Pron Chart Activities | Phoneme | English Language
BBC | British Council Download - Pronunciation - Pronunciation chart activities â Page 1. that is. With /s/ and /z/. T...
Pronunciation chart activities - Pronunciation © BBC | British Council 2006 Pronunciation chart activities Catherine Morley, British Council, Mexico All of these activities are designed for use with the teaching English interactive phonemic chart: http://www.teachingenglish.org.u http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/download/p k/download/pron_chart/pron ron_chart/pron_chart.shtml _chart.shtml There is also a downloadable version, which you can download and copy for students to use at home if they have access to a computer: http://www.teachingenglish.org.u http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/download/p k/download/pron_chart/pron ron_chart/pron_chart.shtml#free _chart.shtml#free
Vocabulary recycling and revision of phonemic symbols If you have an IWB, or a computer with a projector, the chart can be used in class to recycle and reinforce recently learned vocabulary, at the same time as revising the phonemic symbols. All these activities assume that learners have had at least some initial introduction to the phonemic alphabet. •
Give the students a list of recently learned words with a specific sound underlined, e.g. one of the vowel sounds. The learners then categorise the words into the different vowel sounds. To make the activity easier, you could restrict the number of vowel sounds used, and give learners the options they have to choose from. They can come and click on these sounds on the board or computer to check. When checking with the whole class, one student can stand at the board or sit at the computer, clicking on the ‘correct’ sound for each word, which the teacher confirms or rejects.
Give the students a list of recently learned words in phonemic script. In groups, they have to work out what the words are. They can send a group member to the board or the computer to click on sounds to help them check. They then have to write the words in alphabetic script. This can be made more learner-centred if, after some work in class on the phonemic alphabet, learners choose 5 recently learned words and write them in phonemic script for homework. In the next class they exchange books and use the chart to help them work out the words.
Individual learners prepare a recently learned word in phonemic script. They come to the board or computer and spell it out. Other learners have to identify the word, and any mistakes in the phonemic transcription, then give its alphabetic spelling.
A variation on both the above activities is for you or the learners to prepare phonemic transcriptions transcriptions of vocabulary with a deliberate mistake. Learners in groups identify the mistake and replace it with the correct phoneme.
Learners work in two teams. One team member stands at the board or sits at the computer, and the other team calls out a word (you could specify a subject area, recently learned vocabulary, or leave the choice of words open). The team member has to spell out the word on the chart, and receives a point for a correct answer. The class is the judge, with the teacher having the final say.
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Pronunciation chart activities - Pronunciation © BBC | British Council 2006
The teacher gives one learner a word, written alphabetically. The learner has to tap out the word in phonemic script, while other learners identify it. As a variation, the teacher gives one learner a word in phonemic script. He taps it out on the board, and the other team gets a point for giving the correct spelling.
Write the name of your favourite famous person in phonemic script on the board. The class as a whole has to work out who it is using their existing knowledge of the phonemic chart. They then write the name of a favourite famous person in phonemic script on a piece of paper (an English name, e.g. Tom Cruise, not Enrique Iglesias). The teacher collects these and redistributes them. Learners have to work out who this person is – they can take turns in clicking on the sounds on the board or the computer to check individual sounds. Once they’ve worked out the name, they can find the person who wrote it and ask some more questions, e.g. why they like this person, what films they’ve been in etc.
Voiced and unvoiced consonants Certain pairs of consonants can be problematic for some learners. In some cases, the main difference between the pair is whether the consonant is voiced or unvoiced , that is, whether or not the vocal chords vibrate when making this sound. This discovery activity can be used to help learners notice the difference between voiced and unvoiced consonants. Begin by asking learners what noise a bee makes. As they make a buzzing noise, do the same and put your fingers on your throat, indicating that they should do likewise. This will allow them to feel the vibrations of the vocal chords that occur with voiced consonant sounds. Ask them if they can feel the vibrations. Then focus on a voiced / unvoiced pair such as s and z . Make the sounds with your fingers on your throat, indicating that the learners should do the same. You can help learners with this by getting them to make the ‘bee’ sounds for z , and the sound a snake is supposed to make for s. Ask them when they feel the vocal chords vibrate – with s or z ? (The answer should be z ). Tell them that this is the main difference between the two sounds, and that z is voiced while s is unvoiced. You could then give them a list of words and ask them to categorise the underlined consonant sound into these two categories. With /s/ and /z/, you might choose to include some third person singular verb and plural endings. In this list the sound being focused on is the final sound in each case.
