Welcome: Renan Herrera  
Certification Program

The Current Phase:

This phase deals with Language Awareness. In order to teach English, a teacher needs to be aware of the structure and form of the language not only to enrich one‘s own knowledge of the language but to be aware of what he/she is presenting to the learners. Phonology helps the teacher become aware of the differences in languages and the difficulties that the learners might face.

Phase 2 - The Study of English

  What is Grammar?

Grammar is generally thought to be a set of rules specifying the correct ordering of words at the sentence level. The Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics defines it as, "a description of the structure of a language and the way in which units such as phrases and words are combined to produce sentences in the language."

Sentences are acceptable if they follow the rules set out by the grammar of the language. For example, in English, one rule states that "a subject followed by a verb followed by an object" is grammatical. The sentence "The letter the man wrote" is ungrammatical because it violates this rule where as "The man wrote the letter" is acceptable because it obeys this rule. Therefore how can we define grammar?

According to McArthur, "grammar is not a precise term like phonology or anatomy. It behaves pretty much like the majority of the words in a language; it has a core of generally agreed meaning, but is fuzzy around the edges?. This means that the term can have several interpretations. It is used to refer both to language users‘ subconscious internal system and to linguists‘ attempts explicitly to codify or describe that system. With the latter, its scope can be broad enough to refer to the system underlying a particular language. It can also refer to a particular school of linguistic thought or to a specific compendium of facts for a general audience.

It is said that there are three kinds of Grammar namely, G1, G2 and G3.

G1 is the total mechanism which a language possesses and through which its users are able to communicate with each other. Every native speaker whether literate or illiterate, knows and controls his or her G1. Each language possesses a distinctive G1, peculiar to itself.

G2 refers to all formal analysis and description of the rules of the language. The illiterate native speaker of a language may know its G1 but not G2. However when he or she begins to think of language consciously, to wonder what should be said in a situation to get the message across, he or she is involved in the G2 of the language.

G3 grammar refers to the rules of correct use of a language which may be prescribed for its users.

The importance of teaching Grammar

A glance through the last century of language teaching practices reveals mixed opinions about the place of grammar, depending on the method or era. In the Grammar translation method formal aspects of language received prime importance. In the Natural Approach overt focus on form was forbidden. Some manifestations of CLT advocated only a passing mention to form, while other proponents of CLT used form focused techniques into a communicative curriculum. Today, only a handful of language teaching experts advocate Stephan Krashen‘s zero option of no from- focused instruction at all. Current views are universally agreed on the importance of some form-focused instruction within the communicative framework, ranging from explicit rules to noticing and consciousness- raising techniques.

Technically, grammar refers to sentence level rules only. But it is widely accepted that communicative competence refers to both grammatical competence and organizational competence of how we string sentences together. As Diane Larsen- freeman pointed out, grammar is one of the three dimensions of language that are interconnected. Grammar gives us the form or structures but those forms are meaningless without semantics (meaning of words and string of words) and pragmatics(which meaning to assign according to context). It is therefore important to grasp the significance of the interconnectedness of all three dimensions as no one dimension is sufficient.

So no one can say grammar is irrelevant. Experiences in language teaching suggest that judicious attention to grammatical form is not only helpful but can lead to a speedy learning process.

Appropriate grammar-focusing techniques are meaningful, communicative contexts. They contribute positively to communicative goals and promote accuracy within fluency. The learner should not be overwhelmed with linguistic terminology.

Principles of teaching grammar

Integrate both inductive and deductive method -

In the deductive classroom, the teacher gives a grammatical explanation or rule followed by a set of exercises designed to clarify the grammatical point. In deductive grammar one moves from rules to examples. Inductive procedures reverse this process. Examples are presented to the learners and through a process of guided discovery they work out the principles themselves. This leads us to the question, which is better? It depends on the grammar point being learnt. A combination of
both is needed, however inductive techniques appear to result in better retention in the long term.

Connect grammatical form and communicative function -

Many grammar based courses are relatively ineffective because they teach grammar a an abstract system and fail to give learners a proper context for the grammar point. Teaching was limited to the form of the new grammatical item. For example when the passive voice was introduced students were given a list of sentences in the active voice along with a model of how to form the passive. Such a procedure did not

give students any insights into the communicative contexts in which they should use the passive. Therefore when teaching the passive voice, show why the passive voice is used- to place emphasis on the action rather than the doer, to hide the identity of the doer.

Focus on development of procedural rather than declarative knowledge-

Declarative knowledge is about knowing the rules whereas procedural knowledge is being able to use the knowledge for communication. Most second language users of English know that they must place an –s on the end verb when making third person singular declarative sentences but when speaking most often than not they leave off the –s. this shows they have declarative knowledge but not procedural. On the other hand a vast majority of native speakers have procedural knowledge but lack the declarative reasoning which does not impede their communicative skills. Declarative knowledge can facilitate the development of procedural knowledge but is not a necessity. Students need to develop the mastery of target language items not by memorizing rules but by using them in communicative contexts.

Contextualization involves meaningful language use for real communicative purposes and helps students to understand how meaning is constructed by language users (be it writing, speaking, reading, or listening) depending upon the context.

