Pronunciation is a crucial part of educating children. When they know how to pronounce a word correctly, it is easier for others to understand them. Moreover, it helps them learn different languages efficiently. Teaching the right pronunciation to students is a challenging task for teachers. They may face various issues at each level. For example, teachers might find it hard to find relevant resources and activities to teach pronunciation to children.
If you are a teacher willing to help your students ace their communication skills, you can take cues from the tips mentioned below.
How to teach pronunciation to beginners?
The key points you need to remember while teaching pronunciation to your students is:
- Syllable stress
You can point out common syllable stress patterns to help your students understand the significance of using the right words. Moreover, it will help them understand that multisyllabic words need syllable stress.
- Voiced and voiceless consonants
Teaching the difference between voiced and voiceless consonants is also important for an improved pronunciation. You can ask your students to touch their throat and feel the difference when they speak ‘z’ and ‘s’ and ‘f’ and ‘v.'
- Silent letters
Various words have silent letters. Examples of such words include subtle, comb, design, listen, and thought. You can teach your students how to pronounce such words and notice the mistakes they make when saying those words.
Helping students improve their basics of grammar and pronunciation is crucial to enhance their communication skills. As a teacher, you can help them improve their skills through different activities and exercises. For example, you can use grammar chants to help your students hone their pronunciation skills by repeating the same word continuously.
Pronunciation activities for beginners
You can help your students learn the correct words and their articulation through the activities mentioned below.
- Rhyming games: Prepare cards and write words on them. Ask your students to find a word that matches the word written on the card.
- Word association: Prepare a few cards and paste them onto the classroom walls. Now ask your students to pronounce those words loudly before everyone. It is a fun activity to enhance the retention and pronunciation skills of students.
How to teach articulation to intermediate-level learners?
The key points to remember when teaching pronunciation to intermediate learners is:
- Use of minimal pairs
Help your students understand the difference between similar-sounding words and how these words have different pronunciations.
- Word stress patterns
Ask your students to frame short sentences and help them learn accurate pronunciation by focusing on short sentences using standard word stress patterns.
- Introduce stress and intonation
Intonation is the difference in the pitch when you try to speak something. On the other hand, stress refers to the emphasis on a specific word while speaking. As a teacher, you can use lyrics and songs to teach the difference between stress and intonation to students.
Pronunciation activities for intermediate learners
- Tongue twisters: You can ask your students to repeat the tongue twisters. It will help them focus on the phonemes. Some examples of tongue twisters include:
- She sells seashells at the seashore.
2. A big black bear sat on a big black rug.
- Dictations: Say a few words aloud and ask your students to write them in their notebooks.
How to teach pronunciation to advanced learners?
The key points to remember are:
- Refine understanding of stress and intonation
After providing the basics of stress and intonation to students, help them deepen their understanding of these two topics. Help them come up with different activities that they can use to learn intonation.
- Use of register and function
Help your students understand how to use intonation and pronunciation based on the situation. Help them understand the uses of grammar based on how formal or informal the situation is.
Activities for advanced-level learners
- Chinese whispers: Make a group of students and give them a message. Now ask them to whisper that message in the ears of another student without changing its meaning.
- Stepping stones: Lay some cards on the floor and ask your students to use them as “stepping stones” to cross a river. Encourage your students to say each word as clearly as possible while crossing the imaginary river.
These activities will help students focus on how they say specific words. Good pronunciation is crucial because it helps students in their overall learning. Moreover, they will understand the correct usage of words and how they can improve their learning and speaking skills.
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