Pronunciation and Parallel Structure

In my latest YouTube lesson, I present parallel structure as an advanced grammar topic, and I mention the value of parallel structure in both academic and professional writing. However, it would be misleading to overlook how parallel structure plays a role in rhythm and intonation. A series of items, for example, breaks into small thought…

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…

Seeing is Believing: An oral reading activity in the present tense

In my private lessons with Natasha, I’ve finally begun to place more emphasis on reading. We are working with a textbook, and while I appreciate the convenience of ready-made materials, I still feel the need to design some original materials to practice specific skills that match her needs exactly at this moment. Natasha is mostly…

Ups and Downs: An activity to practice intonation patterns

Please click here to listen to my introduction to the activity “Ups and Downs”. If you are looking for ideas to put intonation patterns into use, I hope you’ve already looked at my UFO Sighting activity. It gives a context for rising and falling intonation with questions and simple sentences. Today I’d like to offer…

UFO Sighting: Practice with falling and rising intonation

Intonation can be fun to practice, especially patterns with questions. Almost any type of dialog or role play can be used. The activity I’m sharing with you today is called “UFO Sighting”, and students get to assume the roles of reporters and witnesses. Role cards with key information will relieve students of the burden of…