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Lesson Plan ericaroqueteacher@gmail.

com
Pronunciation Project

How Intonation Changes Meaning


Lesson Objectives:
• Students know what word to emphasize depending of what meaning they want to infer
from a sentence.
Necessary Materials:
• How intonation changes meaning handouts (Exercises are done in pairs, make sure you
have half the class with “Student A” handouts while the other half had “Student B”
handouts.)
Task and time Step-by-step Purpose
Present the idea Distribute the handout to the students. Make students
Hand out material Depending on which word you emphasize in a aware that this is
~3 min sentence, you can change the meaning of what a situation that is
you say. For example: used daily and it
My brother bought her a red dress. is important for
My brother bought her a red dress. them to
My brother bought her a red dress. understand how
My brother bought her a red dress. other people feel
Ask the students if they see a difference in when they talk.
meaning (some languages are similar in that
matter). Ask a student who is eager to answer.
Understanding Say each sentence again, ask different students to Clarify how
the differences say the different meanings. emphasis works
~3 min Explain that the word you emphasize is the one in this situation.
that you’re making sure people understand is
true.
My brother bought her a red dress.
It was my brother (not someone else’s)
who bought her a red dress.
My brother bought her a red dress.
It was my brother (not someone else) who
bought her a red dress.
My brother bought her a red dress.
My brother didn't steal, borrow, or
otherwise acquire the red dress other than
purchasing it.
My brother bought her a red dress.
My brother bought her a red dress, not
some other color
Practice Ask students to use the exercise on the handout. Students practice
~3 minutes Have students do the exercise in pairs the concept
they’ve just
learned.
Lesson Plan ericaroqueteacher@gmail.com
Pronunciation Project

Production Ask students to use the exercise on the handout. Students


~3 minutes Have students do the exercise in pairs. One student consolidate the
reads to the other. The second student tries to concept they’ve
explain the meaning of that emphasis. just learned

Lesson Plan ericaroqueteacher@gmail.com
Pronunciation Project

How Intonation Changes Meaning


Sometimes, even if you say the exact same words, you can imply a different meaning
depending on which word you emphasize. For Example:

My brother bought her a red dress.


It was my brother (not someone else’s brother) who bought her a red dress.
My brother bought her a red dress.
It was my brother (not someone else) who bought her a red dress.
My brother bought her a red dress.
My brother didn't steal, borrow, or otherwise acquire the red dress other than purchasing
it.
My brother bought her a red dress.
My brother bought her a red dress, not some other color

Student A
Exercise 1.
Exercise 1. Number the left column with the correct meaning of the sentences depending on
which word has been emphasized.

1. I didn’t say we should kill him. ( ) I said we should take him to dinner /take
care of him / send him on a diving holiday.
2. I didn’t say we should kill him.
( ) I am denying saying it.
3. I didn’t say we should kill him.
( ) I said someone else should kill him /you
4. I didn’t say we should kill him.
should kill him, etc.
5. I didn’t say we should kill him.
( ) I implied it / whispered it / wrote it
6. I didn’t say we should kill him. down.

7. I didn’t say we should kill him. ( ) We should kill someone else.


( ) Someone else said we should kill him.
( ) I said we shouldn’t kill him / we must
kill him, etc.
Lesson Plan ericaroqueteacher@gmail.com
Pronunciation Project

Exercise 2.
• Read the sentence emphasizing the bolded word.
• You partner will underline the word in his exercise.
• Let your partner guess what the meaning of this sentence is. Tell him if he is right or help
him if he is wrong.
• Together, make a sentence that would make a new statement positive.
Ex: I didn’t buy blue car. I bought a red car.
I didn’t buy a motorcycle. I bought a bike.
• Take turns doing this exercise. You go first!

a. He isn't flying to Paris tomorrow.


In this case, you mean that it’s not him who is traveling but someone else.
_______________________________________________________________________

b. He isn't flying to Paris tomorrow.


_______________________________________________________________________

c. He isn't flying to Paris tomorrow.


By stressing the word “flying”, we intend to say that this is not what he’s going to do but
maybe something else.
______________________________________________________________________

d. He isn't flying to Paris tomorrow.

______________________________________________________________________

e. He isn't flying to Paris tomorrow.


Giving emphasis to the word “tomorrow” would mean that it’s not tomorrow he’s flying
but another day.
______________________________________________________________________
Lesson Plan ericaroqueteacher@gmail.com
Pronunciation Project

How Intonation Changes Meaning


Sometimes, even if you say the exact same words, you can imply a different meaning
depending on which word you emphasize. For Example:

My brother bought her a red dress.


It was my brother (not someone else’s brother) who bought her a red dress.
My brother bought her a red dress.
It was my brother (not someone else) who bought her a red dress.
My brother bought her a red dress.
My brother didn't steal, borrow, or otherwise acquire the red dress other than purchasing
it.
My brother bought her a red dress.
My brother bought her a red dress, not some other color

Exercise 1. Number the left column with the correct meaning of the sentences depending on
which word has been emphasized.
1. I didn’t say we should kill him ( ) I said we should take him to dinner /take
care of him / send him on a diving holiday.
2. I didn’t say we should kill him.
( ) I am denying saying it.
3. I didn’t say we should kill him.
( ) I said someone else should kill him /you
4. I didn’t say we should kill him.
should kill him, etc.
5. I didn’t say we should kill him.
( ) I implied it / whispered it / wrote it
6. I didn’t say we should kill him. down.

7. I didn’t say we should kill him. ( ) We should kill someone else.


( ) Someone else said we should kill him.
( ) I said we shouldn’t kill him / we must
kill him, etc.
Lesson Plan ericaroqueteacher@gmail.com
Pronunciation Project

Student B
Exercise 2.
• Read the sentence emphasizing the bolded word.
• You partner will underline the word in his exercise.
• Let your partner guess what the meaning of this sentence is. Tell him if he is right or help
him if he is wrong.
• Together, make a sentence that would make a new statement positive.
Ex: I didn’t buy blue car. I bought a red car.
I didn’t buy a motorcycle. I bought a bike.
• Take turns doing this exercise. Your partner goes first!

a. He isn't flying to Paris tomorrow.


______________________________________________________________________

b. He isn't flying to Paris tomorrow.


Here, the emphasis is on the word “isn’t” to say that, it’s not true that he is flying.
______________________________________________________________________

c. He isn't flying to Paris tomorrow.


_______________________________________________________________________

d. He isn't flying to Paris tomorrow.


Stressing the word “Paris”, in this example, would mean that this is not the actual
destination of John’s flight.
______________________________________________________________________

e. He isn't flying to Paris tomorrow.


______________________________________________________________________