Learning English does not have to be boring! When you are first learning how to pronounce words correctly, the best way to improve is to play pronunciation games. Here are the top ten games used by teachers with their students or by you at home with another English language learner. Games can be played alone but will be more limited so do try to find another student to work with you.
1. The “Yes?!” Game: One partner will add as many different feeling and meaning to a word or sentence varying your stress and intonation. The other partner has to guess what feeling you are trying to express.
2. Shadow Reading: While listening to a native speaker on a CD or class download, you and a partner practice speaking at exactly the same speed and rhythm that you hear. When you are comfortable, one partner turns the volume down while the other person is speaking in order to see if you are speaking correctly.
3.Tell Me if I’m Odd: You listen to a whole string of words with the same (vowel) sound and when you hear the different word, you shout out or stand up to indicate you heard the difference. This game is really fun to do with two teams.
4. Silent Mouths: One partner or one teacher silently mouths a word or sentence. You have to guess what is being said and repeat the word correctly.
5. Charades: This is a fun group game that is not just for pronunciation. One person on a team chooses a word or phrase out of a hat and has to “act” the word out for the other players. Whoever guesses and pronounces the word correctly gets a point.
6. First One to Find: You have a copy of a list of words. A leader says something like, “The first person to find a word with three syllables.” You then race to find the word and whoever calls out the first word with correct pronunciation will get a point.
7. Tapping: In pairs, one partner taps a stress pattern and the other partner identifiees any words with that pattern.
8. Story Design: In pairs, one partner makes up a short story using 5 words. The other partner listens to the story and write down the five words, then for points must repeat and pronounce the word correctly.
9. Tongue Twisters: These are sentences that have mnemonic patterns that are fun to pronounce and are one of the best ways to practice pronunciation. Even native speakers can find these difficult. Here are three common tongue twisters. Say them over and over and as fast as you can!
peppers, where is the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
10. Voicing Game: This is a game to understand the differences between stressed syllables. For example, press your hands to your ears and make this sound – ssssssssssssss (unvoiced) and then change to the sound zzzzzzzzzzzzz (voiced) to hear the difference. Now do the same thing while touching your throat.