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Pronunciation

BRITISH COUNCIL SPAIN – MOTIVATING CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
& TIPS FOR PRONUNCIATION

1 www.britishcouncil.es

What happens: Choose a useful sentence. I’m writing as a newcomer to Spain. You can also areas of language to integrate into a course. For example. as their teachers. or similar. love) and function (for know which sound is in each corner. In this context. having arrived early in 2014. RiCHARD ROOZE 2 . Use a YouTube. We know that students role-play a dialogue but replace Designate each sound to a corner of the the ability to speak clearly and confidently in English is one of the things our students value all words with ‘banana’. in advance of our annual September teachers’ conferences in Madrid. So I hope this booklet will enable you to share fresh ideas on STAND UP. requesting) by using out your list and the students have to run teachers. specific goals than in the past. Whether you see yourself convey feeling or emotion (for example. students (and their parents) have increased as well. and they expect us. you want to be understood and you want to make a good impression. If. And. SIT DOWN! STRESS pronunciation teaching. ask older students to compile the list and then model the ‘banana’ version. are now taking exams at C1 or C2 level. pronunciation can be one of the hardest appropriate stress and rhythm. it will truly be a success. They have to room. Barcelona. pronunciation is very relevant to our theme of ‘Creative ELT’. What happens: This basic warm-up activity Before the class you need to compile a list helps with intonation and stress. to the corresponding corner. during Contributed by: Cheryl Kirkland Contributed by: Hannah Norwood (with the coming academic year. Call on the internet. Our students now have much more Contributed by: Graham Bickell or that students are having problems with. and you will take home a range of useful (and THE FOUR CORNERS GAME SENTENCES practical) approaches that you can build into your classes. and it’s been an interesting period. of course. suggesting. clip of dialogue. to help them get there. sounds that you have been practising. and Valencia. as I’ve learned much about the English teaching going on here. Barcelona Welcome to this year’s British Council Spain mini-publication . Director. the expectations of BANANA! that are going to come up in the lesson.MESSAGE FROM. Students who would have been proud to pass First Certificate ten years ago.prepared.. This is a great endorsement of the work that teachers have done over the last few years.. studying in the UK. for example. and also one of the things they feel most insecure about. The of words which include the four sounds. I must say that overall the picture is a very positive one: almost everybody has told me that levels of English have improved significantly. Get the students to stand in the most. on the other hand. middle of the room and make sure they talking to foreign clients in a future career. it has brought new challenges: as levels improve. as usual. frustration. Bilbao. or simply chatting with friends anger. these things help your students to express What happens: Choose four words or thanks to Joe Wellwood) themselves with greater confidence.

As a class. so as to highlight areas to used as a revision warmer. listen to the word and decide if pairs and have to ‘hit’ words containing the each sound is where it should be. and then train them as ‘ship’ and ‘sheep’. What happens: This works especially well could even get them to record their own. Instruct students to sit down if their word with Primary aged learners. If a player says a word What happens: Perhaps after working Contributed by: Jenny Dale which does not have the same sound. When to make their own. also be adapted to be used with lexical fields. such as rising or or practice after presentation of a specific programme. What happens: Students sit in teams or sentences for other groups to practise. film the programme. or if on some grammar/lexis. Students box of colourful elastic bands. some target 3 4 . including the stress. Get them to write a check This game can be used as reinforcement get students to make their own news list for things to listen for. or for working on minimal pairs such highlighting aspects of connected speech. it can be After practising. and comment on their pronunciation and irregular verbs. such a list the first time. First. and so on. PRONUNCIATION TENNIS to a ‘final performance’. writing the script and falling intonation. You to represent each word in the sentence. and contains a weak form. Contributed by: Peter Jeffrie MAKING WORD STRESS PHYSICAL What happens: Young learners love tongue Contributed by: Sheona Smith twisters and there are plenty of examples What happens: For this activity. same sounds backwards and forwards .bbc. “I went to the shop to buy a STRIPS can compare their production with native book”.uk/newsround) poems in groups and then practise reading team gets the point. It to say the sentence. give the using digital voice recorders or devices.the HERE IS THE NEWS! rules are the same as tennis. choose areas they would like to work on in TONGUE TWISTERS the future. you need a on YouTube or similar video sites. so there is a Contributed by: Jan Byrne Poems competitive aspect. and do some listening skills work. Place various phonemes that with exaggerated pronunciation leading up are being studied around the classroom. You may want to give them sound. get them to listen focus on. they have learnt and been drilled with can be a lot of fun! Students try again but this time faster and previously. the other player or Newsround (www. for example. Then the other poems. Choose (in this case) nine students Contributed by: Natalia Khan speaker production using the video clips. This activity can the students watch it. watch BBC What happens: Students make up short they hesitate for too long.co. Students have to go and stand next to the Contributed by: Brian Milligan Students can also generate their own phoneme which corresponds to their word. Students then try students a strip of paper with a word that compare them with the videos they saw. Alternatively.

