R


Level lip


Worksheet Page 230

Use hand gestures to reinforce the articulation of /r/'

Desc]:ption Students learn the articulation ot hl and practice it in a guessing game featuring questions that can be answered with common /r/ words. By choosing /r/ words suitable to the vocabulary level of students, the teacher can tailor this game to any level ln addition' the game can also be a means of practicing question formation if the teacher asks students to write their own questions'


4.8. Model the words right and wrong' the tip of the tongue starts up and back and ihen lowers The tip Explain that gesture below of ihe tongue does not touch the iop of the mouth' Use the hand to reinforcle articulation and for feedback. ln the gesture, the hand represents the tongue; the fingertips represent the tip of the tongue'
Present the diagram of /r/ on Worksheet




ActiuiA 4.a conhnued


Model right and wrong again. Students repeat together and then individually. Provide feedback on articulation (Japanese, Arabic, and Spanish students may ircorrectly touch the tip of the tongue to the top of the mouth; French and German students may use ihe back of the tongue, rather than the tip).
On the board, add other words containing beginning /r/ for practice. lnclude some of the answers to the guessing game questions. Ask students to volunteer other words with beg nning /r/. l\4odel the words, using the hand gesture to reinforce articulation. Students repeat. right wr0ng roof Jetrigerator




4. The guessing game. Divide the class into two teams. Team members should sit together, facing the opposite team. Give the teams different sets of questions.
5. Team members first decide the answers to their questions. 6. Play the game. Team A starts, wjth each member in turn choosing a player on the opposite team to answer one of Team A,s questions. The team member

asking the question must pronounce it clearly enough for the opposing team member to understand (this is the most challenging part of the game, and several repetitions of a question are often necessary). The Team B player answers the question with a word containing /r/. The answering team earns a point for a correct answer, with a correc|y pronounced /r/.

lnttlal /U (ligbt); Filn l /V (att); Cotftrastjflg Qigbt and nigl:t)

What the Teacher Should Know




/1,/ is produced by toucltinfa the tip of the tongue to the top of the mouth just behind the teeth; the air passes out latenlly oyer the sides of the tongue. Since it is difficr t for students to feel the lateral passage of air, articulatory information abour the placement of the tip of the t()ngue is more useful pe dagogically.





Light and Dark /V. English /l/ has two pronunciations. depending on its position in a word. "Light," or "clear," /1/ occurs at the beginninE! of a word or syllable, as in like, loue, aliue."Dark" A/ occufs at the end of a word or s,yllable , as inatl, cold, ^nd. andll. With light ,/l/, the back of the rongue is relaxed and down;with dark /I/,rhe back of the tongue is nised. Perceprually, dark /V sounds as if it is preceded by a short /a/ sound (e.g., coalr/).
Lis,ht /1/

D^tk /1/

Different pronunciation problems occur with beginning (light) /l/ and final (dark) /U, and the two types of /l/s should be addressed in separate lessons. Native speakers of Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin may conftlse beginning /r/ wirh /l/. These two sounds may be both difficult to hear (especially for Japanese students)
and difficult to pronounce. funeJ', Takada, and Ota suggest that teachers point out to t]:rat Japanese sb,rdents that they are more likely to mispronounce A/ thafi /r/ ^nd pronunciation work with /l/ be addressed bcfore work with /r/ (2OOO,731,). Howeye! the /r/ l/ contrast should also be addressed, since students for whom it is

difficult invariably ask about both sounds. A common substitution for final (dark) /l/ is clear Oeginning) /l/. This " substitution does not interfere with inrelligibiliry and does not need to be corrected. A more serious problem is the pronunciation of dark /1/ /o/, /u/, or /w/ ^s (vocallT,ation of /1/);old l)eople,lbr instance, sounds like "ocle peopo," beautiful ^nd, sounds like "beautifo." This mispronnnciarion is common with native speakefs of Brazilian Portuguese and Chinese, but may occur with other students, as well.16 The most impoftant goal fof students wh<t yocahze A/ is to pronounce it as a consonant (light or dark), rather than as a vowel.


and. /rt/ (Ctrtnese). In some Cantonese dialects /l/ ancl /n/ can be substituted for each other at the beginning of a word, and Cantonese studcnts may make the samc substitutions in English words: /as, may be pronounced lil<e "nast" or n lglr, like "light"

Br^zilian Po uguese, final/y is Iocxlized 10 a /$y' 0r /u/ sound. ln Chinese, /1/ dos not occur ln find losjtion. \bcalizeuon of/y isalso common.nrong chiidrcn leallrirgEnglish aJ guagc (who ln a,v s,ry 'lilto peopo" instead of littie people') andh2l occuned as asoundchange in other lalguages.






(Avery and Ehdicl.r 1992, 1 15). t - Mosr students are not aw2lre that they are making this substitlrtion. Even if the conirsion of /1t/ and A/ does nor fesult in uninteligibilitl it is odd sounding to listeners (nati.!.e and nonnadve) and draws attention away iiom what the student is saying. This is a persistent but impor-tant problem, since there afe manv minimal pairs in English involving ,i nl .Lnd A/ (-Atfotd 1987).


Peopte is pfonounced ,.peopo,' 1. Explain to students dlat they are not pronouncing /l/ at


ttre end of a word (or after vowel) strongly enough. Model the mispronunciation and tlt correct pfonunciation' exaggerating the final /1,/. Ask students to listen to thc difference between the inco[ect ancl correct pronunciations of the word (e.g.,',peopo,, and.peopte,,). Instruct students to touch the tip of the tongue behind the top teeth when a word is spellcd widr / (there are,, silent /'s in wolds like ualk, salmon,



3. Ifrite

some commonly mispronounced pfuases with final ,4/ and ask students to repeat them. The plrases below are some that I have colected from m', students-

people a helpful article


snalt children

useful results meanwhile


e bit

Zrgrt is Pronounced .,Ntglt" ot Nigbt is pronounced ,.Light,, 1. Tell student that they arc sa,ving // instead of /n/ (or vice versa). Students are usually unaware that they are confusing the two sounds. Model the mispronunciation and thc correct pronunciation, exaggerating both the /fl/ and /y (e.g.,,,night,,
and "light").


Explain that if the wor<l is spelled with n, air comes out the nose.l)irect the student to touch her nose as she says ,'nighrt, If the word is spelled with /, the air comes out the mouth. Direct rhe student to lightly touch her lower lip as she says "light."


fof pmctice

For intermediate and aclvanced students, writc this short poem on the board

You've no need to lrght a night-lieht On a ntght like tonight,

For a night-light's light's a s ight light,

And tonight's a night that's

Aldlough subsuluti0ns afir relofed t0 be uoblens l0r cantoncse stu.lerb. I har, had studeDb tl,ho natir, sFake.s of l\{xndarin u'ho hare the samc problem.




then]sei\es es

This is the llNt half of a tongue t$isler foem thal cm be folrnd on htDi//$$'$i.dfs org and other tonglre hvisier \feb sites.





aon .u", ing /t/ and /l/: Rigltt-Ligltt

\Iahat the Teacher Should Know The contrast of / and /l/ (^s in right afld /rgrt) is notoriously difficult for riative speakers of Japanese. It is also djfficult for native speakers of Korean, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. The Japanese /r/ is a flap (the tip of the tongue "slaps" the top of the mouth) but can be pronounced like /l/ in some contexts. Research on the perception elfid pronunciation of the /t/-/l/ confta:st by Japanese ESL leaxners shows that even good pronouncers of /r/ and /l/ may h^ve difficulty hearing the difference between these two sounds (Goto 1971, Sl.reldon and Strange 1982, Riney et al. 2005). In addition, English /r/ may be perceptually more different from Japanese /r/ than English /l/ and, therefore, easier for students to hear and pronoulce (Flege, Takagi, and Mann 1995; see also Riney et al. 2000).It is important forJapanese students to leafn to pronounce /t/ and /V lccurately since their mispronunciations are stereotyped (e.g., "flied lice" for "fried rice") and are strongly related to a heary accent (Riney et a1.2005). In spite of lingefing pefceptual difficulty, students can learn to pronounce /r/ and /y, likely basing pronunciation on how the sounds feel when they are correctly pronounced. It is helpful to point out that with /r/, the tip of the tongue does not touch the top ofthe mouth, and with /l/, it does;substantial practice of these sounds is impoftant and helptul.



/*-\ rc :
Activity 4.9


t/2 \zt</1

Practicing the /r/-/U contrast. How do you spe tight? Low lntermed iate/lntermed iate
Page 231


Use hand gestures to reinforce the articulation of /r/.


This activity focuses on the perception and pronunciation ol


/l/ in minimal pairs.




ActiolA 4.9 continued



Direct students' attentjon to the djagrams on Worksheet 4.9. Model "right" and light, " and explain articulation:

. .

"L" is a contact (touch) sound. The tip of the tongue touches behind the top teeth.
Use the hand gesture below to show the articulation oI Al. fhe upper hand represents the top of the mouth. The tips of the fingers of the upper hand represent the teeth. The lower hand represents the tongue. point out to

students that the tongue tip touches behind the teeth.

. . .

"R" is not a contact (touch) sound_ The tip of the tongue does nof touch the top of the mouth.
Use the hand gesture illustrated on page 142 and explain:

The tip of the tongue starts up and back. The tip of the tongue lowers without touchlng the top of the mouth. Write two sentences on the board, one containing only words beginning with /l/ (e.g., "Lovely Lisa loves Luke") and one containing only words beginning wilh lrl (e.g., "Ray Rivers reached Rome"). Ask students to say the sentences slowly, focusing on the different articulations.
2. Minimal pairs. lvlodel the /l/ words. Students repeat. Ask each student to choose three /l/ words and say them out loud. provide feedback on pronunciation. Repeat with the /r/ words. Then model the rows. Students repeat. Ask each student to choose three pairs and say them out loud. provrde feedback on pronunciatjon. Read one word from each pair. Students circle the words they hear.

4. Go over each word on the card, asking the class whether you read that word and how ii sounds.
5. 0n the board, write a model dialogue for pair practice of the minimal pairs.

A: How do you B: R-l-G-H-T

spel right

6. In pairs, students take turns choosing one member of a minjmal pair from the second part of the handout and asking their partners how to spell the words.





/y/ ,et




What the Teacher Should Know The glides (dso called semivowels) /y/ and /w/ are consonants when they begin a word or syllable, as in 1,eq young, uineyard, u.ny, and auoke. After a. vowe| they function as part of the vowel, xs in boy and nou. \fith /y/ (e .9.,:rc.t, the body of the tonlaue pushes up through an /iyl posirion (,/iyl is the vowel sound in see).The lips may be spread.Wtrh /w/ (e .g.,ulr?),the lips
start rounded and then unround ro the vowel that fbllows.le The back of the tongue is raised witll /w/, but tltis infomation is not pedagogically important.


have difficult]. pronouncing / ,v/ in year and J,,edst when the following .i.owel is /I/ or /iy/; year ma.v sor.rnd like "ear" 2Jtd least like "east." There are very few words with this sequence Q)i.eld is nnotlj'ff example). Since the onl1. comrnon problem word is leaI, its mispronunciation can be addressed through error corrcction. A similar problem ifl.olves the pronunciation ot /w/ in uould/uoo4 u.nman, uo$ and uool.This is a problem primarily for Japanese and Korean speakers, who

The glides pose few difficulries for students generally, although students from certain native-language backgfounds malr experience pfoblems with some wofds.20 Spanish students mal,' pronounce let and J,tolk like "jet" and "jokej" a srereot\ped pfonunciation which shoulcl be addressed in class. Japanese and Korcan srudents

find it difficult to say /w/ when the vowel /u/ follows, pronoun cing ruoman and Loould llkc"'omarl" and "'ould." Again, since there are yery fbw Entilish words where this difficult sequence occurs. the problem can be dealt wirh through error coffection. The confusion oflw// and /v/ (pronouncing ,e?, as "wiuy"), cliscussed in
Labial Consonants, eadier, is more widespread.

(as in zzr1)

'0 !'or Chiiese studentr prorunciation

ofrir?simil,llto lbnt,


liphthongs, page ]90.




For Spanish students, the pronunciation of /y/ in yesterday added to work on the past tense or present perfect.



can be



as "Jet" (Spantsh Speakers) On the board, write the mispronolnced wold with its normal spelling, and below it, a pronunciation spelling in which the double lttefs r7 are substituted fof/ and the following stressed vowel is written in lar8e ltters. Model the coffect pronunciation, spreading your lips for /y/. Tetl tlle student to pronounce ? as a long /V Gn the pfonunciation spellings, the letter / has the same yalue that it does in Spanish), stressing the second r.owel. The student repeats.

Mispronourclflg "Yet/





Add some other words beginning with /y/ to the board, writi.rg pro{mnciation spellirigs below the words. Ask the student to say them, stretching out the fust sound and spreading the [ips.


year ii6ar




''O:dd" Oapanese and Kofean Students)

On the boa.fd, write the mispronounced wotd with its nofmal spelling, and below the wofd, a pfonunciation spelling in which the double lelters ut are substituted Jor zu. Tell the student to start tlle word tl,oman with a long /u/ sound that moves into the following stressed vowel.
u u



Alternative feedback:

. .

Tell the student to imagine he is stretching a rubber band as he says the first sont\d of uould. ?ell the student to prepare to say u,ould wil}] the lips tightly rounded. As he says tlle word, he unrounds his lips.
these words for practice:

3. Add

would woman wool wolf


Mispfonounclng "Yeaf" as "Eaf" Oapanese and Korean Speakers)

On the board, write the mispronounced word with its normal spelling. Below it, write a proflunciation spelling in which the double letters ll are substituted fot !. Contt^st )Ear alfd eatt prolo/lg;tflg tl'.e /y/ of year'leU the student to statt lear wilt' a long /i,/ sound that mo\'es into the following stressed vowel. year





.lroiceless stops: p ea, tea, key ffi t*,trt What the Teacher Should Know when the yoiceless stops /p/, /t/, ot /k/ are followed b}' a stressed vowel, the stop is pronounced with a puff of ai! aspiration. In textbooks, this may be represented as a small stlperscript "h" after the consonant or by a small superscript "<" after the consonant (e .g., pt'ea, f ea, kh e1t, ot p<ea, t<ea, k'e!). Aspiration occurs when the buildup of air behind the stop is released suddenly. ln pan, fot example, the treginning /p/ is held while air builds up behind the lips. When the lips open, the air is suddenly released.In a language like Spanish, stops are unaspirated;the stop closure is not helcl as long as it is in English and less air builds up. If /p,t,k/ are insufficiently aspirated, native listeners may hear them as their voiced counterparts, /b, d, g,/;prg may sound like"big," tie like "die," and coat like "goat." Aspiration of /p,t,k/ occurs only when a stressed Yo,wel follows.ln apb^ , decb6.y, fot example, the consonants are aspirated because a atfAck, ^nd stressed \.owel follows. In dpple, 6ttic, and ddcadent, the bold consonants are not aspirated because a stressed vowel does not follow2t Voiceless stops are also scrool Because of the role of unaspirated in /s/ clusters, such as spot, stop, ^nd stress, the rule for aspiration is complex and students do not have time to apply it when they are dealing with stops inside a worcl (for example, decbdy versus (lecad.ent).If your students' pronunciation of Pig, tie, and cold sounds like "big," "die," and "gold," address aspiration in monosyllabic words beginning with these consonants. The vowel that follows is ?rlways stressed in this context, simplifying the rule.

Pie sounds rjke Buy

On the board, write the mispronounced word together with monosyllabic words begnning with other voiceless stops.Write a small superscript "h" after the Yoiceless stop to fepfesent aspiration.



ffist sounds are pronounced with an e-xplosion or puff of air 3. Demonstrate aspiration. llold a sheet of paper or a tissue so that the bottom edge is
2- Model the words. students repeat. Explain that dle
iusa a tittle below your mouth and about 2 inches a$/ay from the mou:h. Turn sideways to your studnts and say each word in tum. The bottom edge of the paper should blow out when you say the words. Students may notice that the papef less for /t/ and /k/. This occurs because with ,/p/, the mo\.es fafthest for /p/







diffe$ fmm lhe /V tn atta&

is dscussed in

al\alhet way:

Illdtlic, /tJ \sirPped

bccause stres precedes


The flapped

flonuncixtion of/y

/t/ and/d/

l1eps, abolc




buildup of air is closest to the paper;with

back in the mouth.



/W,tlae buildup occurs farther

4. students repeat ttre demonstration in pairs. Remind students to hold the sheet of paper up, about 2 inches away from the mouth, so that the bottom edge is just below the mouth (if the lower edge of the paper is at neck level, aspiration is not sroog enough to move it). One student watches for movement of the paper as the other student says the words. If the paper doesn't move, the speaker has not aspiratd the consonants sufficiently. ). on the board, add minimal pairs that contr.rst voiceless and yoiced sounds. Explain that there is no aspiration v/ith the second word in the pais. Studnts repeal the words, strongly aspirating the flrst word of each pair

pay-bay pill-bill






trrnr.t Consonant Clusters: Pxtbkm

Vihat the Teacher Should Know The worcl pl"oblem contains two initial consonant clusters: /prl begins the word (and the first syllable) nnd All begins the second syllable. English allows a large number of two-member begiruing clusters (for example, s'zake, sIoP, ploud,
begin with /s/ followedby /p/, /t/, or /k/, followed by /r/, /l/, /y/, or /u,/,as in string, square, and speut (/sJlutr/). Most students are able to recognize pefmissible and impefmissible clusters in


n, tbree, txuin, and music). Three-mcmber clusters are more restricted; all

English (e.g., /ml/, /bn/, ancl /pt/ are impcrmissible). Altenberg reports that beginning to advanced students had a good sense of permissible and impcrmissible English clusters, though they could not alw,tys pronounce the pemissible clllsters
accurately (2005).

Difficulty with a specfic consonant cluster depends ot.t what is permitted in the native language.22 Spanish, for example, does not permit cluster sequences of /s/+ Consonant (as in scbool). Spanish students often add a vowel before these

Dive6al facto$

clu$e6 (e.g,
Sfanish ESi.

Fincri tr'lininaLSonodft lli$ance model (199i) pledicts that sto| + liquid difficuit than fricatilc + liquid clu$ers (e g.,tr.?i. H rcin Bhatt end Bhatt's slud! oi]apanese xnd ljstrne$ pxrti,llh corllflned this prediction (1991, 341).


luence difficuLn. Broselou and

4r4 eill

be morc




words (e.g., "eschool") so that they conform to Spanish patterns. Some languages Oapanese, Cantonese, and Vietnamese, lbr example) do not permit any beiinning consonant clusters. Adding a vowel to separ4te the consonants in a cluster or deleting one of the consonants also occurs. Japanese students may pronounce s/,tss like "tiurassl' Egyptian Ar':rbic students may pronouncefZoor as "filoor'."Vietnamese students may pronounce problem vs /pabam/ ot Sreet 'd:s "geetl' As mentioned above, Korean language, students have difficulty with /kw/ and /glw/ in words like cluestion ^nd pronouncing ,/w,/ too weakly of not at 2ll. There afe a yariety of techniques that can be used to correct beginning consonant cluster effors, depending on the type of error, but none works in all cases. Students who add vowels in front of clusters (e.g., "eschool" for "school") can be instructed to prolong the flrst consonant of the cluster ("ssschool"); this helps them avoid starting the word with a .\rowel. This tecl-mique does not work when the first consonant is a stop (/p, b, t, d, k, g/) because stops cannot be prolonged. When studei.lts separate the consonants in a clustef (e.g., "filoor" fot flootr "gurass" for grass) or delete a consonant fiom the cluster (e.g.,"geen" for green),the first technique to attempt is tbe simplest. Students who pronouncefloor as "flloor" should be instructed to pronounce both consonants close together Students who pronounce green as "geen" should be instructed to prorloullce /r/. The simple approach sometimes works. If the simple technique tails, teachers c2!r1 tell students to prepare to say the second consonant in the clustcr (n/ ir floor or /r/ n Sreen) ?'nd then say the whole word. This technique works well in words like grc?r?, Jloot pla!, break, afld cloud. In these clusters, the tip of the tongue is inYolved in pronoLrncing the second consonant (A/ or /r/) but not in the first consonant (/p, b, f, k, g/). The vocal organs can therefore be in position for the second cor.rsonant as the first is pronounced. This technique, howe\.e! does not work when both the fust and second members of the cluster involl,.e the tip of the tongue (in words like tee, clriue, three, snou, d sleet).

Activily 4.10 Extrene weather


None Encourage students to pronounce the consonants in consonant clusters.


Description This activity provides practice with beginning consonant clusters in the context of weather and can be added to the topic of climate
change or global warming.

1. Elicit from students

words or phrases used to describe the weather or effects of ihe weather and write them on the board (not all of the words need to contain beginning consonant clusters). Underline beginnlng ciusters. Add a few new





4. I

0 continaed

words, The words below cover a range of weather conditions; the teacher should choose vocabulary that is appropriate for the studenis' level as well as for the types of weather they are lrkely to talk about.
Weather Words sleet !!ow extreme weather hlizzaft hazy sunshine drought blistering heat tornado spreading tires slush st0tms cloudy hunicane thunderstorms bright sunshine cyclone



2. 3. 4.

Go over new vocabulary. lvlodel the words. Students repeat. provide

pronunciation feedback on consonant clusters.

Students work in pairs and make two lists, one for words describing extreme weather (or weather effects) and the other for words describing mild weather (effects). Following the pair work, ask students to volunteer words from their lists. Provide feedback on pronunciation of consonant clusters.

5. ln small

. . .

groups, students use the words to discuss questions about weather.

Have you ever experienced extreme weather? Explain.

Has the weather in your country changed with global warmjng? How?

What type of climate do you prefer?

Following the group work, ask several students to answer the questions. provide
feed back on consonant clusters.




iece, ask

What the Teacher Should Know

Consonants at the ends of words and syllables are more difficult to pronounce than those in bellinning position.In English, all consonants except A/ can occur in final position (e.g.,rob, lip, bead, bat, dog, pick, kiss, rose, eaclr, eclge, laugb, loue).2. Tri'Gmember final consonant clusters are common (e .g.,ask, barut, heaft, betp, l.efD, as arc three-member cluslers. especialJy when ending, ,at.t.O, u, i'

text (/kstD, uorks (/rkst), oJld launcbed (/ntftf.

occur in


"." many languages place

'?3lfhen 4y' aud

iiialposition, the!

arc considered pert






gfeeter restrictiolts on fi]lal consonants than English does. errors;rre widespreacl and less depcndcnt on the stlldent's native language than those il]|olyinla bcgifliing consonants (and beginning clusters). Japanese, for example. permits only /n,/ in final position; Sparish permits or.rly /d, s, n, r. l/. Languages F'hich do permit a Lu.ger r4nge of final consonants ((icrman, Russian, and Polish, for examplc) ma| not allow the final \.oiced stops and fricatives that are :rllowed in English: (e.Ei.. rr1re, lJafld, rttb, dog). Universal factors ancl narkedness (linguistic naturalness) interact with and

feinlbrce natiyelangu:rge festrictions (see krtroductior], page 5). Final voiced obstruents (stops and fricatives, ns rn dog or bate) are more clilficult than final voiceless obstruents (as in dock antl half). They occur less tiequently in the $'orlcl's languages, and in langurges where they do occur', like English, thcy are acquired later by cl.rildren learning their lirst lan1 uage.
Most errors involving final consonants have the eflect of making English words and syllables more like thosc in the speaker's native languagc, thereby simplifiiing pronnnciation for the leaflrer 'l'wo common rypes of errors afe delction (e.9., big pronounced as "bi") and cpenthcsis (thc addition of a vowel; e.g., rrg pronounced as "bigo").2t .Pronouncing final voiced stops ;mal fiicatives as their yoiccless collnteryafts (i.c., clcvoicing) is another comrnon error (e.g., Drg sounds like "bickl' lsr.tue sounds litri:e "half'and u6ts sounds like "wass"). Less fiquently, final consonants may be changed to other consonants (e.9., pocketbook pronounccd as "pocke(t)boor"). The tvpe of efrof studcnts make depends on native language, the level of formality in speaking. the learner's level of proficiencl', the specilic final consonant or cluster. and the soun':ls preceding or folk)wing it (Tarone l980,Weinberger 1987, Hansen 2001, Hansen 200.1).weinberger found that his Mnndarin EsL lcarners r\.ere more likely to pronounce lrlt as "bit)" (adding an epenthetic vowel) when they were feading wofds in a list, out of context (1987). When thc same words were used in context (such as in paragraph reading or speakiflg), both deletion (c.1.,"bi" for bit) epenthcsis (c.9., "bit'") occurred. In list readinli, clcletion of the final ^nd consonant introduces ambiguity-is "bi" big, bit, or bid? 'flre addition of the yowel (as in "bita") allows the listener to "rccor,'cr" the $'ord more easily than deletion of the final consonant. Both types of errors (deletion and epenthesis) shoulcl be a.ldfessed in

pfonrnciation work. Whilc deletion cxr difectly lower intelligibility of a word (because part of the wold is missing), cpenthesis (addition of a linal vowel) can lowcr it inclirectl_v, by creating an unnatural rh1-thm; sl.llablcs that should not be present are pfesent. Epenthesis efrors can be addressed by teaching the pronunciation of final consonarts as part of linking (scc Linking Words Togethe! Rhythm). Deletion can be addressed throulh error corrcction by focusing students' attention on missing final consonants, and in lessons on -el and -s endings.





nixnr contc

in llnglish

(scc Linking

[rords lbged]er Rh\1hln).




