You are on page 1of 2

Pronunciation Battleship

From Dave’s ESL Café (

Purpose: To use the “Battleship” game model to help ESL students become more comfortable
with a specific set of words (14-16).

Instructions: You will need two sets of grids. The grids should be comprised of two 8x8 or 9x9
column grids. See attached grids as an example. Along the top row of the grid, write words that
are to be practiced. These words can be taken from lesson vocabulary, from the day’s reading, or
from word lists that the student is keeping to track areas of difficulty. The words can be related
to each other or, like the examples, be a composite of words. In the example grid, the words are
organized in “sound alike” pairs.
Write another list of words down the first column.

Give the grids to the students/ pairs. Both pairs should have the same word grid. Ask the
students to draw the “battleships” onto their grids – independently of their partner. Each student
should draw:
1 - 5-block ship
2 - 4-block ships
3 – 3-block ships
4 – 2-block ships
5 – 1 block ships
It is easier to begin by drawing the larger ships and working to the one-block ships.

The students play in pairs or teams. In turns, one player calls out a location on the grid. For
example, Player A may select the location “fled/felt.” Player B would respond “miss” to this
guess. Player A notes the miss on the top grid. Player B then selects a location. Hits are
designed with an “X” and missed with an “O.”

When a player has found all of the parts to one ship, for example, if Player B finds the 2-block
ship at “store/goal” and “store/freed,” the other says “Sunk” instead of “Hit.” As in Battleship,
the first player to sink all the ships wins.

Because the goal of this game is to correctly pronounce the selected words, you should
encourage the pairs to write down the location each person calls. For example, it the sample
grids, the calls “fled/felt” and “freed/felt” maybe be misheard or may cause confusion. If each
player keeps a list of the calls made and calls heard, the players can compare the list at the end of
the game to see if any mistakes were made.

Answers: In the attached game, the correct calls for ships are:
Player A Player B
1-block ships: 1-block ships:
Fled/store Stare/felt
Burn/mouse Rare/store
Freed/mouse Goal/felt
Stare/need Freed/rear
Goal/need Freed/need
2-block ships: 2-block ships:
Rare/need + House/need Stare/rear + Rare/rear
House/rear + House/mouse Rare/felt + Rare/learn
House/learn + Fled/learn Fled/learn + Burn/learn
Goal/store + Freed/store Goal/learn + Goal/glad

3-block ships: 3-block ships:

Stare/mouse, Stare/felt, Stare/learn Burn/store, Goal/store, Freed/store
Fled/felt, Burn/felt, Goal/felt Fled/need, Burn/need, Goal/need
Burn/learn, Goal/learn, Freed/learn Freed/mouse, Freed/felt, Freed/learn

4-block ships: 4-block ships:

Rare/store, Rare/rear, Rare/mouse, Rare/felt Stare/glad, Rare/glad, House/glad,
Fled/rare, Burn/rare, Goal/ rare, Freed/rare Fled/glad
House/rear, Fled/rear, Burn/rear,
5-block ship:
House/glad, Fled/glad, Burn/glad, Goal/glad, Freed/goal

5-block ship:
Stare/mouse, Rare/mouse,
Fled/mouse, Burn/mouse