Correctly pronouncing the sounds of the English language supports reading, writing, and comprehension. Here are some tips to help students pronounce English sounds:
- Teachers need to say the sounds of the language correctly to be able to teach them. The journey begins with you.
- Provide students with a mirror to watch themselves make the sounds after the teacher demonstration.
- Discuss tongue, lip, and teeth placement. Explain to students where sounds appear in the mouth.
- Use many Skill Intensives to practice the subtle differences between sounds. Teach students how to listenfor these differences.
- Have students practice accents in multisyllabic words by saying the word as they place their thumb under their chin. The accent is where their chin drops the most. Accents can make a difference in words grammatically. When the accent is on the first syllable, the word is often a noun: proj-ect. When the accent is on the last syllable, it is a verb: pro-ject.
- Teach students about voiced and unvoiced sounds. Consonant pairs often cause confusion.
- Record students speaking and play back the recording while offering feedback.
- Encourage students to over-exaggerate sounds until they hear (and feel) the correct pronunciation.
- Use tongue twisters to practice difficult sounds. They’re fun and promote repetition.
- Speak as much as you can. Insist on complete sentences for answers to questions.
- Isolate difficult sounds and practice in isolation.
- Singing is a great way to practice vowel pronunciations as vowels are continuous/voiced sounds which can be held for a long note.
- Use a rubber band stretched betweenthe fingers to practice sounds. For short vowel sounds, keep the rubber bandunstretched. For long vowel sounds, stretch out the rubber band as you say the word.
Written by Ingrid Hartig
Ingrid is an Education Consultant with Brainspring.
Brainspring has proudly supported the educational community for more than 25 years.