Going the Distance: Intonation in long sentences


When I began to create my video series on intonation patterns, I knew it would take more than two lessons. I wanted to go well beyond basic rising and falling intonation. I find that students pick up quite well on these two patterns – at least in short sentences. The confusion grows, however, as sentences become longer and more complex. Within my 12-lesson playlist, I made sure I included practice with series, compound sentences, complex sentences, introductory phrases, and other structures that go beyond a simple sentence with a single subject and verb.

If your students have begun to work with thought groups and different intonation patterns within a single sentence, you may find a few well-placed drills to be very beneficial. I have my private students do a considerable amount of oral reading, but short drills can help reinforce specific patterns that have yet to become natural in students’ speech.

My Intonation in Long Sentences_handout guides students to use a low-rise and a fall-rise with specific structures. I hope you’ll find it useful.

Photo credit: Long road, high peak, high by Freefortheworld. Retrieved from the Public Domain at https://pixabay.com/en/long-road-high-peak-peak-high-2088269/.

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