Context refers to the topic and situation of a communicative act that are necessary for understanding (Walz, 1989). Walz (1989) points out that a number of language textbooks provide contextualized grammar exercises. These exercises provide thematically related sentences requiring mechanical manipulation of a grammatical form, but often do not force students to understand. Therefore, contextualization of mechanical drills in this sense is certainly not the same thing as creating a context (Walz, 1989, p. 162).

According to Shrum and Glisan (1994): language that is introduced and taught in context presents real situations that encompass the physical setting, the purpose of the exchange, the roles of the participants, and the socially acceptable norms of interaction, in addition to the medium, topic, tone, and register of the exchange. Grammatical structures that might otherwise be devoid of context become an integral part of the communicative acts that occur in contexts.

Research has shown consistently that grammatical structures will become internalized only if the learners use the structures for meaningful, communicative purposes ." ...[I]f words take on their meanings when used in connection to each other, learners will need to experience "whole" contextualized language (stories, legends, poems, listening selections, cartoons, songs, recipes, etc.) with an emphasis on meaning-making and sense-making before a focus on form can be a productive instructional activity (Long, 1991)".

Classes that focus on language form for the purpose of increasing comprehension and meaning have been shown to result in greater language gains than classes in which no focus on form is available or in which forms are learned as meaningless structures, not connected to any meaningful communicative act or applied in any way. That is, focus on form is only useful if this knowledge can be used by the learners in a new way at a later time.

Steps in Presenting Points of Grammar Using Direct Instruction in ESL and Foreign Language Instruction

  • Motivate the teaching of structures by showing how they are needed in real- life communication.
  • State the objective of the lesson.
  • Review the familiar items, e.g. calendar, time, name of objects, auxiliary verbs in the target language that will be needed to introduce, explain, or
    practice the new item.
  • Use the new structure (adjective of color, for example) in a brief utterance in which all the other words are known to the students.
  • Model the utterance several times.
  • Engage in full class, half-class, group and individual repetition of the utterance.
  • Give several additional sentences in which the structure is used. Class and groups will repeat with you.
  • Write two of the sentences on the board. Underline the new structure and (where relevant) use curved arrows or diagrams to illustrate the relationship of the structure to other words and/or parts of the sentence.
  • Point to the underlined structure as you ask questions that will guide students to discover the sounds, the written form, the position in the sentence and the grammatical function of the new structure. ("What does it tell us?")
  • Help students to verbalize the important features of the structure. Use charts and other aids to relate to other familiar structures such as verb tenses.
  • Engage the students in varied guided oral practice.
  • Require students to consciously select the new grammatical item from contrasting one learned in the past.
  • Have the students use the structure with communicative expressions and familiar or new notion.

Some helpful techniques:

Motivation: Fun should be an element in any class , specially one that deals with grammar. Usually as soon as the word G-R-A-M-M-A-R is announced there is a sense of doom that looms over the students. The immediate reaction is , a groan inward or auditory , "tuning off" where the students remain bodily in the room but their mind wanders off and a lot of apprehension as to how they will be judged on their
"technicality" . It is also the same for any teacher especially a one who is new and less experienced , therefore the one and only weapon that can diffuse the situation is FUN.

  • Games
  • Songs
  • Mime
  • Poems
  • Audio visual aids are all potential ways to have fun and introduce almost any topic on grammar.

Objective: Once the ice breaker is introduced; set the objective, make it simple and clear. Ask students questions that will help them identify the grammar concept to be discussed. Follow with another exercise that more specifically focuses on the grammar concept, but takes an inductive approach. This could be a reading exercise with questions and responses in the structure that is being taught.

Inductive is known as a 'bottom up' approach. In other words, this approach helps a student to discover grammar rules while working through exercises.
For example: A reading comprehension which includes a number of sentences describing what a person has done up to that period in time. After doing the reading comprehension, the teacher could begin to ask questions such as:

  • How long has he done this or that?
  • Has he ever been to Paris?
  • When did he go to Paris?

Practice: A soon as the topic is introduced lets say adjective or adverb, ask the students what words they already know on this topic . You will be surprised so will the students be when both the parties realize that they posses a lot of vocabulary on the above. Only lack of practice and application has not been enough leading to lack of confidence .As they develop strength gradually introduce them to the new structure . In this stage the following aids come in handy :

  • Blackboard
  • Flash cards
  • Pointers
  • Coloured markers

Applied grammar: Please keep in mind that grammar taught isolated is grammar not learnt. Just stating the definition and giving single examples will not help the students . The teacher has to help the students to apply the rules in day to day situations.

For example: The present perfect is made up of the auxiliary verb 'have' plus the past participle. It is used to express an action which has begun in the past and continues into the present moment... etc.

What good does this definition do for the students? What is the use of learning this definition? Has the student even understood what has been said ? The answer is No! A teacher needs in the first place to facilitate learning.

The Structures – A Glimpse and How to Contextualize Grammar

  • Nouns
  • Articles
  • Verbs
  • Pronouns
  • Adjectives
  • Adverbs
  • Prepositions
  • Conjunctions
  • Interjections
  • Tense

Nouns: words that refer to a person, a place or a thing
Method : Explain with the help of activities such as

• Name game
• Memory game
• Songs
• Guess game
An example has been given:

Guess game: TEACHER:

1. I am fat, huge with a very long nose and big ears. Who am I?

2. I am a country which has lotus as her national flower .Who am I?

3. I am icy cold, put me in your glass and I will, frost it, who am I? …….

Articles: The words "a" "an" and "the" are called articles They come before nouns.