Native English simplifications of Final consonants. Not an deretions of final consonants are effors. Natiye English speakers do not always pronounce all the consonants in final clustefs. Some simplifications are specilic enough to teach to students (for example, simplification of f\n I tb souncls before an _s encling). Others follow rules which are too complex to be of much use to stuclents. Howevet if students use the same simplfications that natiye speakers clo, they should not be corfected and required to produce consonants that the teacher himself does not.

/klowz/, common plurats, the /, sounds are rzrely pronounced by native NAE speakers, even in citation word pronunciations. since the tr, sounds ar.e difficult, students will be grateftll to leam this. In other words, interdental //: is often dropped and the _s endin| mav be lengthened ("holding the place,'of /r).
two fifths

ZII Simplifications before an -s Endiarg. h nonths /mens/ and clotlres


She bathes /beyzl the baby. earth's /ars/ orbit

Sequences of Consoflant+Stop+Consonant. Nati\'e speakers often delete the middle stop consonant in sequences of consonant + stop + consonant, as long as ,,fa_x,,) (Avery the stop is not a grammatical encling (e .g., aske.l /ast/, and facts Ehrlich 1992, 87).25
kindness /kaynaY

next month /nks meno/ past policies /pas polasiyz/


textbook /tksbuk/
b ande

left side /ll sayd/

Middle stops are not omitted when rhe next wor{l begins wirh /h/ (.e .?,..left d, not " lef h^nd,e(|,, ). The simplilication of consonant + stop + consonant clusters should not be taught to students. Most students have at best only a vague nodon of what a stop is and would not be able to apply this rule in actual speaking. In addition. because students do not pronormce many final cons()ltants thdt should be pronounced. it is unlikely that teachers would feer comfortable presenting a .- e which cannot be of common words like "ast', for as&ed and ,,gifs" for gqflg on a word_by_wofcl basis.

applied in real speaking and whiclt might encourage more inappropriate simplification offinal consonants.It is, however, appropriate to reach simplifications

Final Voiced afrd Voiceless Consonants. Students may clevoice final voiced stops and fricatiyes, pronouncing them with theif voiceless counterpafts; for example bag may sound like ,,back,,' and peas may souncl like ,,peaci.,, Some
?t Temperley cites some crses $herc th slof is oj)litted even $hen it i, a grammdicaL etding 0987. 80).




like German or Russian, do not permit voiced obstruents (stops 'ind fiicatives) in final position; in these langualacs, devoicing is r rule. Cliltlren leaflring their first language also have more difficulqv with final \ oiced obstruents. Stampe describes the de\.oicing of final obstrucnts as a natural process of language (1979). Eckman describes linal voiced obstruents as more marked (diJ}icr-rlt) than final voiceless obstruents (1981).Thus,there can be both universal and language-specfic reasons lbr a stuclent's pronunciatioll of Drzg as 'back" or /:al e as -halJ. " Researchers have invcstigatecl several issues involving tinal voiccd :urd voicclcss obstments. Yivas reports that his Portuguese, .Japanese. :rnd Mandafin learners werc more likely to devoice final /<I/ and /g/ than linal /b/, bid antl big were more likel]-to lle pronounced as "hit" and "bick," and r/1, s?s less likely to be pronouncecl like rip (1997).2'; M.rgcn rrl')rtcd thxt devoicitrg errors did not appear to bc an impoftant contfibutor to accent (1998). Tcxcling students to voice final obstruents is diilicult tbr r$o reasons. First, students have little awareness or control over the articulator responsible for voicing the vocal cortls. In general, articulatory awrrcncss is higher with articulators closcr to the front of the mouth (for example, the lips, the teeth, the tip of the tontiue); thc vocal cords, howe\rr, arc the articulators lArthest fiom the tiot]t of thc nouth. Sccond, devoicing errors are rnost cornrl1on when the obstruent occurs in fiml position, an already difficnlt position fbr consonant pronunciation. A pedagogical stratclay thet sidesteps these dilliculties is teaclting the vowcl iength clift'erencc that occurs betbte final voiced and voiceless cousonants, rathef than Voicing (or together with \.oicing).Vowels before voiccd cOnsonants are longe;' than vowels bcfbre voiceless consor]ants. In thc mininal pairs beloq the vorvels in the first column (coming before voicecl sounds) are longer than the vowels in thc seconcl column (coming before voiceless stLtnds).
Vowel + Voiced Consonant raise

vowel + Voiceless Consonant

race feet



When studcnts learn to lengthen gowcls befbre voiced consonants, the finxl consonant sounds mofe \-oiced, even if it is not.


l)clolcing 0l linrl /d/ flrd /g/ w,r\ nost

Likely whn dre

consonlnt \rr lteceded b! high r o$'eh




Activity 4,11 Recognition and production of final consonants, finat cons.,nant clusterc, and final voiced consonants

level Tip


Worksheet Page 23I

fncourage students to pronounce final consonants to improve com_ prehensibility and grammatical accuracy. Iength differences before voiced and voiceless sounds.

Description This activity targets deretion errors with finar consonants and vower


StuOents listen to the pairs in part 1 and repeat them.

@ 2. Students ljsten to the pairs in part 2 and repeat them. 0f you model the words live, exaggerate the length of the vowel in the first member of each

pair and pronounce the final consonants normally_do not overpronounce the final consonants.) Ask students to describe the difference jn vowel length in these pairs. Explain that the fjrst words in part 2 end in voiced sounds (the vocal cords vibrate), and the vowels are longer. The last words in Part 2 end in voiceless sounds (the vocal cords do not vibrate), and the voweJs are shorter.
one word from each of the pairs in part 2 again and circJe

@ 3. Students iisieil to

the word they hear.

4. ln pairs, students practice

the words in parl 2. Then each student reads a word from each pair and the partner identifies the word.

5. After the pair work, ask each student to select a pair and say one of the words. The class will decide which word was said.


Ask each student to choose a pair of words from the handout and write a sentence containing both words. Students read their sentences to a partner.




Activity 4.12 How woultl you use 2.7


ion dollars?


Page 232


Encourage students to pronounce final consonants to improve comprehensibi lity and grammatical accuracy.

Description This activity targets final voiced consonants, such as in advise, (to) use, and raise (faxes). Students work in small groups io decide how best to use money in a budget. The sample shows how U.S. tax dollars ($2.7 killion) in 2OO7 were spent (and overspent). Any budget, however, could be used, such as a typical lamily's yearly income, your school's budget, or your city's budget. The budgets of many
organ izations are available online.


On the board, write minimal pairs ihat contrast final voiced and voiceless consonants. The words below are useful for discussing budgets.

advise-advice (to) use-a


raise-race halve-half (to)close-close(adi")

2. l\4odel the words. Students repeat. Explain that the vowels in the first word of each pair (i.e., before voiced consonants) are longer than those in the second word.

Distribute Worksheet


Make sure students understand the categories.

4. Ask students to describe how federal tax dollars were used in 2007. Encourage the use of use as a verb. Provjde feedback on final consonants (lengthening the

vowel in use).
5. Ask one or two students how they would advise the government to spend tax dollars. Encourage students to use advise and use. Provide feedback

on pronunclation.
6. In srnall groups, students advise the government where to spend more or less money. Remind students to pay attention to final consonants. 7. After the group work, ask a representative from each group to report on their decisions. Provide feedback on final consonants. 8. Ask students whether the federal government spent more or less money

than it took in (since the percentages add up to more than 100 percent, the governrnent spent more money than it collected). Ask the class how the government should close the budget gap. Try to elicil raise taxes as
one possibility.





-rrf .na -s Endings

V{hat the Teacher Should Know Pronunciation work with -ed and, -s endings reinforces gmmmar and focuses attention on final consonants.
the last sound of the yerb.If the last so];tr;rdis as a syllable Uad/ or /tdD.

-ed endings. The pronunciation of the regular past tense -ect ending <Iepends on /t/ ot /d/,the -e,/ ending is pronounced





If the last sound of the verb is voiceless (as in /p, k, 0, t,s,l,t[D,the -ed ending is also voiceless and pronounced as a single final consonant, /t/.





sound like a grammar errof. If the last sound of the verb is a vowel or a voiced consonant (such as ,/b, g, 6, f z, 3,q, n, m, l, f V),the -ed ending is pronounced as a single final consonant, /d/.

With these verbs, the -ed ending always creates a final consonant cluster. If the student simplifies the cluster by dropping f:trjlal /t/, ttre pronunciation error will

robbed lbdl

showgd ldl

saved luU



When the base verb ends in a consonant, the ending creates a cluster (e.g., planned /ndD. With most adiectives ending in -e4 the pronunciation of rhe ending follows the rules for regular verbs above.



a lockgd dool


In some adjectives, the -ed ending is pronounced as an extra syllable (/ad/) even when the sound preceding it is rrot /t/ ot /d/.
the wicked witch /3dt a thlee-legged dog

a learngd genlleman



Including these adiectiyes in a pronunciation lesson for advanced students can add interest to the topic (other similaf adjectives are xaretcbed, naked, and, rugge^. In some -ed adjecri]',es, the ending has two pronunciations (for example, beloued /btlevad/ and /btlal"df).\n learned, the two pronunciations ha.t'e different meanings:





learned /latnd,/ bcbctuior a:nd q learned /larna(l/ gentletlt4,t (Celce-Mufcia et al. 1996). The -eri ending is also pfonounced /a.l/ jn aclverbs fi)rmcd from ed adiecrives (e.9,., sul )posedl.|, allegedly).
-.s Endings. -s endings include plurals, third-person singular present endings,
possessives, and contractions of bas antl l'.s. Likc the ed endings, thc pronllnciation of an -s endin[i depends on the last sound of the word to which thc cndir]g is added. wlren the word encls in a sibilant (slike sounds, see Sibilants. above), the ending is pronounced as an extra svllable, /az/ or /t7/. After other words. it is pronounced as

conson.rnt. /s/ tt /L/: Thc -s ending is pronoundcccl /az/ ot /tz/ when the last sound of the word is a sibilant (/s, z,l,, d3D.

r firal

ki99-kisses garagg-garages

r0!g-r0ses match-matches



-.s e

nding is pronouncccl

as r'-oicclcss ,/s/ whe n

the last sound of thc word

lips /pV

is voiceless. writes


The lock's /ks/ broken.


ending is pronouncecl a vowcl or voiced consonant.


voiced /z/ when the last sound of the worcl is


Sue's /z/ sister


John's /nzl here.


-s endinpls are added

simplify or delete thc

to words encling in t/, sounds, nxtive speakers ma1' sound; the -.! ending may be lengtltened to "hold the plece"

of the th sound.'l'his is a simplification that can be taugl]t to students (sce Final

cor.rsonants. Native Spcakcr Simplifications of Finxl (i)nsonants, page 155). The rules fbr when -ed or -s cndings arc pronounced :rs sin[ilc consonants (/t/ peclagogicall_v complex. nr apply the rules, students must know or /d/,/s/ ot /z/) ^re the invcntory of voiced and r-oiceless sounds in English, an unrealistic expectation.

Further, evcn if students have this knowle.lge . it is r-[rlikely that thev wjll have time to apply it in normal speakilrg. A pedagogically si|tpler approach is 1o focus on ['hen the ending is pronouncecl as a separate svllatrlc (,/ad/ or /azl.).With the past, the ending is a syllable wben the verb encls in /t/ ot /d/, otherwisc, it is a final consonant (/t/ or /dD. For the -s endings, the ending is a s1.llable when the word ends in a sibilant sound: otherwise, it is a final consonam Us/ ot /zD.

most noticeable mispronunciation of the er./ endiflg-the inappropriate use of ,/ad/ with r,-erbs like listened. The simplificd n-rle does not capture YOicing distinctions; tltat is. it does not speciti'when -ed, for exanple. is pfonounced /t/ or /d/.yoicrng of the cnding mav be either left to yoicing assimilation (a natural ten.lenc-y for a

'this simplified approach also focuscs students attention on thc

following sound to takc on thc voicinli of the prcccding sound) or resolved through errof cofrection.




1988).' Lightbown and Spacla suigest that vigilant error coffection may be necessary fbr accurate use of the present -s cnding (1999, 151). Pronunciation of grammatical endings is especially important for students who will use English in academic or pr,,fessional settings. Mf,ny grammar ancl course books for beginning and intermedinte students cover prorr.rrii"tion of the _ed nnd -s endings; thesc exercises have the bcnefit of using vocabulary and topics that studenb afe aheady co\.ering in class. Course and grammar books for advanced students, on the other ltand, may not address the pronunciation ofendings. Teachers should not assume that their advanced students know these pronunciation mles. Deleted endinlls may indicate only the general diffic.lty with final consonants and can bc dealt with as such. Howeyer. pronunciations like listen-ed, as a three-svllable wor.1, or toatclt-ed, as a two_s),llable word, probabl,v mean that the sh.rdent does not know hos/ to pronounce the enclings.

Research on final consonants suggests that when a grammatical ending is the only final consonant in a word, as in bols or shoue4 it is tess likely to be cleleted than single final consonants that are not endings, as in lose or zrke (Saunders 19g7, Hansen 2001). In addirion, the deleti(xt of -, endings scems to depend on the function of the -s ending, with verb enclings (e.g., pay) more likely to be delered than noun endings (c.g., daJLls). The larger number of errors witlt the present tense ending (compared to plural or possessive) may reflect the fact tltat the meaning addecl by the yerb ending is alnost always redundant: Mandarory subyect nouns oi pronouns clcarly iodicxte the person and nurnber ofthe subiect (,lhrone and pafrish

Activity 4,13 Past endings: Montlay noming wam-ups

Level Tip

Beginn ing/lniermed iate

Worksheet None
Encourage students to pronounce final consonants to imorove com_ prehensibility and grammatical accuracy.

Desctiption As a regular part of Monday morning classes (once the past tense has been taught), ask students to describe what they did on the weekend, using the past tense.


Ask students to describe what they did on the weekend, using the past tense. Provide feed back on pronunciation.


List all past tense verbs on the board.

(continued on next page)



some irrcgulat plural sirbjects, the J ending is not rcduJr{lant rc lollorving senlences, onlvthe ve$ending re subjct as pluttl at sit.rg\tlxt:7he [hee\ llohs sick,,Jl)e sheel) llak sick.






ActiuitJ' 4.I3

contin ed

3. 4.

Ask students to divide the past verbs into three categories: verbs where the -ed ending is a syllable, verbs where the -ed ending is a stngle sound, and irregu lar verbs. Students check their lists and ask questions if necessary. Ask individual students to read the verbs from one of the categories. Provide feedback on pron u nc iation.

Pefhaps mofe than any othef afea of pfonunciation, stereotyped
pronunciations involve mispronunciations of consonants. For this reason, as well as to improve comprehensibility, it is important to address them. Teachers can often pro\'ide visual clues to the pronunciations of consonants by exaggerating the shape of the mouth, using hand llestures, or providing simple diagrams. The most pervasive and persistent errors with consonants occur when they are in final position. Errors with final consonants can lower students' comprehensibility as well as their grammatical accuracy. Teachers can use both pronunciation actiyities and frequent error correction to help students pronounce consonar"iis in this difncult position. Although controlled practice of consonants is important for students to gain skill, they also need the opportuniry to use their new skills in connected speech, in activities that mo.t'e them bevond the domain of the word.


show .Joe Pardee. 'I'he student meant the game show Jeopar(ty. Although my misunderstanding involved more than rhe effof in the first vowel, I might have understood the intended word if that vowel had been closer to its English pronunciation (of I might have guessed ,Jay parclee'). Pronunciation difficr tics with English vowels are widespread, in part because English has a relatively large number of yowels. The diagrim below shows the vowels of North American English (NAI. spokcn in the Unired States and Canada) and their relative positions in the mouth.r Bebw the diagmm are the three diplrthongs (complex vowels): ,/aV (as il.t houD, /ay/ (as in bigb), .and /oy/ (ds jn &oJLl). Because of dialect yariation, some native speakers, vowels may differ somewhat from those shown below

In a discussion of TV shows and entertairlers, a low_intermediate French student said that he likecl Joe pardee. I asked who Joe pardee \fas, ancl he said, .No, Joe Pardee." I was puzzled and wrore ,Joe par<lee,' on the board. He said no. the

[:] bought


lawl how

/ay/ high

loyl boy

In contrast to consonants, vowels are procluced with little obstfuction of the airflow.Vowcls also havc longer durations than consonants (Mehler et al.1996). English vowel differences are procluced by varying the height of the body of the tongue (high, mid, or low); the frontness or. backness of the tongue (froni,
These positions dfti altered sont\|h at


adj accnt






central, back);the degree of muscular tension (tense or lax): antl the rounding of the lips (rountlecl or unrounded). The grid imposed o\er the mouth in the
diagram above shows how vowel height, frontness,/backness. and tension/laxness are reflected in NAE \.ow(jls. All English b;rck vowels are rounded, xs they are in most languages.


Like most unfamiliar features of a ner' language. vowels and vowel contrasts that do not occur in the student's nativc languale are likely to be difficult. However, both perception and pronunciation of English vowels improve as proficiency, exposlrre to English, and use of English increase (Bohn ancl Flegc 1992,Ingram and
Park 1997, Flege and MecK:ry 2004). Cenoz and Lecumberri report that practice with listening ancl discriminatiofl improyes the accuracy with whicll students hear unfarniliar vowel contrasts (1999). lVhen vowels and vowel contrasts are heard more cleadl', students haYe more accurate "perceptual models" on rvltich to base pronunciation (Flege, Ilohn, and Jang 1997,Ing$m and Park 1997).The /il/'/r/ conrrlst (as in lealte'liue) is a new and difficult contrast for many students.If a student is unsure of how the vowel in /lae sounds (e.g.,1/lre in NeuY('rk),he fiq- substiture his closcst native-langlrage vowel (especially if he is a beginner) or pronounce the vowel ofle Na) orl ollc occdsion and another way on another.Itrithout a clear perceptual model of the Yowel. he will not have a clear tafget for pronunciation. An example from onc of my students is the pronunciation of the last yowel in democrctt (/a/).The student, ;r native speaker of Mandarin, was talking about the two-party system in the llnited States. He used the word clemocrctt six times in two minutes, and pronouncecl the tlird Yowel in that word in five different w.rys: "democrease" (once, also nispronouncing the final consonant), "dcmocrit" (once), "dcmocrate" (twice), "dcmocrais" (once), and "den.rocr.rt' (once, with the third vowel pronounced correctll). Almost all of his substitLrtions were vowels (like English /a/). One explanation for his variable pronunciation is that he wasn't sure llow /e/ sounds and thereforc didn't have a clcar pe|ceptual target at v/hich to aim his pronunciations. Since accumte perception of vowels is linked to more accurate Pr,)nunciJtion, work with vowel perception is important. Ilowever, vowcl perception develops

with pronunciation can still be cffcctiYe cven when the vowel (contmsl) is not clexd)' perceived. Many students who cannot hear a vowel particularly well can nevertheless lexrn to pronounce it more accurately once tbey understand how it is made, ancl more accurate pronunciation may lead to more
llraduall,v. 'i9ork

accurate pefception.2
(see '] Perceltion lna-r aho lag production $ith consonxnl\

Colronalb f4e





Vowel Pronufrciation In general, front ]/owels (/iyl beat, /r/ liue, /ey/ bait, // bet, /E/ bat) and central vowels (/a/ bltt, /o/ potr r are peclagogic;rlly more important than most back vowels (/Dw/ boot, /u/ book, /ow/ t:ia|, bought), since many of the /Ji front and central rrowel contrasts are both clifTicult foi students ;rnd liequent in English words. Tense-ktx aoluel contrLtsts are also diflicult for students, in particular the pronunciation of lax vowels.a

Tense /lyl leave ley/ lale /uw/ Luke


hl five kl bt lu/ toak

The terms tense afld lax tefet to the muscular tension fequifed to produce the vowels. With tense vowels, the tongue is positioned farther fiom the center of the mouth (the center is the rest or relaxecl position for the tongue), thus requiring more muscular tension to reach and maintain these positions.When the tension is relaxed a little, the tongue mo\.es toward a more central position in the mouth, producing the lax \.owel counterpatt. For example, with /iy,/ (as in leaue),the body of the tongue is high ancl front in the -or.,h. wh.r, rhe tongue drops down and back a lirtle (more toward the center of the mouth), the lax \owel / r/ (Lts iit liue) is produced. Differences in lip shapes are also present with tense-lax pairs. The lips are generally more relaxed lless spread or lcss roundecl) for lax vowels.



@rcaYe/i,/ @''"""

r""u, /

@tarc/ev/ @*,n,

$eluke/uv @
1992, J0).


I Ir sone dialecl!. /q/ 0ol) {relc"\1. .i ,t,r


is a Lrack or centmlback \,0$r1 (rte$,and






Vowel Spellings
The sound-spelling correspondence of Entilish vowels adG a ler-el of difficr ty to pronunciation. My student's mispromurciation of the first \-o\\ el i-fr.leopard! was probably the result of its unusual spelling in that word (i.e.. a -spelling pronunciation) Sound-spelling correspondences are complex partlv because there are only slx vowel letters (a, e, i, o, u, y'\ used to spell more than a dozen vowel sounds. In addition, English has "borrowed" many words from other languages along with their spellings (suite, for example, is a French borro\r'ing). Finally, linguistic changes in the vowel system, most notably the Great Vox'el Shift, produced new pronunciations. bul old spellings were relained.i Students should be aware of both the common spellings of !-owels and the exceptions to the conrmon patterns; spelling is coYered in many textbooks, especially at the beginning and intermecliate levels.6 Intermediate and advanced students who hn\'e learned the comlnon spelling patterns ma still need work with the exceptions.

Phonetic Symbols
Phonetic symbols are used in pronunciation tertbooks and in ESL dictionaries. Thcy proyide a means fo| representing sounds unambiguously and are especially useftll when teaching vowel pronunciation (because of the complex spelling rules for vowcls).7 It is not necessary for students to memorize a phonetic alphabet. Most textbooks do not assume or require memorization of a phonetic alphabet, and symbols are always accompanied by sample words. Different phonetic conventions sometimes give rise to diffefefit symbols for the same sound. Some textbooks, for example, use ,/ayl to represent the boldface vos/els in time or iron; ot]l'erc use /ail. rvith ,/ayl, the second part of the vowel (the glide ending) is represented with the consonant symbol /y/; wilh /ai/, it is represented with the vowel symbol /i/. For some pronunciation problems, one sltnbol is pedagogically more useful than another. In helping Chinese students correct mispronunciations of time as "Tom," the symbol /ail is more useful because the second part of the vowel iri tlnxe sounds like /i,/. HoweYer, the symbol /ay/ is rnore nseftrl when showini the pronunciation of iron,,/ayarn/, because the second part of the vowel sounds more consonantal.In this book, alternate symbols (to those shown in the diagnm on page 163) are explained and suggested when pedagogically appropriate. A comprehensive list of phonetic symbols and their alternates is provided inside the front cover of this book.

