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Individual sounds phonemes

Here are just a few ideas. Remember that many of the activities are flexible and can be adapted for other phonological areas. After initial introduction, try to focus on the pronunciation of all subsequent language you teach, referring back to the initial input as appropriate.

*Phonemic transcription of whole words with young learners is not really appropriate but introducing individual phonemes could be helpful.

Introducing the phonemic chart

(with more experienced learners only)

When introducing sounds using the phonemic chart make sure your drilling is clear and snappy. Exaggerate the shapes we make with our mouths to produce individual sounds. Make children aware of the distinction between voiced and unvoiced sounds; help them to feel the sounds by putting their hands over their ears and on their throat. Elicit examples of words with the target sound. Use silly rhymes as mnemonic aids , i.e. How now brown cow Don't necessarily push for perfection remember there are many varieties of English and any individual sound can be pronounced in different ways.

Activities with phonemes

Have a sound of the week. Focus on initial word sounds and include stories, rhymes and songs that include your sound all week. Set up a sound table where children can bring in items or pictures that begin with the sound of the week. I spy, I spy with my little eye something with . . . the sound /p/ (Sound of the week). Dominoes - match words or pictures that include the same sound. Sound pictures / boards in pairs children spot the difference between pictures / a compilation of pictures from a magazine that contain similar sounds. Bingo - pupils have to cross off the words / pictures on their bingo board which contain the target sound. Email: enquiries@englishinoxford.com

1 @Lake School

Activities to focus on word stress

Brainstorming - writing as many words as possible beginning with / including a certain sound in a given time. Categories as above, but the words must fit into the given categories e.g. animals, food, clothes. Information gap maps Where is the post office? On Bine Street or Vine Street. Minimal pairs. Tongue-twisters e.g. Peter Piper picked a pickled purple pepper, red lorry yellow lorry, she sells sea shells on the sea shore. Pronunciation journey minimal pair practice (from Pronunciation Games and Activities by Mark Hancock). Question time all the answers include the target sound. Find someone who - using target sounds e.g /r/ read a book, write a letter, run fast. The balloon game children have to keep the balloon in the air by hitting it and saying a word with the target sound. Crosswords all the answers contain the target sound.

Stress dominoes match the words with the same stress pattern. Stress mazes make your own maze. The children have to follow the trail of words with the same stress pattern or number of syllables. Clapping words find someone with the same name pattern. Food train this can be done as a whole class chant, building the rhythm up as the train gets faster. Use your topic vocabulary. Children can make their own and perform them to the class.

Activities focussing on rhythm

Da Da Phrasebook make your own phrase book based on your chosen topic (from Pronunciation Games and Activities by Mark Hancock). Stress dominoes as above but use short phrases e.g. Its time for lunch / His name is John. Rhymes enjoy any rhymes that have a strong rhythm.

Rhymes and chants are the most effective way to practise the rhythm of the English language.

2 @Lake School

Email: enquiries@englishinoxford.com