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    • #8453

      1. Have you ever used one of the ways mentioned in activity 8 to practice pronunciation before reading aloud?
      2. Would you like to try any of them?
      3. Many teachers use a ‘mumble’ drill (students first read the text quietly to themselves, under their breath). Others use a ‘ghost’ drill (students quietly read along with you/a recording). Could you imagine yourself using these two suggestions?
      4. What sort of texts or genres do/would you like your students to read aloud?

      Post your ideas in a reply below and comment on other teachers’ ideas.

    • #8520

      Steven Herder

      1. Yes, I have tried most of them. The ones that work best for me are the highlighting stress, identifying schwa sounds, and showing linking of consonant/vowels.

      2. I haven’t found a stress in every phrase so I will do an activity like that the next chance I have.

      3. I sometimes have students use their finger to follow along a text to get a feel for the flow of the text.

      4. I haven’t used poems in a long time but recently I read a great article (somewhere, I can’t find it again!!) talking about the effectiveness of using a short poem at the start of every class.

    • #8562

      Barbara Bujtás

      1. I have used the stress activity, once when a student needed accent reduction training, and once quite recently, in my TDV6. It seems like it is all new for me.

      2. DIFFICULT WORDS, STRESSED WORDS and SYLLABLES, SWA yes, the intrusive sounds activity would be a bit confusing, I think.

      3. I use the ghost drill (or shadowing) with authentic materials, videos, but I usually don’t make my student read out the text independently, which I want to do in the future.

      4. I h e used reading aloud for authentic purposes, like reading their own texts, or when they have the copy only (the other students and I don’t). Another technique is to read out lyrics of songs, which is funny. When we make video projects, they usually read out their narration.

      • #8607

        Barbi – great to see you have many new activities you can try out to practices pronunciation, stress, etc before reading aloud.

        I’ve used the intrusive sounds activity particularly with students who were preparing to give speeches from a written script. Since they were not familiar with IPA, however, we used regular letters to indicate the linking sounds together with a curved underscore in place of the _/ /_, somewhat like this below:

        There_/r/_are many_interesting ways_/z/_of doing this with_you_/w/_or your team.

        As discussed in our mentioned Tutorial, I’ve also used readers’ theatre successfully with high beginners and low intermediate 1st- and 2nd-year university EFL students in Japan.  Prof Andrew Finch has a great website and shares many useful resources: https://www.finchpark.com/drama/scripts.html

        And here’s a good introduction to readers’ theatre:

    • #8567

      Rhett Burton

      1. I use a combination of chorus repetition, and then 1:1 eliciting. I also did it in my TDV6 video when I had the students produce words from the ‘Head and Shoulders’ song.

      2. I like trying a variety of activities that utilize stress, pronunciation and notation, and other bottom-up skills in tandem with Top-Down strategies. I want to say that I like to practice until the students are familiar enough with the procedure before I introduce another approach to draw attention to language.

      3. I do some mumbling reading when I give students time to review reading. Yes, I can see myself using these strategies when I want to review materials (information) that I don’t want my students to forget.

      4. I like to use songs because the patterns and rhythm make the learners feel good. The rhythm is also catchy and easy to remember. I also like using puppet plays that let students use characters to retell stories verbally.

      • #8612

        Regarding questions, 1, 2 and 4, please refer back to the Activity 8 techniques used to practice pronunciation when working with a (written) text before reading aloud 🙂

    • #10583

      Masatoshi Shoji

      Have you ever used one of the ways mentioned in activity 9 to practice pronunciation before reading aloud?
      Would you like to try any of them?
      I want to try some.

      Many teachers use a ‘mumble’ drill (students first read the text quietly to themselves, under their breath). Others use a ‘ghost’ drill (students quietly read along with you/a recording). Could you imagine yourself using these two suggestions?
      I will try.

      What sort of texts or genres do/would you like your students to read aloud?
      poem, novel, quotes, proverbs

    • #10588

      Masatoshi Shoji

      Using a literature is very appealing at least to me.
      I think there are some learners who are really in love with literature.

      • #10596

        How might you find out what your students are (a) interested in, and (b) able to handle in terms of the level of the text?

        Would you choose one piece of literature for your students or have them decide? And would the class look at the same text together or different texts to match their interests and abilities?

    • #10595

      Great to have new techniques to try and I look forward to seeing how they go for you in class.

      I’ve used a few poems from British Council kids. Short stories are usually more manageable for most of my students, rather than novels.

      For secondary and above, there are many short stories and novels here with resources for lessons, too: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/resources/secondary/stories-poems

      For example, here’s an entire lesson plan and resources put together around a short story:

      However, for classes with lower-level students, it’s often good to start with short quotes, proverbs, or slogans. These can be really good for a class warm-up and the first five minutes of class: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlbCDnZVd0w

    • #11676

      scott gray

      Many teachers use a ‘mumble’ drill (students first read the text quietly to themselves, under their breath). Others use a ‘ghost’ drill (students quietly read along with you/a recording). Could you imagine yourself using these two suggestions?
      What sort of texts or genres do/would you like your students to read aloud?

      I have used a number of these and will do so again but would like to work more on stressing the Main stress and linking sounds as they are one of the great helpers to improving students listening skills for the tests I have to have them take or prepare for. If I had the time and students who would want to learn more on phonemic charts I would like to have them search out the sounds using dictionaries but to be truthful not sure how many of those kind of students I will get in my classes. It would be nice but more a dream than reality for me.