The lowel aLlemafons in sane satll\,, u'lie Lidlh,lt]ld metetmehic, ior ti^mple, arc resuliJ 0l the Crcal \b$l Shift. 6l,rator and Robinelt (1985) inclLrde ayery cornplete |st ofWelLings for $ressed vowels. The rules are aLranged br lclte4 rathet than by sound.

In the Silent


lovels are ilrsocieFd wifi pafiicular colon to represent theni unamblguousL,v;

sce Gattegno (1912).




Dialects and yarieties of English

vocabulary, and vowels show more dialect variation than consonants (Ayerv and Ehdich 1992). Spoken English includes many yarieties, some natiye lOiatectj anO others nonnative (fofeign accents). EsL teachers whose stuclents speak different

English dialects r'ary more in pronunciation than they do in grammar or

natiye languages are faniliar with the difficulty students have understanding classmates from other language backgrounds, especially at the beginning of thi tefm; as the semestef progresses, mutual undefstanding improves, even though accents remain (see also Gass and Varonis 19f14 for the role that familiarity ptays; intelligibility). since many of our students will use E'glish to communicate with other nonnative speakers, it is impoftant to expose tltem to clifferent yarieties of
English.Thcre are

and accents; see, for example, the American Dialect Society,s .Web site, or the University of Kansas,s International Dialects of
English Archiye, http:/ /web.ku.edufid,ea/.

number of web sites that provide recordings of different dialects

Bringing dialect infotmation into the classroom not only adds variety and intefest, but sometimes provicles stuclents with "dialect altematives', that make pronunciation easier. For cxample, many speakers of NAE use the sane yov/el (/o/) in pairs like caugbt-cot. The pronunciarion of cougbt with /o/ (as opposed to n,/, a vcwel used by native speakers in the Northeast) is acceptable and often easier fof Students to learn than,6,/. It does no harm for stuclents to speak English with features from different dialects of \.arieties as long as thc features are intelligible and n()f stigmatizr(l Natiye English reachers should teach their ow1.r dialects, pointing out differences between their vowels and textbook \.owels. Nonnative English teachers will probably not pronounce all English vowels like a native speaker and ma,v prefer to focus on vowel contrzsts they feel confoftable teaching. In addition, tapes and other recordings should be used in class.

Interactiofl of Vowels and Other Areas of pronunciation

Vowel pronunciation can be affected by neighboring sounds as well as bv of how a following consonant can affect vowel pronunciation. Voiced and voiceless consonants can alter the length of preceding stressed vowels. A following voiced consonant (as in peas ot bad) lengttrens the vowel; a following voiceless consonant (as In peace or Z2at) shortens the vowel (see Final Voiced and Voiceless Consonants, page 155). The vowels in some words (e .g., and, can, or) are reducecl to /a/ in connected speech unless the speaker giyes them special emphasis. The conjunction arz4 for example, is pronounced /an,/ in normal speaking: I'll hatte bacon ,n eggs (see
stress. R- ancl /-colored l.owels, discussed bektw, are examples

Reductions, page 72).





The si-x tips listed below provide some general suggestions for helping
students improye their pronunciation of vowels.The tips are based on how yowels afe pfonounced and on how they are learned by nonnative speakers.

The remainder of this chapter presents the specific vo$/els and


contrasts listed below. The six tips above are further explained and reflected in the context of specific Yowels.


sprctrtc vow+s
t J.
4. Front vowels:

Front yowels:/iyl an(l Front vowels:

,/e1y' afld



/e/ (Jaait-u)et)
/E/ (had-bead)

/a/ (bad), /a/

Front and centnl vowels:/e /, /E/, /a/,and




6. Central vowels: /3 / a'nd 7. Back vowels:/u\V,/ 8. Back 9. Back vowel:

vowel:,/ofl (go)


/o/ (not-nut) /u/ (boot-book)

A/ (cauglit)
/oy/ (boy)

10. Diphthongs:/ayl 1tigb), /a'gg/ (hotr), dnd 11. R-colored vowels and /-colored vowels

discuss what the teacher should know about each of these topics and provide suggestions for teaching most of them. In some cases, the suggestion is a classroom activiry In other cases, it is error correction. Suggestions for error




correction are short enough to use when students are engaged in nonpronunciation actiyities.They are also useful for addressing pronunciation problems that only one or two of your Students experience.


u"on, Vo*.ls:





\Xlhat the Teacher Should Know The vowel conrrast in leaue-liue is difficult fbr most students to hear ancl pronounce. Since there are nany minimal pairs like leaue_liue, and each vowel occurs in many words, the vowels and the contrast afe pedagogically important.

Perception of /iy/ alrd h/. ln many languages a single pure vowel ,/i/ (e.g., the vowel in Spanish s/, "yes") corresponds to English /iy/ and / . Many students identiry the tense \.owel /iyl as ,,similar,, to their natiye-language vowel. Some students report that //re sounds llke lectue, suggesting that /iy,/ and,/r/ are heard as the same vowel (like the native language vowel). Other students say that liae and, leaue sonnd. diffbrent, but rhat they are nor sure v/hat the difference is. st l orher
students say that sometimes

kicl and is), which adds length to the vowel. Following yoiceless stops and nasals make the yowel more difficult to hear (Lane 1994).8

Although most students feel that /r/ is more difficult than /Iy/, improyements in pefception and production may be greatef with,/r,/ than with /iy/ (Lax.e 1994), perhaps reflecting diflerent amounts of attention paid to rhe two vowels by learners. Str-rdents are likely to direct learning efforts toward a vowel they perceive as new or different from their native-language vowel (hence. something to learn); a vowel like /iy/, ss'hich is often pefceiyed as similaf to the native-laniuage vowel, may receiye less attcntion, since the student feels she already "knows" it (Flege 1987). The lax vowel /r/ is easier to hear when it is followed by a yoiced sound (as in


sounds similar to,/i)y' and sometimes different.

io hear: his, live, fish, big

Harder to hear: sit, quick, th n, I p

and /ry/. Tbe diagram on page 170 shov/s the relative heights of the body of the rongue for /iyl and /t/.The rdised part of the tongue is a little higher and farther front for the tense vowel /iy/ (teaue) rlT n for /t/ (.liue).For ,/r,/ the tongue is a litrle lower (i.e., the mouth opcns a little) and more central than for /iy/.'fhe lips rclaxed for /t/ and spread (requiring muscular tension) for /iy,/. ^re The difference in lip shapes for /iyl and /r/ is a secondary difference. Many students

Pronunciation of


lbiceless stops are /p, I,



the iiIxt sounds in

\bwels lollo$d by I'oiceless stops (as inpaltl1 C0n'onan6. n !" .

l/e, /ra */e. Engl ish nasals ilclude /li. n, rl /, the last soLrnds in .ro4 Jrrre, and p/i*) .rn r rnder tlrrn thosr to loued bv rorced stops (ar )npeas pig);see also




afe able to rclax their lips and produce a tense vowel. (This is not difficult. Try keeping )'our lips relaxed and say eat; then spread your lips afld say /t) The glide ending ol /iy/ Uy/) is created by a short front gliding motion ofthe tongue and iaw A pure (steady state) /i,/ lacks this front gliding motion.




/---:\ (*i#t,7


EFL students may be taught to pronounce /I/ as a short version of /iyl. Although /i)y' is sornewhat longer than /I/, native listeners pay more attention to the difference in vowel quality (the sound of the vowel) than to vowel length; /I/ is not just a short l'ersion of /iyl (Flege, Bohfl, and Jang 1997, Escudero and Boersma 2004, Cebrian 2006).The difference in tongue position for /iy/ and /r/ is what creates the difference in \.owel quality, and students must learn the tongue positions for the two vowels in order to pronounce pairs like liue-leaue correctly. Because the /iy/Jr/ contast is important and difficult, it should be taught to students at all leyels and usually needs to be reviewed. with beginning and intermediate students. classroom work should focus on /I/. the "new" vowel. Beginning and intermediate students are concerned about this vowel and ready to work on it. Adyanced students who pronounce /I/ accurately in common words like big ot kitcben benefit from practice with words like indiuidual or ambiguous, where stressed /r/ is not the flrst r'owel in the word.These words may also have cognates in the natiye language pronounced with the pure vowel /i/.9

Most advanced students need work on the glide endlng (/y/) of /iy/.

Perhaps because /iyl is heard as a "similar" vowel, students often substitute their native-language pure vowel /i/.The use of a pure vowel in words Iike beacb and sreet creates the embarrassin! pronunciations that many students are familiar with. The glide cncling of ,/iyl is also important when /iyl is followed by another vowel, as in uideo or these words, the glide ending joins to the next vowel, creating a new syllable and functioning as a linking sound:videvo, pivano. This also occurs across word boundaries (as in see vit), and therefore has an impact on word-to-word linking, which is part of rhythm (se e Linking Adiacent rwords, page 54).


Cognates are pain ol

*'ods lrcm diftircnt lengueges that

have similar soun& and meanings (e.g., English

4aa1d, and,lrench





Spellings of /iy/ and /t/. The spelling of /r/ is consistent ancl a good clue pronunciation of the vowel, althougl.r there are somc important exceptions.

Exceptions: busy, business, buil<l, guilry gym, women, pretty

/i]y' is spelled in a varieqv of ways:

Exceptions: key, people, techniqr-le, medium


5,l level


: Presenting pronunciation

Low lntermediate

Worksheet Page 232


Direct students, attention to vowel characterislics that they can see.

Description Students use diagrams showing both lip shape differences and tongue height differences. Since differences in lip shape are secondary pronunciation differences, students may still mispronounce the vowels even though they use appropriate lip
shapes. The procedure

ou tned

below focuses more on


lhan hyl.

1. Model the words live and leave, lengthening both vowels, exaggeratrng ljp
the d jfference they see.

relaxation with live, and spreadjng the lips with leave. Ask siudents to describe


Ask students individually


say live and leave.


tor liyl.

vowels on Worksheet 5.1. Ask them whether the tongue is higher for

Direct students' attentjon to the cross,sectjonal diagram showing the two



Tell students to start with


and leI their tongues drop a


e to pronounce /r/.





5.2 /iy/-/r/: How Do You Spe Live?

Page 233



Provide students with controlled praciice to develop skills with vowels.

Description This spelling activity practices both /iyl and h/ and the pronunciation of letter names, necessary for spelling.


select minimal palrs involving /iyl and which are appropriate for your students' level of vocabulary.

the ist on Worksheet 5.2,


2. Present the pronunciaiion ol liyl and A/ (see page 171). 3. Write the selected minima pairs on the board in two columns; number


coLumns "1" and "2." The samples below are appropr ate for beginning to low lntermed iate students.

seat leave


live rich


4. ]\4odel the / y/ words. Students repeat. Then model the


words. Students repeat.

5. Say a word from each palr and ask students to tell you the column number of the word you said. Repeat if students have difficu ty. 6. Ask each student t0 choose a word for the c ass to identify. Provide feedback on pronLrnciatlon. For errors with /]yl, wr te "r i" on the board and tell students to say /i/ twice without break ng the voice and stressing the flrst /i/ (see page 1.73 Ior beach and sheet). For errors w th /r/, tel students to lower the tongue; reinforce the verbal instructions by lower ng your hand. 7. lvlodel the pa r work. Choose a word from one of the pairs and ask a student "How do you spe I nch?" (For low level students, write the questlon on the board: How do you spell-?) The student should spe I the word he heard. Choosing a different word, ask another student the same quest on.
B. Pair

work. lf possible, pair students who speak different nat ve anguages. Students who speak the same nat ve language can sometlmes recogn ze the ntended word even if it ls mispronounced. Students take turns asklng about the spelling of words on the board. Instruct thern to pronounce the words carefully so their partners know whlch words to spell. Circu ate among the pa rs and prov de feedback on pronunciation. After ihe pair work, review the activity with the whole class. Provide feedback on pronunciation of the vowels.






Ptoblen words: Beach ard sheet.

lntermed iate/Advanced Base communicative practice with problem vowels on words or groups of words which contain the vowels.

Level Tp

Worksheet None
Description This activity focuses on pronouncing /iyl tn beach and sheef, two words of concern to ESL students. When students use a pure vowel (/i/) in these words, English listeners are likely to hear the lax vowel h/ (and the lax vowel counterparls ot beach and sheef). For these words, which end in consonants, the symbol /iil, with stress marked on the first "i," is more helpful than /iyl.

7. Wrile beach and sheefon the board and pronunciation spellings below the

beach sheet

3. 4,

lVodel the words, lengthening the vowels. Explain that in English, /iyl is not single sound. Students should pronounce this vowel with two /i/ sounds, stressing the first. The voice does not break between the two vowels.

Ask each student to say the two words.

Ask students to volunteer expressions involving beach or sreef (for example, beach blanket, beach party, beach ball, a sheet of paper, spreadsheets, and

sheet music).


ln groups, students plan a beach party, describing the place, food, games, and other activities thai will create a good beach party.
After the group work, ask selected students to report on their beach party. Provide feedback on the pronunciation ol beach.


nront Vo*e



and /e/ eoait-u;et)

What the Teacher Should Know The vowel contrast in u,ait-uet (/ey/-/e/) is a new contrast for many students. The native language vowel corresponding to English /eyl may also be a pure vowel /e/ (as in Spanish For most students, tr.e /ey/-/E/ contrast (as trit u,ait-uet) is easief to hear and pronounce tban the /iy/-/r/ contrast. The glide /y/ in /ey/ (as tn Laait) is also easier for students to hear than the glide ending in /iyl (as in ubeat). /eyl is a tense vowel and /e/ is a lax yowel. The body of the tongue is higher and farther front for /ey/ than for /x/.In addition, the lips for /eyl are more spread (requiring more muscular tension) th'ln for /E/.




With Spxnish students, the symbol ,/ci,/ (rather than /evl) should be used since el is the nomal spclling of this vowcl ir Spanish. Chinese students have persistent problems pronouncing the glide ending of /ey,/ wlren it occurs beforc /n/ or /m/, prollouncini errplain and ndmq for example, like "explen" and "nem" (see also Diphthongs bclow).

Spellings of /ey/ ajnd /e/. There is ovcdap in the spellings of /cy/ and /x/,wlricl] can be a source of mispronr.lncirltion. Tbe letter sequence ed, lbr example, is a spclling for /e1y' Qts in break) as well as /e/ (as iD breakfast).

babl', papcq fatnous, table, vacatior]

(word ends in sitent e) late, take, mistake, plane, strange

tr41n, rain, wait, afraid

play, say, today, maybe

glght, vqin, nqlghbor

the-v, convey

break, great Exceptions: gauge, b4ss (low note)

e (followed by a consonant)

h4!{, ak, f4i!, chair breakfast, he a\,y, wcather

Excepdons: many,4ny, says, again, friend, guess

( HAprtR

t/owels "l7S


level Tip

5.4 /iy/-/ey/-/tl Sotting sound


and spetting

Worksheet page 233

reach exceptional or confusing spellings associated with vower sounds, Description This activity focuses on overlapping spellings of /iyl, ley/, and k/. 1. Direct str.tdents'attention to the tist of words on Worksheet 5.4. Students listen to the words and @2. repeat them. 3. ln pajrs, students decide whFther t.he underjined letters are pronounced /iyl, tey/, or /tt and write each word rn tnu circulates and models words as "pp.p,iui ,o;;i;;;r;i, rhe teacher needed.



add the pronuncjatjon corumn headings from


Ask a volunteer to come to the^board..Classmates w/ll tell the volunteer which words beJong in the columns When all the-worJuru * i,'l.'OJuro, practice saying the words, pronouncrng UrO"nU each word in a corumn with the same vowel.

uron, Vowels;


and /e/ (tticl_heatl)

\I/hat the Teacher Should Know When students first lc, conruse ir \\.ith /t/,,,; ;1,',i;:i;';,.liffi,,j':",",:l:l#,:'i.glil,:t:";ffi
7.l rn"



ff #:-::n#:*i'l1ll,

:1:l 1* t-u t "," ;.' r'v'jl


tion l see /,. 1. 1 1 o n



ERR0R C0RRECTt0N | /iy/ -/r/_/e/ Problem: your student pronounces beqt /r/ \ounJj' irr succcssion {s(,c prrtbtcrn



pronounces Dir like beat. rasttuctthe student to lower pronounces 6rlr like ,er. Instruct the student to raise the pronounces ,er like br?. Instruct the snrdent ro lower the

o-- r,,u'il). li or*. ,_r,


LNtruct ],oul student ro sar.ftro

llJ#fi,.T"" l;J.ltfi*},,"

"tudent "tudent


!,,e'rike u''tit' rnsttuctthe student to drop




the problem is one of pronunciation and does not persisr long. Natiye speakers of Arabic may produce a vowel that is midway between the Yo\l'els of / an(l /E/.


n"orrt Vo*"lsz





/e/ (batl-head)

\T/hat the Teacher Should Know The vowel in bad, /a/, is the lowest front vowel in English.The body of the tongue is low and front in the mouth. and the lips are spread.The tip of the tonLue rests behind the bottom teeth and pushes down and fors'ard. For most students, /a/ is a new vowel. It may be confisecl in perception and pronunciation with // (as in bed) ot /o/ (as in body), <lepending on the nati1'e language of the student. Native speakers of Hindi,Vietname se , Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, and Polish, for example, may pronounce bad with a vowel closer to that in Zred Native speakers of French, Japanese, Spanish, and Greek, on the other hand, may pronounce words like &ad with a vowel closer to th^t n bod! Uo/) ot buddy Ua/).

Students who haye been taught British English may use the British pronunciation /o/ in words like laugh or can't, a \owel that sounds closer to NAI /o/. This pronunciatiofl should be corrected if it makes the word harder to recognize (which may occur when there are other errors in addition to the unexpected British pronnnciation).

Spellings of /e/. The spelling of /a/ is very consistent. Once students are familiar with the common pattern, spelling is rarely a source of mispronunciation.

a (followed by a consonant)
Exceptions: laugh, plaid, auntlo


5.5 /E/-/E/;





levels Tip

Worksheet Page 234

Djrect students' atlention to vowel characteristics that they can

0escription Guided by mouth shapes for the two vowels, students learn to pronounce the difference between /ai and //.


Present the diagrams ol


and // on Worksheet 5.5.

some dralects


is prcnounced



5 Vowets l//

Actiuitf 5.5 contnued

2. 3.

lVodel had slowly, exaggerating the openness of the mouth and the spreading of the lips. Ask students whether the mouth is more open or closed Ior had. Ask students whether the lips are spread or relaxed. lVodel head,Iollowed by the same questions: Are the ltps morc open or closed? Are the lips more relaxed or spread? Ask each student to say the pair had,head. Provide feedback on pronuncjation:

. . .

lel sounds like head ltl: Open your mouth more. cap lal sounds like cop lolt Push your tongue front. Spread your lips. cap lel sounds like cup lalt Open your mouth more and spread your lips.
had Push your tongue down and front.


5.6 /a/-/th

Staying healthy

level Tip

High lntermediate/Advanced

Worksheel None
Base communicative practice with problem vowels on words or groups of words which contain the vowels.

Description The sample activity is taken from Focus on Pronunciation 3 (Lane 2005c, 20) and provides communicative practice with words related to health issues, containjng the vowels /a/ and /e/. After studenls have
practiced the two vowels in conirolled activities, they discuss possible causes for becoming overweight or obese, using words like fat, calories, fast food, exercise, and genetic propensity, which contain these vowels.

1. The list shows some of the causes cited for overweight and obesity. Check the
three that you think are most responsible for these problems. The bold leiters are [a] or [].
a. eating too much


g. lack of information

b. taking in too many

h. genetic propensity

sugar d. eating too much fast food

c. eating too much e. lack of exercise

i. poverty l. wealth


watching too much TV

Compare the causes you checked with your classmates, Do you agree? Talk about your choices and listen while others explain their opinions. Look at the list again, Would you check the same three causes now?




Front and Central Vowels. /e/ , /e/ , /a/, /a/ (kept-cap-cup-cop)


l*/hat the Teacher Should Know The vowels 1n kept-cap-cup-cort are pronounced in the lower front-central region of the mouth.'lhe vowels in kept UE/) and cap (/e/) are fror]t vowels (see /E/-/E/ on p|rge 176), and the votvels in cup (/a/) and cop (/a/) are central vowels.r I Diaflrams of the lip shapes associated with these vowels are very ellbctive in teaching their pronunciation. Most students who can duplicate thc lip shapes can
usually pronounce the \.owels accumtel)'. Some combination of these four vowels is a problem for most students. The quartet of vowels can be presented as a review alter coverinp; specific pairs, snch as





(.^s it7



5.7 /zl /al /al




(kepl-cap-cup-cop): What hugs you?


Adva nced/l nterm ed iate



Direct students' attention to vowel characteristics that they can see. Base communicative practice wlth problem vowels on words or groups of words which contain the vowels.

Description This activiiy can be used to review pairs of vowels already practiced. lf you prefer to use three rather than four vowels, choose the three that calse your students the most difficulty. In many classes, these are lel (as in cap\, lal (as in cup), and /o/ (as in cop). In groups, students discuss things that "bug" them.


Prepare a llst of phrases of bothersome behavrors (e.g., stand ng in l ne). Choose phrases that include words wiih some of the vowels (/:/, lal,lal, or /o/). The examples below are common complaints.

What bugs


kept cell phones tests


cap /a/ Words: cup stqnding in line muggy weather iraffic Jams studying telemarketers my landlord rny brqther

lal Words: cop

hot weather my boss12 rny jqb


vovrl in

.ol /o/

is also dcscribcd ru a central-bxck r,orcl (Avc[ rnd




speaken pronounce the vo\reLtrr







Actiri1' 5.7 contlnued


In class, present the dragram of the four vowels on Worksheet 5./. Dernonstraie ihe vowels, starting wiih kept and cap. Far kept, keep the opening of the mouth small and spread the lips a little. For cap, exaggerate the lip spreading and openness of the mouth, Students repeat. l\4odel cup and cop, keeping the lips very relaxed. Students repeat. Explain that the lips are relatively spread for kl and lal; for /a/ and /o/, the llps are relaxed. Demonstrate djfferences in the openness of the mouth. l\lodel cup and kept, keeping the opening of the mouih small. Students repeat. lvlodel cap and cop, exaggerating the openness of the moLth. Students repeat. Explain that for /e/ and /e/, the mouth is relatively closed. For lal and lal, the mouth ls open. using a grid.


4. ln addition to the lip diagrams, you can present the dlfferences

5. Ask each student to

say the four words: kepi, cap, cup, and cop. Provide

feed back on pronunciation:

. . . .

Cop sounds too close to cupi Open your mouth more for cop. Cap sounds too close to copi Spread your lips more for cap. lVove your tongue front. Cap sounds too close Cop sounds too close

to kept; Open your mouth more Ior cap. to cap: Move your tongue back for

6, On the board, write "What bugs you?" Below that, make four columns conesponding to the four vowels. Then write the preselecied phrases containing the target vowels (or use the phrases above) in the columns, underlining the targei vowels. Explain vocabulary (e.g., "bug" is slang for "bother"). Tell the class that the phrases on the board describe things that bug people. 7. lVodel the words and phrases in each column. Students repeat. Provjde feed back on the vowels. 8. Students list on a piece of paper three things that bug them. Encourage them to use words and phrases frorn the board or add their own pet peeves (whether they contain the target vowels or not). 9. Students work in small groups and compare the things that bug them.

10. After the group work, ask several students what bugs them, Provide feedback on pronunciation of the target vowels.





C.nt"ul vo*.lsz /a/ and /a/ (nut-not)

What the Teacher Should Know

/e/ nut. Thc

vowel ln nut (/a/,"sc]n:wa") is a mid-central r.'orvel.The tongue is in the center of the mouth, neithef high nor low, front nor back.The lips are sLightly open and relaxed.The tongue position for ,/a,/ is close to the rest position of the tongue.


