QualityTime-ESL

Sound It Up!—With Makoula Malyari

Makoula Malyari works at Oxford House College, London

Discuss the following questions with the person next to you:

I) How much pronunciation teaching do you do?
What pronunciation problems do your students frequently have?

II) What factors are involved in good pronunciation?

1. Position of mouth & tongue

2. Familiarisation with minimal pairs

3. Familiarisation with voiced & unvoiced sounds

4. Word & sentence stress

5. Intonation: rising & falling intonation patterns & pitch

6. Awareness of weak forms

7. Speed, pauses & chunks of language

8. Connected speech: assimilation, elision & intrusion

Discuss the following questions with the person next to you:

I) How much pronunciation teaching do you do?
What pronunciation problems do your students frequently have?

II) What factors are involved in good pronunciation?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

1. POEMS : Ideal for supplementing your syllabus on Valentine’s Day . Either write words on the board and encourage students to think of words which rhyme or give ss a copy of the Complex sound maze (from Pronunciation Games by Mark Hannock, CUP 1995) to do in pairs. Then give students a model of a poem and encourage them to adapt it and to write their own poems. You can then get students to vote on the best one and reward the winning team!! (look at handout)

For young learners, you can teach them the following song and then get them to substitute the words highlighted with rhyming words:

This old man, he played one
He played knick-knack on my thumb

CHORUS
With a knick-knack paddy wack
Give a dog a bone
This old man came rolling home

This old man, he played two,
He played knick-knack on my shoe
CHORUS
This old man, he played three,
He played knick-knack on my knee
CHORUS
This old man, he played four
He played knick-knack on my door
CHORUS
This old man, he played five,
He played knick-knack on my hive”

2. RUNNING DICTATIONS
These always work well with younger and older learners. They are very effective and a lot of fun!!!! After practicing some phonemes, divide students into pairs, A & B. Put up some sentences for students A and others for students B. Tell students this is a race. Students take it in turns to run up to their sentences, read them, memorize them and then dictate them to their partner, who has to write them down. The first pair to finish are the champions – and can be rewarded! You can either write out the sentences yourself or encourage ss to write out sentences for one another, making the activity more intrapersonal and challenging.

3. BOARD RACES
There are many varieties of board races and they are always very engaging and involve minimum preparation.
a) Divide the board into 2 or 3 columns. Write a different phonemic symbol above each column (preferably sounds which are easily confused). Students in 2 teams. Hand out different coloured board markers to each team. Ss (students) can either listen to the words dictated by the teacher and run to the board and record them OR students work together and write down words of their own with the correct phonemes under each column. The team with the largest number of correct words is the winner!!!As an extension to this, ss are paired up and stand opposite one another. The students facing the board have to call out words on the board in random order. Their partner, who has their back to the board, has to identify the phoneme by holding up the correct flashcard.
b) Teacher puts a list of words on the board. The class is divided into 2 teams. The teacher reads out a word. Students race and circle the phoneme they heard.

4. THE MINIMAL PAIRS PHONE
Draw a phone on the board and record phonemes and words next to each number on the dial (e.g next to number 1, write down / ^ / cut ; next to number 2, write down /ae/ cat , etc) . Do this with 5 minimal pairs. You then read out some of the words and ss listen and note down the numbers that correspond to them. Tell ss this is your phone number – check their answers. Students then sit in teams and do the same thing.

5. SONGS
a) Rewrite the lyrics of a song without any contractions, e.g
I do not care if Monday is blue
Tuesday is grey and Wednesday too
Thursday i do not care about you…..
SS listen and identify the contracted words and rewrite it in its correct version.
b) Remove words from lyrics of a song. Scramble them and tell ss to think of words which rhyme with them. Get ss to listen to the song and check their predictions.

6. FIND SOMEONE WHO
Prepare cards with lexis containing some of the phonemes covered in your lesson. SS mingle and use the prompts on their card, (e.g for the phonemes /_ / and /u:/ ) to find their partners.

You want: You have:
A ruler a pair of shoes
Some wool some fruit
Some toothpaste a school bag

7. WALL CHARTS
Record a phoneme on a piece of cardboard which you wish to focus on and put it up in the classroom– one phoneme a week. SS are encouraged to add words which contain that phoneme at the end of each lesson. Those words can be recycled on the last day of the week.

