Chapter 16

First Day: Improving Intonation

In This Chapter

arrow Knowing why intonation is a good opening gambit for a new course

arrow Showing features of intonation visually on the board

arrow Teaching intonation to upper-intermediate students using rhymes and flashcards

Good pronunciation is critical to effective communication. No matter how accurate a student’s grammar or vocabulary is, she’ll be met with quizzical looks if what she says doesn’t sound English.

Pronunciation teaching in general is a great first day topic for students because it tends to be an overlooked area, grammar and vocabulary taking precedence. Non-native speaker teachers are sometimes less comfortable with this aspect of the language due to their own accents and a lack of access to authentic communication in English. But no teacher should overlook this area because students are hampered in their learning if they find that no one can understand them when they speak.

In this chapter, I look at one aspect of pronunciation: intonation. You can add meaning, emphasis and emotion, or differentiate a sentence from a question, simply by controlling the way your voice rises and falls. And on top of that, teaching intonation is great ...

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