  • A is used before a consonant Eg: a dog , a ball , a cat

  • An is used before a vowel Eg: An ant ,an egg , an insect

  • The is used before a proper noun. Eg: The Louvre, The Eiffel Tower..

Special features of A ( the usage of "A" is based on pronunciation, in these cases in spite of the words beginning with vowel , they sound like a consonant therefore A article is used)

  • A university

  • A union

  • A one –eyed man

  • A European

  • A ewe

Special features of An
(the usage of "An" is based on pronunciation, in theses cases in spite of the words beginning with a consonant, they sound like vowel therefore An article is used)

  • An hour

  • An honest man

  • An owl

Method : Explain with the help of activities such as

  • Modeling the context

  • Worksheets

  • Information gap

Modeling The context :

  • Use gesticulation

  • Say the sentence aloud clearly highlighting the article

  • Instruct the students to repeat after you using the same gestures

  • It is very effective among children

  • For adults the gesticulation can be omitted

For example :

Teacher: Give me "a" (pitch goes up , he or she can point out the index finger to emphasize on the article "a" ) Give me "a" pen
Give me "a" piece of paper
Give me "a" marker ….

Example 1

All the sentences use "the" which one is correct

A A) Can you pass the sugar please?
B) The crime is a problem in big cities.
C) The apples are good for you. D) I love the skiing.

B A) He is sailing up the Niles for his holidays.
B) My favorite sea is the

C) Have you ever been to the

D) I´d love to visit the America.


Verbs: They are words that express =existence‘, =action‘ or =occurrence‘ in most

Method: Explain with the help of activities such as
• Action song
• Action poem

• Flash cards
• Action game

Example 1

Action song

When you are happy and you know it clap your hands clap clap clap When you are happy and you know it clap your hands clap , clap clap When your are happy and you know it and you really want to show it When your are happy and you know it clap your hands clap clap clap

When you are happy and you know it blow a kiss
When you are happy and you know it blow a kiss
When you re happy and you know it and you really want to show it
When you are happy and you know it blow a kiss

When you are happy and you know it click your fingers click, click, click When you are happy and you know it click your fingers click, click, click When you are happy and you know it and you really want to show it When you are happy and you know it click your fingers click, click, click

The song continues with may more action words (swim , fly, dance , jiggle )

Example 2

Step1 : Introduce the concept and then use the flash cards to help the students identify with the words
Step2: After identification , repetition , provide the worksheets and help them to apply it in a structured sentence .
The first one has been done for you .

They are arguing They are d----------- He is s -------------- The dog is b-----

He is l ------------ He has d---------- the ball The child is s………. He will th-------- the ball

Describing words

Method : Explain with the help of activities such as

  • Mime

  • Flash cards

  • Brain storming

  • Read out with varied emotions

Example 1
Flash cards

Step1: Introduce the concept and then use the flash cards to help the students identify with the words
Step2: After identification , repetition , provide the worksheets and help them to apply it in a structured sentence . The first one has been done for you .
Step3: As a variation the teacher can call out the words and each students has to enact the adjective. (makes the calls out more fun) . It could be done as pair work , guessing game etc..

He is Unfriendly She is fr ------------- He is s------------

He is f ----------- The knife is sh------------ The box is ------

Example 2

Brain Storming

Meet Miss Muffet .Help her! She is lost, can‘t you see that she is scared? Let us report to the police station. She is multi coloured. She has a green body with yellow, blue and pink stripes. She is not very small, and has large bulging eyes. Miss Muffet is beautiful, please look for her.

Meet .Help her! She is lost, can‘t you see that she is ? Let us report to the police station. She is _. She has a body with
, stripes. She is not very small, and has large bulging eyes.
Miss Muffet is beautiful, please look for her.

Example 3
Read out at varied emotions

The entire set of dialogue is to be read out according to the commands given by the teacher

Character 1: Jesus Christ! Did you hear the news? Mrs. Darlington has died. I can‘t
believe it ! (surprised, worried, sad)

Character 2: That‘s fantastic. How did it happen ? When did it happen ? Have you the details ? (elated, shocked)

Character1: No, not yet , I am in shock I guess . Do you think I should drop by?

Character 2: Well it seems the most obvious isn‘t it and come to think of it its good news too .(curious , excited)

Character1 :Good news 1 How can it be good news ? Have you completely lost your mind? (angry, confused)

Character2 : On the contrary my dear friend , I haven‘t thought so clear in my whole
life till now congratulations !you are free man (confident ,happy ,sarcastic)

Character1: Thanks, I am If you say so (confused, relieved, happy)

A word that modifies the meaning of a verb, an adjective or another adverb is called an adverb.

  • For example :
  • Raman runs quickly.
    >> Quickly shows how or in what manner Raman runs therefore here quickly modifies the verb runs.
  • This is a very sweet mango.
    >> Very shows how much the mango is sweet, therefore here very modifies the adjective sweet.
  • Harold reads quite clearly.
    >>Quite shows how far Harold reads clearly, therefore here quite modifies the adverb clearly.

