As an English language teacher, you know that teaching pronunciation is not just important; it’s essential. It helps your students express themselves clearly and communicate effectively.
When students struggle with pronunciation, it’s like trying to ride a bike with wobbly wheels – it makes it harder for them to share their ideas and be clear to others. English teachers are like the coaches. We’re responsible for giving our students the tools they need to say words and sentences just right.
So keep reading as we explore three super cool strategies for teaching pronunciation, and we’ll shine a spotlight on the awesome ELSA Speak app.
Strategy 1: Storytelling and Tongue Twisters
Engaging students in storytelling and tongue twisters is a fun and creative way to be teaching pronunciation. Stories and tongue twisters challenge students to articulate words and phrases accurately, while also fostering fluency and rhythm in their speech.
Here’s how to incorporate this strategy into your teaching:
Start with storytelling
Encourage students to read short fun stories aloud. Choose materials that contain a variety of sounds. Make sure to include those that students find challenging. As they read, ask them to pay close attention to pronunciation and intonation.
Afterward, discuss any pronunciation difficulties they encountered. You can then work on those specific sounds together.
Introduce tongue twisters
Tongue twisters are excellent tools for improving articulation. Start with simple ones and gradually progress to more complex ones. Challenge your students to repeat tongue twisters several times, increasing their speed with each repetition.
This exercise helps develop tongue and lip muscle coordination. Ultimately, they are working on enhancing their pronunciation skills.
Record and Reflect
Having students record themselves reading these stories or tongue twisters can also be part of your teaching pronunciation strategy. Encourage them to listen to their recordings and identify areas where pronunciation can be improved.
This self-assessment can be a powerful tool for students to track their progress. They’ll also be able to focus on areas that need further attention.
Strategy 2: Visual Pronunciation Guides
One great strategy for teaching pronunciation is to employ visual pronunciation guides. These guides are designed to help students understand the nuances of English sounds by providing visual cues.
Here’s how you can use this strategy effectively:
Share and Use Phonemic Charts
Share phonemic charts with your students – they represent English sounds with symbols. You can show these charts to your students and explain how each symbol corresponds to a specific sound. Practice the sounds together, and encourage students to repeat after you.
Source: Adrian Underhill, Oxford House
For example, the symbol /θ/ represents the “th” sound in words like “think” and “bath.” By visually associating the symbol with the sound, students can better grasp and reproduce it accurately.
You can also find a great, interactive phonemic chart here, or you can simply print one out.
Mouth Shape Diagrams
Another visual tool is mouth shape diagrams. These diagrams illustrate how the mouth, lips, and tongue should be positioned to produce certain sounds. You can find these diagrams in pronunciation textbooks or create your own. Here’s an example in PDF.
By guiding students through the correct mouth positions, they can physically mimic the sounds, leading to improved pronunciation.
Strategy 3: ELSA Speak App
As you may know, our ELSA Speak app is a cutting-edge tool that can revolutionize the way you have been teaching pronunciation. ELSA, which stands for “English Language Speech Assistant,” is an AI-powered app designed to help learners improve their English pronunciation.
Here’s how you can integrate ELSA Speak into your teaching:
ELSA Speak uses advanced speech recognition technology to provide learners with instant, personalized feedback on their pronunciation. It identifies specific areas of improvement and offers targeted exercises to address them. This feedback is invaluable in helping students pinpoint their pronunciation weaknesses and work on them effectively.
The app offers a wide range of content, from common words and phrases to business and travel vocabulary. This diversity ensures that students can practice pronunciation in different contexts. Overall, it makes their learning experience more comprehensive and practical.
Flexibility and Accessibility
ELSA Speak can be used by students when and where they like. Whether they are in a classroom or learning from home, the app is accessible 24/7. This flexibility accommodates different learning styles and schedules.
ELSA Speak allows both teachers and students to track progress over time. As a teacher, you can monitor your students’ improvement in pronunciation and tailor your lessons accordingly.
Furthermore, if you find the ELSA Speak app beneficial and want to recommend it to your students, don’t hesitate to contact us here to become part of our affiliate program.
By doing so, you not only help your students improve their pronunciation but also have the opportunity to generate revenue while assisting your students on their language learning journey.
So teachers, embrace these strategies, explore innovative tools like ELSA Speak, and empower your students to speak English with more confidence and clarity.