cups speaks gets puts tents plants bags looks stops rice place
pens reads goes lives cars sees hears learns rise rose plays
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Pronunciation chart activities - Pronunciation © BBC | British Council 2006 Learners then use the chart to decide which of the other consonant sounds are voiced and which are unvoiced. In a computer lab, learners could do this in pairs. They listen to a sound and repeat it, with their fingers on their throat to check if it is voiced or unvoiced. In class with the IWB, or a computer and a projector, the teacher or a learner could click on sounds while the rest of the class repeat them and categorise them into voiced or unvoiced. As a follow up, you could do a minimal pairs activity using some voiced / unvoiced pairs, focusing on initial consonant sounds. Display this list or something similar on the board and say a word from each pair. After each word learners have to say voiced or unvoiced , depending on which of the pair they hear. They can then test each other in pairs. voiced
Ben do gone van gin zoo
pen to con fan chin Sue
This activity has the advantage of establishing the voiced / unvoiced distinction, and a shared gesture that learners and the teacher can use in class to indicate that a sound is voiced or unvoiced, i.e. the fingers on the throat. It also helps learners to become conscious of the muscle movements involved in voicing a consonant. All of this will be useful in future classes if problem arise in the discrimination or production of voiced / unvoiced consonant pairs. Sound and spelling correspondence The chart can also be used to highlight both patterns and variations in sound / spelling correspondence. For example, as a discovery activity to help learners notice the effect of adding an ‘e’ to the end of a word, you could give the learners some of the words from the following list: cap cape mat mate pin pine not note pet Pete kit kite sit site win wine hat hate cut cute Learners use the chart to help them write the phonemic transcription for each word, checking with a dictionary if necessary. The teacher then asks them to formulate a general ‘rule’ for the effect of adding an ‘e’ to the end of a word. (It makes the vowel sound ‘say its name’, i.e. the ‘a’ in ‘cape’ sounds like the letter A as it is said in the alphabet.)
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Pronunciation chart activities - Pronunciation © BBC | British Council 2006 It is not advisable to over -emphasise the irregularity of English spelling, given that 80% of English words do fit into regular patterns. However, speakers of languages such as Spanish, Italian or Japanese where there is a very high correspondence between sound and spelling may need to have their attention drawn to the different possibilities for pronunciation in English. One way of doing this is to give them a list of known words where the same letter or combination of letters, normally a vowel or vowels, represent different sounds. Learners will have at least some idea of how these words are pronounced, and can categorise the words according to the sound represented, using the chart to help them, before holding a final class check. For example, you could give learners the following list of words including the letter a, which they categorise according to how the as are pronounced. Where the word contains more than one a with different sounds, underline which a you want them to use to make their categorisations. Spanish, capital, make, art, car, understand, average, banana, take, practice, To make the activity easier, give the students the phonemic symbols for the different possible pronunciations of e. (In this case /æ/, /ə/, /eI/, /a:/, /I/) Using the chart for autonomous learning If learners have access to a computer outside class, they can use the chart together with a dictionary to check the pronunciation of new words they meet in their own reading. This is particularly useful for learners who are not yet fully familiar with all the sounds on the chart. Encourage your learners to record the pronunciation of new words they meet, both in and out of class, in their vocabulary notebooks. You can also set homework related to pronunciation, which learners can check using the online chart before bringing to class. As mentioned above, you could ask them to write 5 new words from the class in phonemic script for homework, to be used to test their classmates. Similarly, if you want to focus on a sound which is problematic for your learners, ask them to find 5 words including that sound and write them in phonemic script. With a little training, your learners could prepare their own ‘minimal pairs’, for example with the sounds /i:/ and /I/. Depending on their level, they might come up with something like this: /I/
Sit hit will mill bin ship
seat heat wheel meal been sheep
They can use these to test their classmates’ ability to discriminate between these sounds, as well as their own pronunciation, in the next class. They simply show the two lists of words to a partner, and say one of the words. The partner responds ‘left’ or ‘right’. For example, in the list above, if student A says ‘seat’, student B will (hopefully) respond ‘right’.
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