Method : Explain with the help of activities such as
• Word game
• Read out with varied speed

Example 1 :
Read out at varied speed

The entire set of dialogue is to be read out according to the commands given by the teacher

Character 1: Oh my! Did you hear the news? Mrs. Darlington has died. I can‘t believe
it ! (slowly, loudly )

Character 2: That‘s fantastic. How did it happen ? When did it happen ? Have you
the details ? (fast, loudly)

Character1: No, not yet, I am in shock I guess . Do you think I should drop by? (Very slowly, softly)

Character 2: Well it seems the most obvious isn‘t it and come to think of it its good news too .(normal pace )

Character1 :Good news 1 How can it be good news ? Have you completely lost your mind? (loudly )

Character2 : On the contrary my dear friend , I haven‘t thought so clear in my whole
life till now congratulations !you are free man (fast ) Character1: Thanks, I am If you say so (slowly, softly)

Prepositions :

A Preposition is a word placed before a noun or a pronoun to show what relation the person or thing denoted by it stands in regard to something else

Method : Explain with the help of activities such as
• Flashcards
• Follow directions
• Songs
• Poems

Example 1 :


On the tune of If you miss the train I am on
We always sit on a chair
Never sit in a chair
We get off a train and get on again and get on again
I am looking at you Not looking to you We go for holidays Again and again

Conjunctions join together sentences and often make them compact.

For example :
1. David is a good bowler. Shawn is a good bowler
2. David and Shawn are good bowlers
3. The man is poor. The man is honest
4. The man is poor but honest .

Not only

Method :
• Worksheets
• Black board
• Gestures to emphasize

Example 1:
Talking About Australia - Using Conjunctions
1. Australia is very hot in December, _ cold in July The country is popular _, there aren't many people living there. Australia has a lot of
interesting animals . The koala is cute, the crocodile is dangerous
Australia has a lot of open spaces the weather is good, is sports. Australian people love to eat barbecued food.
[But, and, so, although]

They are used to express some sudden feeling or emotion. It is to be noticed that they are not grammatically related to the other words in a sentence.

Hello! What are you doing here?
Alas! He is dead.
Hurrah! We have won the game
Ah! Have they gone?

Oh! I got such a fright
Hush! Don‘t make a noise.
Please notice that all the words in bold are an interjection and they all mean different things

Interjection may express many things :

Joy as
Hurrah !
Grief as Alas !
Surprise as A ha !
What !
Approval as bravo !

Model the methodology and exercise given on adjectives.

A verb may refer to a present time, past time or future time. The tense of a verb shows the time of an action or event.
Please note that tense can be used to teach in situational context.
Verb referring to present time is called "Present tense" Verb referring to past time is called "Past tense"

Verb referring to future time is called"Future tense "

For example :
• I write this letter: Present tense
• I wrote this letter : Past tense
• I will write this letter : Future tense

There are many forms of tense, we will primarily deal with the three tenses as shown above.

Follow a recipe or instructions from a boxed cake mix to bake a cake .
Verb form : Present continuous tense
For example:
1. I am going to.
2.Continue with : I am going to
Give directions to another person to get to a store, the post office, or a bank using a map.
Verb form : Present tense
For example:
1.. Go straight then turn right
2.Continue with : Go, turn , walk , ask …….
Discuss plans for a class field trip to the zoo.
Verb form : Future tense
For example:
1.. We will go to the zoo
2.Continue with : will visit, will watch . will enjoy……
Describe a past vacation, weekend, etc.
Verb form : Simple past tense
For example :
1. We went to
2. Continue with went to, traveled by, ate , slept….


1. Match the correct definition from the list
1. Noun
2. Pronoun
3. Adjective
4. Verb
5. Adverb
6. Preposition
7. Conjunction

• Gives more information about time, place, manner and other circumstances surrounding the verb.
• Join two or more words
• Substitutes for another word class for the names of persons, places, states or things .
• Adds? qualities ?to persons , place , things to add colour , form , movement or other descriptive movements.
• Specifies person , place thing.
• The activator or stimulator of motion, action,
• Locates where things are or their direction .

2. Underline and state the parts of speech of all the words in the following sentences.

The boy from the village was washing his elephant in the nearby stream.

The dog ate her homework and she realized she was in deep trouble.

Kids walk slowly.

Although I like you, my papa won‘t agree.

3. Arrange the following statements in chronological order of time:

We will live in California.
We lived in Los Angeles before this.
We live in Washington now.

4. Create an activity for any one grammar item from the following list (other than what has been stated).

- Nouns
- Articles
- Verbs
- Pronouns
- Adjectives
- Adverbs
- Prepositions
- Interjections
- Tense

Remember to mention the following
- Objective:
- Duration:
- Aids:
- Method


1. Segmental
• Phonemes
• Consonants
• Vowels
2. Supra segmental
• Stress
• Intonation
• Pronunciation
• Songs: Poems

As a teacher of English, it is useful to have a general background in phonology. Phonology itself covers a wide range of areas including phonemics, manner and place of articulation, rhythm, stress and intonation).

One of the fundamental components of any language is its system of spoken sounds. In many of the world‘s languages (English being an obvious example), the sounds of the language are quite different form the written form of the language. These phonology sessions serve as a general introduction to the study of sounds, aimed specifically at people with little or no exposure in this field.

Combination of sounds

When you speak a language, you are producing a stream of sounds. Despite the enormous variety of sounds humans can produce, any given language encompasses a limited range of sounds. These sounds are repeated again and again, combined and recombined in new patterns. Each language has combinations which are permissible (e.g. "s" +"p" in English and others that are impossible,(e.g. "g"+"b" in

English )
Have you considered the question: Do all native speaker of English pronounce every word in the same way .