-=.-\ (H{ \


This vowel occurs as a stressed vowel in words like nut and nrtmber and, as the yowel of most unstressed s)4lables, as in "ag6" (ago) and, "jlz,las" Cjealous), makinEi it the most cofirmon yowel in English (see Unstressed Vowels, Word Stress).1l It is also the pronunciation of the English hesitation word rzl:, used when speakers need time to think. In this book, the symbol /e/ is used for both the stressed vo\rel in number an(I the unstressed yowel in cfgo (see also I)auer 1993), Other authors use the symbol /A/ for tbe stressed vowel (as j.n n mbet m6ther) and /a/ for unstressed vowels (as rn !!Eo, jealous).In some NAE dialects, the tongue may be slightly lower for the stressed version /A/ and slightly higher for the unstressed version ,/a/. These differences are unimportant for ESL students. For many students, /a/ is a new vowel.Japanese, French, and Spanish students may conflise lt with /o/ (as in not). Polish students may confttse it with // (as in net). Greek students may confuse it with /a/ ot /o/.

father (/o/) is a low central or lorn back-central ^nd, vowel (Avery and Ehdich 1992,30).The tongue is in the center or back center of the mouth;the mouth is open, and the lips are relaxed.

/o/ not. The l'owel in not

not /o/




Students who haye first learned British English may pronounce /o/ with an "o" sound, especially in words where the .!.owel is also spelled with the letter ,,o,, (^s in poL lock, sbot, bot, possible, and, moclern). Native speakers of languages like Spanish or Polish, which are spelled phonetically, ma1, use rhe ,,o,, pronunciation because of spelling. Students may also confuse the yowcls in pol | /0/ ) rnd bought \ /J/ t. Iyhen native speakers ofromance langualaes lenrn that the vowel in worcls like po' lock, and moclern is /o/, they may substirute their native_language vowel, producing a sound that is close ro English ,/a/ (a vowel that is farther forward in the mouth than English /o/), so thatpot sounds close to pat.

Spelling of /a/ arrd /o / Spelling is a sonrce of mispronunciation fof well as for ,/o/.


which is spellecl in nanv ways. as

mother, brolher, monel', love





5,8 /a/ and /o/: Prcsenting /a/ and /o/(nut'noo





Direct students' attention to vowel characteristics that they can see.

Description Guided by mouth shapes lor lal and /o/, students learn to pronounce the difference between the two vowels.


Direct students' attention to the mouth shapes of the two vowels on Worksheet 5.8.
l\4odel nut, keeping your mouth almost closed and your {ips relaxed Students repeat. Ask students whether your mouth is more open or closed.



lVodel not, exaggeratlng the openness of the mouth and keeping the lips relaxed. Students repeat. Ask students whether your mouth is more open or closed
Ask each student to say nut and noi. Provide feedback on their pronunciationsr

. .

ivut sounds too close to nof: Close your mouth. (Or, keep the inside of your mouth small.)
Not sounds too close to nutr Open your mouth


5.9 /a/:

Luck or skill?


Page 235


Base communicative practice wiih problem vowels on words or groups of words which contain the vowels.

Description This activity practices the pronunciation of /a/ in the word luck.

1. 2.

lVlake sure students can pronounce the vowel

in /uck (see Presenting /a/ and

/o/, above).
Write s0me expressions that include the word /uck on the board. lVodel

the expressions.


lots of


try your


down on your luck


Ask students to volunteer other expressions that include the word /ack, and add them to the board.




Actiuw 5.9 continued

4. 5.

Read the quotations on Worksheet 5.9 to students. Go over vocabulary, but do not paraphrase the quotes. Students will do thjs in small groups. Ask each student to choose a quotation and read it. Provide feedback on the pronunciation oI luck.

ln groups, each student chooses one or two quotations to paraphrase. The group discusses the quotation and students agree or disagree with it. Students also d iscuss this questionl


Do you think you are a lucky person, an unlucky person, or that luck isn't very important in your life? Explain.

When the group work has finished, ask individual students to explain the role luck plays in their lives. Provide feedback on the pronunciation oI luck.


Back vowelst


arld /o/ (boot-book)

V{hat the Teacher Should Know

/rtw/ booL

The vowel in boot /u.w/ is a high, back-tense yowel. The body of the tongue rises up ;Lnd back; the lips round for the beginning of the yowel and continue rounding to the glide ending (/w/).

boot /uw/

Many languages have a pure vowel /u/ that sounds similar to English /uw/ (as in bool).The glide ending of /uw,/ is difficult for students to hear, and they are likely to substitute the native-language pure vowel /u,/ (as in French tort meaning "a11"). In vowel-vowel sequences in which,/uw,/ is the first vowel (as in ruin),Ihe glide ending (/w,/) links to the follov/ing voweL (ru*in) and is easier to hear than when a consonant follows /us/ (as in root)-The glide ending is important when a vowel follows because it creates a new syllable.This occurs both within words (as '1n ruin) and acrcss word boundaries as in do- i/).The glide ending of /uw/ is rarely reflected in spelling.

Do" ii.




/u/ book.

does not The vowel n book (/u/) is a ncw vowel for most students '/u/ common words' such as very occru in many English words but does occur in some good, book' look, ar'(l lL'otnan' uctukl. cottltl, sltttuld, is more cenftalized /u/ is a high back lax vowel Comparecl to /uw'/' the tongue forwarcl from its Position for /uw/; the lips are dropping slightly down ancl with


less roundecl than thcy are for

/uw/ (^s rt]. boot)'

book /u/

and /u ' making Although students may Lrse a pure tcnse vowel '/u'l for both /u/ few minimal pairs little difference befween pairs ltkc Luke ttnd lortk' therc are topic' a""f"i"g ,f-tata two vowels, and the contrast is a low-priority pronuflciation of /c/ lhat On the other hand, there are some odd-soundiflg Pronunciations .cd.In uromdn' lttoul(l, lttld uvol' vvhere the consoniu.rt /w/ precedes should be acldress Korsm' may the inidal /u/, natiYe speakers of JaP:mese espcciall-v and sometimes distracting mispronunciation' which /w/, pronorncinli uotnalt ^s 'oion ftut is a of tllis problem)' t e adciresied (see Glicles, page 149, fbr error correction

In some There is native English diatect variation involving /ww/ antl /u/ ancl rootn with the /uw/ vowel' clialects, natiYe speakers pronounce rooJ; hoof' There is also dialect while others pronounce some or all of these worcls with /u/ speakers yariation in /u/: in the word s.fu , plt ' and bull ' fbr cxample' some native rrse a vowel close to /a/. uniaersit!' the Yowel unit' music. IL music, cute, bedut!. ' union' who ,^nd learned British English ti Students hale spelle.t with ,r is pronouncecl /yuw'/ tune /nyo\vz/ and /t)'uwn/ (instead of the NAE /nuwz/ iluy pr.rno,ln.. nins ^nd ^s long as the word is and /tuwn/). The British pronunciation is acceptable as

problem associated with Integrating Gramrnar and Pronunciation' A common stu'leflts may use the afticle an the letteru involves gramntar an'l pronunciation unique becanse the words start with befofe words like unitn' uniuersit\' LtTtit' arrd is usecl before words beginning with x vowel leffef. Students need to learn that arz the first sound in words a vowel sound (regardless of the beginning lctter) Since article a must be used (see Articles' like union ot urliuersity is /y / (v consonant)' the
page 61).
(/]y' + Although the seluence /lLl\y' is a consonxnl plLrs vorelscqlrerlce () \'i'1' versll sLudenlrj lo co use is pr)nLlncidion witll /u$y'



il is includcd herc becal$c its qtlling oltcn leads




Spelllngs of /tuw/ (boot),


alad /lrrtw/ (music) /uw/ is the letter sequence oo (as in book and boot). This oveflap in spellin!! makes it difficr t for students to predict

/u/ (book),

A common spellir.rg of both /U/

boot, shoot, root, noon, food, school, soon, too oo (word ends in silent e)
choose, loose, soothe

student, truth, iunior

u (word ends in silent e)

June , rule, true , include

do, who, movie , whose , lose, move you, ItqUp, through

lev/, grew, threw, flew

sg!t, juice,


book, look, foot, good push, fr.rll. put. sugar

would, coulcl, should

cute , pure , confuse, music

beaury beautituI




Activity 5.10 Integrating Gammat and Pronunciation: lndetinite Articles beforc

Level Tip

lntermed iate/Advanced

Worksheet None
lntegrate vowel pronunciation with grammar practice.

Descr:ption This activity can be added to grammar work on indefinite articles. lt provides practice choosing between a and an with words beginning with the letter u.

1. 0n the board, write

nouns or noun phrases in which the first word begins with the letter u. lnclude words where u is pronounced /yuw/ (e.g., unit, union) and words where u represents a vowel (e.9., umbrella, uncle). Before each noun phrase leave a blank for the indefinite article. Sample words are


be low.





useful tool






Ask students to say the words on the board. Write the pronoun you on the board. Ask a volunteer to come to the board. The volunteer will record the class's answers to questions 1 and 3 below. Ask the class the following questions:

. . . .

Look at the words beginning with the Ietter u. Circle words where the letter u sounds like the pronoun you.

ls the first sound of the pronoun you and the circled words a consonant or vowel?
When the circled words require an indefinite article, should Write an indefinite artlcle before each phrase.

it be a or


What is the rule for choosing between a and an? Does it depend on the first sound of The word or ihe Ii\I lettet?


Back vow el:

/ow/ (go)

what the Teacher Should Knoqr' The vowel in go (/ow/) is a mid-back tense vowel. The body of the tongue pushes back and up a little and the lips are rounded; the lips continue rounding
through the vowel to create the glide ending /w,/.






In many languages, the vowel corresponding to /oIv/ is a pure vowel, /o/ (as in the Spanishpo.4 meaning "little"), $'hich lacks the glide ending /w/. Substitutions of /o/ fot /ow/ arc a maior source of mispronunciation of this vowel.r5 In words like folk and focus, the pure-yowel proriunciation produces pronunciations that can
embarrass students.

of /ow/, once it has been pointed out. They may have difficulty,

Most students do not have difficulty hearing or pronouncing the glide ending

remembering to pronounce it since it is rarely reflected in spelling. Spanish students may be better able to notice the glide ending if the symbol /ou/ (rather than ,/ow,/) is used to represent the yowel.The glide ending of /ow/ is important to teach. Students may confuse the vowels in boat (/ow/),pot (/o/), anrJ bougltt (h/), pronouncing all three words with a similar vowel. This niay occur because of spelling (the letter o can represent all three vowels, as in home /ow/, sbot /a/, afld /oss D/) or because they have learned British pronunciations ofthese vowels, which have a more "o"-like sound thafl the NAI versions. If the ,,o,:like pronunciation of /o/ words (such as lrot, k)ck, sbop) is not distmcting and does not reduce intelligibiliry students do not need to "unlearn,' the British pronunciations. Some students, however, do use conftlsing pronunciations with specific pairs of vrords involvin g /o/ UJ/) and /ow/,like uant and uon ? When both words sound the same, pronunciation should be addressed.


The pure


does nol exist in NA! xcepl



few erpresions. such as d rc

fi$tpaft al0h


/a'tau/. This warning is also

writttn 'Uh-oh,"


is pnnounced with





Activity 5.'!1 /ow/ or


"o" Spellings




Teach exceptional or confusing spellings associated with vowel sounds.

Descript:on This activity targets words where ihe letter o is pronounced /ow/ or /o/. Students sort the words according to the pronunciation of the vowel. Teachers should look through past readings or vocabulary that studenis have covered and select words where the stressed vowel is spelled with o (as in possible, stolen) and pronounced either /ow/ or /o/. The activity can be made more challenging by including words in which the letter o is pronounced lal (as in moneD.


Prepare a list of words where the stressed vowel is spel ed with o and pronounced either /ow/ or /o/. The sample words below, where the o spelling is pronounced /o/, are ones my students often mispronounce. possible cold potent

nqtice modern

gone bone






college stole



Write the words on the board or present them ln a handout. Add two column heads to the board that corresponds to the two pronunciat ons.

/oM (go)

/o/ (father)





5. 1

I continue/l

lAnswers: /a/ wordsr p6ssible, m6dern, shop, gone, bother, pr6blem, r6tten, lost, m6nster, college; /ow/ words: cold, p6tent, folk, most, n6tice, groceries, hold, bone, a lone, stolel

3. 4,

IVodel the words. Students repeat.

Using the handout (or copying the column headings onto a piece of paper), students write each word under one of the columns, according to the pronunciation of the vowel. This can be done singly or in patrs. belong in the two columns.

5, Ask a volunteer to come to the board, The class tells the volunteer which words

6. Elicit from the class other

words spelled with o and clarify questions about pronunciation. Your students may volunteer words that are pronounced with vowels other than /ow/ or /o/. ln that case, model the pronunciation and explajn that lowl and lol are common pronunciations of this spelljng but not the on ly ones.





Y/hat the Teacher Should Know The vowel /r/ (as in caught, bought, and lala) is a low, back, slightlv rouncled vowel.There is a great deal of dixlect variation in how native speakers pronounce this yowel, what words thcy pronounce it in, and whether they pronounce it at all. Many native speakers do not use /1,/ at alljinstead, they use the yowel in cot (/o/). These speakers do not make a pronunciation distinction between paks Like caught_ cot and lctn-la (the musical note). In NAI dialects that distinguish caugbt and cot, h/ m y have more or less of an ',o,' sound. In addition, speakers who contrast D/ ,Ind /o/ (as in cauglJt-cot) do not alwa_vs pronounce /J/ in the same words; some speakers, for example, use /J/ (as in dog) y/hile others use /o,/. Students who have learned British English may pronounce this vowel so that it sounds close to /ow/ (i.e., lau sounds like *low"). if this pronunciation is confusing, instruct students to liil/e this yowel more of an .,ah,' sound.
Teachers whose dialects do not include ,/J/ need not teach this vowel. Students, however, shor:ld bc aware of its use in dialects in the Northeast and in other pafts of the United States and Canada. Reco(lings of dialects can be fourd on the American Dialect Society's Web site, www.americandialect.orfa, or on the University of Kansas's International Diale cts of English A-rchi\.e Web site, http://web.ku .eclu/ideal .




Spellings of


pause, author, caution,


law, jaw, dawn, draw coffee, off, on, song, cost

t4!k, always, salt, call

ERR0R C0RRECTION: zarz sounds like "low"i bougltt sounds like "boat"' Instruct students to pronounce lau (or bougllt) with an "ah" sound instruct them not to round their lips too much when they say words like bougbL lalu, ot Pquse


otnn norrgs, /ay/ (bigtr), /aw/ (hont), and /oy/ (boy)

v/trat the Teacher Should Know The vowets in rrgh /^v/,hou /alv/, and boy /oy/ are diphihongs;these vowels are also known as the pain Yowels-Ay! ow! oyl Although both diphthongs (/ay/,/'dw/,/oy/) and glide vowels (,/iyl [see], /ey/ is tstryl, /ow/ [so], xnd /\w/ [sue]) encl in glides' the glide ending in diphthongs travels in easier for students to hear than in glide vowels.The distance the tongue moying between the two pafts of 2 diplrthong (for example , between /^/ and /y/ in glide vowels (for example, between ,/a,y/) is greater thari the clistxnce involYed with greater distance creates a larller perceptlral difference, /i) and /y/ in /i)'/). The
making the two patts of a diphthong easy to hear' Diphthongs /ay, aw, oy,/

clide Yowrls /iy.

ey. ow.





The consonalls /s, z, r,/ arc eraltplcs 0l contln,lan$.


conti ltutls. thc

,rir is obstructed but nol






There are some dialect differences in the pronunciation of diphthongs. Some Southemers pronounce the glide ending of diphthongs weakly in informal speech;for example, o/ may sound similar to "ole" or ,,all,', and time may x]iltnd a little Iike .Tom.,,

Few students have problems hearing or pronouncing English diphthongs.

when these vowels are followed by nasd consonzurts, as in time or count. Therpronnnciation of time, fot example, may soru]d close to Tont (similar to the Southerners' pronunciation). The phonetic symbol ,rai,/ is more effective than /avl ir.r efrof coffection of this problem. Diphthongs pfoyide an oppoftunitF ro pfactice r'owel-r'owel sequences and the correct s]4labification of words liirie science (sci|ence). The lilicle ending of the diphthong acts as a linking sound, joining to the following vowel to create the next
svllable'. scilence.

Chinese students may weaken the glide ending of ,/ay,/ (and to a lesser extent


Activity 5,12 Vowel-vowel sequences: Fields of Etudy

level Tip


Worksheet None
Base communicative practice with problem vowels on words or groups of words that contain those vowels.

Description This activity practices joining diphthongs Uay, aw, oyl) or glide vowels (/iy, ey, ow, uw/) to a following vowel (vowel-vowel sequences) in ihe context of fields of study: biology, psychiatry, meteorology. Because of its connection with science, this topic is appropriate for lTAs or
students in academic English programs.

1. 0n the board, write words containing a diphthong or glide vowel fo lowed by

another vowel: soctety, psychiatry, zoology.


l\4odel the words and ask students how many syllables are in each word (there are four syllables in socivety, zo*ology, and psychlatry). Students rnay erroneously identify soclety a foursyllable word, as a three-syllable word because they fail to hear or pronounce the glide /y/ which creates the additronal syl/able: socttety. lxplain that when two adjacent vowel letters represent different vowel sounds, the two vowels are in different syllables and the syllables are joined wjth an unwritten lyl (e.9., socivety, or twt (e.g.,




Write a superscript y or ry between the vowel-vowel sequences on the board and model the words again, emphasizing the dtfferent syllables. Students repeat.
names of other scientific fields and/or terms (for example, meteorology, geology, nuclear medicine, sociology, political science, radiology) and add them to the board. Not aIl words must have vowel vowel sequences.

4. Elicit from students 5.

In pairs, students discuss which fields are lrkely to have the hlghest paying






Chinese students pronounce tirne like "Tor ," arrd explain


Chinese students are unaware that they are weakening glide endings befofe


/n/ or



("s in time, explqin\. Write the mispronounced word on the board, underlining the problem Yowel ( e.g , tlme, fi,nd, exptglln, trqln).under the Yowel write the phonetic symbol /ail (for time an<lfinD or /ei/ (fot exptain ?;nd train).^lelJ the student that she is not proflouncing dre second part of the vowel sound strongly enough whef' /m/ ot /,/ fol' lows. Model the correct and incorrect pronunciations. Alternatively, model the word without the final nasal consonant; say "tie" instead of "dme," "tray" instead of "tlain," and "explay" instead of "explain." Ask the student to repeat the shortened word seYeral times, iust as you said it.Then ask the student to say the shortened word (e.g., "tie") and add,/na/ or / .



Vowels and z-colored vowels

strat the Teacher Should Know

,R-Colored Vowels. R-colored vowels ere Yowels followed by /r/ (e 8., are, or, ber)' The tip of the tongue cuds up and slightly back (retroflexiofl) at the end of the vowel and alters (colors) the sound ofthe vowel These vowels are difficult and their mispronunciation can make wortls unclearThey should be taught at all levels

Some speakers from the Noftheast pfonounce merry and Maryl with the same vowel (/meriy/) btt many with a different Yowel (/meriy/) A sm2tller number of speakers nake a three-way clistinction:J44ry /meyrry/ ' merry /meriy/' and marry /meriy/. Most spezLkers of NAE, however, pronounce all three words the same, with the vowel of merry. Teachers may wonder whether retroflexion with these Yowels must be taught, since there are r.less dialects of Engtish (British English ancl some dialects of NAI)' Howeyer, native speakers of these dialects do not simply "drop" /r/'so that four atTd

There are clialect differences in the pfonunciation of some r-colored vowels'




ifog for

example , sound the same. The vowel which remains in r-less dialects is different from its counterpart before other sounds.Thus, to achieve an accurare /less pronunciation of thc vowels ii hear /ft/, bait /Er/, trer /ar/. haftt /o , more /or/,a'17d tour /ur/, tlte student needs to alter her pronunciation of six vowel sounds (the r-colored versions of /r, r, a, o, o, u,/). Learnin!! to pronounce a following /r,/ is an easier task itnd produces the reqrdred "cok)ring" of tlte l.owel. In addition. even in rless dialects, final /r/ is pronounced as a linkir]g consonant when a vowel follows, as rn heq_ansuter. .lenkins (2002) irlso recornmends teaching the pfonunciation of /r/ aftcJ these six vowel sour]ds, rather than their r-less

two-syllable words: ,/warald,/ and ,/garal/. 'the word squirrel, with the same sequence, is spelled as a two-syllable word. Pronouncing u.torld ,,nLl gid as t:wo syllable words gives students more time to m'tke the articrjlxtory chanlle from/r,/ to /l/. Early has a similar sequence, but is easier to pronounce because ,/l/ begins the
last syllable.

cor-lnterparts (see Lingua Franca Cofe, page 9). Pedaliogicall,v, the three mosr important and difficult r-colored vowels are /ar/ (.as in lser), /or/ (as in bard), and, /or/ (^s in rzore). Mispronunciations of these vowel sounds are especially distorting. For many students, the vowel in lter is the most difficult.This \,.owel is really a unitary yowel eyen tlroulah it is represented wirh two phonetic symbols (,/arl).r7 The spellings ot /ar/, /or/,and, /arl also o\Iedap and afe anotlrer source of mispronunciation. R{css pfonunciations of thc vowels in t,eat, bair, and tour (/n/, /tr/, /ur/ ) are not as difficult to understand. Certain sounds following /r/, especiallv /n/ and /1/, can make the r-colored vowels more difficult. Students who ltave learned to pronolmce the r-colorecl \.owels in words like lJurt and first may still ha\.c difliculty q/ith learn, burn, and turn. One of the most difficr t sequences of sounds is that in u'ort(l and girl.'Ihe pronunciation of these words is learned morc easily when thel/ a1e presented as

Spellings of


/ar/, and /ot/.

Spellings of /arl.

her, were , serve. alelt

hurt, turn, mulder, chqlch

filst, circle, dirty, birrhday


Other slnbols for this rowel lnclude


$,hen the lo\rcI rs gressed ({s in



/a-l \rhen fie

vo$,el is unstrssed (as in





SpellJngs of


Spellings of


com, store, wore, moming



four, mourn

The r-colordd vowels /at/, /a ,^nd /or,/ are acqlrired gradually They warrant a pronunciation lesson, in addition to error correction and review. R-colored fllll vowels should not be taught as part of a lesson on beginning ,/f/ (for example, the

Sonre speaken pronoun ce Ihe 'tawel

n loumtlnent






/f/ in rou,

(for teaching beginning

red, and correct).Teaching approaches for,/r/ alter vowels (i.e., r-colored vowels) and /r/ in beginning position (as in rou) atf. different. and the pronunciation problems associated with the two positions of h/ arc also different
see Consonants, page 1.i1).1e

glide ending, /a/.2o

Z-colored Vowels. Vowels that occur before ,4/ at the end of a wo rd, (as it all) ot syllable (as ln allaays) are /-colored vowels. The vowel is pronounced with a short
feel sell





Z-coloring of vowels is a topic for accent reduction and polishing, and does not have to be covered in most classes. Howeye! students may notice that a vowel before /l/ sounds different from irs .rcgular,' pronunciation before other consonants. When working with minimal palrs like feet_Jill, where yowels occur before ,/l/, students may comment that the vowels sound different from the vowels in leaue-liue. The teacher can explain that the vowels sound a little different because of the /l/ sorurct. In some textbooks, /l/ coloring may be part of a lesson on "diltk /l/" (see /l/,page 144).

Activity 5.13 R-Colored vowel* presenting r-colorcd vowels and /or/ (o.)







Worksbeet Page 235


Use hand gestures to reinforce the pronunciation of /r/ after vowels.

