Pronunciation Concrete!

Students have put together loads of excellent materials with a focus on the points listed in Jenkins' Lingua Franca core and on issues typical to German speakers. General ideas are found on this page. Use the side navigation for specific topics. Enjoy!

Shadow reading

The pupils get a script of a recording and listen to a speaker who is reading it out loud. In a first step they try to get the gist.

Then they listen again and highlight on the script any intonation and pronunciation features that are unexpected (with signs such as --> ‘).

Then they listen to the recording a third time and read along with the speaker simultaneously and try to imitate as much as possible the readers intonation and pronunciation.

In a fourth step the pupils could read out loud the text on their own and still try to imitate the speaker’s intonation and pronunciation.

Links with easy texts (listening tests included):

Sound Competition

Students work in pairs. Every pair needs an object on the table between them (e.g. an eraser) - they compete against their partner. The teacher tells the class which sound they are listening for (e.g. /p/). You call out a list of words ("band, crazy, vampire") and as soon as they hear that sound, they grab the object - if they are right they get a point.


Which dialect is it?

This game can be used to rise “dialect-awareness.

1.Divide the class into two groups.
2.Play different Recordings with different dialects. (E.g. different characters of “the Simpsons”.)
3.Students can shout the country the dialect belongs to.
4.The group, which was first, makes the point.
5.The group that reaches five points first, is the winner.

Sources for different dialect samples:

The email-continuation-story

Browsing , you will see that it is very easy to connect with an other English-class all over the world.
So I had the idea to write a story with a partner-class somewhere in the world. It works like this:

1.Your class begins. Your students agree on a topic and write a short story. The work can be divided into smaller groups. The members of the smaller groups should work together. (Communicative writing).
2.The texts of the different smaller groups are put together to one, coherent, text.
3.This text is send to the partner-class.
4.You wait until the letter/email of your partner-class and read the continuation of the story.
5.Now it’s your class’ turn again. You have to write the next continuation.

Pass around an impulse

Time:              5’

Material:      Word-cards focusing on one pronunciation problem

Activity:        The students stand in a circle. Every student gets a word card with a word difficult to pronounce on it (e.g. wine, vine,…). Each student reads their word aloud once so that they can pronounce it correctly. The students now pass on an impulse by saying their word and clapping their hands towards the next pupil who then has to say his word and so on. The aim is to get faster continuously. (Pupils who make a mistake bow out. The winner gets a sticker J)

* The direction of the impulse may be changed by clapping twice.

** The impulse may be sent across the circle, not following any directions.

Speaking “just a minute”

At the end of a lesson to revise the vocabulary or the topic in general make small groups of 3 or 4 students. One starts to talk and the other members of the group can interrupt and take over the topic if he/her repeats him/herself or deviates from the subject / topic. Whoever is speaking at the end of the minute wins!

The winners then could go for a final round in front of the class and revise again. The winner of the final round could rise another topic to talk about for the next time etc. 


First step: The teacher explains to the pupils what a homophone is and gives an example (could also be done with pictures). (Homophone = same sound, but not the same spelling or meaning)

Second step: The students get in groups of three or two and the teacher hands them out a list of homophones. One student reads out loud a homophone and the other students think of the two versions of the homophone and note them down. Then they switch the roles.

 Examples of homophones:

 root / route

he'll / heal / heel

toe / tow

would / wood

 whale / wail

flower / flour

soul / sole

which / witch

 be / B / bee

break / brake

air / heir

bear / bare

road / rowed

so / sew / sow

deer / dear

piece / peace

allowed / aloud

heard / herd

none / nun

here / hear

weather / whether 

tire / tyre

some / sum

groan / grown

rose / rows

scent / cent/ sent

site / sight

sawed / sword

tour / tore

cereal / serial

not / knot

mind / mined

steel / steal

hi / high

board / bored

higher / hire

read / red 

mist / missed

bread / bred

dye / die


Consonants and vowel length

1. The teacher reads two words from the list below, pupils mark the word that contains a longer vowel.
2. Results are corrected.
3. Pupils use the words to make up sentences, some are read out to the class.