For example :
• The weather is far better in Italy than in Switzerland.

This can be spoken in so many different accents. You will notice that the pronunciation changes form person to person. . Each one of us have a unique way of saying sounds--- this is influenced by our country our origin, regional differences, socio-economic status and many other factors. If we were to explore this we would be engaged in a study of phonetics.

Consider the sentence given again; did you understand the meaning? Did the meaning change from speaker to speaker?
Now if we change Weather to Leather, Does the sentence still have the same meaning, obviously not.
When we consider the changes in meaning between any two words, we find ourselves in the field known as phonology.

The phoneme

Consider the change we made in the words above (weather vs. leather).Notice that the change of a single sound changes the meaning of the entire word. The other sounds in the word remain the same. (Please note that this is a change in the sound not the spelling). These differences are known as phonemes- defined by linguistics as major contrastive differences.

The sounds of English

English exists in a variety of ‘flavours‘ around the world. As we noted above, even speakers from the same language community have different styles of pronunciation , making the jobs of linguistics around the world extremely difficult. For the sake of convenience, we shall focus on two specific forms of spoken English as our models.

The first model is referred to as "BBC" English and was formerly called Received

Pronunciation or (RP). This is the language used by the majority of news readers

on radios and television in Britain and is relatively free of any regional accent. Our second model is the variation of English known as General American.
This refers to the English commonly known as "Broadcast English in States.

Please take a look at the phonemic charts and note how the chart is arranged:


English is known as ?stress language? for the following reasons
• The stress patterns of the words determine the rhythm of speech.
• It cannot be predicted as to where to stress. Learners will have to get the hang of

it by memorizing the stress patterns, just as they memorize anything else in English.

The question that arises in our minds is why do we need to know about stress?
Any language leave alone English would sound extremely monotonous if it sounded "A- tone" without variations ups and downs in volume. Therefore it is imperative that we learn about stress, tone intonation, rhythm in this article which is integral to the presentation of this beautiful language: "English"
What=s important to know about stress is that it is directly related to meaning. Native speakers emphasize the most important words in a sentence. We also generally give extra stress to the most important word in a sentence. We call this the focus word. If you change the focus word, you also change the meaning.
Look at the following sentences, the focus word is capitalized.

• What‘s the MATTER?
• I lost my HAT.
• What COLOUR hat?
• It was BLUE….. DARK blue.
• There was a blue hat in the CAR.
• WHICH car?
• THAT car!

Word Stress
When a word has more than one syllable, one is more prominent than the others. When this happens, we say that the syllable has a stress, or that it is stressed. In the following examples, stressed syllables are expressed with boldface.

• .
• . .
. . •
. • .
. • . • .
• •

When a syllable is stressed, it is pronounced;
• longer in duration
• higher in pitch, and
• louder in volume

Try this with the word teacher.

How you say teacher
teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee cha
TEA cha
all three combined


Say these words with the stressed syllables (in bold) more prominent. Try to stress them by lengthening the vowel.
Try NOT to exaggerate the pitch difference.

two syllables
three syllables
four syllables
five syllables

Some native speakers (particularly British) pronounces this word la.bo.ra.t(o)ry
(three syllables).

The location of stress is determined by a set of many complex rules. Therefore predicting where the stress falls is not easy. However, some sets of words follow a simple pattern.

Consider the following two-syllable words. Underline the stronger syllable.

Two-syllable words

As you can see, the nouns typically have the first syllable stressed, whereas verbs have the stressed second syllable. 90% two-syllable nouns, and 60% two-syllable verbs follow this pattern .

Look at the following three syllable words. Consider the stress patterns.

Three-syllable words

Four-syllable words

Look at some more sentences , in each of them the focus word is different . When you say them emphasise the focus word and try to ascertain the difference in meaning.

• I think that animal is a FOX
• I THINK that animal is a fox
• I ordered two COKES
• I ordered TWO cokes
• What are your HOBBIES
• What are YOUR hobbies
• WHAT are your hobbies

Stressed Words (Content Words)
Unstressed Words (Function Words )
Main Verbs
Helping verbs
Reflexive Pronouns
The verb ?to be? (is ,was, are)

Stress involves a combination of:
• Pitch
• Vowel Length
• Loudness

Stress timed languages:
In Spoken English, some words are stressed and some are not. English is what we call a stress timed language. This means that stressed words in a sentence tend to occur at roughly equal intervals of time, regardless of the number of unstressed syllables between them.
• The CATS might CHASE the MICE
• The CATS might have CHASED the MICE

Each of these sentences has the same number of stresses (three), but different numbers of unstressed syllables. If you say these sentences they will take about the

same amount of time. Hence, the amount of time that it takes to say a sentence in English is determined by the number of stressed words, not by the total number of syllables . to further illustrate the point look at the following sentences
1. TOM is MARY‘S FRIEND (5syllables)
2. The PROFESSOR is READING (7 syllables)

Although sentence 2 has more syllables(7) , sentence 1 actually takes longer to say because it has more stressed words .

Rhythm stress and song
Every song has a rhythm and so does every language. The rhythm of English is related to a combination of stressed and unstressed words, with stresses generally falling about equal length from each other. Certain songs closely follow the rhythm of English. These include ?What shall we do with the drunken sailor?, ?Michael Row the Boat?.