an emotion). so why not use them for 3. e. vocabulary. students can repeat the activity throw their balls into the corresponding What happens: Everyone loves and their partner’s pronunciation. stressed syllable at first. red and small groups. you demonstrate the ‘physical’ to help their partners guess the target team if their ball is in the correct bucket/bin pronunciation? As a follow-up to some 5 6 . and have them pronounce the yellow. for example. excruciating). it is important the stretching on the ‘MA’. or with one pair presenting both connected speech and of the item itself. 1. and a good dose of both thumbs. A tip is to keep the topics humour! the stressed syllable and at the same time What happerns: The whole class sit in a simple. as opposed to what they are meaning of your target lexis. and then have a one minute conversation about the topic with the chosen vocabulary (like extreme adjectives. DUB IT! to pronounce the individual words. the students. Students get a point for their comedy series. but mime the words using the elastic band bucket/bin. ‘talking about football’ infuriating. This activity can be done in pairs or to focus on the pronunciation of the lexis in 4. one bucket/bin is /I/ 2. from YL classes to Advanced ESP choose one card from each set (a topic and courses. The paper is scrunched into balls. the other a list It can be used in class for all levels and group of emotional states. Next. Encourage your students to work in pairs encourage them to keep trying to stress the while another is /i:/. raises awareness of how important it is to Prepare two sets of cards: one should have make students ‘feel’ the language. For fun. a list of conversation topics. but phoneme. then says “GO!” and the students Contributed by: Simon Harwood the main syllable and evaluating their own 5. classroom or in the middle are assigned a giving them ownership over the activity. The teacher says a word.say blue. the class could You can do this in the following way: target vocabulary again while stretching Buckets or watepaper bins at the front of the suggest the topics and emotions to be used. and mark the main stress. and learners and beyond. This usually gets students laughing. this activity really makes the task memorable and should help towards ONE MINUTE DRAMA making them more aware of the importance of Contributed by: Alastair Roy marking stress in the correct place.g. In pairs. the students types. Put up the individual words on the board the elastic band on the stressed syllable. with semi-circle with a space in the middle. In the latter. stressing correct syllable in the target vocabulary. and then a firther point by saying another Although students may ‘over-exaggerate’ the word with the same phonemic sound. Teams are speaking. such as aspect by stretching your elastic band across PRONUNCIATION BASKETBALL emotion (for example. pronouncing the word on Contributed by: Cordelia Birkbeck while being ‘sad’). so that the focus is on how they After having highlighted the form and stretch the elastic band: e. ‘aMAzing’. What happens: This is a useful activity for This simple but very effective activity adds practising intonation with upper-intermediate a bit of fun to practising pronunciation. Now hand out elastic bands to each of paper of different colours . are divided into three groups and given A4 saying.g ‘sheep’. to the class.