      I have used shadowing a lot and thanks to sites like lyricstraining.com try to get my students to find what they like and practice singing along while they type or choose the correct lyrics as they do on that site. A fun one which I have loved to do is have them stand in two lines in pairs at first a handshake away from each other. They say in a normal voice a conversation (set or one they have made). When done they take a step away from each other and do again using 20% less volume. Then repeat again until they are mouthing the words from the far sides of the room where they can’t hear their partners responses but have to carry the conversation like they do. This gets them paying attention to their partner more and not just saying the words. It is trickier to run but well worth the mistakes and time to do it.

      • #11684

        Good to use different types of shadowing techniques and lyricstraining.com is great.

        Thank you for also sharing that practical classroom activity.

        I’d also like to try doing it in reverse. Students start at opposite sides of the room and try to guess a sentence their partner has mouthed silently or whispered. If they can’t, then they move a step closer and try again, then repeat.

    • #11759

      Rhett Burton

      I am not a fan of mumble reading because  i generally focus on letter-by-letter, word-by-word, and lexical chunks within passages. I reduce the letter stress as the students learn to see words beyond just levels. I do start to mumble read with older kids because I am not really reading text to say the words but to find meaning in the text. My main reading strategy with my emergent students to teach a concept called Story Plays because I want the students to both read it like a story but speak it like a play. I have tried Lyrics Training with my older students – loved it. I would love that app with the YouTube content I have.

      • #11765

        Likewise, I think ‘mumble reading’ works better once students have a certain degree of reading proficiency and can decode letters to sound out new words quite comfortably, for example.

        I think it’s also worth highlighting that young learners are often very good at memorizing a text/story without actually being able to read it, so they may seem to do well in ‘mumble drills’ yet not actually be reading at all.

        Story Plays sounds a bit like Readers’ Theatre. Is it?

    • #11767

      scott gray

      I have to agree with Phil here that I think the mumble activity actually works better with higher levels than lower. It seems to be too easy to fake or blend in that I find it most useful to just use to tweak and make the normal feel new.
      Well, my short break over back to planning the 7 in a row for tomorrow.

    • #11769

      Jessica Sohn

      Lot of the ways mentioned in activity 8 were new and helpful for me to grab a sense with teaching reading with older kids.
      Our school is more focused with elementary school students and for reading classes, we use a fixed textbook.
      So, I’m still wondering how I can implement the methods in the lessons.

      For 5-6 graders, I feel ‘mumble’ drill can work. or the ‘ghost’ drill.
      I rather went straight with choral group reading. (since they already are familiar with the text at home: reading with the CD is HW)
      But I see half the class not doing the hw lol.

      • #11771

        So, the main challenge seems to be getting all the students to do HW? Have you identified the issue?

        For example, with the 7-9 year olds I teach, parents have found it easier now that they know their kids HW is usually due 2 days before class. If I don’t hear from them, they appreciate a friendly reminder the next day (via Whatsapp) and they still have another day to get it done. The most common reason is that the kids just forget, and so do the parents.  To be honest, I forget to check my own kids, too, from time to time – sometimes too much to keep track of a 5-, 7-, and 9-year old on top of everyone else’s schedule in the house!


    • #15910

      Naoko Amano

      1. Japanese students often mistakenly emphasize the schwa or be verbs because they are told to do so by their school teachers. I have them emphasize the meaning / content words. We record before and after – they are surprised at the difference.

      2. I’d like to try having students mark blended sounds.

      3. In some ways it may be useful. For example, some students stop when they don’t know a word. This drill can help them to NOT stop. They feel uncomfortable when they cannot read smoothly, so this a good chance to develop fluency.

      4. My students read stories, chants, tongue twisters, and dialogs from the text book.

      • #15975

        Good points, Naoko, including consideration for students’ other English language learning experiences that can affect them, too!

    • #16445

      Rhett Burton

      4. What sort of texts or genres do/would you like your students to read aloud?


      Things I want my students to become better at reading:


      Instructions for exercises, activities, and tasks. If I improve with this, students can learn to be more autonomous in how they choose to participate in their learning process.

      Game rules and Strategies 

      I use a fair bit of games during class. Most games do not come with content designed to help students become better players. I would like to have curated reading materials to link to help my students improve their gameplay.


      Youtube and Netflix are worldwide and have text either generated or transcribed for its content. I want to promote the reading of such content types. I love how I don’t have to create this content.

      Dialogues and Role-plays

      Dialogues and roleplays are already included in most published textbooks. However, I don’t use published textbooks or have any curated content derived from aural communicative tasks. It is on my wishlist.

      • #16448

        Instructions often seem to be an overlooked genre (besides textbooks, tests, and cooking, perhaps). But I know a number of reluctant readers, all boys, who finally got into reading through be prompted to read instructions, whether on appliances and machines around the house or for games and things they wanted to build or make.

        I like how you’re looking to help students take things to the next level by looking at strategies, which kind of reminds me of game magazines from the 1990s with tips and tricks, for example. Plus, with the growth in Youtubers and the availability of CC, it’s good to harness those resources and even have students create their own channels – something that I’ve seen more and more kids doing during lockdown through the pandemic.

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