Look at the following song and mark the words you think should be stressed.

What shall we do with the drunken sailor

What shall we do with the drunken sailor(3x) Early in the morning

Chorus: Hoorah , and up she rises(3x)
Early in the morning
Take him and shake him and try to awake him(3x)
Early in the morning
Chorus: Give him a dose of salt and water (3x)
Early in the morning

It's not WHAT you say , its HOW you say it ! Look at the following sentences and notice :
• How your voice changes?
• What is the context for each one?
• How does the meaning vary?

1. He is a judge.
2. He is a judge?
You probably discovered quite a few different meanings for each. Did you notice a rise and fall in the pitch of your voice? This rise and fall is what we call intonation. Combined with word stress, sentence stress and rhythm, intonation gives the English
language a ?sing-song? effect. Notice that most intonation changes occur on stressed syllables. Hence, intonation and stress are very similar and at times can be indistinguishable . They often work together—sometimes aided by other factors—to alter meaning.

Rise and Fall
In a very general description, intonation is said to either rise or fall. The following examples will help you to understand:

When are you leaving
Declarative statement
(affirmative, negative)
He is a good boy. Its not true
Yes/No questions
Am I early?
You are asking me?
Imperative sentence
Give me that!
I love it!
Echo question
I am going to the movies
You are going to the movies?

You may have noticed that you could find numerous ways to say each sentence. The variety of intonations seems to be almost endless. But there was probably something else happening when you practiced the sentences, too. What other factors played a role?

How about gestures, body language, facial expression, eye movement posture and breathing? And what about speed pauses, volume and voice quality? Context and discourse play a major role in intonation, so let us now explore intonation in a broader setting.

Look at the sentences and be dramatic considering the above facts:
1. It‘s one 0 clock!
2. What are we going to do?
3. Would you look at my car?
4. You did it didn‘t you?
5. How much money do you need?

There are various ways of marking intonation, one of the most common and probably easiest to use is simply underline the focus words in a given sentence.

Pronunciation Practice Exercises

• To focus on sounds
• To focus on stress
• To focus on syllables
• To focus on spellings and sounds

To focus on sounds
Contrasting words - long and short sounds
Activity type: this is a differentiation activity in which students have to decide which words have a long vowel sound and which words have a short vowel sound.

Level: Elementary and above

Teacher's Notes:
1. Say two words; one containing a short vowel sound and other a long vowel sound e.g. live and leave.
2. Ask the students to tell you what causes the difference in sound between the two

words. The vowel sound is different.
3. Tell them that you are going to focus on these sounds /i:/ and /I/
4. Write the two phonemes on the board and then either dictate words to the students containing these sounds which they then they have to note under the correct phoneme or write the words on the board and ask the students to note them under the correct sound.
5. Once you have done this, ask the students to compare their lists in pairs. Read out the words and as you are doing so check to see where the students have placed them.



Note: make sure that you say the words at random. You can also decide on another group of long and short sounds e.g.


To Focus on stress
Some learners have a problem as to when to pronounce –"es" at the end of nouns
and verbs as a separate syllable The –"es" should forma separate syllable only after

• The =`s‘ sound as in =`class‘
• The =`z‘ sound as in =`confuse‘
• The =`sh‘ sound as in =`wish‘
• The =`tch‘ sound as in =`catch‘
• The =`g‘ sound as in =`page‘

To focus on syllables
Students need to identify how many syllables are there in a word and then pronounce accordingly
For example: Look at the table to understand


To focus on spellings that determine pronunciation
Some spellings are different but they sound the same and vice versa . Students need to identify them .

For example: Look at the table to understand
Same or Different

Live(I live here)
Live(Live music)

Other fun ways to learn pronunciation

Tongue twisters:
They are fun way to teach pronunciation:

• The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain
• Betty bought some butter, the butter was so bitter so Betty bought a better butter
to make the bitter butter better
• The sixth sick sheik‘s sixth sheep sick
• Blue lorry Red lorry
• The rat ran through the river with a lump of rat liver
• How much wood would a wood chucker chuck. If a wood chucker could chuck wood? A wood chucker would chuck all the wood he could chuck if a wood chucker could chuck wood.

Songs: Poems

Haiku: It is a Japanese poem of three lines that is an effective exercise to expand on syllables

Line 1: This line has 5 syllables
Line 2: This line has 7 syllables
Line 3: This line has 5 syllables
The end words do not need to rhyme but the subject must be the same


A red dirt road curves
Endless rows of orange trees
Gently kissed with light

A song to enjoy and learn pronunciation

Objective :
• To help students learn pronunciation of the syllables that have been highlighted
• As soon as the teacher reaches the word he / she is going to be more emphatic

Method :
• Hand outs are given to the students
• The teacher sings aloud stressing on the particular syllable
• The original song is played while the students listen to it
• Then stanza by stanza the students sing together.

Congratulations and celebrations
when i tell everyone that you‘re in love
with me congratulations and jubilations
i want the world to know i‘m happy as can be. who could believe that i could be happy and contented
i used to think that happiness hadn‘t been
but that was in the bad old days before i met you
when i let you
walk into my heart
i was afraid that maybe you thought you were above me
that i was only fooling myself to think you loved me
but then tonight you said you couldn‘t live
without me
that round about me you wanted to stay congratulations…
congratulations and jubilations
i want the world to know i‘m happy as can be i want the world to know I‘m happy as can be

Please complete the following tasks:
1. How many sounds have been changed to have made significant changes of meaning in the two following sentences:

Where are the fans?
Where are the vans?