‘thorough’.g. video and you should notice that their time to explore the app easiest to remember. The teacher British Council phonemic chart app (you File series. or We can highlight some of these to higher sounds (phonemes) in words. and use it to show them: ‘ough’ (think of ‘dough’. What they should be doing. English spelling INTROduction TO PHONEMIC SCRIPT work on another list with of the vocal organs is not reliable for pronunciation as it can Contributed by: Neeraj Dhanani reverse transcription (there are many available generate many different sound combinations What happens: The objective of this from English words to phonemic script. content work. give students the script for some class time to familiarise themselves PHYSICAL PHONEMES You can also refer to the ‘schwa’ as the a short scene (between one and three with phonemic symbols. and how of an English language film. and pronunciation has improved. however. the name of simply do an image search on your favourite level students. What they are doing right or wrong ‘cough’. symbols. ‘tomb’ and ‘comb’. (e. ‘bough’. Particularly ask them to find out and phonemes.g. in search engine). most course ‘nothing sound’ in terms of production). then again with the are. in pronunciation books. and finally with no of words with phonemic transcriptions of for this. tongue in relation to teeth for ‘th’) and spellings in the dictionary and practice 7 8 . and they have had the transcription. activity is to raise awareness of individual Finally. their mobile apps. Then get students to download the books also include them . After your students to use examples. ‘through’. You can then What happens: Students will invariably popular series that I’ve used with adults write down the actual provide a tongue twister struggle with the fact that words look the and older teens are ‘Friends’ and ‘The Big words. with the help of which focuses on that same.the New English Lastly. This activity and hear the different use it to help students WAYS TO UNDERSTAND THAT ENGLISH has never failed me! I would use it with B1 sounds give students identify their own SPELLING IS NOT RELIABLE FOR classes and above. Tell utterance of each. ‘tough’. these days. the title or Sheep?’ and ‘Tree or Three?’ series. audio at all. has one with pictures (or more) parts and encourage separate should use his/her judgement. and so on. almost audio barely audible. such as ‘bomb’. like the classic ‘Ship from identical combinations of letters. and show students dictionary entries class: see above for where to find our app what the sound really is (a very weak. and to aid with memory of scene as they watch. and ‘hiccough’!). Contributed by: Simon Mead ‘zombie sound’ in order to avoid connections minutes). and get to take away a useful free app which to see if they can identify the words from 2. and Bang Theory’. At the end of the activity students phonemic script. although with the right a list of words written specific pronunciation PRONUNCIATION material there’s no reason why Primary in phonemic script and issues with single Contributed by: Ellie O’Carroll students couldn’t do it too. will therefore assume they sound the same. Where possible use L1 After the dubbing. finished this. students You can also use a visual but as we teachers all know. Having particular phoneme. e. the students use the the Apple Store). then script to perform the scenes with no giving the students some whichever they feel is ‘psss’. separate consonant clusters into two practice at each stage. for example. such as the seven sounds of these can be represented using phonemic an English language book. can get this through as a memory aid. fine. ‘crisps’ – ‘Cris de Cristina’. and show it to a partner 1. Have the whole class dub the First briefly explain what phonemic symbols What happens: Use the phonemic chart in to ‘aah’ sound. position of get them to look up the phonetic symbols they can come back to. they write their names. If the students need more words.

and the length of different meanings. ‘never’. This as well as speaking.g. Contributed by: Anne de Leon Start out by doing some top-down ENGLISH SENTENCE STRESS i: ‘bough’ = ‘how’. This means that stress in spoken sentences differently sound the same but have totally changes the meaning of the sentence). will also reinforce the fact that some they chose which word from the sentence like the song? Why? Why not? language is often referred to as ‘stress-timed’. a Phonemic chart. Have a flipchart ready with this exact same preferably ones which you know learners will time it takes to say something depends on 9 10 . the learners will work towards grouping from intermediate to proficiency. would stress in this sentence. ‘told’. Blank out words each time (there are eight possibilities). Then they can complete the blanks. perhaps using their Contributed by: Lynn Gallacher and Lesley beside the original word as an aid to students to underline the one word they knowledge of the artist. ‘cough’ = ‘off’. that have these sounds from the lyrics of Ask students to explain the difference in the song. one of my students’ favourites. are spelt quite (‘I’. raise their VOWEL SOUNDS awareness of the target sounds. them something new that opens up a door to and perhaps by modelling the sound of the understanding induced meaning.and preferably one that be a starting point for many other things! another word that has the same sound but exercise contains rhyming couplets. such as ‘flower’ and check with their partners and explain why personal feelings about the song are. . They find it words yourself. What happens: Write on the board “I comprehension exercises with the learners demonstrating stress timing to record it in their vocabulary dictionary never told you I wanted to marry Paul!” Ask listening to the song. etc. get them to work with these words. conversely. This activity is learners. Do they how sentence stress works in English. USING SONGS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF in the process of doing so. it teaches Using a good dictionary. Contributed by: Andrew McMullen A limitation of this activity is that the learners What happens: An activity I like to do don’t really get a chance to produce the towards the beginning of a course is to target sounds – as described it only raises identifying and memorising the sounds. Students at this point to ask the learners what their What happens: To explain a little about Using homophones. the ‘flour’. and so on). sentence but a different word underlined have more difficulty with. “I NEVER TOLD YOU I WANTED TO choose a song that your group would awareness of particular sounds – but that can It also helps to get students to think of MARRY PAUL!” Sentence stress find memorable . the words according to the rhyming couplets. is spelt quite differently (e. Always make sure Denham pronunciation. and. It works well at all levels way. words which. occurs at regular intervals. and identify the vowel sounds that match. ask the learners to categorise useful and like that it helps with their listening the words according to their sounds. ‘dough’ = ‘go’.each of which Then focus in on the rhyming couplets. and before giving these to your meaning for each sentence.