Description Students learn to pronounce /r/ after vowels by using a combination of diagrams showing articulation and hand gestures that mimic retroflexion of the tongue"


Using the diagram on the worksheet, direct siudents,attention to the crosssectional diagram of /r/. N4odel are. Explain the pronunciation of /r/: The tip of the tongue turns up and back a lit e.
(continued on fiext page)


rchoflexion h-ihe pedagogical locus for the /-colorcd vowels. for beginring betwen the tongue tip and the top of the mouth arc both impoftnt. ,'dark 'zo A1temativel11 tlrc /a/ glide can be consjdercd part of the /,, (see /l/, Consonants).


rchof]exion and the absence ofconta.t





3 continued


Use hand gestures to reinforce the retroflexed movement (up and back) of the tip of the tongue. This gesture is also useful for feedback and error correction. As you say are, start with your hand flat, palm facing up, and curl your fingertips up. Tell students that your hand represents the tongue.21


Tell siudents to make a long "ahhhh" sound and then slowly turn the tip of the tongue up and back (this is the pronunciation of are). Use the hand gesture as a visual model. Students may be able to pronounce /r/ more easily if they close their eyes and visualize the tongue tip turning up and back, Ask each student to say are. Use the hand gesture to re nforce pronunciation.


5. Direct students' attention to the diagrams of the mouth shapes for

larl (her),


lorl (are), lorl (or). Remind students that inside the mouth, the tongue tlp

turns up and back a little.

6, IVodel are again. Explain that the rnouth is open. Inside, the tip of the tongue turns up and back. Students repeat. Use the hand gesture to reinforce

pronunciation of /r/.


IModel her. Explain that the mouth is nearly closed. lnside, the tip of the tongue turns up and back. Students repeat, Use the hand gesture to reinforce

pronunciation of /r/.


l\4odel or. Explain that the lips are rounded, Inside, the tip of the tongue turns up and back. Students repeat. Use the hand gesture to reinforce pronunciation

oI lrl

Ask each student to say are, her, and or. Provide feedback on pronunciation.


n:riewer suggests thalneadng a rcd milten adds an eLement

oifun lo

the prcscntxtlon.


V,,$els 197

Activity 5.14 fhe Herc and Now

level fip


Wotksheet None
Use hand gestures to reinforce the pronunciation of /r/ after vowels.

Description This activity practjces /r/ after vowels in words referring to classroom objects. The act,vity should follow presentation of /ar/,larl, and lorl but js not restricted to words containing only these vowel sounds.


Ask students to look around the room and volunteer words for the things they see.


Write the words on the board and circle those that have /r/ after a vowel; examples include door, floor, blackboad, purse, paper, shirt, skirt, chair, and water (bottle). Students practice the words.
Provide feedback on pronunciation of /r/, using the hand gesture described on p. 196.


The pronunciation ofyowels is difficr t for students partly because English has relatively large number of vowels.Teachers should focus on high-frequency vowels and vowel contrasts, such as the front and central vowels. Among those, nonnative Engish-speaking teachers should select vowels that they pronounce accurately and feel comfoftable teaching. English vowels are also diflicult because of confusing ancl inconsistent spellings. \We have provided some examples of actiyities which help

eliminate "spelling mispronunciations,', by focusing students on exceptional spellings. Finally, vowel articulation is difficult for teachers to describe and for students to yisualize.We haye proyided some vowel presentation activities in which teachers provide visual clues to vowel pronunciation. Hand Flestures that mimic the pfonunciation of ,/r/ after vowels are effective in presenting and giving feedback on these clifficult vowels. The distinctiye mouth shapes associated with some yowels also simpli8. the task of presenting pronunciation. In the classroom, students shoulcl have enough opportunity to gain skill with a particular vowel (or yowel contmst) in controlled activities. Once students are able to pronounce a vowel reasonablv accurately in contfolled practice, the teacher can mo\.e to mofe communicatiye practice by selecting a key word or set of words containing the vowel to establish a context fof less-scripted speaking.

The following pages provide directions for using the worksheets with the activities

Activity 1.7: Make enough copies of

Worksheet 1.7 for half the studeltts. Cut the sets apart and distdbute Set I to half the class and Set 2 t() the other half'

in Tips for Teaching Pronunciation. The x/orksheet numbers match the activity numbers; if an activity


not listed below. no worksheet is needed for that activity. If a worksheet has qustions for students to answer, th answers follow the directions. In order to save pape! teachers may elect to use the
blackboard, slides, or transparencies to present worksheets intended for the entife class. Materials intended for only one member of a pair (or one team of students) should be provided as paper handouts. Make a copy of Worksheet 1.1 class. Have students read along as they listen to the paragraph on the audio CD (trdck 2). Then have students complete the trivia quiz. Ans.oers: 1. a; 2. c: 3. d;4. c; 5. b; 6. a: 7. c: B. d.

Activity 1.8: Make a copy of Worksheet 1.ll

for every student in the class. Have students read along as they listen to tlte audio CD (track.1).
Ansuters: 1.f (tbe);2. c (tbe);.). b (the);4..1 (the); i.b (the):6..i (notbing):7.k (the);8.I (Jout);9. g (your); 10.d (an); 11.e (an); 12.i (a).

Actiyity 1.9: Make

a copy of W'orkshet 1.9

for every student in the



class. Have students read along as they listen to the words on the audio CD (track 5).

for each student in the

Activity 1.10: Make enough copies of

\Vorksheet 1.10A for evcry student. Have students read along as they listen to the audio CD (track 6). Nlake enough copies of Worksheet 1.10B for half the studeqts. Cut 1.108 ir half so every student gets one set of questions. The answers are part of the worksheet.

Activity 1.2: Make

a copy of Worksheet 1.2

class. as many copies

for each student in the

Actiyity 1.3: Make half


each schedule as there are students in the class. Give half the students Schedule A and half Schedr e B. Pair up students with different schedules. If ]'ou choose, you can substitute different programs for those on the schedule to reflect TV shows vour students like to watch.

Actiyiry 1.11: Make

a copy of Worksheer

1.11 for cveq. student. Students work in

pairs to answers the questio[s.

Ans.4)ers: L the I95Os;2.tbe 193Os:3.tbelate 192os and earl! 193Os;1. the 1910s; i. tbe 1960s;6. the 1930s and 191Os;7. tlre 199Os; B. tbe 196Os;9. tbe 198Os: lO.tlte 1970s: 11.tbe

l92Os:12.the 1950s.

Activity 1.4: Make half

as many copies


each map as there are students in the class.

Activity 2.1: Make

(trdck 7).

a cop_v of Worksheet 2. I

for each student in the

Give half the students Map A and half Map B. Pair up students with ditTerent maps.

class. Haye students read alonEi as they listen to the audio CD

Activity 1.6: Make

a copy of !trorksheet 1.6 for each stuclent in the class. Have students read along as they listen to the audio CD (track 3). Have students work jn pairs to

Activity 2.4: Make a copy of Worksheet 2.4 for each sudent in the class. Have students
read along as thy listen to the audio CI) (track 9). A su)ets: 1. h;2. c; 3..l;4.f;5. e;6. a;7. b; a. g.

decide which came first.

Arasuters: cell pbones, coml.)utcr games, desktops, e-mail, bard dir.Jes, searclr engines, confbtence

Activity 2.6: Make

a copy of Worksheet 2.6

class. Have students

calk, liuer tu'anspl"1nts, ftnperprinting.

for every student in the




Activity worksheets

read along as they listen to Part A of the audio CD track 10. Pause the audio, then continue listening to Part B (track 1 1)

Actiyity 3.8r Make Activity 4.3: Make

(track 18).

a copl' of Vorksheet 3.8 a

for each student in the class

when ready.

copl of Wo*sheet 4.3

for each student in the

Marke enough copies

Activity 2.7,


class. Have students read along as they listen to the audio CD

Worksheet 2.7 for half the class. Give half the students Grid A and half the students Grid B. Students with different grids will pair up and work together

Answers: pretU) ; ma tter: rneeting; inrlted: Wbat A geftinll; later; betler;W)at do.

Activity 2.9t Make a copy of \trorksheet 2.9 for each student in the class. Have students read along as they listen to the audio CD (track 12).

Activity 4.4: Make half

Vorksheet 4.4
class. Give Chart A

as many copies of as there are students in the

to hall the class and Chart B to the other half. Students with different charts will pair up and work

Actlvity 2.10: Make

a copy of worksheet 2.10 for every sudent in the class. Have students read along as they listen to the audio CD (track 13). Ansuers: 1. utben;2. and; 3. Or;4. if;5. that; 6. tbat 7. hut; B. than;9. as; lO. as; I 1. wben;
12. wben.

Actiyity 4.5: Make one copy of Worksheet

4.5 for each student in the class.

Activity 4.7: Make

a copy of worksheets 4.7A. J.n(I1t.7B for each student in the class.

Actiyity 2.13r Make

a copy of Worksheet 2.13 for each student in the class. Hayc students read along as they listn to th audio CD (track 14).
a copy of Worksheet 3.1 for each student in the class. Have students read along as they listen to the audio CD

Actiyity 3.1: Make

(track 15).

4.7,4. before the activity; have students read along as they listen to the audio CD (track 19). Distribute \trorksheet 4.78 at the conclusion of the activity. Explain that students may want to keep the rules where they can easily refer to them.

Distribute Workslleet

4nsrrers.' r=ft\ t uo rd s. fi.( e.\pe n si ue. m k. Xerox, expdnd, tdxes, experl, dxiom, tttd.ximuln, context; x=gz uords: exhibit,


eltist, exbibition, execLrtiue, as many copies of as there are students in the

Activiry J.2: Prepare half rs mdn] copie\

of each chart
as there are students in the class. The categories of comparison in the

exhausted, exdtn, execute; x=z uords: Xerox.

Activity 4.8: Make half

Vorksheet 4.8

charts can be changed to reflect )'our students' situations. For example, if most of your students work, the information under "Location" might be specified as closeness to work rather than closeness to school.

class. Give half the class

'Itam A questions

cive half the students Chart A and half the students Chaft B. Students with different charts will pair up and work together Activity 3.3: Make a copy of \t9orksheet 3.3 for each student in the class. Have students
read along as they listen the dialogue on the audio CD (track 16).

and half the class Team B questions. Tedm A Ansuters: L relnember: 2. rwle: 3. fural; 1. red; 5. ra.lio; 6. riuers; 7. rug;8. utritu. Tearn B arrswers: L rlgbt; 2. relatiues; 3. repdif; 1. (d) ring: 5. (a) rcoJ; (). roses;7. retunx;8. to

Actiyity 4.9. Make

a copy of worksheet .{.9 for each student in the class. a copy of Worksheet 4.11 for eaclr student in the class. Hav students read along as they listen to the audio CD (track 20). P.t t 2 Anstuers: 9. aduise; 10. pig; I 1. rice;

Activity 4.11: Make

Activity 3.7: Make

a copy of Worksheets 3.7A and 3.7B for each student in the class. Students will read along as they listen to the dialogue on the audio CD (rack l7).

12.peas; 13. b.1ck; 11. (a) use; 1 5. haqe; 16. set.


Activity worksheets


lr(fivity 4.12r a copy of Worksheet 4.12 for ezch student in the class.
Actlylty 5.1: Make Activity 5.2: Make
a copy of Vorksheet 5.1
classa copy of \forksheet 5.2 the class, or simply

Activity 5.5: Make

a copy of Worksheet 5.5

class. class.

for each student in the for each student in the

Activiry 5.72 Make a copy of Vorksheet 5.7

for each student iri the

Actiyity 5.8: Make

for each student in pfesent minimal pairs relevant to students'leyel.

a copy of Worksheet 5.8 for each student in the class.

Activity 5.9: Make a copy of \forksheet 5.9

for each student in the class.

Lcttulty 5.4r Make a copy of Worksheet 5.4 for each student in the class. Have students read along as they listen to the audio CD
(track 21).

Acttvtty 5.13: Make

a copy of !florksheet

5.13 for each student in the class.


uords: bead, steal, kq,, cheap,

receiue, people, beliew; /eJ//

utor*: break,

tbq, take, eigbt, baw


/e/ unds: brcakflst

instead, medl.lne, says, /tta/rJ), egain, frierul.



Activity wotksheets

($ wonrsrnnt r.r
Shoulder Season

PRTMARY sTRESS: Travel season


The cost of traveling depends on when you trayel and where you travel. High season is the most expensive time to travel. Low season is the least expensive time to travel. Shoulder season is in between. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, shouldet season is the best time to travel. Airfares and hotels aj:e not so expensive, and the weather is not usually too hot or too cold. Fof example, if you'rc tfaveling to Japan from the United States, the shoulder season is in winter

1. You want to go to South Africa. v/hen is the shoulder seasofl? c. October and November a. January to April d. $finter b. Summef


You want to go to Australia. When is the shoulder season? c. Spring a. Summef d. Octobef b. May to July You want to go to Turkey. when is th shor der season? c. July and August a. Winter


b. March 4.
a. February b. Winter

d. Fall

You want to go to Rio de Janeirc in Brazil. when is the shoulder season?

c. Summe r d. September to December


You want to go to Italy. When is the shoulder season? c. June and July a. Summef d. January to March b. Fall You want to go to Mexico. Vtrefr is the shoulder season? c. Fall a. June and July


b. February to April 7.

d. Winter

You want to go on a safari* in Kenya. When is the shoulder season? c. June to Septembr a. Spring d. Wintef b. February and March You want to go to Costa Rica. When is the shoulder season? c. Winter a. Srunmef d. Mid-october to mid-December b. July and August


* A trip to see wild animals lik elephants and lions.


A.tiyit!, tyL]rlsh.r/s




PRIMARY STRESS: Integrating Stress, Vocabulary, and Reading


Reprinted from rvorthstal 1, Rea.liltg qndr ritil?g 20Oc). pagc I ti. Uretl with pcrmi.iion.

Joho tseaunont, Pcarson Longllran,

lind[ergn Did It!

Paris Exprcss Ng'ys-May 27, 1927


One week


Charles Lindbergh was just a handsome, zs-year-old ainnail pilot from a small town in the United States. "Ibday he is the

he heard was the sound of the wind and the noise flom the engine of thc plane.

He was in the air all alone \,\'ilh his

most famous man in the world and the

most importart man

in the history

thoughts, his hopes, and his fears.

After 3,610 miies, 33 hours and



Last week, Lindbergh flew solo iiom New York to France. He i4'as the first

minutes, and no slcep, Lindbergh landcd in Paris on May 21st. At that mornent, his life changed forever. Thcre wele 15U,000 excited people waiting to greet him. The

pe$on to Ily non-stop across tbe Atlantic Ocean alone. He also set the record for


the longest non-stop flight.

Lindbergh took

international media wcre also there. Photographers and newspaper reporters wanled lo be the flrst to tell the story plane and saw all the excjtemcnt, hc kneh' that his life $'ould never be the
about l-indbergh. When he got out of h:s

offon his historic flight

7152 A.M. People called him "'lhe Flying Fool." On that day, other

on May 20th at

pilots in the contest waited in New York because the weather was bad. Lindbergh did not wait. He took flve sandwiches, a bottle of water, a notebook, a pen, and a compass. He didn't even have a radio. All

same again.

When he beSan lhis dangerous tlight, he was a quiet young man from a quiet town. Thjs mo.ning, "Luck,v l-ilid\"' letl I)arls as an international hero.



Acriv/tt' vvorl-sheets




AIID VOWEL REDUCTION: Today, Tonigltt, and Tomor"rou

TONIGHT 8:00 Ios,


8:00 l'r'ler2d.,i (rerun)

Ameican ldol

5:O0 Live coverage



the presideflt's addrss



lron Man


8:00 9:00

3:00 Enro Cup


Germany vs. Spain 10:00 NBA




Nets versus Suns


Activity Wotksheets



SECOI\DARY STRESS IN 1\[[]MBERST How Many People Live at 44Maifl. Street?


StudentA map

Ilne and First Street.The numbers in rhe buildtng shov how mary popl live ln tlat buildtng. If a building is empty, ask lour prrlner the qusdon below aid wite the answer on the map.
The map shows apaitnent buildings on Mdn Stret, Park

How many people liv at

44 Mah Stret 42 Main Strt 36 Main Street 35 Main Street

tr tr



43 First Stret





Pr* Ilne

@ z

37 Flrst Stieet 33 Fkst Street 22 First Street

F e '4

30 PaIt 24 Pffk




n n


IA2l Studot

B map

The mrp shows aparunnt buildings on Mah Stet, Palt Ilne ard l1lst Shet.The numbers in the buildiry show how people li! Ln that builalha. IJ a buildiig is mptt ark your partner the questton blow and mite the ans*,er on the map.


Hoq/ many people live at

44 Main Stret 42 Main StrEet 36 Maln Stret 35 Main Stret 20 Mdn Street

tr tr tr

46 P,rk


Fl Fl



Fist Sheet







30 Park


n n





33 First St eet 22 First Street

2l First


E tr E

F !r



Activity worksheets

@ womsrmrr
. . . . .


coMporlllDS: v4rich came Flrst?

which came first?

cell phones-iPods computer games-Web sites

laptops-desktops e-mail-podcasts
hard drives-flash drives

. . . .

YouTube-search engines
conference calls-webcams heart transplants-live r transplants

Ilingerprinting- blood typing




women outlive men because thy experience less work-related strss than men. rfomen have a more positive outlook and more practical goals than man

Men are more likely than women to underestimate the dangers of risla behavior In most societis. men oute?rn women and are the main source of farnily income


Activity Wotksheets



womsnnnr r.s
US is

ABBREVIATIONS: Integfating Pronunciation and Grammar

a. "modus operandi," a Latin tefm used in police work fof the method a particular criminal uses in his crimes.


UK is
FBI is CIA is
IRS is

b. the tax collecting agency of the United States



c. a sovereign state that includes England, Scotland,lvales, and Northern Ireland.

d. the intelligence gathering agency of the United




e. a machine that giYes cash.

6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

IBM is UN is

f. the country located between Canada and Mexico.

g. the date and year a person was bom.

EIA is
DOB is

h. the police force of the United Stats govefllmenr.

i. a "Yery important person."

MO is
ATM is

i. a large producer of computefs and other technology.

k. an international organization that aims to maintain wodd peace and solve wodd problems. l. the time a flighr is expecled to arrive.






Activity wotksheets

@ womsunnr




suFFD(ES: wtrat's Presidential?


8. identical 9. ecological

3 .


2. intellectual 3. controversial



5 .



17. iunbitious 18. courageous



5. musician 6. academician

11. realistic 12. energetic

@ womsrmnT
tempefature interest laboratory naturally



separate (adj)



miserable beverages

every cornfortable

favorite accidentally




Activity worksheets





1. What are coffee, tea, sodas, and iuice? 2. What's a singular adiective that means "all"?

fid of a headache? 4. $fhere do scietrtists work? 5. What's a word for "early night'?
3. What do you take to get

6. Your mother, fathef, bfothers, and sisters-what are they? 7. Iphat's a word tha: means "the thing you like best"? 8. Bfoccoli, peas, carrots-what are they? 9. ll(&at's a wofd that means "very"? 1O. What's a word that means "almost"?



(youf) fafi y; 7. favret;

bevreges; 2. evry; 3. aspran; 4. (in) labr3tories; 5. e\.ning; 8. vegtables;9. awfly; 10. practaklyl

1. State government is one leyel of govffrment. What's rhe highest ievel? 2. $fha:'s a s/o:d that means "very unhappy"? 3. What's a word for the money you earn on your sayings? 4. What's an adiective that means the opposite of"together"? 5. What's a word that means the opposite of 'on purpose"? 6. The weather report tells you about this. 7. What's the opposite of"artificia1ly"?

8. What's th opposite of"specific"? 9. This is ahe traditional candy ofvalentine's Day. 10. This is how your favorite chaif feels.

lAnswers: 1. (the) fedral (level); 2. misreblet 3. intrast; .1. seprat; 5. accadently; 6. (th) temprature; 7. natchraly; 8. genral; 9. choclat;
10. comftarbal



A Activity






What Happened in

The 1900s: Name the decade when these events occurred:

1. The Soviet Union launched the first spacecraft (Sputnik 1)-

2. The fiIst Wodd Cup 3. The Grat Depression 4. The fust mas$produced automobiles 5. The fust time man walked on the moon 6. v'odd war II

7. Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa.

8. The first successfirl human-to-human heart transplant 9. The first diagnosed case of AIDS in the United states
10. The Oil Producing afld Exporting Countries (OPEC) embargo on oil shipmeflts to 'West the 11. The word robot was first used.

12. The plastic bag was inYented.


Activity Worksheets


($ womsrunr
Natural tree line




Apple orchard

The BIRDS aBANdoned the FORest.

They BUIIjI their NESTS in the ORchard.

There once was a man with a beaxd, Who said,"It is just as I feared!
Some owlsr and a hen, Some larks2 and a wren,

Are building their nests in my beard!"3


a large night bird with big eyes 'I-arks and wrenst r''pes of birds rlimerick bv Edqrard I err


Who said,"It is iust

There once was a man with a beard. as I feared!

da DA






da da


Are building their nests in my beard!"



A Activity


@ womsurnr
1. dotrom 2. Web site



a. an event where businesses looking for new employees can

meet people lookng for iobs

b. an employment agency (usually for well-paid jobs)

c. cyberspace location
d. the practice of hiring employees located in other countries e. available jobs

3. outsourcing

4. cuttluoat (adj)
5. job market 6. job fair

very competitive

7. headhunter 8. pink slip

g. a notice that

youte been laid off

h. technology business

Discusslon 1. What kird of work

do you do or are you interested in doirg? How do people find jobs in that area? Do they go to job fairs? Web sites? Headhunters? What's the iob rnarket like in that area? do you think of outsourcilg? Is outsourcing an issue in your country? How can it hurt a country? How can it help a country?

2. V/hat


Activity Worksheets


@ wonxsuErr



Part A: Table Manners

There aren't as many opportunities to practice table manners as there used to be. In the United States, most families at meals together only once or twice a week. Howel'e! on holidays or at dinner pafties, families afld friends still gather rogetfier at the same table to share a meal. These are occasions when we can show off our table manners-if we can remembef them. Match pbrases on tbe

Part B: The Do's and Don'ts of Table Manners W ultlr plrra;tes on tlJe liglrt.
Don't fight Don't play Don't talk Don't lean Don't shoot peas
Put your napkin Keep your elbows

with your hands

on your lap

with your mouth firll

at your brother at the table

on the table

with your food with your mouth closed

off the table

Don't eat



Activifl, ltbllsheets





-r--.- X t-_;) ( )

I. ,t:l


lU ldD






s]L/-l lZ.$$\ l--l

\:,tr' ([/

Appf t'iDtx

Aclivity Warkshects





tw,' IE __'1





Activity Worksheets

S womsrnnr2.9

PHRASAI !'ERBS: Don't Put irff Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today

Ai \?hat are you reading?

B: An article about chronic procrastinators. A: That sounds like me. I put evertthing


B: No. Cfuonic procrastination is more serious. Chronic procrastinators put off filing income taxes, cashing checks, even using gift certificates.

A: That's like throwjng money away. That's not me. B: Yeah. They wind up losing their iobs because no one can put up with them. They let down their friends and familySpeaking about putting things gq, have you made up your mind about going back

to school?

No.I'm still up in the air about that.I don't know if I want to trade my iob in for
student life.


Activity worksheets


@ womsnrrr 2.10 NorrcrNcuNsrrnssED co{fuNCfioNS:

Medical Etlrlcs
Hov/ truth.frI should doctors be (1)
is dying, (2)

they know


there's no cure? Should they tell the patient

(3) (5)
Imagine (6)

you'd iust heard your eldedy father had teminal cancer? Would you tell him?

iust his family? What (4)

two people need heart transplants to

there's only one heart



ilable. One person is a father


three young children;the other is a conyicted criminal. The convict is a tjttle higher on the transplant list (8) the father. But is the convict


worthy (10)

the father? Who should get

the heart? Who should decide? How long should patients remain on Iife support (11) there is

Little hope fof recoyery? In the United States, the parient, thfough his instrucdons or his

family usually determines (12)

should make this decision?

the "plug should be pulled:'Who

Dlscusslon How would you answer these questions? In your country who makes these decisions?



Activity worksheets

1. v4mddaya




3. Whatcher



\Vherdaya wanna go?