2. How many vowel sounds are there in the English language? How many consonant sounds are there in English
Therefore, how many total sounds are there?

3. Define the following in a sentence: Phoneme

4. Make two sentences with each of the following words, first as a noun and then as a verb.

a) conduct b) rebel

5. Imagine you are teaching students whose native language does not contain the kind of stress patterns we have in English. In Japan, for example, the Japanese would give equal stress to all syllables in the word =banana‘. How can you help students hear and understand the stress? (50 words)


Effective learning of a foreign language involves to a great extent learning new vocabulary words. Research has it that young and adults need between 10 to 16 encounters before they can put the new word into their long term memory. This has implications through vocabulary practice. Letters sounds words chunks, grammatical structures need to spread out and build up from noticing, to recognition to production.

There is a gradual progression in vocabulary learning. Learners usually start by noticing then recognizing a word before they are able to produce it.

• There are four steps to vocabulary acquisition.
Learner notices the new word (with help)
Learner needs to recognize it (with help)
Learner needs to recognize it (on his own)
Learner can both recognize and produce it.

Putting theory into practice:

Students need to be motivated to learn vocabulary constantly. Therefore it‘s important that the review is as interesting as possible in terms of the types of exercises, strategies, activities. The visual element is also important. Look at the following example.

Noticing the new word through
• Flash cards
• Pictures

Noticing the picture
• True false

• Categorize the words
• Drawing the word
• Circle the word you hear

• Dictation
• Answering questions
• Guess game (I am thinking of)
• Miming

Final words : Points to consider
• Try to have as many success oriented activities that are geared to the age group you teach
• Gradually proceed from stage to stage but vary the activities
• Consider appealing to multiple intelligences.

How much vocabulary does a second language learner need?
There are three ways of answering this question. One way is to ask "How many words are there in the target language?" Another way is to ask "How many words do native speakers know?" A third way is to ask "How many words are needed to do the things that a language user needs to do?" We will look at answers to each of these questions.

This discussion looks only at vocabulary and it should not be assumed that if a learner has sufficient vocabulary then all else is easy. Vocabulary knowledge is only one component of language skills such as reading and speaking. It should also not be assumed that vocabulary knowledge is always a prerequisite to the performance of language skills. Vocabulary knowledge enables language use, language use enables the increase of vocabulary knowledge, knowledge of the world enables the increase
of vocabulary knowledge and language use and so on.

How many words are needed to do the things a language user needs to do?
Although the language makes use of a large number of words, not all of these words are equally useful. One measure of usefulness is word frequency, that is, how often the word occurs in normal use of the language. From the point of view of frequency, the word ?the? is a very useful word in English. It occurs so frequently that about 7% of the words on a page of written English and the same proportion of the words in a conversation are repetitions of the word ?the?.

The good news for second language learners and second language teachers is that a small number of the words of English occur very frequently and if a learner knows these words, that learner will know a very large proportion of the running words in a written or spoken text. Most of these words are content words and knowing enough of them allows a good degree of comprehension of a text. Table 1 shows that under favourable conditions, a vocabulary size of 2000 to 3000 words provides a very good basis for language use.

Table 1: Vocabulary size and coverage in novels for teenagers

Vocabulary size
% coverage
Density of unknown words
2000 words
1 in every 16
2000 + proper nouns
1 in every 16
2600 words
1 in every 25
5000 words
1 in every 67

The significance of this information is that although there are well over 54,000 word families in English, and although educated adult native speakers know around 20,000 of these word families, a much smaller number of words, say between 3,000 to 5,000 word families is needed to provide a basis for comprehension. It is possible to make use of a smaller number, around 2,000 to 3,000 for productive use in speaking and writing.

How much vocabulary and how should it be learned?
We are now ready to answer the question "How much vocabulary does a second language learner need?" Clearly the learner needs to know the 3,000 or so high frequency words of the language. These are an immediate high priority and there is little sense in focusing on other vocabulary until these are well learned.

The problem for beginning learners and readers is getting to the threshold where they can start to learn from context. Simply put, if one does not know enough of the words on a page and have comprehension of what is being read, one cannot easily learn from context. Research has shown have shown that we need a vocabulary of about 3000 words which provides coverage of at least 95% of a text before we can efficiently learn from context with unsimplified text. This is a large amount of startup vocabulary a learner needs, and this just to comprehend general texts. So how can we get learners to learn large amounts of vocabulary in a short space of time?

The suggestion that learners should directly learn vocabulary from cards, to a large degree out of context, may be seen by some teachers as a step back to outdated methods of learning and not in agreement with a communicative approach to language learning. This may be so, but the research evidence supporting the use of such an approach as one part of a vocabulary learning program is strong.
If you read the next part, then I am sure you too will agree with me that Learning vocabulary from cards is effective.