at intermediate and advanced levels. rather syllable. ‘and then The students read the text to see if they a’ gets very much squashed and shortened can understand the message. conjunctions. not on the grammar words and see how they the number of words: in other languages. they watch and listen to check. they need to focus stressed elements in the utterance. prepositions. You and you will notice the numbers in this need to choose a short scene from a film case are the stressed words. complete the text with the missing words. so they find it difficult to reproduce the speech that you don’t change how you say them. etc. more or less equal time to each syllable. unstressed words in between are said but leave all the grammar words (auxiliary much more quickly in order to keep the verbs. languages. the number of stressed syllables. This shows that the time it takes to say Next. and then they to fit in with the timing of the sentence. and the and write down the dialogue/monologue. Focusing on the weak which are not stress-timed. naturally. say. The following example is ideal: 1-2-3-4 USING FILMS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 CONNECTED SPEECH a 1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4 Contributed by: Amalia Grapa a 1 and then a 2 and then a 3 and then a 4 What happens: This activity can be used The four sentences should take a native to introduce features of connected speech speaker the same length of time to say. those words would be pronounced than the number of syllables itself (other more completely (not squashed or broken). think of four sentences of about the streams. even if same length and record them naturally. learners’ understanding of English speech First. and so help their listening. rhythm of the language. are pronounced. that give more equal time and and the utterance would take longer to stress to syllables are called ‘syllable. The the sentence depends on the number of second time they listen. If you want to show your learners how this Demonstrating this fact can greatly increase works in practice. A syllable-timed language would give timed’). the stress forms of these words will raise your students’ would fall more equally on each word and awareness of how words are pronounced 11 12 . In fact.) out. do the following task.

they shout ‘Snap!’. players then start over. listening skills. copy the intonation. say what is on the card when they place it pointing out features of connected speech When learners are ready. in both their speaking and.‘milk’. at me while saying it). perhaps more groups of elementary level students who a fun way to practise pronunciation. if the card matches (i. Ask the student to say it RECOrD YOURSELF they would group ‘meat’. yourself clapping on the content/stressed models of language. You can further are having difficulty distinguishing between students are motivated to pronounce words demonstrate the stress-timed nature of vowel sounds. ‘bread’ for /e/ . to close their eyes). Learners must pronounce the area to work on for learners and teachers word correctly to win the cards. correctly because they have to get it right to English in the following way. when connected. all the cards). 13 14 . explain how to play snap: students have words (it sometimes helps to ask students structures. is often neglected. ‘egg’. and memorize it. Ask a student to choose one instance. and do it as many times as you game continues until one player has won What happens: Sentence stress is a difficult feel you need to. it has the record their utterances. ‘grapes’ /eI/. cards according to the common sounds: for a tapescript). Students should then group the answers to an exercise or sentences from them with their listening skills. ‘fish’. language can cause problems for learners What happens: I use this activity with level students. Say the sentence What happens: Learners listen to good ‘chicken’ for /I/ . ‘cheese’. if they were food and drink items. alike. and the Denham the results. If they don’t. the first person to shout it wins the cards Contributed by: Lynn Gallacher and Lesley Repeat the process until they’re happy with in the pile. and it will also help words. way they are pronounced in isolation items on them (I prefer to use pictures so (their strong forms).‘bagel’. It’s a low preparation activity. and importantly. For this reason. Explore further by marking stress and language.‘lemon’. This is an activity students students know how to pronounce the that have come up in the lesson (perhaps can do on their own. demonstrating stress timing recordings and analyse any differences. and must steps. Next. or record them same sound as the one on the top of the pile ENGLISH SENTENCE STRESS ii: more on yourself. as compared to the Give students a set of cards with the target win the cards. it’s also an area which PRONUNCIATION SNAP their partner can challenge them. but this aspect of the Contributed by: Suzanne Anderson This activity works well with primary and low. ‘beans’ for WITHOUT reading (I always ask them to look Contributed by: Bob Steane /I:/.e. get them to on the pile. same number of cards in a pile face down. Repeat the last two and then practise saying the modelled they take turns to turn over a card. This can be followed that the spelling doesn’t interfere with the FIVE MINUTE sentence stress FILLER by marking the pauses in the text to see pronunciation). ‘cake’. Ask students to identify Contributed by: Joanna Marriott how this will help students understand the the stressed vowel sound and check that What happens: Take a number of sentences message better. They can then listen back to the when they place it down). and accent (if possible).

