It’s been a while since I shared a lesson plan. Hope what you’re about to read was worth the wait!

My (EFL) students often ask me how they can get rid of their foreign accent and sound like a native speaker. What I tell them in a nutshell, is that their accent is part of their identity and that they shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

A teachable moment

A lot of interesting chunks usually come up during this discussion. I also end up talking about the rhythm of English and how understanding it can improve students’ listening and also make their pronunciation more listener-friendly (Gilbert, 2008).

So, I’ve decided to create a lesson based on my answer! Two actually : a typical listening and a dictogloss, which can be used with stronger students. Stage aims, timings and suggestions are included in the teacher’s notes. Here’s the basic description and downloadable materials ⬇️

Levels: B1+, B2

Aims

  • To help learners to articulate their attitudes about their accents.
  • To make learners aware that having an accent is not a defect.

Linguistic aims:

  • To introduce and practice lexical chunks from the text;
  • To introduce and practise different -ing forms;
  • To draw attention to sentence stress;
  • To use a template which can help students visualise how sentence stress works.

Skills:

Listening and speaking

⬇️ Download.. ⬇️

Typical listening (gist +True or False )

Dictogloss

New ideas

As always, lesson planning is a way for me to experiment and learn. I try to apply new techniques I read about because if I don’t use them, I lose them. 🙃

  1. The prosody pyramid. I recently read Teaching Pronunciation Using the Prosody Pyramid, by Judy Gilbert and I liked how she used the pyramid template to represent sentence stress. I thought I’d try out the idea and see how my students respond to it. You can read the book here and watch one of her webinars here.

2. Asking students if their attitudes have changed at the end of a lesson. Inspired from my teacher training readings and assignments. In exercise 1 they discuss how they feel about their accents and in the last one, they are asked if their attitude has changed. Ambitious perhaps but, you never know..

3. The visionary method, an activity described by Dr Ana Pellicer-Sanchez in an IATEFL ReSIG webinar on formulaic language. She asked students to imagine their future selves being fluent, having interactions in different situations, using  the items they encountered in the lesson. In what situations would they use them?

If you use any of the lessons, please leave a comment and let me know which activities you and your students found useful. Feedback on the plan and teacher’s notes is always welcome!

Enjoy and share!

References

https://www.tesol.org/docs/default-source/new-resource-library/teaching-pronunciation-using-the-prosody-pyramid.pdf?sfvrsn=0

http://resig.weebly.com/webinar-pedagogical-approaches-to-the-teaching-of-formulaic-language.html