Here are three tools to make pronunciation motivating: a thinking tool, a physical tool, and a psychological tool

1.. The thinking tool: The Sound Foundation pronunciation chart
– offers a cognitive/mental understanding of the territory and the pronunciation journey itself
– presents the content in one gestalt, showing the relationship of sounds to each other and to the whole.
– Provides the “whiteboard for pronunciation”, on which sounds can be worked out, exercised, compared, played with, recognised, confused, put into words, taken apart again.
– brings pronunciation effortlessly into every aspect of every lesson without need for materials or interruption.
– has a meaningful layout that tells you HOW and WHERE the sounds are made in the mouth.

To watch a demonstration go here and select videos 2, 3 and 4. Each is less than 3 minutes long.

The physical tool: pronunciation as a physical activity
In the first lesson learners help learners to connect with the muscles that make the pronunciation difference, to locate the internal buttons that trigger the muscle movements. This leads to greater motivation as students discover that they can quickly make a pronunciation difference that they can do and hear. In the first lesson I help them find just FOUR buttons which enable them to get around the mouth and find new positions of articulation. These are:

  1. Lips (spread/back or rounded/forward)
  2. Tongue (forward or back)
  3. Jaw + tongue (up or down)
  4. Voice (on or off)

To watch a demonstration go here and select videos 6 and 7. Each is only 2 minutes long.

3.. The psychological tool: the psychological atmosphere.

The psychological atmosphere that helps a learner:

– Playfulness towards the topic and the students’ learning

– Think of your lesson as a pronunciation adventure playground

– Curiosity and experimentation valued as much as correctness

– The teacher too learning and facing each learning situation afresh.

To watch a demonstration select video no 9 (it’s less than 3 minutes long)

Make pronunciation motivating! If you’d like watch a one hour teacher training session filmed at Oxford University please click here