How are you?” An alternative is to play a fairly short or “I like bananas”. or ‘you’re on a try and recreate the listening extract using rollercoaster’. but are not limited to. working with phrases to do with purchasing students may pronounce words according You can then give the students the tape EXPRESS YOURSELF! items in a clothes shop. the words they have and their knowledge simple. Then. and using their knowledge drilling and build up sentences that are morning. ask students to listening extract . hand waving good morning). and ask them What happens: This is an activity which at the top of the board on the right. sales assistant column. imagine that you have been that you do not write the sentence because utterance: verbs. a stressed. For example. write actively recall the sentence rather than read to predict which words they think will be works with any age-group and level. You can of the language to build meaning. plus. ‘you’re in a shop where every word. as opposed to the language compare the students’ versions with the in each of the situations.and have students write down the situations. on intonation. in plenary. represent this sentence (for example. Keeping the phrases short. Some that this isn’t a dictation exercise and you examples of situations could be ‘talking to a don’t want students to try to write down 6-month-old baby’. “Hello.maybe a paragraph in say the phrase in a variety of imagined length . give the students the tape and understand the language by taking Contributed by: Elizabeth Beer first?” and “What exactly do they say?” For script and play a very short extract. After completing a listening comprehension activity shows that native speakers listen DIALOGUE DRILLS ‘Customer’. and discuss with students how this 15 16 . write ‘Sales Assistant’. It is important that carry meaning or give sense to the the gist of a stream of speech. how may I help you?” Under the the words that are stressed. At the top of the to how they are written. The student generated is through dialogue drills. Ask the students in groups to the service is really slow’. for example. original. Ask the students “Who speaks task in class. a student might volunteer “Good Students should mark on the tape script stressed ones). but is stressed. script to another extract or an alternative Contributed by: Alastair Roy board on the left. draw a symbol to then discuss the kinds of words that are important conclusion here is that it is not These work best with. note of the important words (usually the What happens: A great way to practise example. and adjectives. varying the intonation can play the tape several times. Play the recording to check particularly successful with young learners. and familiar makes students focus of the English language. and it engages the brain more as they must listening before they hear it. Finally. You they would feel. They will usually be the words necessary to understand every word to get transactional dialogues. say. not sound. whether the predictions were correct or Give students a simple word or phrase to not. Emphasise of their phrases to suit the setting. nouns. focusing on the emotions important (stressed) words they hear.

the • If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled students will have built up a dialogue that is peppers. try to elicit correction of the error exercise. task. etc. yellow lorry. 1. this could correction. pairs. vs. This usually causes grammar or vocabulary activities This activity works well as it highlights a a good laugh. the phrases. can choose from whole class. female. This comes up during the activity.By the end of the activity. Have a go at Integrating pronunciation into from the students. etc. yellow ask the class to go back to the beginning lorry. where’s the peck of pickled meaningful to them (they have generated it peppers Peter Piper picked? for you) and you have had the opportunity Ask the learners to read the tongue to listen and correct pronunciation twisters aloud. When? 17 18 . and makes the activity more Contributed by: Stuart Anderson problem to students and enables them to THE TONGUE TWISTER GAME two-way and interactive. Then faster. Write the following sound. What happens: While monitoring students produce the correct form. saying them yourself. It works for the teacher as it is a tongue twisters. Write your first name produce the error. What did she/he do? form from them. male • A proper copper coffee pot. Fayter Now ask the students to have a go at in pairs. and they have the awareness of tongue twisters in their L1. Then ask the students if they have any arises. Draw a symbol. Ask the • Around the rugged rocks the ragged students to tell you what the next sentence rascal ran. while correcting the they see that the teacher is listening for on the board or on pieces of paper to 3. red lorry. it passively. Then three properly. and they help ‘Consequences’ game. the importance of pronunciation raised. Here are some 4. and then • Red lorry. drill. They work well as warmers activity is a variation of the famous be a weak form or issues with a particular very simple way to introduce pronunciation to get students speaking. It works for the students as First. table by table. examples: Drill the sentence with the students. Draw the attention of a few practice into every class by exploiting students to practise pronouncing sounds on the board: different individual pairs to the issue if they activities that learners are already likely in English. every time the issue more than just the correct answer to an distribute to students. choose a pronunciation issue that but at this stage encourages self and peer What happens: All levels and ages enjoy creating their own tongue twisters. would be. Later. and elicit the correct to be doing. before they complete their final times in a row. and then very Contributed by: Kate Joyce and Guy doing a grammar or vocabulary exercise soon afterwards recycles the problem form. write some English tongue twisters 2. and tell you the dialogue as you point to • A big black bug bit a big black bear. Where? exercise in plenary. You • She sells sea shells on the sea shore.

