Watch Real-Life Pronunciation Lessons!

Teacher and adult ESL learner looking into a handheld mirror

The Minnesota Literacy Council has produced four new videos demonstrating how to teach pronunciation in the adult ESL classroom. Watch the videos to gain teaching techniques and discover activity ideas that can be integrated into regular ESL classes.

Word Stress: Word stress plays a huge part in English intelligibility; it can be very difficult for people to understand speech with the word stress is misplaced or lacking. In this video, the teacher uses visual and hands-on activities as she introduces beginning level learners to the concept word stress and leads the class through a series of activities designed to 1) develop awareness of syllables and word stress, 2) produce accurate word stress patterns for weekly vocabulary words, and 3) group vocabulary words according to their stress to encourage pattern recognition. The activities in this video can be used with any topic, and adapted for low beginning to high intermediate level learners.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pakQhAmBf3U

Final Consonant Articulation: For adult ESL learners from many language backgrounds, accurately producing the final consonant sounds in words is a major pronunciation challenge. In this video, the teacher demonstrates a series of systematic pronunciation activities with a beginning level adult ESL class that are designed to help learners improve their awareness of the importance of final consonants, develop listening skills, and practice articulating the sounds. The activities in this video can be used with any topic, and adapted for beginning to high intermediate level learners.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlA18pD8y-w&t=62s

Intonation: Prominence and intonation are key to conveying meaning in spoken English. The words speakers choose to highlight and the movement of pitch in the voice signal to the listener what is important and indicate the speaker’s attitude and emotion. These spoken cues are often enhanced by the use of body language, providing the listener with visual cues to interpret the main points of the message. In this classroom demonstration, the teacher uses a TEDtalk video to give learners practice listening for and analyzing prominence and intonation while also observing the impact of the speaker’s body language to her message. The activities in this video can be used with any topic, and adapted for high beginning to advanced level learners.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9VaN113Vsw&t=28s

Voice Quality Settings: Observe a multi-level classroom as the instructor introduces the concept of voice quality settings and demonstrates how voice settings influence accent and the ability to generate sounds specific to the English language. The instructor uses videos, mirrors, and lip-reading activities as she leads the learners through several activities to build awareness of the importance of voice quality settings and to give the learners opportunities to practice producing English voice quality settings. The activities in this video can be used with any topic, and adapted for low beginning to advanced level learners.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vz7zXYecpY&t=63s

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