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Poetry Writing to Teach Pronunciation

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I have used poetry writing to great effect for teaching a range of pronunciation features simultaneously.

I take a fairly rythmically simple poem like a ballad or that "Roses are red..." poem in New Headway Intermediate and drill it to death, analysing rhythm, connected speech diphthongs etc... Next, I get students to choose two phnonemes that they find difficult. They brainstorm words which contain these phonemes. Then, they try to compose a poem to fit a rythym similar to the previous poem, which may or may not use line terminal rhyming patterns.

In the end, I get them to transcribe the poem into phonemic script, indicating connected speech where appropriate. Lastly, they share the results around and try to read them to each other.

The results have varied from the sublime to the ridiculous. e.g. "Dear deer, please, no tears."

Name: Ian Parker
Email: ian.parker@selc.com.au
Location: Sydney, nsw Australia

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