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How to teach Phonetics

Activities from the Teachers Training Course at the University of Texas COMEXUS 2009

1.-A very good idea is to elaborate a telephone dial keyboard and give a word to each number. Example: 0=cap, 1=cop, 3=cup, 4=boat, 5=bought, 6=boot, 7=chip, 8=sheep, 9=ship.


*Drill words

*Provide students with a handout.
*Student A invents a telephone number.
*Student B asks What is your telephone number?
*Student A answers My telephone number is Cop, cap, bought, chip, sheep, boat (1-0-5-7-8-4).
*Student B writes down the telephone number, and change roles.

*Handout with a telephone key board drawing.

2.-Ask students to create a rap song with sounds Example: t t t p p k k t p k f f t f

*Each song could be perform in groups.
*Listeners could copy the sounds, as if was a dictation.

3.-Go fishing


*Put the deck of cards on a table (Facing down)
*Student A picks a card.
*Student B asks "Do you have an M sound?
*Student A answers yes/no.


*Deck of cards with words.

4.-One letter at a time


*Make sentences or students write them.
*Student A dictates the sentence by spelling in: p-l-e-a-s-e space g-i-v-e- space t-h-e space p-e-n-c-i--l
*Student B writes it down.

5.-Minimal pairs


*Make pairs of very similar words in cutouts, a word on a piece of paper. Example: Sheep-ship. Boat-bought. Cap-cop. etc.
*Put them on a table, facing up.
*Two or three students go to the table.
*Teacher or any student says aloud "CAP"
*The first one who grabs the card wins it.
*The student with more cards wins the game.

6.-Tell me where to go


*Teacher gives a map (or students draw it)
*Minimal pairs cutouts: Back street-Bag street. Work street-walk street. etc.
*Give directions on how to get to a place. Example: First go to Work street. Then walk to Back street.

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