7 Tips for Targeting Consonant Sounds

It took me long enough, but I finally decided to create an overview of the 24 consonant sounds in English. The YouTube lesson is just over 15 minutes, and I include some insights and additional resources for learners at the end. I had created a whole playlist for American English vowel sounds back in 2011,…

Rethinking How We Categorize Consonant Sounds

Click here to listen to this post. [Link to today’s handout is below.] In an effort to help a learner master the consonant sounds in English, I recently decided to rename the traditional consonant groupings based on the manner of articulation. Why? I question if the textbook terminology has real value for a student who has no background in linguistics…

December Celebrations: Learning linking through holiday poetry

“December Celebrations” is a children’s poem by Helen H. Moore. I used it once in a pronunciation class, and I recently rediscovered my copy of the simple yet warm verses. Not surprisingly, I’ve found a few U.S. schools that have posted the poem on their sites to share with their communities. Here’s one copy. You’ll find that the language is …

Pronunciation Profiles: Putting Target Sounds into Meaningful Practice

Level: Intermediate to advanced. STEP 1 – Select your target sound(s). For instance, /r/. Create word lists, trying to include words with the target sound(s) in different positions and in different letter combinations. Write a total of 10-12 words. (If you’re targeting consonant sounds, you can decide whether to include challenging clusters.) Examples:                 read                       hurry                     share    …

Using the Sense of Touch in Pronunciation Instruction

I’ve shared tips for teaching vowel and consonant sounds in an earlier posting. One addition to that list is the benefit of using our sense of touch. Some may describe this instruction as tactile or hands-on. Whatever you wish to call it, the idea is to get students to understand sound production by placing their…