Item 1 The Pied Piper of Hamelin Robert Browning

Item 1
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Robert Browning
They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.
Item 2
Shadow Talking for ESL Pronunciation Practice
The basic way a shadow speaking exercise works is like this:
1. A student listens to a pre-recorded audio file (a sentence, short paragraph, words
for intonation, whatever)
2. The student then records their own voice trying to get their pronunciation, rhythm,
and intonation to match as closely as possible to the sample.
3. if at all possible, both happen at the same time - the student listens, and while
listening records their voice repeating (shadowing) the original. With tape
recorders this often required 2 machines: one for playing the listening, and a
second for the recording.
It can be very valuable in helping students follow intonation and rhythm patterns and
become more aware of where their own rhythm and intonation differs from that of the
original recording.
Item 3
Taiwanese language backgrounds
27 common English pronunciation problems
Voiceless. Friction.
Tongue between teeth.
Keep tongue front &
low and jaws apart.
Move tongue to a
lower front position.
Keep tongue front &
low and jaws apart.
Keep mouth round and
sound short.
Keep mouth round and
tongue back.
Back of tongue high.
Lips tightly rounded.
Tongue low central.
Lips relaxed.
Tongue more central.
Lips relaxed.
Voiced. Vibration.
Trap air with lips.
Voiced. Friction with
top teeth & bottom lip.
Spread lips more and
keep tongue high.
Voiceless. Friction.
Tongue between teeth.
Quickly push air from
throat out of mouth.
Voiced. Friction.
Tongue between teeth.
Voiced. Friction.
Tongue between teeth.
"close" /z/
Tip of tongue behind
top teeth.
Voiced: tip of tongue
behind top teeth.
Unvoiced: Tip to
alveolar. Front to
Voiced: Tip to
alveolar. Front to
"ch" in "loch"
Voiced stop: back of
tongue to back roof.
/ŋ/ + /g/
/ŋ/ + /k/
Tongue touches
alveolar ridge. Nasal.
Contact. Brief "schwa" /ɫ/
after release.
(dark l)
Tongue touches hard
Sides of tongue to
back teeth. Tip points
Voiceless. Friction.
Tongue between teeth.
Voiced. Friction with
top teeth & bottom lip.
Item 4
Teaching Rhythm to ESL Students
The first step in teaching English rhythm is to make students aware of stress points within
sentences. All students learn that long words, such as "impossible", have one stress point
(imPOSSible), but phrases within sentences are the same. Teacher Joe uses the following
sentences to illustrate this point when he teaches:
1. Joe likes jokes. (3 syllables, 3 stress points)
2. Kathy isn't hungry. (6 syllables, 3 stress points)
3. Amanda doesn't like elephants. (9 syllables, 3 stress points)
Say these sentences to students slowly, letting them hear that all three take about the
same amount of time. The key to English rhythm is the number of stress points, NOT the
number of syllables!
Now, students must practice. Here are four ways that Teacher Joe often uses:
1. Repeat and Clap - Lead the students by clapping your hands with each stress point.
Repeat until all students can follow along. Make it like a song!
2. Repeat with Body Movements - Move your body up with each stress point. Make it
seem like a silly dance. Students always laugh at this, but they remember!
3. Mark the Stress Points - Give students five or six sentences on a sheet of paper.
Students must listen and put a dot over each stress point. Give feedback and have
students repeat each sentence out loud at the end.
4. Count the Stress Points - Read five sentences or play them from a CD or cassette tape.
Students must write down how many stress points there are in each sentence. Do the first
sentence quickly as an example, then go through the rest rather quickly. (It is better if
students write the number on a piece of paper, rather than say the number out loud,
because it forces all students to listen carefully!)
Item 5
Marta J. Sabbadini, British Council, Cameroon.
Intonation & meaning:
Changing the intonation can completely change the meaning.
 Say: 'It's raining'.
 Now say it again using the same words, but giving it different meaning. You could
say it to mean 'What a surprise!', or 'How annoying!', or 'That's great!'. There are
many possibilities.
Intonation & attitude
The first thing is for learners to recognise the effect of intonation changes. I say the
word 'bananas' - firstly with an 'interested' intonation (varied tone); then 'uninterested'
(flat). Students identify the two and describe the difference. We then brainstorm
attitudes, such as 'enthusiastic', 'bored', 'surprised', 'relieved'. I say 'bananas' for these.
Students then do the same in pairs, guessing each other's attitude.
This can be developed by asking students to 'greet' everybody with a particular
attitude. At the end, the class identify each person's attitude. For younger learners, I
use 'Mr Men' characters (Miss Happy, Mr Grumpy, Miss Frightened, etc.) Each
student is allocated a character and, as above, they greet the class with that character's
How I help my students
Some techniques I find useful for raising learners' awareness of intonation:
 Provide learners with models - don't be afraid to exaggerate your intonation.
 Let students compare two examples of the same phrase, eg: varied/flat intonation,
English / L1.
 Ask students to have a 2-minute conversation in pairs as 'robots' (elicit the word
using a picture if necessary), i.e. with no intonation. When they then go back to
speaking 'normally', point out that the difference is made by intonation - this is
what gives movement to our voices.
 Get students to imitate my intonation, but without words, just humming.
Further reading
Jenkins, J. (2000). The phonology of English as an international language. Oxford,
England: Oxford University Press.
Levis, John M. (2005). Changing Contexts and Shifting Paradigms in Pronunciation. TESOL
Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Sep., 2005), pp. 369-377.
Walker, Robin (2005). Using Student-Produced Recordings with Monolingual Groups to
Provide Effective, Individualized Pronunciation Practice. TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 39, No.
3 (Sep., 2005), pp. 550-558.
Useful links
Common English pronunciation problems for Taiwanese:
Karen Chung's Language and Linguistics Links:
The speech accent archive:
BBC Learning English