Level: A2 upwards
Focus: Pronunciation - unstressed
Activity: distinguishing similar
This is a pronunciation game for Brazilian learners of English. Brazilians speaking English often reduce unstressed final syllables so much that they are inaudible. For example, taxi sounds like tax. This game is to raise awareness of this problem.
Give out or project PRONUNCIATION JOURNEY.
Point out the pair cook-cookie at the bottom of the page. Explain that if they hear cook, they should turn left and if they hear cookie they should turn right. Now say 1. cook, 2. cook, 3. cookie, 4. cook and ask students which city they have reached (answer = Singapore).
Try a few more examples using other word pairs. You may use words from different pairs at each of the junctions 1-4, for example 1. cookie, 2. cop, 3. coffee, 4. dirty = Tokyo.
When students are completely familiar with the procedure, get one vo lunteer to say words from the word pairs. Advise the reader to make the difference between the left and right words very clear! You and the rest of the class should follow and identify the city. If anybody reaches the wrong destination, get them to work out where they went wrong. Was it because the reader didn't make the difference clearly enough?
Students can now work in pairs. They take turns to be reader and listener, guiding each other to one of the city destinations. Remind the readers to make the difference between the left and right words very clear, otherwise their partners will reach the wrong city!
Get them to change partners and do the activity again.
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