5. I'll letcha know rqhen I can


6. vftadia


7. V4ratcher phone


8. Whydy ,/waydiy/


9. I wantcha to go.

10. I can readjer mind.


Activity worksheets


6 womsnnrr3.r
Ordering Breakfast

HIGHIIGIITING: Breakfast ln the ReaI Wodd


What would you IIKE?,

)C I'll have EGGS. Waiter: How would you LIKE them? X: SCRAMBLED, please. Waiterr Anlrhing ELSE? X: Just COFFEE, with MILK.
*The waiter might also say,'Are you ready to ORDER?".CaI I iake your ORDER?,,,Ar. you READY?,,



Activiry la/orksheets




Wtrich Apartment is Better?



20-min. bus ride to campus

5-min. walk to campus


Activitv Worksheets


(9 womsrmnr t.:
Ar B:


,4,: Dinner?

B: Sure. Ar Italian? B: No.




A,: Where?



A,: OK.



Activity Wotkheets

womsrrnnr 3.7A

PARENTHETTCATS: You r.ook Pretty Happy, Luke.

Dialogue 1:


You look pretty happy, Luk. What happened?

This is from the law school. I got accepted, it says.



Tharks. Now I'ye got to find a way to pay for it, though. You'll be up to your eyeballs in debt, you know.


but I'll be able to pay it back, I hop.




How's law school, It's OK, It's a lot of work, The f1lst yeaf's the worst,


I'm not suq)rised,


All I do is read and memorize,

Have you decided what kind of law you


vant to go into?
But I haYen't had time to think

Public interest law: about it,


what brings you arorurd here?


I wondered if I could borrow your car this weekend,


Sure. Where are you going?


Well, Sue loves to hike so we're going hjking. It's an easy hjke,


A.lA,/Iv l4/ork-sheels





Happy, Luke.


sir, miss mal-l




they said
she says

they say



I think I'm aftaid I guess

for instancc

lbr example
ancl so on

I'm sure You know it seems



luckil-v, fortunately


thank )'ou if you could

thoutih in fact

if rhat's oK



Activitv wotksheets



Amblguous Dialogues Dialogue

A: B:

Let's go for a dfiye. OK, but I have to do something fust.


1. It's an extremely hot and humid sumner

day, and A and B, husband and wife, don't have air conditioning in their apartment or car. They're both exhausted from the heat. They think that maybe the breeze coming in the car windows will make them feel bette! but they re not very hopeful.


motherfather B is teaching A to dfiye. B beliyes that A is a terrible driver and always dreads helping A practice. A loyes to driye and nevq refuses an opportunity to practice.
B is As

3. A and B are

newll.weds, very much in love. They're going to one of their favorite spots, a secluded lake whefe they fifst met and fll in [oye.








REcocr\[zrNc FrAps
woffied. What's the
Alex's parerits tomoffow. They

You look

B: I'rn
me to

dinner-to their



don't like me?

A: V/hy would you thinl tlnt?

You and Alex have been talking about

married.You'fe going to have to meet his parents sooner

B! I suppose so.I




a present.

you thifk, some flowefs?












1. The tlnited

1. Saudi A-rabia

2. Japan





J. Cl.fna
/r. Gefmany 5. Sonth Korea
(r- France

J. Norw.rv

.i. Iran
5. Vnezuela


6. The United
Arnb Emirates


7. Ital\'

7. Kuwait

8. Spain
9. Inclia 'IO. "laiwan


8. Nigeria
9. Mexico



10. Algctia


'' I

intornxti(n reflects

hc clxlx on oil impor'ts comcs lroln the I J.S. Enerll.i lnfornatiolr Administration for 200.1: the export 2005 dxle (source: $.\\.$..eia.doe.go\').

APTEND/.\A A.tiyit!'|l/crrksheefs







1. The United States 2. Jap^,

1. Saudi Arabia



3. China 4. Germanv
5. South Korea

3. Norway


4. Iran


5. Venezuela


6. France

6. The United
Arab Emirates

7. llu'ly


7. Kuwait 8. Ni{aeria


8. Spain




9. Mexico
10. Algeria


O- Taiwan

*'fhe data on oil imports concs fiom thc U.S. Efleryt Informatior Adn]inistratio[ lbr 200'1; llle cxporr infolmation rcflects 2005 data (sourcer www.eja.doe.go\').



Activity worksheets




Present Continuous a'ral -ing


wonxsrrnrf 4.7A pRoNrNcrAfioN oF x..spelling

and sounds

Decide how "x" is pronounced in the words below. Write each word under the first, second, or third column below the words.

fL'( expensiye exhibit examine mix Ierox exhibition executive exhausted exam taxes expect maximum execute axiom

exist expand





At tivtt'/



WORI$HEET 4.78 PRONf]NCIATION OF r.'Spelling and Sounds

1. li. at the beginniflg of a word is prono'rnced /z/ (there are vcry 1ew of these words in Bnglish).

xrox box l.
/ks/.1 exercise

is pronounced /ks/.

2. X at the end of a word


X preceded by

a stressed vowel and

followcd by another vowel is pronounccd


raxi (taksi)

4. x followed by 5. X

a stressed vowel is pronounced /gzl.

exemple(egzample) exdggemte(eg:zaggerntc) ex,ct(egzact)

is pronounced ,/ks/ before most consonants.


(eksplair) extinct


lsome speakers pronounce exl,

"eksitt" while othcrs pronourcc it as 'clzit." Some speakers usc

both pronuncilrtions.










The R Game

Diagtatn of


Questiofls for Team A:

What s th opposite of./oryet?

2. V4nt's the opposite of polite? 3. \I{ut's the opposite of urb(Ln? 4. Mix blue with this color to get purple. 5. Befbre TV, pcople listenecl to lhe 6. Wlar are thc Mississippi and rlte Nile? 7.'s a synonyrn fot cqrpet? 3. fise a pencil or pen to do this.

Diagran of


Questions for Team B: 1. What s the opposite ()f a,ror?g? 2. \'ouf lrncles. cousins, grandparents, and nephew 3. This is a \\''old that neans "fix."
,1. X)u wear this on your lcft hand when )'ou get married.
are yoru



Thls is the top of a building.

6. These flowers are a sign of love. 7. 'l'his yerb means "!ao back." 8. \{&at's th.. oltpositc of



Activity Worksheets




Diagtarn of /U

Diagan of /t/



Minimal Pairs

low-row list-wrist


alive-arrive play-pray



womsrrunr 4.11 RECocMrroN Ar\rD pRoDucrroN oF






1. beU 3. fax 5. pick

2. shore

B short


1. dog
6. watch


watched plant

7. thant

8. plan

P^rt 2
9. advise
11. rise 13. bag 15. have advice 10. pig
12. peas

(a) use


14. (to) use 16. said




Activity worksheets




How U.S. Taxpayers' Money was Used tn 2oo7

Social Security payments to current

Medicare (health

retirees care for the eldedy) etc.) payments) security



Aid to the poor (Medicaid, food stamps, housing subsidies, National debt (interest


Military Hometand

Other (federal highways, medical resarch, FBI, etc,) This sample shows the fedeial budget for 2007.




/iy/-/t/z Presentlng Pro unclatlon

Diagram of /1y/ ard






Activity Wotksheets



5.2 /ty/-/r/.

How Do you Spell Liae?

Choose minimal pairs for this actiyity that are appropriate for your students'level (B = beginning level; LI = low-intermediat;I = intemediate; HI = high-interme diate; A = advanced).

(B)-it (B) ,,/ seat (Ll)-sit (B)

"/ eat

cheap steal

(B)-chip (I/HI)

GD-still (LI)

(I)-birter (I) relieve (I)-relive (I)


/ leaye (B)-liye (B)


/least field

(lD-list (LI)




(B)-fit (LI)

(I)-filled (Il) heat (I)-hit (B)


(B)-slip (I) green (B)-grin (I) reason (B)-risen (I) each (B)-itch (HI)

(I)-bitten (I)

(I)-pit (HI) asleep (I)-a slip (HI) meal (I)-mill (A) dep (I)-dip (A)







(Hl)-fisr (HI) seed (Hl)-gdd (A) peel (A)-pill (LI)

@ wonxsnrnf S.<
brg4k b94d breakfast instead

/iy/-/ey/-/e/z Sorting Sound And Spelling



ch94p m4ny take


says say


Words /,/ words


/eyl ]trords



Activity worksheets

\VORI$HEET Diagram of

5.5 /e/'/e/;


/e/ (IIad) and

/e/ (Ilead)

/r/ had artd /e/ head



he^d /E/


5'7 /e/, /e/, /a/, AND /o'/

What Bugs You?


Diagram of /e/, /n/, /a/,



kept /E/





cop /o


5.8 /e/ AND /o/: Presenting /a/ a'Jid /o/

nut, t ot

Diagram of




fi /e/





Activity WorksheeE



/a/: Luck or Sk


Quotations about Luck 1. "People always call it luck when you'ye acted more
(Anne Tyler)

sensibly than they have."

2. "I'm a great 3.
"1 say

believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it:, Cfhomas Jefferson)

luck is when an opportunity comes along, and youte prepared for




4. 5.

"The only thing that orr'ercomes hard luck is hard work:, (Harry Golden)

"Luck always seems to be against the man who depends on it." (authof unlmown)


WORI$HEET 5.13 R-COLORXD VOWEIS: presenthrg R-Colored vowels /st/ (Are), /at/ (Her), and /oil (Or) Diagram of






On page 10, we list features of English pronunciation thxt are difficult for most students, :egardless of natir,'e-language background. In this appenclix, we describe problems that are

sclected nativeLanguage backgrorxlds: Ajabic, Chinese, Irrench, Haitian Creole, Japanesc, Korean, Poftuguese, Russian, South Asian languages, Spanish, Thai, lnd victnamese. Togethcr with the list of common problems on page 10, the information in Ihis section car.r be usecl by teachers who want to anticipate the types of pronunciation problems their students are likely to have. The teacher should also bc that the problems described below are q?ical but are not experienced by every native speaker of rhat language.

]pical of stuclents from

Anbic belongs to the Semitic family of languages, which also includes Hebrew, Ammaic, and Assydan.It is spoken in Algcria, Bahrain, Chad, Diibouti, Eg)-pt, Eritrea, Iraq, Israel, .lordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, C)man, palestinian territories, eataq Saudi Afibia, Somalia, Sudan, S,yria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, and .l?mert. aS well as in smitllef communities in othef countries aS a native or second language (L2). Because Arabic is the language of the Koran, many Muslims around the world are fxmili'Jr s\ ith \omc Arabic worcls and phrases. Moclern Standard Arabic is a "pan Arabic,,dialect used in schools, by journalists, and for ollicial purposes (swan and smith 2001, 19i). h addition, there are marry colloquial \.arietics of spoken Anbic, which can differ substautiau,v from each other. 'l'he problems describecl below are comrton to most varieties of A1?bic.

Word Stress
Since stress placement in Arabic is regular anal predictable, Anbic students may be unfamiliar with the varied stress placement in Enlalish and misplace stress when the,y speak. Arabic students should be taught predicrable stress associated with clir.sses of English words (begiming on page 30), and new vocabulary of more than one syllable shoul<1 be presented orally. Arabic str.rdcnts may also be unfarniliaf with tlte English use of stress ro disringuish meaning ir pairs like a rdcorcl-to rec1rd or Appb-aI)pdll. Although Arabic and English are both stress-timed languages, unstressed syllables in Arabic arc not as shofi relative to stressed syllables as they arc in English, and vo\lel qualiq., in unstesscd sfllables is not as reduced as it is in English @enrabeh 199j . Zutalq and, serrcno 2007). studerlts should be encouraged to n.rake a greater length distinction bern'een strcs.etl rnJ UnstrcsscLl \owcl: (.(c page ,25).

Rhlthm and Ifltonation

ln connected speech, Arabic students may insefi a glottal stop (the sound separating the two parts of uboh) trelbre words beliinning with a vowel, creat tg a choppy soundhg rhlthm. Students should prnctice linking final consonants to beginning voweG (see page 55). Students may also stress more words in uttennces than native speakers would, resulting in oyedy emphatic speech. Students should work with highlighting, focusing emphasis on just one or fwo words in an uttennce (sce page 96). Likewise, students should wolk on givinEi less prominence to ftlnction words (see page !0).






Stlcctcd lang,uagc's

Consonants for 1. /p/. h/:Tb,ere is no /p/ in nrost dialccts of Al'abic, so students ma) substitutc \l'ords pronouncing like I)eople as 'beoble.' Teach stLldenls to pronounce ^/ /p/. beginning with the letterr' wilh a puff of xir (aspiration. see page 150) 2. / . /v/tThese arc variaDts of the sanrc sotlnd in Arabic. Focus on Ay' .tt tlle bcginnings or i1l the miclclle of$'ords (see palie l21r) l. /ll,/: ,\mbic has no /!/. so studcots maY substitute /n/ or /\g/ fttt /\/ (.see page 136). 1. /r/:1he /r/ in Artbic is a flaPPcd /1/ ancl students ma\-substitutc this sound for the

/r/ of Erglish.

Teach the retroflexed articulation of English /r,/ (see page 141)

Consonant clustcrs: In ntost dialects of A1'abic. consooaot clusters do not occuf at the beginnings of $.(]rds. Studcnts lnay ioscrt vo$'els bcfore or betwccn beginning Elrglish cltlstcrs. Pron()uncing a wortl likefToor as if]oor' or "Iiloor" (sce page 15I) Final two membel consonant clusters tlre permittcd. Sttldents should work with past ancl prcsent el-Idings to practice tjnal chlsters with two of nrore meflbcrs (sce page 159).

l/r sounds: These sounds occur in Modetn Standatd Anbic bu1 not in some of thc colbquial languagcs. SOme students havc no problem pronolrncinla the tJ sounds, br.rt others may substitute /t/ or /.1/ fot lhese sounds. a stilimatized pronLrnciation
(see pagc 126).

/I/ . /E/: k1\b:1c students mit\' conftlsc these two vowels, prononncilf'g becl llke bid or vice Yersa lsee pagc 175). '2. /x/ , /T/ , /a/. /o/: Arabic has only one lo$' 1'owcl. so all of thesc Yowcls ma.v be difficult fbr stuclenls to pcrccive:rnd prorlollllce (scc palie 178)


'Ihcre is [o similarirr._ bet$-een thc Elrglish ancl Ar.rbic \t'ritinl] systcms, Arabic is written liom rillht to leli ancl flequeutll omits vowels. E\rn aclvancecl Al'abic stuclents have difficulty reading aloucl, often halting rtnnaturalh- and transposing letters;these studcnts should practicc reading aloud.
Chinesc is ;t collcction ()f languages ard dialccts trnificd b]' a comnon $'riting s1's1c11 The sharetl \vriting s,vstcm allows written Chinese to be understoocl b,v Iitefatc speakers of all varietics, cven s'hen the spoken varicties are mutualh' uDintelligible (lhincsc is spoken in the People's Rcpublic of China (Clrina), the Republic ol Chira (Tai$'an), Hong Kong, Singaporc. \{ala}-sia. Macau, thc Philippincs, Australix. tndonesia, Maurititrs. Peftr, Ciurada, the Ilnited St:rtcs, and othcr reliions $'ith Chinesc communities. There are substanti,tl linguistic clifterenccs betwcen Chinesc, a Sino-'libctan langtlage, 'rnd English, an Indo Elrropcan languag;e. one of the most important Phonological dillerences betwccn Enlilish and Chincse is the trsc of pitch Chilcse is a tonc language: an essential part of the pronunciation ol a par(icular worcl is a particuliu lcrel of pitch (or dircction of pitch). Pitch, thcreforc, clistingttishes worcls liom each other' Ilrr examplc. Chjnese r1li. spoken on a high-level pitch (tonc), means "to hang over something;" spoken on a pitch that irlls sharplJ', r/.r mcxns "big.' (Stress iD Elglish pertbrrus tlris frnction in the pair (a) r'cud (to) tec6rel, for e-\arnple.) In English, pitch




Prcblems of Selected



discourse meaning. In this section we focus on two varieties of Chinese: Mandarin and Cantonese. Mandarit is the standard form of spoken Chinese, used in journalism, education, and government. Cantonese is the ofticial language of I-Iong Kong and the mother tongue of many Chinese speakers overseas. A major phonolotiic;rl difference between Mandarin and Cantonese is rhlthm. Mandarin is a stress-timed language , like English, while Cantoncse is a syllable-timed language. Thc rhltl.rmic dissimilarity betweer.r Cantonese and English makes Englislt rhlthm mofe dilTicult fof Cantoncse speakers than for Mandarin speakers. Most of the other problems described below are comnon to both Mandarin and Cantonese.

patterns (intonation patterns) occur ovef phrases and utterances, structruing and adding

Word Stress
difficulty with stress placement in polysyllabic words (see page 37).
Most Chinese words are monosyllabic;as a result, Chinese speakers are likely to lrave

Because Cantonese has syllable timed rhlthm, Cantonese snldents may pronounce every English q'llable with equal length and shess, creating a staccato or choppy eftitct (see Chapter 2). Mandafir-speaking srudents have less difliculry with this aspect of English rh).thm.

Linking Adjacent Words

Most Chinese students have difficulty linking adjacent words appropriately. They may add word that ends in a consonant to separate it from the next word or add an extra sound beforc words that begin with vowels. These ,,separation', strategies make their English sound choppy (see page 54).
a vowel after a

Because Chinese is a tone lanfauage, where pitch is an integral pa.rt of each word, Chinese students may have difficulq'with the English use of pitch and intonation to structure the meanings of phrases, utterances, and discourse. problems with intonation are varied: Students may use high pitch at unexpected places in a discourse, their. intonation mav sounci ovcdy flat, they may overuse falling intonation, or thcy may sound singsong (see Chapter 3).

Consonants 1. t sounds: See page 126. 2. /v/, /w/: Chiaese students may
(see page 124).




for /v/, pronouncinla rrer1, like.wery',

3. /3/: Chinese 4.

/r/-/l/, seE page 116.) 5. /l/-/rt/:Some Cantonese

students may pronowce /S/ so that LLsuall! sottDds like ,'us'ally', or meqsure llke ?nayor (see Wge 112). /r/, /w/, /l/: Chinse students may pronounce riglJt llke u)bite or ligbt. Instruct students who substitute /w/ for /r/ not to round their lips when they say /r/. t (Tor

speakers substitlrte h/ fot /l/, creating odd,sounding pronunciations like night fot ligllt and vice versa (see page 1441.

tl-ip rounding crcates /w/. Although many narir-e speake$ prcnounce /r/ $,ith lip rounding, a1.l acceptable /r/ can be produced withour lip rounding. Alter learning ro rerroflex Englisll /t/ (see page 141), students who substitute /W for /r/ shoutd be instructed to.keep their lips flat,'when they iay /r/.





Seleclccl I atlgua1es

,4l/: (lhinese studcnts lnav substitutc a Yelar /h/ for Erglish gbttal /h/, prolouncing /h/ with a noisy sound (like the Gernan pronurciation of c,b in Bdcl,) Explain that English,/h,i is a soft sound,like the sound of heav) bretrthing (see page 140)

C(xrsonant clusters: (ihinese cloes not allow collsonant clusters at thc beginnings or cnds of words. Studcnts ma]- simplif,v clusters b)' dcletin!! a consonant (.e.9 'problem sounds like "poblem" or eve[ /poban]/) or bY separating consonants (e !a .2/ sounds like'palease') (see page 151). 8. Final consonants: Chinese allo$,'s a yery linitccl number rlf finlrl consoralts Final consonants may bc dcleted, or a vo$'el 1nay be added fter the consonant (see page 153). 9. Irinal Voicecl stops ancl fricativcs:In addition to the general problelns posed bY final consonants, Chinese students ma,v "dcvoice final voicecl conson rtrts pronouncing bag ljke b6ck, or lJ like "iss"(see pagc 155) 10. Final ,/1/: Chincsc students often clrop /1,/ xt the end of a word or s)'llable, or pronounce it like /w/ ot /o/ (e.g.. r'rld souncls like ode, ?-nd /lttle sounds like "litto") (sec page 1'14). 11. Final nasals (/n /, /m/, /l / ): ("bfiese stuclents ma-Y omit linal res,ll consonants ancl ftrsalize preceding vowels (e .g.. uirerr /go rna-r'' sor.lnd like /wJ,/ 1go) (see page 136)'


Vowels 1. Frcnt vowels (/r,\'/ rneat, /l/ \llitl, /eJ-/ lltote, /E/ fiet, /E/
pages 169- 179).

/,7171): Chinesc students confuse most of these vowels and r1eed extensive practice with them They nray pron()unce st?at as greet (or rice versa) and el'en s4ld as seerl (sec


dillicultv with /r/ colored l'o$'els (sce pale 192) 3. /ey/,/^w/,ar.1 /a:'/ before /n/ or /fl7/: Chiftese students may omit the lalide erclings (/w/ or /y,D of tllese voq,'els whe n the-v occlu be fore /n/ or /r1/ (e.g., train mav sound like "tren." toz{.", likc /ton/ (ot /t\/),and tlme llke Tou) (sec palie 192).
l]aYe a great deal of


French is a Romance language, rclated to SPanish, It,rlian, Poltuguesc. Catalan, and Romanian. Because English has bornlwed man) s''ords from French, rnany English words look si iler to French words,which sometimes leads students to use their Frcnch pronunciation in English. \Vest Indies, French is spoken iativcly in Francc, Bclgium, S['itzedand. I-uxembourg, tbe problems Haiti. anal (lar.rada, and as an L2 in man-Y of thc f<rrmer colonies of France The described bekrw are common to lnost varieties of French

wof d Stress

A major differcncc betw-een Frcnch ancl English lies with $-orcl stless and fhythm. Ffench words (and phmses) are usually stressecl on the last syllable, wlrich is also p'o'o'nced with a rising pitch;stress placement in English $''ords is much rnore varied Frencl] students sl.roulJbe taught predictabte places of strcss associated witll classcs of English words (beginning on page 30), and iew vocabulary of morc than one slllable should be Prescnted because Frcnch is a s_yllable timed language. where the lcngths of stressed u."iiy. fr.,


B Problems of




and unstressed syllables are approximately the same, French-speaking students need to learn to lengthen stresscd syllables (see page 21). Because the qualit_v of unstressed vowels in French is not reduced, Ftench students may have difficr ty hearing the short, reduced vowels of unstressed s,vllables in English.

Rhlthm and Intonation

French-speaking students need to learn to make sfessLength distinctions between content and frmction words (see page 50). They also have dilficulty recognizirg the reduced pronunciations of fttnction words.

Consonants 1. t sounds:These sounds do not exist in Frencll. French-speaking students may substitute several sounds for the th so:und,st /s/ or /z/ (preferred by students from Fmnce), and /t/ or /d/ (preferred by French Canadians). Swan and Smith (2OOl) report that /f/-/v/ slrbstitutions also occur (sce page 126). 2. /t[/, /d3/:'lhese consonants do not cxist in lrench. French-speaking students may substitute /t ior /tf, pronouncing llke sheep. for example, and /3/ for /d3/,
pronouncingJu./ge like "zhuzh" (see page 132).

3. frt/:-lLle letter/, is nct-er pronounced in French. French-speaking students may drop English /h/ when it should be pronounced (for example. pronouncing DearrT as "'eaq'"). Ol1ce they leafn that A,/ is pronounced in English, they may add /h/ to 4.
words beginning with vowels (for example, pronouncing aluays ltke bqllu'als). /r/:French /t/,pronounced witl.r the back of thc tongue, may be substitutd for English retroflexed /r/, which is pronounced wirh th front of the tongue (see
Page 711L).

Vowels 1. /iy/, /l/.See page 169. 2. /a/, /o/, /a/tFrcnch-speaking students often confuse these vowels

(sec page l7g).

Haitian Creole is an official languagc of Haiti (together with French) and is also spoken by Haitian emigrants living in the Ilnited States, Canacla, and otl]er Caribbean. Central American, and South American countries. Haitian Creole is a mixtlue primarily of French and West Afiican lanlllrages, but also has influences liom Central African lanliuages,
Portuguese, Spanish, and English.

Word Stress
In Haitian Creole, as in French, the last svllable of a wofd or. phrase is stfessed, a pattern which can interfere with irtelligibility and be disrracting to listeners (pclez-Applc 2001). Teachers should point out the differcnt stress patterns of English word classes (beginning
on page 30) and introduce new vocabulary orally, emphasizing the sffessed syllables. Haitian Creole speakers sl]ould also be instructed to lengthen stressed vowels.