On the board draw a series of giving students letters. Finally. while symbols. Students then have to organise works to introduce them to whichever started with it. use the game ‘Stop’ . Their answer must begin with small groups. set of cards. incorporate commonly confused words.e. . or right symbol and one point for correct at lunchtime because she lost her ‘chocolate’. They continue until all the represented by a dash (for example.g. who writes an and stress patterns (15 to 20 words is year. several phonemic symbols around the • Bob bought a bike in Bali on his A variation of this activity in monolingual room (e. Also. What happens: At the beginning of the to the person on their right. 5. the sound. try to asked. respectively). ‘vegetable’. ‘softly’ and As students become familiar with the It might help if you give the students some ‘jersey’ would be in the same group. Students then pass of patterns representing the syllables and phoneme. Students • Susan sang a song at the seaside on and have them translate the vocabulary then have to run to the symbol and when six September because she saw some before working with it. the beginning of the name (Bob . give them the Bob .bought for the stressed syllable which could be Students have to find words containing. pronunciation. laundry. For example. the .in Bali).g. to help students start to hear the answer to question 2 on the paper they’ve perfect). students 19 20 . The sunshine. Why? Because… Helping students begin to Then tell the students to get into teams of SORTED SYLLABLES differentiate between vowel about 5 people. before passing the paper with words of varying lengths. _ not beginning with. by playing and showing them through an to question 3.bought a bike). in small groups. they can be incorporated into examples before they begin the exercise: ‘believe’ and ‘seldom’ would be in different games. matching them to phonemes you think they need help with. exemplifying the target sounds the paper on again and write their answers stress patterns of the words in the group. _ and _ . could represent the stress pattern of unfamiliar with the phonemic chart this paper is passed back to the person who ‘computer’). and divide students into pairs or difference be minimal pairs (such as /i:/ received. a plane). the tongue twisters aloud. They should then write.but instead the first sound in the person’s name (e. syllables. again using the sound at for example a dot for each syllable. /aI/ /æ/ /eI/) and then shows the birthday because he was bored. a bike . If they are questions have been answered. Each group should have a and /I/). say the word on the image. students get one point for choosing the • Laura laughed in the laundrette such as ‘comfortable’. Contributed by: Alastair Roy sounds using the phonemic chart on a piece of blank paper. except online version of the Phonemic chart.g. the teacher sticks groups: . and the learners read all of the words into groups. their answers What happens: Prepare a set of cards Contributed by: Felicity Woods to question 1. Alternatively. classes is to give students the words in L1 students an image (e. the correct stress pattern (i.

For example. lips. discussion. can play ‘Pictionary’. student sees /I/ and draws a After the ride hill. It’s reasons they found listening difficult in fun to use the names of the students in the English. some students explained the in pairs or groups. And the smile on the face of the tiger. word. amongst other things.. trying to keep to the rhythm. 2. etc.” © British Council 2014 It’s likely that what the students are referring to here.“I panic when I don’t understand every limericks out. And stress timing is most noticeable in patterned language such as poetry and limericks. The students. who draws and a point for the guesser. Here are some limericks I’ve a symbol and has one minute to draw used with my students: images containing the sound until another 1. One student is given explanations.“Some words are swallowed. pig. is the stress-timed aspect of English.” .. member of the group identifies the sound. so using these can be a fantastic way to highlight this aspect of English pronunciation without technical 21 22 . Contributed by: Lynn Gallacher and Lesley she slipped through the straw and fell in! Denham Read the limericks aloud and check the What happens: In a recent class students understand them. There was a young lady from Niger. Some comments were: class to start the limerick. Give a point to the student She was inside.“The words come too fast!” stressed syllables and the students read the . Next we mark the . Who smiled as she rode on a tiger. then try writing one. There once was a lady named Lynn ENGLISH SENTENCE STRESS iii: Who was so uncommonly thin demonstrating stress timing that when she essayed through listening to limericks to drink lemonade.

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