• Pronunciation practice: Easy and Effective One-on-One Technique


Recording on a smartphone

This technique requires minimal preparation, but it will help you zero in on the words/ sounds that a student is struggling with.  And it will enable you to help him/her improve their pronunciation in a non-threatening way.


(For simplicity of pronouns sake, we’ll use a male student as the example.)
1) Find something for him to read aloud.  It can be an essay that s/he wrote or an article that you have found.  You will need two copies of it: one for him and one for you.
2) He reads it silently for about one minute.
3) He reads that part aloud and records for about one minute.  While he is reading aloud, on your copy of the passage, you circle words that are mispronounced or just not clear.
4) Together, you listen to the recording and stop at those circled words.  Rewind a bit to let him hear what he read and compare it to your correct pronunciation and let him try to say it correctly.
5) After you have gone through that one-minute reading, you can review the circled words and/or have him re-read that part of the passage again.
6) Continue with another one minute of passage  etc.

Option 7) He monologues for one minute about anything. (You may want to give him a topic).  Record his monologue.  Play it back and stop at mistaken places and work with those words.

If you don’t have a way to record, just circle the words while he reads.  When he finishes, just read and repeat the circled words until he says them correctly.

During the next session with the student, it could be helpful to have him read the same passage aloud to see if he had internalized the correct pronunciation.

David Kehe

2 thoughts on “• Pronunciation practice: Easy and Effective One-on-One Technique

  1. Ellen Clore-Patron

    I’m writing a word stress curriculum and am wondering if you have thoughts about using your discovery techniques for teaching pronunciation. I can almost envision students finding word stress rules from discovery techniques (Latinate/Germanic suffixes, compound nouns, etc.). It seems reasonable but I’m not certain it would work. Any thoughts on how such an approach might play out?


    1. commonsenseesl Post author

      Hi Ellen, It sounds like you’d like to take a kind of inductive approach to helping students with word stress. Is that right? I’m not quite sure how to do that. Perhaps some other readers will have some ideas. Thank you for bringing up the idea.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s