TEFL Resources

TEFL Pronunciation Activities

If you have decided to teach English abroad, you are going to encounter some aspects of the subject that can be tricky to teach. One of these is pronunciation. Pronunciation is a crucial aspect of learning a new language, and as a TEFL teacher, it’s important to help your students improve their pronunciation skills. If you are teaching in a Chinese public school, you may even find that school management and parents will expect you place more emphasis on pronunciation than any other aspect of the language. With that in mind, here we will explore some of the best TEFL pronunciation activities that will help your students learn

Five TEFL Pronunciation Activities

1. Minimal Pair Exercises

Minimal pairs are words that differ by only one sound, such as “bat” and “pat.” By using minimal pair exercises, you can help your students distinguish between similar sounds and improve their pronunciation. For example, you can provide a list of minimal pairs and have students practice saying them correctly. You can also use minimal pair activities that involve listening and repeating, such as bingo or a matching game.

2. Tongue Twisters

Tongue twisters are phrases that are difficult to say, especially when said quickly. Using tongue twisters is an effective way to help students practice specific sounds and improve their pronunciation. For example, you can use the classic tongue twister “She sells seashells by the seashore” to help students practice the “s” sound. You can also have students create their own tongue twisters to share with the class.

3. Pronunciation Games

Using pronunciation games is a fun and engaging way to help students practice their pronunciation skills. For example, you can use a pronunciation board game where students must pronounce a word correctly before moving their game piece. Another example is a pronunciation race where students race to say a word correctly as fast as possible. These types of games help students practice their pronunciation in a low-pressure, enjoyable way.

4. Poetry and Song

Using poetry and song is an effective way to help students practice their pronunciation skills while also improving their fluency and listening skills. For example, you can have students listen to a song and practice repeating the lyrics with correct pronunciation. You can also use poetry or rhymes to help students practice specific sounds and syllable stress.

5. Pronunciation Drills

Pronunciation drills involve repetitive practice of specific sounds or words. For example, you can use a drill where students practice pronouncing a specific sound, such as “th” or “r,” over and over again. These drills are especially useful for students who struggle with specific sounds or for those who need extra practice.

TEFL Pronunciation Activities – Final Thoughts

Incorporating pronunciation activities into your TEFL lessons is crucial for helping students improve their English skills. By using activities such as minimal pair exercises, tongue twisters, pronunciation games, poetry and song, and pronunciation drills, you can help your students develop their pronunciation skills and become more confident in their ability to communicate in English. Remember to tailor your activities to the needs and interests of your students and don’t be afraid to experiment with new activities to find what works best for you and your students. Don’t forget that any problems you anticipate should be included in your ESL lesson plan so that you can evaluate your successes!

Tom Bogues

Tom is the Director of ESL Job Center. He has been working in the TEFL industry in one form or another since 2016 and is now using that experience to match quality teachers with quality schools across China.

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