I like teaching word stress. I have various ‘go to’ activities for noticing and practising word stress – stuff like this:
- Using Cuisenaire rods
- Humming the stress pattern
- Fist pumping when you say the stressed syllable
- Building vocab based on stress and word formation – tasks like these activities from Book of Pronunciation:
Copyright Marks and Bowen (2012)
- A ‘stand up/sit down’ game… Students in a group of 3 or so. Say a word. If stress is on the first syllable, student 1 stands up, second syllable, student 2 stands up, etc.
What have I been trying recently?
I’m trying to make things more fun for young learners…
- I got bored of the stand up game and the rods for a bit, so I brought in footballs and tennis balls. Put students in a group of 3. One person holds the football (main stress), the others have the tennis balls. You say a word and they pass the balls between them to show the stress pattern.
The other fun thing is this…
- Get hold of some sticky balls that will easily stick to the whiteboard. Like these:
Pic from dhgate.com
Board the stress patterns, e.g. like this:
Say a word. The students discuss which stress pattern it has with their team. They throw their sticky balls at the correct pattern. Work out some kind of points system. They seem to love this game, or perhaps they just love ‘accidentally’ throwing the balls at me…!
You could also make them throw their ball at a particular stress pattern. They must then think of a word they know with that pattern.
I’m writing a series of short posts in response to Martin Sketchley’s blog challenge. You can view his new blog here.