Rh]-thm and Intonation

Haitian Creole speakers may transfer their native language pattern of stresshg the last syllable of a phrase and pronouncing it on a higher pitch into English. This pattern disrupts expected English rh]-thm and intonation patterns. Haitian Creole spcakcrs should work with highlighting (see page 96) and with final intonation patrerns (sce page lO0).




ai sele(led t anguaies

Consonants 1. t sounds: Scc page 126. 2. /t/.ln Haitiai (lreole, thc letter / is prollonDced /\ry' before back vo$'els (for cxalnple, /uw/ an<1 /ow, and elsewhere like a French /r/ (see Frcnch. Page 240). Stuclcnts should lbcus on the retroflcxed plomnlciation of English /r/ (sce page 141) J. /n/rln final position, /n/ rua] be olrittccl and pronotrllced as a nasalization of the lrrc<rrling \o\\'cl {\cc P.lgc lto' Vowels


/i\'/. /\/:

Sec Page 169.

2. /e/, /J/, /o/:Tbcse


arc new Yo\lrels tbr Haitiao Creolc speakers (see pagc 178)

Japallesc may be related to Korc.rn and lllso to Mongolian. Manchurian, and'I'urkish diflers liom English in almost all linguistic irspects.


Word Stress

js a pitch accent language:pitch placemcnt, rather than stress as in English, can Japancse diiltrcntiate one word fiom anotherJapanesc stLrdents need to learn to lengthen stressecl vowels. Ilnaccented syllables in Japanese worcls are not s'eakencd as the,Y are in Englislt (by shortcning thc sylhble and reducing the yowel), and Japanesc students need practice in

hearing and proclucing the short, redtrced s-vllables of English (see page 25)

Rhlthm and Intonatiofl

J;ipanese studcnts tend to prollounce all words

$'ith equal prominencc and necd practice

using pitch to highlight ne$'or important information (sce pagc 96) Ttre)-may also haye difliculty recognizinll tlte reduced pronullciatiolls of nrnction worcls like cdn of at (see pagc 72).
Because D)ost sl'llables in.Japanese crcl in vo$'cls,Japanese students have difficulry linking Enlilish words that clrd in consonants to fbllo$'il]l words (see pagc 5'1).

Japarcse students also have di1ncult]' learning English intonation; thcir pitch range sometines souncls too flat, and pitch changes fla,v scen too abrupt They maY also be unfamiliar s'ith the use of intonatiol-r to strtlcturc meaninla and discolrrse in English; in (e.9 , Japanse. particles and adverbials Perfornl some of the discourse ftuctions distinguishinEi ne$'frorn gil'en ifformation) that intonation does in English Japanese students should ltave ample pr.rctice listening to English inlonation as it occufs in autllentic spcccb to gain a better understandinll of its discoursc functions (see Chapter l)

Consoflants l. /t/. /l/:Th..

Dnglish /r,/-/l/ contrasl is one of the most clifficult firrJapancse speakers to learn. Their mispronunciiltions of /t/ aliLd /l/ are stereotl'pecl (e g ."flied lice")' and .lapanese students are yeflr concerl]ed abolrt leiuilin!l to prollollnce the two sounds' The.Japarcse coLrlltcrpart to tsnglish /t/ an(l /V is describcd as a flap collsonalrt' similar to the North American English (NAE) pronunciation of t in zrrrlel Perceptually, English /r/ may sound more dilTerent from its.Japanese counterpart than /1/.leachers shollld tcach the articulation ol /r/ and /l/ and Provide ample

practice with botll sounds (See pagcs 1/+l-117).


/D sounds: See page 126.


Problems of Selected



3. /wu/:Japanese students have difficulry pronouncing the,/w/ in /wu/,as in uould rnd uoman (see the error correction techoiques on page 149). 1t. /v/:Jap^nese does not have a /v/ sound. Students ma], substitute /b/ or a voiced
bilabial fricative (,ip, where the lips are almost closcd as the air passes between
them). (See page 12.i.)


/s/, /[/, /7,/: ln Japanese, /s/ is pronounced /l/ before /i/, and learners may transfer this pronunciation into English words, pronouncing see lile ,!re for example; with the word c/41 this pfonunciation can be very embarmssing (see pages 132 and 135). Japanese /7./ is pronounced like /dzl before /i/, ancl Japancse students may transfer this pronunciation into words like museutt or zlppex A similar phenomenon occurs with Japanese /t/ before /t/,which is pronounced /{/ (like the clr 1.n cheap). In ESI- settings, the mispfonunciadon of /ti/ as /tfi/ d:\s ppears quickly, while problems with words like sce are more persistent. the word lcar; where /]y' is followed by a high front vowel,Japanese studenrs may omit /y/, pronouncing J.,ea,, like ear (.see 149). before h/tJapanese stude nts may substitute an /f/-like sound for /h/ when occurs before the vo\r'el /u/, so tlrLJt ubo. for ex,.ntple. sounds like "foo."

6. /y/:In 7. /h/


8. 9.

Consonant clustefs:Japanes allows very few consonant clustefs. Beginning students may add separating vowels between tl-re consonants in a clustef, pronouncing grrrst for example, lile "gurass" (see page i51).
Japancse. Students may drop consonant (see paie 15J).

Final consonants. Final consonants (except for a nasal) are not permifted in filal consonants or adcl a short vowel alter a final

Vowels 1. /er/:Japanese

str.rclents have persistent problems pronouncing /arl, often pronouncing zr.,o/ft, for example,like ualk td vlce versa. They should work both on /ar/ and on the contrast of /a/ ard /o/ (ot /a/ and /J/, depending on the

teacher's dialect). (See page 192.)

2. /a/, /o/, /E/:Jrtpanesc

/e/ with /o/.


students confuse ,/a,/ and /o/, using almost the same pronunciation for words like n,/t and l?ot Tl]ey may also confuse /e/ with /a/ or

Korean may be an isolate (not linguistically related to any other language), part of the Ural-Altaic family (Tr.rrkish, Mongolian, and others), or related to Japanese. Most Korean speakers live on the Korean pcninsula or surrounding islands, or in smaller communities abroad.



Korean does not have word stress. The tirst syllable of a wotd in a phrase is often pfonounced on a higher pitch, to function as a phrase boundary markef, but otherwise, syllables are more nearly equal in length, loudness, and pitch. Korean-speakinli students, thefefore, nccd to learn to lengthen stressed s1'llables il English (see page 21).

Rhythm and Intoflation

The use of supraseimentals in Korean and English is very different. Korean students benefit from practice with English rhlthm and intonatiolt.





selected Lanluages

Korean is usuall] classified as a sl'lhble-timed language, ancl Korean srudents shoulcl be taught to make lergth distirctions between contcnt and function $'ords in English (sec pagc 50). Korean students may need instruction on th use of pitcll to highlight inportant words in discourse, a ftrnction which is accomplished in Korean b-y adding x suffl\ or ending. Thc,Y may also use high pitch on the first word of a phrasc, creating an odd-sounding intonation. Korean students may also speak Enlilish with an overlv narroN'pitch ranlie. naking then1 sound uninterested or botecl.

Consonants 1. tD sounds:See page 126. 2. /p/,/ -, /v/:There is no /b/,/f/,orlv/in K(xean Korean students need to lcarn the
articulation of these sounds (see page

3. Voiced stops:Kore;Ln


has voiceless aspirated stops and voiceless ur.Iaspirated stops Korean learners ma1-have problcms producing and llearing tlle loiced stoPs of English, especially ir1 the middle or at thc ends of rvords (see page 155). /s/,[/:lnKore \./s/ af'd /f/ arc yariants of the same sound.4,/ occurs bcfore higl) and mid-front vowels (as in se and sa1), ?:nd /s/ occuts elscwhere. Korean students may pronounce words lik see as -sre and need practice pronouncing /s/ belbre these vowels (see page 135).


/7,/:voiced, /z/ (as In zoo) aloes not occru in Korean. Korean students may substitute /dz/,/d3/,ot B/ for /z/ in words lLke museutn ald result (see page 131). English sounds are variants of the same sound in Kore,rn. Korean students may substitute /1,/ fbr beginnjnla /r/, pronouncirg rigbl. for example, like ligtJl, and, h/ for /l/ btween vowels, pronouncing collectillg, tbr example. like

6. h/, /l/:Thesc two


/i/ vowel whcn these consonants end words, pronOunci:ng uhich, for example , Iike "whicl4 " or.larlge like "iuclg_y" (see page 131).
/iy/, /IL
See page 169.

correcliug (:ee !)agc l4t)). Fhal /t[/, /d3/,4'/,and /3/:Kore^n stlrdents may add a sh()rt



2. /at/: Korean students have persistent problems Pronouncing /Jrl, olien pronouncing ttork likc ualk i\tLI vice versa. The)' should work both on the /arl and on tllc contrast ofla/ and /c/ (ot /e/ /J/, depending on the teacher's dialect). (See
pages 192 ancl 180.) ^nd

3. //, /e/tKorc^n
pJge 1

lacks /a/, so students tcnd to sobstitute /E/ for this vowel, pronouncing bod so tbat it sounds close to bed, for example. Sttldents should be instructed to open their nouths more when the,Y say words with /ze/ (see


Portr.rguesc is a Rornance language closely related to Spanish. There are two major varieties of Portuguese: European Portuguese (EP) and Brazilian Portuguese (BP) European Poftuguese has stress-timed rhythm, like English, while Brazilian Portlrguese bas syllable-timed rh)'thm.



oi Selected Languales


Word Stress
Stress placement in portuguese is very regulat so str.ldents may have difficulty with the \-aried placement of stress in English. students should become familiar with word classes Ihat have predictable stress, and new vocabulary should be presented orally, with thc stressed syllables emphasized (see pages 30-3g). Because BP is a syllable-timed language, Bp students may pronounce unstressed syllables $,'ith too much length. Ep students may pronounce unstfessed syllables too weakly and may nced to gi\c them more prominence.

Ithlthrn and Intonation

In Portuguese, fbcus words (highlighred words) teld to be ptaied at the end of a sentence, so Portuguese students may harve difficulty perceiving and producing higltlighted
tsP stud-ents may have difficulty perceiying the reduced function words of English and may give function words too muclt prominence in spaking (see page


words in non-final positions (see page 96).

Consonaflts 1. Final ,/l/: Portuglrese 2.

students may pronounce /4/ after vowels as /w/ or /u/; for example,people may sound like ,,peopu" (see page 144).

Final nasal consonants /m, n, r]l: Final nasal consonants in words like soz e an(l sun may be omitted and the preceding vowel nasalized;soze may be pronounced /se/ (sce page 138). may be pro noltnced, [/ (.e.g., che4p sourds bke sbeep), a.nd. /d3l may be proflou niecl 13/ G.g-iust n.ny bd pron-ouncei,,zhust,,). (See page 135.)
sounds: See page 126.

3. /tl/, /d3/:Ep lacks rhese consonants. /tfl

4. t

5. /s/ + consonant clusters: portuguese

speakers may add a vowel befbre,/s/ + consonant clusters, pronouncing steam, for example, like esteem (see p^ge 151.). Final consonants: Fewer nnal consonants are permitted in portuguse than in English. Portuguese studer.rts may drop final consonants or weakin them. making them hard to heal or they may add a vowel after final consonanrs (see page 1i3).


/iy/ , A/ . See page


2. 3.

/e/,/a/,/o/:See page


Unstressed final vowels: Unstressed final vowels may be prono'nced so *.eakh-that thel secm to hc omiltcd.

RUSSIAN _ Russian is a Slavic language, part of the family of Indo_European languages, of which English is also a member.

Word Stress
Stress placement in Russian is varied, as it is in English. Russian students mav nor sufficiently lengthen Engrish stressed syllabres and shourd work on trre English length distinction between stressed and unstressed vowels (see pages 21_27). Thiy shoLrl-d also learn to pronounce vowels with secondary stress with morJ length.





Sele( t--d


Rhlrhm and Intonation

Russian students appear to givc ncarl,v equal stress to content 1lnd ftlnction words. They should \\.()rk on lengthening the stressed syllablcs of content \\,ords and shortening thosc of ftrnction words (see page 50). In Russian. final consonants are morc forcefull,v articulated than they are in Enfilish. wllen this is ca1-ricd over into English. Russian speakers may sccm to be aclclitrg a short vowel to the ends of \\'ofds cndirlll io consonants, especialll stop consonants. Russian speaking studcnts benetit frorl $rork on linking adjaceDt wo|ds and kecping final consonants short (sce prge 5,1). In lltrssi:rn,Jre.r-ro qucstioDs end with a sharp rise fbllos'ed bl' a stecp fall. Thc use of falling illtonation on jrcs"/ro questions can sound ulfricndl,v or rucle? (see Page 101).

Consonants 1. tJ soun(lsi See page 1 26. 2. /w /. /v/:'lhcse l rc not separate sounds in

and \'ice versa (sec page 12,1).

Russian, so Russi.rn students have


clifficulq' distinguishing between them; ,rr"l,

example, ma) be pronounced .,et

a. /\/: /\/ (the final sound in arltg) clees not occur in Russian. Russian students may substitutc /n/ (pror]oLl1lcin!! ?.r,/rg like uii?t). /lg/ (pronoLtncing sl[g with a "hard g" at thc end), or even /g/ (pronouncing u'itlg llke arrg). (Sce page 116.) l. (lonsonants beforc front vowels (/i]', I. cl', ,8/) a\\d /ar/ (as in./ir'.st): Russian
cortmsts "palatalizcd" or "soft" consonants \\'ith unpalatalizeal or "hard" consonants ($'ith palatalized consonants, the middle part of the tongue rises toward the hard palate). When speaking Englisb, Russiltn students may palatalizc Erlglish consonants which occur before front vowels. Sometimes this pronunciatior sounds xs though a /!y' sound has been added aftcr the consonant (c.g., dee\ ma,v sound like 'd-vcep"), in other cases, the consonant ma,v souncl like a diffcrent sou]nd (deep n]a-y sound like "dzeep" or cvcr' Jeep). Students are often unaware that they are palatalizing English consonants and thc error shor.rld be pointed out to the!n.Instruct students to use the "hard" Russian equivalents when pronouncin!! Englislt consonants. 5. /h/;Russian students may substitute a velar /h/ for English glottal /h/, pronouncing /h/ with a noisy souncl like the (ierman pronunciation of c/:, in Baclr. Explain that Elrlilish ,/h/ is a soft thc sound of hcavy breathing (see page 140). 6. /r/: Rnssians ma), substitutc a rollecl /r/ for English retrol'lex,/r/ (scc page l'il).


Russian lacks tlrc tense-lax vos,'el conffast of Englisl]: /iy/-fi/, /ct'/'/e/ xnd /v"\/-/1J/. Russian stlrdcnts' pronunciation of the tensc vowels maY sound too short or clil)pccl. Students should focLrs on pronolrncinla thc glidc cnding of thesc vo\r'els (see pages 169-17i and lti3):rnd o{r lengthening sttessed vowels generall)'.

/Jrl: 'l his vo\r'el sound is particularl] difficult fbr liussian students, who
mx)' pronounce




or.feqr (see page 192). English v-ords spclled

rIt should be notcd that 1lative'Eoglish

questiors (see pagc 101).

spexkcrs use fal'ing intonation F'ith some types ofJ]e.s-ro



of Selected Lanlua+es


u,o/ + consonant (e.9., uord, uork, worlcl, worth) are particularly difficult (see
page 194).

3. /t/, /e/:Rttssiar

lacks /a/,so students tend to substitute ,/t/ 1br tlis vowel, pronouncing Zra4 1br example, so that it sounds close to bed (see page 176).


Hirdi, Urdu, Bengali and Punjabi are languages spoken in lndia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other areas of south Asia. They are members of the kldo-Aryan family of Indo-Eulopean languages. A characteristic accent feature for speakcrs of these languages is the retroflexed pronunciation of English /t/ ard /d/ (the tip of the tongue turns up and back when pronouncing /t/ and /dD. Another source of accent is intonation. which has a singsong effect when transfirrrcd into Entilish. Indian English is a dialct of English spoken mostl,v as an L2 in South Asia but b)' sonle as a first language (L1). The dialect developed durirg the tsritish colonial period, and its pronunciation has been influenced by the indigenous languages of the ;Lrea. Teachers should be sensitive to the fact that Indian English speakers may feel that their pronunciation reflects a different dialect of English rather than a foreign accent. Given the largc areas in which thcse languages are spoken, tltere is a great deal of dialect variation in each of these lan{auages, as well as across languages. In English the stressed s]'llable of a word is usually pronounced on a high pitch.In Hindi and Urdu, the stressed syllable bcgins on a low note and then rises. Carricd oYer into English, this pattern may sound as though stress has been misplaced and will also contribute to a singsong effect. \Vord stress in Hindi, tlrdu. tsengali, and Punjabi is not contnstive as it is in English, so students may be unianiliar with the use of stress to distinguish pairs like (a) rdcord-(to) reca.,rd. ln H\r.di, a.nd Urdu, word stress is regulaq which creates difficulty with correct stress placement in En[ilish. Students should be taught the placement of stress in different classes of English words (see pages 30-3{J), and new vocabulary of more than one syllable shoulcl be presented orall-v. Students should also learn to pronouncc stressed syllables with greater length tlnn unstressed sl'llables (sce page 21).

Word Stress

Rhythm and Intoflation

difficulty recognizing the reduced pronunciations of furtction words (see page 72). ln llengali,les-no question end with tallhg intonation; the use of falling intonation with English iues-zo questions may make the speaker seem mde (see page 101).
Hindi, tlrdu, Bengali, and Punjabi are syllable-timed languages, so students


'1. /t/, /d/:Hindi,Urdu, Bengali, and Punjabi have si-x to eight t/d sounds, whercas English has two. Native speakers of these languages often substitute their retroflexed /t/ and ,/d,/ for English alveolar /t/ /d/ (.for a retroflexed /t/, the tip of ^t'td the tongue turns up and back and the underside of the tongue makes contact with

the top of the mouth).

2. /,1: sounds. See page 126. 3. /p/, /t/, /k/:Native speakers of Hindi, urdu, Bengali and Puniabi nlay not pronounce /p/, /t/,or /k/ with enough aspiration beforc stressed vowels;for example,ptg may
sourld like big, tie like .lie, and come like g&t

(see page 150).





Selectecl Languages

in /w/. /v/:Tilere is only one consonant that corresponds to English '/w/ and /v/ often confttse pairs like uet and aet HinJl, ttrdu, eengali, and Puniabi, so students
(see pagc 124).

). Consonant clusters; Students may insert vowels to make unfamiliar consonant "silip"
llusters easier to manalie; for example ,.sllp may be pronounced
page 151).

or "islip" (see

consonant of a clllste\ mixed 6. Final consonant clustefs: Students may omit the final may be pronounced mlJr (see page 153)' for example,


// , /e / : Sludents may substitute (see page 176).

// for /a/, Pronoun cirrg bdd llke bed' fot example

2. /eyl:

Students may pronounce this as a pure vowcl /e/ (see page 173)

Spanisll is spoken in many Spanish is a Romance language, closet)-rel3tcd to Portugues l ariJtion. Tht problems described below are corirtrics ancl thcre is substantial diatecr coflrmo1l to speakers of most varieties of SPanish

word Stress ' ifta fngfith, iore

(e'g amo /emol' meaning "I Sp^nish uses worcl stress to contrast meanings ' is much meaning "he loved") However' stress placement in Spanish lovc" am6 /ffi6/, orthogmphicall-v' than in English, ancl irregulirr stress Placemcnt is marked



bolfriend (see P ge 33). vowels do not differ iit. rnori syliable-timed languages, Spanish stressed and unstressedrcduc th r'owel not gr.",ly ii; length, as they do in En;lish ln lddition, Sp;rnish does vowels, so Sfanish studelts nmy bxse their pronunciation of [""ri(

;"y th.

second worcl ol compounds llke Siruriend xnd

"rr.ttiit.*etl Joriii"r.a lto*.rt on spanish Rh]-thrn and Intonation

spilling-sound correspondences (see page 25)

lianish-speaking students may not pronounc highlighted words with enough may also They prominence and may pronounce ftlnc'tion words with too much prominence words that occur toe'ard the beginning of a sentence ilave difficulty highligirting content
(see pages 96, 98 and 72). ' if]'. io. of iinal rising ancl falling intonation with sntence rypes is very similar in Spanish -of intonation in Spanish, however, is narrower than in EngLish' ancl and fnglish. The range

srlrdenis sound bored the traisfer of Spaniih pitch range into cnglish nlay make Spanish

or disinterested.

Coflsonants 1. t sounds:The Preferrecl substitution for thcse English sounds is /t/ ot /d/'a stigmatized pr;unciation in English (see page 126)' and /v,/ are variants of the same sound' so Spanish students 2. - /b/, /v/:ln Spanish ,/b/ltke bert'J) afrd hobbr- a little like "howy" (see page 124')' -"y' p..r,1o.t,r." l)er! (4D This is a stereotypd 3. /t[/, /l/: Stu<]enrs may pronounce muclt (/tl/) like mush ' shoultl be ad<lressed (see page 131). tugentinean students may pion ,-n.i"tiotl -hicir like cheap'
ir.rake the rel'erse substitution, p{onouncin!! 'tl'eep








/y/, /d3/: Sp"\'tish-speaking students may substitute /d3/ tbr /y/, pronouncing.llLles like /ess', a stereotyped promrnciation (see pag 149). 5. /s/, /z/.Ifi most varieties of Spanish,,/2,/ is a l'ariant of /s/, occurring only before voicecl consonants. spanish students rnay pronounce Ia4/ like loc! or He is a student hke "lf.e iss a student." Speakers of Castilian Spanish may pronounce the letter z as ,/e/ (see page 155). 6. /f/: Spanish stuclents may substitute a tapped or trilled /r/ for English retroflex,/r/ This iubstitution disappears rather quickl-v in ESL settings (see page 141). 7. /s/ + consonant clusters: Consonant clusters be[iinning with /s/, as in stdte or special, are not permitted in Spanish. Students oftcn add a short /e/ vowel at the beginning of the clustet pronouncing st lle like estdte, and special lite "especial" (se page 151)' 8. Final consonants: Because Spanish permits few final consonants and consonant clusters, Spanish students may drop final consonants in English words (see page 153)'


Final nasal consonarlts /n/, /m/, and /r)l: Students may substitute final nasals for each other. Final /m/ especially may be replaced with final /n/ or /!/, or even vowel flasalization (e.g.,someone sotLncls lite "sungwung") (see page 1]6 )

10. Regular past tense:spanish stuclents may ovcrgcneralize the /ad/ pronunciation of the -ed endlng in verbs, pronouncing words like listened a\d ansu)e7'ed as "listen-ed"
and "answer-ed" (see page 159).

Vowels and Spelling

of both the reg'lai sound-spelling corfespondences in English and the unusual spellings of vowels (see Chapter 5).

Because of the spelling irregularities of English vowels, spanish stlrdents need 1(] be aware


Thai, a member of the Tai family of languages, is the national language of Tl.Eiland Althor.rgh thre are important regional varieties of Thai, Central Thai (also the language spoken by most people in tsangkok) is considered the standard \?riety

Word Stress

Misplaccd word stress is an important source of efrors for Thai-speaking students who tenci tb stress the last syllable of English words. Teachers should present classes of words whre stress is predictable and present new vocabulary orall]', emphasizin!! the stressed sytlables. Thai si'dents, wh' tend to pfonounce stressed and unstressed syllables with equal length and stress, should also practice lengthening stressed vowels (see Chapter 1)' Tirai students olten insert a glottal stop (the sounal separating the two parts of uh-ob) before rvords beginning with aYowel, creating a choppy sounding rhlthm Students should practice linking words enciing in final consonants to words beginning with vowels (see syllables of content words. bage 55). Stuclents sho.ld also practice lengthening the stressed ' in Thai, a tone lang'age witli mostly monosyllabic words, the function of pitch is to '.rain particles to express politeness distinguish one s/ofd liom anothef. Thai uses sentence linal and iiieractional functions which are oftcn conveyed in English by intonation. they are unfamiliar with the use and meanillg of English intonation, students sometimes sound abrupt. 'Ieachers should provide students with opportunities to listen to English in context and call attention to its functions (see Chapter 3).