• Research on learning from context shows that such learning does occur but that it requires learners to engage in large amounts of reading and listening because the learning is small and cumulative This should not be seen as an argument that learning from context is not worthwhile. It is by far the most important vocabulary learning strategy and an essential part of any vocabulary learning program. For fast vocabulary expansion, however, it is not sufficient by itself. There is no research that shows that learning from context provides better results than learning from word cards.
• They can give a sense of progress
• A sense of achievement, particularly if numerical targets are set and met.
• They are readily portable and can be used in idle moments in or out of class either for learning new words or revising old ones.
• They are specifically made to suit particular learners and their needs and are thus self motivating.
• It should not be assumed that learning from word lists or word cards means that the words are learned forever, nor does it mean that all knowledge of a word has been learned. Learning from lists or word cards is only an initial stage of learning a particular word
How direct Instruction can help Students who start with smaller vocabularies Students come with varied vocabulary; this is because of the way they are influenced at home and in their immediate communities. Students coming from homes with limited vocabulary will have less vocabulary than the ones coming from homes with a greater exposure. Coming to call with a smaller vocabulary does not predict failure it emphasize the need for direct vocabulary. Studies show that vocabulary widens with
the capacity to absorb but it is quite different from the capacity to learn from context. Experts say that vocabulary development is an attainable goal. If given the right exposure to new words and along with effective instruction , it can be less of a drudgery. This increases their affinity to read more complex comprehension with fluency and betters their chances for success.

What should direct instruction include?
So how do we teach students to acquire words? According to various authorities effective vocabulary instruction should include the following three components.
1. Definitional and contextual information about a word
2. Multiple exposures to a word in different contexts.
3. Encouraging students to participate actively

• Definition and context

In the traditional method students were told to learn the words from vocabulary. This leads to poor retention. Students who memories the words have trouble applying them and often make mistakes about their meanings.

To know a word a student needs to see it in context and learn how its meaning relates to the words around it. An approach towards definitions as well as context can generate a full and flexible knowledge of word meanings. When students are given several sentences that use a word in different ways they begin to see how a word‘s meaning can change and shift depending on its context.
For example, consider the change in the word ?got? as it appears in the following
sentences -

Emily got rich
Emily got a note form me
Emily got into trouble

Repeat repeat repeat
Students benefit from seeing and listening to the same word again and again. Word meanings are gradually accumulated. A word that has been encountered only once
has about a ten percent chance of being learned from context. When students see a
word repeatedly they gather more and more information about it . There are four stages of acquiring a word
1. I have never heard it before
2. I have heard but I don‘t know what it means
3. I recognize it in context, it has something to do with…

4. I know it.

You can do it (encouraging active participation)
Students learn better when they can connect new meaning to knowledge they already have. This type of active processing occurs when students work with words in some of the following ways :
Produce antonyms and synonyms
Re-write definitions
Identifying examples and non examples of words
Use more than one word in a sentence
Create sentences that contain the new word
Create scenario or stories in which the new word is used
Create silly questions about the word

General strategies and specific techniques to teach vocabulary
Effective vocabulary development is a multifaceted process requiring a combination of direct instruction discussion and an active encouragement of independent learning strategies. On their own and in their class room; students draw on a variety of methods to learn the thousands of words that they listen to each year. Following are some general strategies and specific techniques that you should keep in mind while
teaching vocabulary.

Encouraging wide reading
Getting your students to read widely is the best advice you can give your students to improve their vocabulary. As they read on their own they learn vocabulary through incidental learning. For word acquisition, reading is the best tool.

Motivating students to read can be a difficult task. Here are a few suggestions to make reading more appealing.
Devote some class time to independent silent reading
Give them a list of books that they can read
Recommend libraries where they can pursue reading
Promote social interactions related to reading like group discussion on the topic read
Model the importance of reading by telling students about books that you are reading.

Emphasizing learning from context.
Most of the words learnt through incidental reading are learnt through context. Students learn the word by relating the meaning of the word with the sentence they are reading .
They also learn through repeated exposure gaining more comprehension of a word‘s
meaning and functions by seeing it several times in different contexts

• Here are some tips and pointers for teaching vocabulary:

-Allow students to use the vocabulary in real stories about their life. Making real world connections gives the vocabulary a 100% better chance of leaving the classroom.

- Use games, props and materials to get students so involved, they forget they are learning!

- Allow students to create their own games and materials. This way, the vocabulary

and concepts are addressed through the activity, but they are also utilized in the making of them, adding one more link to increase vocabulary and concept usage.

Flash cards
Word games
Guess games


Can you complete the table?

British vs. American English


A) Subway
B) Cookies
C) Sidewalk
D) Highway
E) Vacation
F) Fall
G) Fries
H) Semester


Quiz: 2
British vs. American English


A) Back pack
B) Apartment
C) Headphones
D) Smart
E) Subway

F) Store
G) Couch

Word Pair (Pair them)

A) Daughter A) Wife

B) Father in – law

B) Grand daughter

C) Husband C) Mother- in law

D) Grandson D) Son

Guess game :
The vowels are missing. Guess them
1. s___ v___ n g s
2. __l __r m
3. g__ __ r d
4. __n t__ r__ s t
5. b__ r r__ w
6. v__ __l t

Lay cards face up. Student closes his eyes. Friend removes 1-3cards and then says, "What's Missing?". The student says which cards are gone

Classic game which requires two sets of cards. Lay the cards face down. Turn two over at a time. Student must say the words. If the cards match, a pair is made. Winner has the most pairs

1. Write short notes on any one (100 words) of the following:
Effective instruction
Incidental learning

2. Create a vocabulary game of your own , excluding the ones that have been given to you.
Include the following information. Objective

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