8. CARD GAMES

a) BINGO: An old time favourite. The teacher calls out the phonemes and a SS shouts BINGO! when all the phonemes on his/her card have been heard.

b) PELMANISM; create cards with words and phonemes. SS play a memory game matching the cards.

c) MAZES: refer to Pronunciation Games (by Mark Hannock, CUP 1995) or produce your own – see handout

9. MIMING
When focussing on minimal pairs, get ss to pay attention to your mouth / tongue position, e.g for the phonemes / l / and / r /. Mime a pair of words (e.g /rais/ and /lais/)and tell ss to note down which word they think you mimed twice. SS then practise with one another.

10. PRONUNCIATION PYRAMIDS
This activity caters for both visual and mathematical/logical learners. (see handout). It could be competitive.

11. SOUND TENNIS
Again, very good when doing minimal pairs. Teacher says a phoneme, e.g /d / and ss have 3 seconds to say a word containing that sound. Then the teacher says the other phoneme / j / and again gives ss 3 seconds to come up with a word. SS then sit in pairs and challenge one another – they MUST NOT repeat words!!!!!

12. PERSONALITY ADJECTIVES
This activity is mainly suitable for more advanced learners. Read out the adjectives (look at handout) one by one and get ss to stand up every time they hear an adjective which describes their mood at that moment. All the adjectives on the spidermap contain the schwa sound. Working in small groups, ss make a list of all the ones they remember, then practise saying them. This can be exploited further: desirable vs undesirable, etc

13. SHADOW READING
This is better done with short texts. Teacher reads out a text and ss read along silently, paying attention to stress. Then the teacher reads it again, this time the ss are whispering the text as they read along, paying attention to stress and pauses. Next, the ss read the text with the teacher at normal speed and volume.

14. CHINESE WHISPERS
This is an old classic, and it works really well with learners of all ages. It’s best to form sentences from words which are easily confused as the end result will be hilarious! (e.g I’m working on the grass)

15. TONGUE TWISTERS & LIMERICKS
You can either prepare these yourself or encourage ss to write them. For limericks, apart from rhyming words, ss can also be familiarised with the stress and rhythm of limericks and be encouraged to hum it.

16. THAT’S STRETCHING IT (by Adrian Underhill)
This activity is VERY effective but presupposes that ss are familiar with the phonemic alphabet. During the week, record words that ss have had difficulty pronouncing. Put ss into small groups. Show them a word, drill it and in so doing, exaggerate and stretch each sound. While doing this, point at each of the sounds on the phonemic chart. e.g ‘culture’ /k_lt_∂/. Ss are then given words which they must drill in the same way.

1. Familiarise ss with the phonemic alphabet. There are a number of ways of doing this:
∑ Use the visuals from English file
∑ Use cuisennaire rods
∑ Use the face activity (for diphthongs) – see handout

2. When recording lexis on the board, remember to record it in phonemic script. SS will grow to be more familiar with the symbols in this way. Alternatively, consider using vocabulary flashcards.

3. Devote an hour a week to pronunciation practice. Students love pronunciation games and it takes the workload off the teacher.

4. Incorporate pronunciation into your teaching syllabus when doing grammar and vocabulary activities.

4. Either record ss or get them to ’talk to the wall’ so as to listen to themselves and correct themselves.

5. Drill, drill and drill them again!!!!!

/ _ / /_:/

cat bath

fact laugh

man farm

obstinate passionate ambitious

adventurous affectionate

boisterous cantankerous cautious

ADJECTIVES
DESCRIBING
PERSONALITY

capricious anxious degenerate

delicate desperate flirtatious

fortunate inadequate nervous

THE BEATLES

Oh yeah, I will tell you something

I think you will understand

When I say that something

I want to hold your hand, I want to hold your hand, I want to hold your hand

Oh, please, say to me,

You will let me be your man

And please say to me

You will let me hold your hand

Now let me hold your hand

I want to hold your hand

And when I touch you I feel happy inside

It is such a feeling that my love

I cannot hide, I cannot hide, I cannot hide

Yeah, you have got that something

I think you will understand

When I say that something

I want to hold your hand, I want to hold your hand, I want to hold your hand

And when I touch you I feel happy inside

It is such a feeling that my love

I cannot hide, I cannot hide, I cannot hide

Yeah, you have got that something

I think you will understand

When I say that something

I want to hold your hand, I want to hold your hand, I want to hold your hand

WEBSITES:

www.onestopenglish.com
www.soundsofenglish.org
www.tuneintoenglish.com

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Pronunciation Games by Mark Hancock, CUP 1995

Ship or Sheep by A. Baker, CUP

Three or Tree by A. Baker, CUP

New Headway Pronunciation by S. Cunningham, P. Moor, B. Bowler and S. Parminter, CUP


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