Rhlthm and Intonation





Selected Languagcs

Consonants 1. tl, sounds: Thai students often substitute /t/ ot /d/ fot
stigmatized pronunciations (see page 126).

tlTese sounds.

which are

2. /l/, /(B/:These

consonants do not exist in Thai. At tlte beginninll of a word, 'I'hai students nray substitute /tl/ fot /l/ and ,/dsl, pronouncing srlp like chip or Jeep Llke cheap. At the end ofa word,[/ and /d3/ may be pronounced /t/ (e.g., rr.,rs, sounds li]de ui\ and age sounds likc dte). (See crror correction techniques fbr sibllants on pag 135.)

3. /gJ:yoiced /gJ ls not a Thai consonant and may be pronounced as /k/ (e.g.,g4me sounds lite c,7nx e). Students should practice voiced voiceless minimal pairs likc
game-came, goat-coa, and gum-con1e (see page 155).

.{. A'l:Thai students often substitute /v{/ for /v/. prono\ncing

page 124).

r]st like u)est (see

5. /r/, /l/:In

spoken Thal, h/ is being replaced by /l/ ,/r/ in English (see pages 141-147).

, ttn<1

stlrdents may substittfte

/l/ fot

6. /s/+coosonant clusters:Thai 7. p/at

students nlay add a vowel to separate the consonants, pronouncing .s/eep, for example, as sdleep (sce page 151). Beginninla clusters: Thai students may deletc the second consonant in the clustcr; sounds like 2 ay, antJ glass sounds like gas (see page 151).


Final consonants: Thai students may drop or change final consonants. f'hey necd both focused pronunciation work on prol.rouncing final consonants and frequent correction of linal consonant errors. fhc,v should also work on final consonants in the context of linking adjacent words (see pages 54 and 153).


/ey/ ."fhai students often substitute a pure 1'owel /e/ or // for /eyl, proneuncing bait like bet. Enphasize the Eilide ending of,/e)y' (see page i73).

2. /e/:This

anew vowel for Thai students, who often substitute /s/,e.g.,bad sounds
page 176).

Z2ed (see


,?-colored vowels:See page 192.

Vietnamese is a member of the Austroasiatic language family, spoken primarily in Vietnam but also within communities in the tJnited States, Australia, xnd other countries.

wofd Stress
Most Vietnamese words are rnonos,vllables. As a result, Vietnamese students haI'e clifficult_y

with stress placement in polysyllabic words.In addition to learning about word classes where English stress is predictable, new vocabulary should be presented orallv (see pages 3o- 38). Vietnamese students should also be taught to make length distinctions bet$-een stressed and unstressed syllables (see pages 21 27).

Rhlthrn and Intonation

Because Vietnamese stlrdents often gi\''e equal prominencc to all syllables, their English rhlthm may sound staccato. They should be instructed to make length distinctions betrveeil stressed content words and unstressed function words (see page 50).



ol Selected Lanluages


Vietnamese students should also practice linking words ending in final consonants to both following vowels and following consonants (see page 54). A primary function of pitch in Vietnamese, a tone language, is to differentiate words, rather than to structure discourse meanin!1. As a result, students need pmctice listening to English intonation in contextualized speech to learn the discourse meanings structured by pitch. Students should work with highlighting imporrant words (see page 96) and final intonation patterns (see page 100).

Consonants 1. Final consonants: English final consonants are a majer source of pronunciation errors forVietnamese students. A linited number offinal consonants (/p,t,k/) are
permitted in Vietnamese, but they tend to be pronounced very weakly. Final /f/ and /s, are not permitted inVietnamese. When speaking English, Vietnamese students often appeaf to omit final consonants (.e.g.,bank card may sound like "bah kah"). Both focused promrnciation work on final consonants and frequent error correction are useful (see page 153). Final voiced and yoiceless stops: Final voiced stops (^, d, g, are not permitted in
fricatives (e.g.,
Vietnamese. Sh.ldents should practice lengthening the vowels prececling Englisl.r voiced stops (see page 155).

2. 3.

Final sibilants /s,l tf:These consonants in final position are a source of many problems. Students may substitute /t for final /tt, prono djacing catclr L]ldie casb, for example. Sometimes /t is substituted for finaI /s/ (e.g., krss sounds like "kish") (see page 131). does not occur in begtuning position inVietnamese Q)et, for example, may sound like ,er). Students should be instructcd to pronounce words spelled $.ith beginningp with a puff of air (see page 150). sounds:Vietnamese studenrs usually substitute stigmatized pronunciation (see page 12ar).

4. Beginfling /p/: /p/

5. t 6. 7.

/t/ or /d/ for the

t/? sounds, a

Consonant clusters: Consonant clustefs afe not pefmitted invitnamese, so students may omit one or more members of a clusterj for example, green may sound like "geen;'and street may sound like "seat" or "steat" (see page 151). Letter Jc.'Vietnamese uses a modified Roman alphabet and the letter r in is pronounced as /s/.Vietnamese students' pronunciation of words like expldin as "esplain" or "espain" may reflect both transfer of the Vietnamese letter-sound correspondence of tr and difficulty with consonant clusters (see page 139).


Tenselax vowels: Although Vietnamese has a complex vowel system, it does not distinguish vowels on the basis of tenseness, so pairs like sedt-.r/, are difficult for studcnts to pronounce (see pages 169, 173, and 183).

2. /e/,

/E/: /e/ is not a vowel inVictnamese, so students may substittte /e/ for /E/, pronouncing, for example, so that it sounds like bed (see page 176).



employee, trainee, en{aineer, career, volunteer Exception: cornmittee , c6ffe Chirese, Japanese, Portuguese

-ain (uerbs


enteftain, maintain, obtain

cassette, kitchenette



'tiqLtette picturesque.grotesque,antique,unique,techniquc
millionaire, doctrinaire, billionaire



trivial, presidentlal, artificial, commercial, contro!'ersial. confidential, substantial, individual, intcllectual, factual
pedestdan, sectarian, agrarian, musician, politician, physicjan,


{sian. lndone\ian
companio11, opinior.r, production, deceptior.r. occasion. cohesion, possession, pef mission

Exception: t'tevision

-ious/-cious/-eous/ cufious,mysterious,deliciol"ls,superstitious,ambitious,


prestigious, couragous, outrageous

effi cient, omniscient,



comdic, geognphic, psychological, technological Exceptions: p()litics, linatic. -Arabic, rh6toric

abiliqv, opportuniq',


solidi$., identify, disquali4




and Associated slress Prtlerns

impressive, possessive, obsessiYe

fepetitive, sensitive, competitiv

attitude, multitude, rectitude
geology, astrology, archeology


photogaphy, ofthogaphy, telegraphy


Uett/ ?pith


duplicate, associate, appreciate

/aV xattlr nouns/adjectiues)

apologize, rationalize, recogflize
-ary Q)ronounced




secretary vocabulary scol1dary

Exceptions: elem'ntary supplem6ntary

accuracy, intimacy. legitimacy

category, allegory, salutaf Y

adaptable (adapt), defensible (defense) ExcePtions: c6mparablc (comPare), dem6nstrable (demonstrate), idmirable (admire), pr6femble (prefer) sleepiness (sleepy), politeness (polite)

goyemment (govern), amusement (amuse) beautiful (beauty), mastrtuI (master)

merciless (mercy), mothedess (mother) Cotnnxon sulfixes like -y,-ly,er/o{are and uerb endings do nol cbqnge stress.

Students should record a one-minute description of the picture story below Students should tell the story in their own words.

The fofm on the next page can be used to make a broad valuation of pronunciation,





Too fast


Mostly clear Unclear in parts Mostly unclear

Too many pauses



Natural sounding
Flat sounding
Some uflnatural

Natural sounding: clear phqses

and clear linking of words
Some unnatural pausing/choppiness

sounds choppy, halting

rises/falls in pitch

Other problems (errors with word suess, errors with sounds, mispronounced words):


RECORDING 1. Plug in the microphone.

2. START J ALL PROGRN.MS -+ ENTERTAINMENT J SOUND RECORDER, 3. with the microphone plugged into the computer, click dre red RBCORI) butto[
button again to continue rccording-

,mcl speak



Open rhe FILE menu and cllck SAVE AS. Compress the file if it is large: On the SAVI AS window. click the CFIANCE button.In the SOUND SELECTION window urder FORMAT, select MPegla).er 3 (MP3). Close the SOUND SELEC'IION wiidos'. Nane the file and save it.

5.The file can now be attached in an email and sent.


l. 2. 3. 4.

Plug in the microphone.








Click the red START RECORDING button arid speak into the microphonc. Click the STOP RECORDING buttor when you firish. A Sal-e box \!'ill appear. Name the file and save itRight click on the saved souod ile. SEND TO J COMPRtsSSHD (ZIPPED) A,ttach the comprcs$ed file to an email and send it.


l 2.

Open any existing Sound Recording applicafion on your NIac. If you do not have a Sound Rccording application installed, dovnload and install the ftee version of Audacit)'lM sound recorder (httpr// lt is very easy to use. 2. After the iastallation of Audacity, open the application liom )'our desktop and then use the recording tools to Record, Stop, Rewind, Pause, or Fast'forward. 3. To save the recorded file, click on the FILE mellu and then c]ick on ExPoRT AS MP3. .1. Choose the location to saye the file and then click on SAIE.



Affricate consonants

dveolar consonants
Alveolar ridge Appositives


complex consonants consisting of a stop consonant and fricativejin English, the first sounds in ihair andjazz consonants produced when the tongue appfoaches of touches the alveolar ridie (rhe top of the mouth just behind the top teeth); in English, /t/ and, /s/ are alveolar sounds the top of the mouth just behind the top teeth, before the loof of the moutlt rises phrases fbllon'ing a noun providing additional information: for exanple, in the se\tence Rudy GiutianL one_time nqlor of Neu York CitJt, ran unsuccessfullJt.for president in ZfiOS. ti,re plTrase one-time mayor of Neu york Cit! is an appositive movements of the vocal organs that produce consonants
and vowels


audible puff of aif that accompanies pronunciation of some consonants;in English /p, t, k/ are aspirated wlten a stressed vowel follows

modification of soulds so they become more similar to adjacent sounds;for examplc, in the phfase ,/ aa n't belieae !ou, ma;y speakers assimilate rhe last sounds of can't (/nt/)io the /bf of belieue ("I camp believe you,,), modf(ing /rt/ so rhat botl.r souncls are pronounced with the lips (like ,4ril) Audiolingual approach method for teaching language based on behaviorist vic,w of language learning as habit formation; strong rliancc on pattcrn drills and dialofis
Back rzowels
Vowels produced with the body of the tongue pulled back in the mouth;in Engtish, these inchtde the vowels rn i,uke, took, boat, cougb, and in some dialects,lot


/p. h. m. w,/

Consonants made by moving the lips togetherj in English,

ovedappinti pronunciation of the encl of a word and the beginning of a lbllowirlg word; for example,,,didj a.' for (lid

Centfal vowels

vowels pronounced with the body of the tongue in tlte center of the mouth, rdther front or back;in English these include the vowels in crr, and, in some dialects. the vowel in cot


Citation fof(n Cleat /V Closed syllables

Cognate words

pronunciation of a word in isolation pfonunciation of /1/ at the beginning of a word (toue) syllables that end in one o[ more consonants;for example, the words 4og and 4uck consist of one closed syllable wofds from tx.o different languages with a com]Iron ancestfy; for cxample, English 4ualit! Sp nish cati.tqd are cognares




Communicative approach Cornpounds

approach to thc teaching of second languages that emphasizcs

me,rningftrl language use as both thc means and goal of languagc learning worcls conrposecl of two words; the rneaning of compounds often differs from the meaning \a.hcn the two \41)rcls do not ftrnction as compounds ((r greenlJouse \s.6 green ltouse, groups ol c<rnsonanls (bclt, speqk) sounds like

Consonant clusters Consonants Content wofds

/p/ or /s/ that

are produced b,v obstnrctinli the


of air

with cle1Ir lne aning, usuall,v nouns, r'crbs, adjective s ancl adr.'erbs (.table, run. big, sloul!): cofilent $'ords are

usuall) stressed and contrast with functioll words (usuall) grammar words) w'ith more abstract meanings (.the, lo) alf'd

without stress Continualrts Contrastive stress

Da,tk consonarts SM4LLh


can be prolonged (non-stops)

use of stress and pitch to contrast t$'o words (ls

it BIG or


pronunciation of /l/ at llrc end of a word or s'vllable (c.9., rrell, o/d); tlre back of the tonliue rises to creatc this pronunciatiur
learninli general rules

Deductive rule learning f)evoicing

then applying thcD to Particular cases


pronouncing yoiced sounds as !'oiceless sounds (.c.g., b.rue prononnced like bu[) complex vo\r,elsj in English, /aw/, /ay/ how, biglJ, and Do:).! respectiyely

Discourse markers

/oy/,the vowels in

linguistic expressions showing thc rclatio0ships of differcnt parts of discourse to each othcr; linking words like Bat or Well Jrc c\!ntPlcs uf discottrsc ntrtrlcrs
insertion of a vorvel North American pronunciation of /t/ and /d/ in $'ords like uctter irttd ladde\ flaps have thc sound of a /d/ prorouncccl

Epenthesis Flap

rcry quickJlFricati\.e coflsonaflts

consorants producecl by obstructina the air but not completely stopping it, examples of linglish ftrcatives arc /s/ afld /z/
Yowels procluced with the b(xh of the tonllue pushed fror.It in the mouth;in English, thes includc the vo$'els in leqLe. liue, late, Iet, utd cat. an unrcduced rro\\'cl;lbr txample, the volvel in con in thc word

Front Yowels
Full yow-el Function words

consul.ult ts a ftlll vowel: in thc $ofd col1t1rl tl is rcduced words with abstftrct lirammatical mcaning, Iikc articlcs (a, on, llle) and short prepositions (4-t to): function words are usuall-v unstresscd ancl coDtfirst with contcrt worcls that have clcar meanini (e.9., t/rle, rttn, big, sktu,ly)





the frequency of linguistic features in a language;for example, the vowel contrast in liue-leaue h^s x higher functional load than the yowel conttast rL Luke-look because there are many more word pairs like liueJeaue in English than pairs like luke-look

vowels Glides Glottal consonants Glottal stop Glottaltzed /t/ Glottis Heary syllables

vowels ending in

/w/ or /y/

/w,/ and

/y/ in English

consonants produced at the vocal cords;in English,,zh,/

the sound separating the two parts of ub-olt the sound


in ,nountain

the space between the vocal cords

syllables that are often stressed;in English, closed syllables ending in two of more consonants; syllables with long vowels



vowels produced with the body of the tongue high in the mouthiin English, the vowels it1 leaue, Iiue, Luke, and look
use of pitch,length, and/or loudness to make a word more

Inductive learning

salient to listeners


infefring general rules from particular


Intefdentah Inteflocutef Intonation Intonatlon contour Isolated fh)'thm patterns IIAS


consonants produced with the tongue between the teth;in English, the "th" sounds of tbink tben

^n(l conversational partner;person with whom one speaks meaningful use ofmelody in speech melody or tune of a phrase

English phrases whose syllables are replaced by nonsense syllables (e.g., daDA is the isolated rhlthm pattern of at home), rhl'thm patterns are easier for students to hear when both the phrase and its isolated rhlthm pattern are nodeled together

international teachini assistants



consonant articr ation than involves the lip(s); in English, /p, b,

Consonants made by contact of the teeth and lips;Lr English, air passes out over the sides of the tongue;in Englisli, /1,/

Labiodentals Larynx I-ateral consonant Lax vowels


/i v/

cartilage structures containing the yocal cords (Adam's apple) Vowels produced with less muscula! tension causing them to be slightly centralized compared to their tense counterparts; in Engllsh, the lax vowels include the vowels in liae, let, afld look.


vowels followed by s1'llable final pertaining to words (vocabulary)


/l/ (e.g.,uell)

Lxical stress Light /U

within words

pronunciation of /1/ at the beginnini of

word (/ore)



Liquid consonants Low vowels




in English

vowels produced with the bod,v of the tongue low in the mouth; in English, these include the vowels ir.r cat, cot, and cough

Major stress syllable with hcaviest stress Marked, less rnarked, pairs of linguistic firatures that differ in ease of learning or natrfalnesst "more marked" rnexns 'morc dificult/4ess natural"i more marked for example, a consonant at the end of a word (oat) is more difficult to prononflce (or learned later by first language learners) than the same consonant at the be[iinnini of a word (roe), making word-final position for consonants more marked than word-initial position r.orvels produccd with the bod,v of the tongue in the middle of Mid vowels the mor.rth, neither high nor low;jn English, these include the \owels in mate, ntet, cttt, l'j].d boat pairs of worcls that differ in or y one sound (fot example,go4, Minirnal pairs a$d ?rc a mininal Pair) Mfuror stfess vowel that is stressed but not the most heavily stressed (pitch is low on vol\'els with secondary stress); secondary stress

Monosyllables Nasal consonants Nasalization ifltonation Obstruents Opefl syllables


words consisting of one s,vllable (.e.g.,man)

consonants prodlrccd with air going out through the nose rather than mouthjin Enilish, the last sounds ir some, son, ancl sung air passes through the nose as a sound (often a vowel) is prolouncecl, crcating a "nasal" solrnd

intonation ovcr

a phrase

which does not cnd an utterance


in English, stop, tiicative and atfricatc consonants s_yllables that end in \-owels;for example, both syllables in
are open svllables

numbers inclicating ordcr (t/.st, second, tlrird, etc.) Ordinal numbers Pvl^t^\, pa,latallzed consonants pronollnced with the bod,v of the tongre near the palate the bonl, front part of the roof of the mouth Palate, hard palate widning of pitcll range at thc bcginning of a new discourse topic Paratone


expressions set apart f1'om thc rest of a scntence; in the sentencc that follows,l gres-r is a parenthetic^l: It's time to start uorkinS,
/ g//css.


symbols usecl to represent one and onl,v onc sound (e.g., represents thc v()wel so:ufld in lneet, brief, and key study of the sound s-Ystem of a language, languages
a notc (hiih


Phonology Pitch Pitch leYel Pitch range Polysyllabic

pitch,lo{' pitch)

average pitch

dilferencc bcts'cen the highest and lowest notes in an uttrance words with nlore than one syllable



Pfilrrary stfess Pronunciation spellings Prosody, prosodic Pure yowel

r-colored vowels

prominence given to a syllable/vowel by length, loudness and sometimes high pitch; healy stress respellings of words to mak their pronunciation clearer; .g. respelllng pbilosopr:l as "filosofy"

rhlthm or intonation
vowel produced withour a glide ending Uw/ ot /yt) vowels followed by /r/ (c..r; four) not pronouncirg /r/ after vowels
unstressed vowel that has an indistinct sound (often /a,O; for

Reduced voweV

Reduced words

Rhy.thm Schwa Secondary stress Seglnentals

h rcd\ced;in the not words pronounced with less prominence (with less stress andlor length, with low pitch, with reduced vowels);grammar words like a ot the typically have reduced pronunciations the front of the tongue turns up and back; in English, /r/ is a retroflexed consonant
example , the vowel in con in the word control

wotd consonan' it

alternation of strong and weak syllables/words in connected

speech; pausing; linking of wof ds

reduced vowel sound /J/ (e.g., the pronunciation of the bold letters in ago, Iesson, jealous) vo$/el that is sttessed but not the most heavily stressed (pitch is low on vowels with secondary stress); minor stress
consonants and vowels
"s" like sounds; the bold sounds in the following words are sibilants:so, zoo, sltoe, tneasure, chair, jazz

Sibilants Spelling pronunciations Stop consonant

Stf ess-tirned languages

mispronunciations of words because of confusing spellings; pronunciations based on spellilg

consonants produced by a complet stoppage of ah; English stop consonants are /p, b, t, d, k, g/
languages with a large variety of sllable rypes; stressed syllables are usually longer than unstressed syllables; vowel reduction in

unstressed syllables may also occur

Suprasegmentals Syllable structure Syllables

pronunciation features involving stress, rh]'thm, or intonation types of syllables (e.9., open syllables, closed syllables) that are permitted in a language
units of spoken language that consist of a vowel, possibly surrounded by consonants; ?lslt has two syllables

Tense vowels

with few closed syllables; syllables are often neady equal in length, regardless of sifess

vowels produced with greater muscular tension; in English, these include the vowels in leaue, late and sr?on.



Thought groups Tone languages

meaninllful groups of words pronounced together (phrases)

languages which associate a particular pitch or pitch pattern with individual words; i11 tone languages pitch is an integral element of each word; Chinese is a tone language

Universals vowels/ syllables Uttera{rce Uttefance boundaries Velars


features of language that are found in many languages and are learned early or morc easily [r]- first-language learners


velum ofgafls
Yocal tract Voic quality

in English, vowels/syllables that ar short and often indistinct;for example, the iirst \.owel in ago is rn.rstresscd speech prececlecl and followed by pauscs beginning or end of an utterance consonants produced by moving tlte back of tlte tongue up toward the soft palate;in English, the first sounds in oo4t and 8o4t ltld t]|re last sound in s/l?g soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth structrJres used to produce speech sounds (fo[ example, the
tongue, thc vocal cords)


ancl upper throat


pronunciation features that are generally present in native speech, such as average level of pitch (some languages are
spoken with a relati\''ely higher overall level of pitch, others
a relatively lowcr ovemll level of pitch)



sounds sounds

Voiceless Yowel

sounds produced with vibration of the vocal cords;/z/ is a voiced sound sounds producecl without vibration of the vocal cords;/s/ is voiceless sound


vowels Vowel-vowel sequences Word list

sound of a vowel;in this book vowel quality rcfers to whether vowel is reduced or not sounds like /o,/ produced with very little obstruction of the air


sequencc of two adjacent vowel sounds (e.g., the bold vowels


pronrurciation of

$'ord in isolationi citation forn

pfonuflciatiofl word stfess


prominence given to one or lllore syllables in a word, realized in English as length, loudncss, levcl of pitch, or quality of the vowel


the way in which final sounds and beginning sounds of adjacent words are pronounced

Abercrombie, D. (1949).Teaching prom lciarion. E tglisb Language Teacbtng, 3, 713-122. Acron,\it: (198.1). Changing fossilized pronunciarion. TESOI quarterbr, 1A,71 85. Altenberg, E. (200i).The judgment, perception and prodllclion of consonent\ clu\tcr< in :t
second ianguage.




Applied Lingubtics, 13, 53-80. American Dialect Sociery http t//$/ww: americandialect.oig Anderson'Hsieh,J.,Johnson, R., & Koehler, K. (1992).The relationship berween narive speaker judgments of non native pronuncia tion and deviance in segmentals, prosody and syllable structure . Ianguage Leanling,
42. r2r)-\r\ Anderson-Hsieh,J. & Koehler. K. (1988).The effecr of foreign accent and speaking mte on native speaker comprchensi on. Language

of Englisb, Book 2.Bosron, MArHeinle and Heinle. Benrabah, M. (1997). Word stress-a source of unin, teligibility in Engish. Intel.ndtional Rel)ieul oJ'Applied Linguistics 35:3, t57 -165. Bezooijen, R. van. (1981). Cbaracteristics and recognizabiliq) of t)ocal expressiolts of emotion. Dordrecht: FodsBoeftma, P & Weenick, D. (2009). PX,{,{'f vcrsion . 5-1.20. Retrieved November l1,2009from
Bohn, O.


& Flege,J. (1992).The producrion of new xltd similar vowels by adult German lcnfiers of English. .ttzdies in second language acquisiti on, I 4, 131 - I 58.

Bolinger, D. (1998).

Intonatior in American English. In

Hirst & A. Di Christo @ds), tntonatiott s!* tems: a sut1,t! of 20 languages <pp.45-55). Cambddge: Cambridge Uniyersitv Press.
Bond, Z. (1999). Slips

Learning, 38, 561-673Anderson'Hsich,

ofthe ear: Errors in


&Venkatagiri, H. (1994). Syllable duration and pausing the speech of Chinese



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